I have been transcribing Polish gravestones, and notices that there is a real mess in the naming of cemeteries as well as using English naming for location of the cemeteries as well as Polish. This creates duplicate cemetery locations.
Should we use the native language or English for location naming?
Is there a way to block creation of new states/provinces once cleaned up?
I attached picture with examples of same states/provinces in two languages.
Yes, I agree with Miroslaw. I also spend a good deal of time working on clearing duplicates and checking location names in a number of countries.
For purposes of discussion, I would propose that:
1. The country name should be English, as that is what the BG programming staff will have to read to make corrections. I also think the BG system should have at least one alternative field for native or official short name of country and province.
2. The Province/State is quite variable depending on the current way a country has it geopolitical regions organized. There are several sources on the net for "official" lists of these things, and we could collectively create lists that would match the English name with the native language(s). I realize that some country have more than one official language and we should create a database structure that is mindful and respectful of that.
3. As for street address/city/county I just put what I think makes sense on the ground. If an English (or other) speaker goes to Poland to look for ancesters, they will have to know or recognize the village/town/street names as they are in the local language, so it makes sense to thave those in the local language.
4. As for the names of the actual cemeteries, again I think it should be in the native/official language. In some cases it makes sense to have nativelanguage/english version or Native AKA English version.
5. One question I would have for the BG programming team if whether they can program pointers so that if a person enters the Polish name in the search engine, it will search for the English alias. There should be some way to incorporate the concept of limiting alias names to country and province. Should any other fields get the alias treatment?
6. Would it be helpful for those of us with the patience to do it, take an assignment to create an alias dataset such as the one that Miroslaw shows in his screenshot? If so, what countries are most problematic. I know that Russia also has this problem, but it would have to be worked out by a native speaker with reasonably good English. This may be something they at BG are already working toward in some future roadmap for upgrades.
Miroslaw - because most of the website's users (and most of the internet's users!) are English-speaking natives, it follows that most entries will be made by English-speaking natives.
I say 'most' but mean 'majority' - about 25% are English-speakers, 20% Chinese, 8% Spanish, and then languages drop to 5% & below. Polish falls somewhere below the 2% mark, according to statista.com.
If everyone trying to help out, were to follow perfect rules, then I would say we (I am an English-speaker!) should leave alone all 'foreign' language references.
However, people try to help... that's just the way it is...
Regrettably, many don't fully appreciate the nuances of another language's alphabet - characters that aren't on an English keyboard, characters with diacritical marks, etc... Polish being one of these.
While the region/state/province/etc. list could be cleaned up now & then, as well as the cemetery lists within each, the individual NAMES will likely have numerous errors unless/until someone does a big clean-up.
I've recently done a big clean-up of (my native!) Canada - marking duplicate cemeteries & merging duplicates & correcting typos.
For me, though, we're a mostly-English country, with some French (which we learn in school, so it's not too foreign to the English-speakers!), and there isn't a lot of alphabet clean-up needed.
I would recommend changing the non-Polish cemetery & province names to correct Polish characters; note which ones would need to be merged (if the duplicates both have names in them, for example), and email support (or post here) a list.
If one of the duplicates is actually empty, I've changed its name to (DUPLICATE-TO DELETE) - ...original name...
so it is easy to see the ones to delete, when support takes a look - and new submitters would probably notice it, and look for a different location to add their photos to.
Unfortunately, I think anyone can create a state, or maybe even a country, in error [Edit: yup, just confirmed that] - so it takes people like us to be vigilant in watching for issues, & reporting them...