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What do you think about language:LL=no if language is not supported in country where is an official language. Ex. restaurant in Poland where you cannot order meal in Polish. Dotevo (talk) 06:56, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Why would that be the case? Is it the official policy of the facility? We would not map the personal deficit of an untrained waiter to speak the county's language. --Polarbear w (talk) 09:47, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes. It is official, because this place is created by people from India. Menu is in English and waiters know only English.Dotevo (talk) 10:15, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

I live in a bilingual area, so we are planning to widely use language:eu=yes for any type of service (not limited to language schools) that is offered in basque. This is important for us in order to support a minority language like ours, and the language does not depend so much on the personal there but on the site's policy, like accepting credit cards. I'd like to confirm that it is a proper use of the tag. (talk) 12:19, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

>Note that the current use in language schools is not quite unambiguous, since
means German is taught as the main (foreign?) language, but it is not obvious whether the German language (subject) is only taught using German (as language in which the teachers communicate) or not.--Hlv (talk) 16:26, 29 October 2019 (UTC)


I think also (as supported by the contributions above) that the language tag would be useful to characterize many various amenities, as for example: shops, museums, galleries, information offices and boards, restaurants, cafes, vending machines, and others. For example:

  • In a restaurant or cafe, it may be useful to know in advance whether a given language is used, and how (see table below).
  • In a tourist monument, guided tours may be available in several languages. Even if a given language is not spoken by the guides, there may be written "foreign"-language descriptions of the rooms / buildings / objects etc., or brochures in the non-local language available.
  • A shop / supermarket may have sales assistants and /or automatic cash registers mastering more than one language.
  • Maps / information boards / guideposts may use several languages.
  • In a gallery, the art objects may have descriptions in more than the expected (local - "default") language.
  • A car / boat / bicycle rental office may have salespeople able to communicate in various languages.

These uses cannot be, in my opinion, sufficiently described by the current simple syntax

 language:"iso" = <value>

Instead, I propose to add another specifier in the format:

 language:<purpose>:"iso" = <value>

with some suggested values for the purposes:

Purpose Description
all All purposes reasonably applicable for the specific type of amenity
descriptions Written information on an information board / map / art objects etc. in the given language
guides Language spoken by a part of guides in a monument with guided tours
inscriptions The inscription(s) on a memorial, plaque, etc. use that language
menu A printed menu in a restaurant / cafe / bar / pub etc.
panel The button / touch panel of a vending machine is able to use that language
physicians The physician(s) in the doctors office, clinic, or hospital are able to communicate in the given language
sales Language which can be reliably expected to be spoken in a shop / sales point / rental office to communicate with the salesperson / cashier (and perhaps also in a tourist information office, even if they "sell the information for free")
self-checkout The self-checkout machine uses the specified language (most often on the touchscreen)
taught A language taught as subject in a language school
teaching Language used for teaching
waiters One can expect waiters in the restaurant / cafe / bar / pub etc. to communicate in that language
worship The language is regularly used for services in the place of worship

As for the values, "yes" and "no" are obvious options. I can also think of the value "limited" but it seems not easy to define generally what it would mean.

Other purposes and comments are of course welcome. --Hlv (talk) 16:26, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for the interesting proposal, Hlv. The best option would be to create a proposal page like "Proposed_features/Language_Purpose" following the format from Proposal process, and then send out an email to the Tagging mailing list to get comments about the proposed new keys. --Jeisenbe (talk) 22:53, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

POIs other than schools

I've generalized this article to describe usage that isn't connected to education. Non-schools currently account for 70% of all occurrences of language:*=* in OSM, including 7% that are shops, 6% that are places of worship, 6% that are healthcare facilities, 5% that are eateries, 4% that are ATMs, 4% that are tourism-related, 4% that are offices, 2% that are banks. Also, this tagging scheme has been documented alongside amenity=atm since 2014.

It's true that some businesses or facilities may support a minority language to a greater degree than others, but while we wait for Proposed features/Language Purpose, I think this page should acknowledge the fact that this "in use" key is already being used on a wider variety of POIs than the page originally described.

 – Minh Nguyễn 💬 21:56, 30 March 2021 (UTC)