Proposed features/Language of this element

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Language of this element
Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Skunk
Tagging: language=...
Applies to: NodeWayAreaRelation
Definition: Indicates the language(s) of this element
Rendered as: helpful for localized maps
Drafted on: 2009-05-07

The name-tag and many other tags (desc, ref, addr:street, ...) usually use the local language(s) which are used in that region. Although it's already possible to add this tags in other languages (by adding :en, :de, ... to the tag-name, e.g. name:en, ref:de), there's currently no way to know, which language(s) are used for the 'default' tags, which makes it difficult to make localized maps. This proposal propose the use of a 'language'-tag which holds the code(s) of the language(s) which are used on this tag.

Usually this tag will be applied to administrative borders, to imply that all elements in that region use these language(s). An administrative border with a higher admin_level would overrule borders with lower admin_level (e.g. a country uses language X, but in that particular village the local language is Y).

If there are single elements whose language is in a different language, it can also be applied to those.

For countries where several languages are used for the name-tags, all codes for the languages should be added, separated by semicolon, and they should be in the same order.

If all tags are in one particular language, but one tag in a/several different language(s), a "language:tag-name"-tag could be used.


As for the suffixes to tags, the ISO 639-1-codes are used.

  • language=en
  • language:name=en;de


  • name=London
  • language=en

  • name=София
  • name:en=Sofia
  • language=bg

  • name=België - Belgique - Belgien
  • language=nl;fr;de

See also


Please use the Talk-page.