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What's the preferred language for changeset comments? I'd suspect English, but since the editor's interface is localized (iD, German), I am a bit confused.

asked 27 Dec '14, 23:21

michaelkloepzig's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

From what I've seen, people use either English or the language of the region. (In either case, good orthography is helpful so others can use automatic translation tools to decipher it, if needed.)

I use German for edits within Germany (expecting that most people who'd end up looking at the changeset comment for my small-scale edits would be locals), and English in other countries where I don't speak the local language.

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answered 27 Dec '14, 23:49

dawidi's gravatar image

accept rate: 33%


As an exception to this, it's probably better to write in a language you know well (even if it's neither the local language nor English) than to fumble a sentence that people will fail to understand. If you can't beat the language skill of google translator, please write in your own language.

(28 Dec '14, 00:38) Vincent de P... ♦

I would not fully agree to "If you can't beat the language skill …". For an edit in Germany writing in English would be directly understandable by most people even if it is not a good English, whereas a comment in (for example) Japanese would require most people to use use a translator (time consuming) even if knowing the rough category of the edit would be sufficient.

(28 Dec '14, 00:44) aseerel4c26 ♦

Any changeset comment in any language is better than an unhelpful one (e.g. "fixed stuff"). Online translation tools are only going to get better, so I personally wouldn't worry about writing a changeset comment in the "wrong" language.

(28 Dec '14, 13:51) SomeoneElse ♦

The language skill threshold is hard to define. Depends on what you want to say, for example. But I have read a few jumbled English comments which make no sense, and would have been better in the author's native language translated via a tool.

(30 Dec '14, 18:26) Vincent de P... ♦
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question asked: 27 Dec '14, 23:21

question was seen: 3,164 times

last updated: 30 Dec '14, 18:26

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum