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tag translation and translations starting with capital letters

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Oct 11, 2012, 4:59pm Top

Hi! /tag/dialect lists today the following translations:

Language Translation Votes Translator
Belarusian Дыялект 3 0
Bulgarian Диалект 3 0
Croatian Dijalekt 3 0
Dutch Dialect 1 1
Finnish Murre 3 0
French Dialecte 3 0
German Dialekt 4 0
Hungarian Dialektus 3 0
Icelandic Mállýska 3 0
Irish Dialecte 3 0
Italian Dialetto 4 0
Latvian Dialekts 3 0
Lithuanian Tarmė 3 0
Norwegian Dialekt 4 0
Polish Dialekt 4 0
Portuguese (Portugal) Dialeto 3 0
Romanian Dialect 1 1
Russian Диалект 3 0
Serbian Дијалект 3 0
Slovak Nárečie 3 0
Spanish Dialecto 3 0
Swedish Dialekt 4 1
Swedish dialekt 2 0 anglemark
Turkish Lehçe 3 0
Yiddish אקצענט (the last votes are:) 4 0 (editid because of BiDirectional rendering issues).

The translations of "dialect" is in most languages (which are using lower case and upper case letters) mainly using lower case variants. Only German is using a translation staring with a upper case letter: "Dialekt".

Oct 11, 2012, 5:07pm Top

I don't understand. Are you saying that all the other languages than German SHOULD start with a lower case letter?

Oct 11, 2012, 5:14pm Top

No! My conjecture is that these translations are based on Wikipedia / are taken from Wikipedia article names. Please compare with http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dialect#translations . Both should use the same "license"

Oct 11, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Okay, I really don't understand. Because the translations at the wiki page are all starting with lower case "d", except for German, which starts with upper case "D". That is what I said in #2, but you are now saying no. Perhaps you are misreading my post?

Oct 11, 2012, 5:26pm Top

Looking at the translation from /tag/Einstein and /tag/Benedict+XVI one can see that for persons, countries, cities most Wikipedia titles are usefull. The only (or main) problem there is the usage of the COMMA character.

What I want to point is that the translation for "dialect" (for /tag/language probably for also for "cat" etc.) is not the "optimum".

Oct 11, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Now I'm completely lost.

Oct 11, 2012, 6:51pm Top

You seem to be complaining that all the first letters of whatever dialect should be in each language is lower case when it should be upper case, except for German. But looking at that list, they're all in upper case already (aside from the ones that I can't read) except for Swedish.

In other words, your complaint and your example seem to be opposite.

Oct 11, 2012, 6:56pm Top

#7 by jjwilson61> I think he's saying the opposite. I think when he says "is in most languages ... mainly using lower case", he means in in the "real world", not what's set in LT.

But then when I tried to say that, he told me "No!" I'm still guessing he misunderstood my comment much like I think you misunderstood his.

Edited: Oct 12, 2012, 12:13am Top

>7 jjwilson61:/8

I think that the point is that originally Tim populated the tag translation pages with help from the existing linkages in wikipedia between articles in different languages. Unfortunately, wikipedia article names start with capital letters, and so all the tags translations that came from there also have upper case starting letters. Which is not "correct" for most languages when applied to normal words (German being the major exception for nouns).

(Gangleri is talking about the general case, and not just for "dialect" and wants an overall fix of some kind, I presume.)

I'm not entirely certain what is supposed to be done about it, and it doesn't bother me too much.

>1 gangleri:

Wenn ich den Problem auch falsch verstanden habe, kannst Du es nochmal auf Deutsch schreiben? Vielleicht verstehe es besser in dem Fall...

Oct 12, 2012, 12:22am Top

Thanks for the translation!

Edited: Oct 12, 2012, 2:28am Top

I don't see a big problem here. It is rather hard to find members at random using languages other than English for tagging, but just as many of us in English use capitals for our tags, so do others. Certainly in French I have found both upper and lower case at the beginning of tags, depending on the member. For Spanish and Portuguese I also found members using upper case for the first letter.

Oct 12, 2012, 2:43am Top

As far as I know - but obviously I can't vouch for all those languages - using the uppercase isn't actually wrong. Alright, dictionaries usually avoid doing so, but encyclopedias usually do (hence also the usage on Wikipedia).

Oct 12, 2012, 11:10am Top

At the risk of teaching grandparents to suck eggs, I'd point out that tags are case sensitive. This was an issue for me, as some of my tags are proper nouns, and some are German common nouns. Plus I had an ingrained habit of writing my first tag for any given work entry with a capital letter because I insisted on thinking of the tag field as a sentence. Foolish fellow.

So far the only answer I have found for human ignorance or folly is to have a mammoth tag editing session every so often...

Edited: Oct 13, 2012, 2:21am Top

I'd point out that tags are case sensitive

The tags themselves: yes. But tag translations can be spelled "correctly" independent of that phenomenon. However I don't see a tag spelled with a capital letter as incorrect, even if/when that isn't absolutely required by the language.

Now if it were the other way around: all German nouns should indeed start with a capital letter - and since tag translation can make it do so for German, it should.

ETA: Sorry, I somehow misread the statement I was responding to. The are NOT case sensitive. (At least they're not supposed to be. I only occasionally see examples to the contrary, which IMHO is a bug.)

Oct 12, 2012, 11:29am Top

> 3 & 5: No, pre-populating everything with Wikipedia derived info isn't "optimal". But it's a basis, and those of us actually speaking the language(s) are kindly requested to take it from there.

Oct 12, 2012, 12:01pm Top

I thought that Tim made tags case-insensitive when he re-did tag combination.

Oct 12, 2012, 4:01pm Top

Yes the tags themselves. Tag translations seem to be just bits of text though. We can easily use correct spelling for each language there. (Not that that would change anything regarding combination or search, I think).

Oct 12, 2012, 4:19pm Top

#17 by @BarkingMatt> I think maybe you misread jjwilson. He said "case INsensitive" (emphasis mine). I say this because you quoted RobertDay saying that tags were case sensitive and said the same thing you said about jjwilson's post. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Oct 12, 2012, 4:30pm Top

18> His answer can be the same to both of us because his answer boils down to that case doesn't matter for tag translations. I haven't really been following this feature since it seems to have minimal affect on the English site but I suspect he's right. If you think the translation is wrong you should propose a different translation. So there is no bug here.

Oct 12, 2012, 4:36pm Top

I spend one week in a hospital. In my room a professor of arts was / is waiting the last breath. His consolation is Marc Aurel.

re: subject of this topic
>14 Nicole_VanK: "Now if it were the other way around: all German nouns should indeed start with a capital letter - and since tag translation can make it do so for German, it should."
Thanks for the clarification.

I assume that we all agreee that the tag translation proposals made by Tim are a very good starting point. All proposals have implemented votes. Maybe the easiest way would be to add two icons one for requesting the proposal starting with (an) upper case letter(s) and one icon for requesting the proposal starting with (an) lower case letter(s) .

For proper names the Wikipedia page titles can be used in most cases:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_de_Fermat i.e. Fermat, Pierre de
please note the page title at http://ru.wikipedia.org/?curid=14933 "Ферма, Пьер"

Please compare with /tag/Pierre+de+Fermat.

Oct 13, 2012, 2:33am Top

Sorry I contributed to confusion.

> 18 brightcopy: I somehow misread message #13. Edited my message #14.

> 13 RobertDay : The tags are only case sensitive in your own tag list. Yeah, I semi-regularly need to dive into mine too in order to make things uniform. But even before correction upper and lower case variants will lead to the same tag page, and behave the same in search.

Oct 13, 2012, 3:22am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Edited: Oct 13, 2012, 3:43am Top

>20 gangleri:: Sorry, I may be missing your point. But the process of importing Wikipedia supplied info has run its course. What we are left with is checking (and if necessary correcting) that, and supplying translations where none were found in Wikipedia.

Maybe the easiest way would be to add two icons one for requesting the proposal starting with (an) upper case letter(s) and one icon for requesting the proposal starting with (an) lower case letter(s).

But why should one wish to force entries to start lower case? Surely even in German using upper case to start "key words" other than names and nouns is not incorrect?

Oct 13, 2012, 6:14am Top

>23 Nicole_VanK: "But why should one wish to force entries to start lower case? Surely even in German using upper case to start "key words" other than names and nouns is not incorrect?"

LT has no rules about tags starting upper or lower case letters. Tags are subject to consens and votes. However languages have a long history and tradition. The nature of the problem addressed is technical. The scope of this bug report is to improuve the tag proposals in order to complay to the usage established in the corresponding languages; i.e. not the usage in LT but in the outside world.

P.S. Sorry about the confusion in the first posts. I did not want to reduce the subject to two rules only. So far two issues have been addressed. More tag related issues may arrive.
Example: handling of non letter characters in tags; see /tag/Al-Biruni and /tag/Al Biruni.

Oct 13, 2012, 10:16am Top

Yes, languages have long history and traditions. But is there any language zone where starting lemmata (key words as in encyclopedias or library catalogues) with an upper case letter is actually incorrect - as in unallowed - spelling?

Anyway: much as I find this interesting, I don't see any bug.

Oct 13, 2012, 7:19pm Top

#25: I was going to say Zulu, but despite the camelCase words, it looks like the Zulu Wikipedia still capitalizes the start of words. So ... Klingon.

Oct 13, 2012, 8:09pm Top


Klingon has neither a wikipedia site nor an LT site, so that's not much of a concern, I think.

Oct 14, 2012, 1:51am Top

> 26: Thanks for the info on Zulu and Klingon though. Fascinating.

Edited: Oct 16, 2012, 11:36pm Top

Some answers, then I close this:

1. The data did in fact come from Wikipedia. That's why upper-case predominates.

In an ideal world, we'd have used a source that used lower-case, because lower-case is the more common way of tagging things (German nouns excepted, of course). Because it's the more common way, lower-case tags also tend to "win" on the global tag level. Having the US site mostly lowercase and the non-English sites uppercase presents problems. But the problems are not serious—upper case is never wrong for these languages—and they came as the byproduct of a huge win, millions of tag translations we simply could not have otherwise come by.

2. Your catalog's tags are case sensitive to the maximum degree.

3. Tag combination is NOT case sensitive. That is, "Dog" and "dog" are automatically combined, and can't be separated. I can't see many (any?) cases this misfires.

4. If you want lower-case in a language, you can suggest new translations. But it's going to be an enormous slog! I suggest we engage in more fruitful pursuits.

Edited: Oct 17, 2012, 12:18am Top

#29: I can't see many (any?) cases this misfires.

Smith and smith combines some works about metalworking into a tag that's largely about people named Smith. Mark and mark (alternate tagmash) combines some works with a mark in them with books written by or about Mark. I can't find works on polish in the Polish tag, but it's certainly conceivable.

Oct 17, 2012, 12:43am Top


Oct 17, 2012, 3:16am Top

Except that many of us do use the capitalized tags anyway, so there would always be this problem.

Oct 17, 2012, 5:18am Top

>29 timspalding: "and they came as the byproduct of a huge win, millions of tag translations we simply could not have otherwise come by"

I appreciate this very much. It is a great step toward multilingualism (/tag/multilingualism).

Oct 17, 2012, 11:06am Top

Seems like a cost-benefit thing. You could always change your "smith" tags to "smithing" to avoid the problem. Or "mark" to "marked". Would hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Oct 17, 2012, 11:10am Top

Let's also not forget that, originally, all tags were lower-case. It was impossible to capitalize them. So separating tags on the basis of whether they're lower-case or upper-case would require a lot of people to edit a lot of tags.

Oct 17, 2012, 11:15am Top

Tags were never lower-case on the catalog level.

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Bug (edit)

ID: 143357

Category: Non-English LibraryThing

Assigned to all

Reported by gangleri

Status: Closed by staff

Oct 16, 2012, 11:35pm

6 years since last change

By timspalding

Status log

Reported. gangleri (Oct 11, 2012, 4:59pm)

Closed by staff. timspalding (Oct 16, 2012, 11:35pm)


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.


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