Map of languages in the Wiki

Posted by sude on 30 August 2019 in Spanish (Español).

Hello everybody

Somedays ago, i saw the map of languages in the Wiki. Honestly, I didn’t like it because it used points and it was very unaccurate. I had the idea of doing the same thing, but with relations.

It has been difficult because I had to see country by country which language people use there, extract the points of the relations and put it into the map.

I hope you like it:

Furthermore, I realized that there is a very common mistake in a lot of countries: mixing languages randomly. In my opinion, it’s not realistic at all. For example, I saw countries in which there are arabic, hebrew and chinese script in the same city. I think that we should follow the quote “a nation, a country”, or as least, “a country, a language”.

This is the reason why I didn’t add some countries to the map, cause I couldn’t determinate which is the main language of the country.

However, it’s a fact that there are countries where people speak several languages. That happens in the real life. So I recommend you to delimitate the border between those languagues.

That’s only my advice. You are not forced to follow it, but I ask you guys to think about it.

There are a lot of countries in which I didn’t put the language because I didn’t have time enough, so I ask you to add them.

In addition, I’m using the same colours that were used before, and I added the colour Black to rare languages that are spoken in very few countries.

Comment from louis_walker on 30 August 2019 at 22:41

This is a great effort…but I’m confused by what you’re trying to say about languages. As you yourself note, there are many real-world countries that have multiple national languages. At the same time, there are cities where different languages are used in different places (i.e. New York, where I live, and where there are additional street signs in Spanish, Chinese, et. al. depending on where you are). I was just in Toronto recently, and pretty much every sign I saw was replicated in both English and French.

Comment from Mapping Expert on 30 August 2019 at 23:16

You point out that random languages ​​are placed. If you observe in the FAQ page is acceptable to use different languages ​​and even create some. Therefore, many users have implemented this technique. Some use several languages, although this is not bad; Since every country has a different history and that is the essence of OGF.

Comment from Mapping Expert on 30 August 2019 at 23:20

Regardless of our views, I want to congratulate you for your excellent work on the language map (a job that anyone cannot do).

Comment from nadriko on 31 August 2019 at 05:23

Great efforts done! And very successful. Congratulations

Comment from Luciano on 31 August 2019 at 05:45

Comments like this make me depressed, and remind me why I so urgently wish to quit OGF but can’t because I’m not good enough at replicating the software stack on my own server.

Comment from zhenkang on 31 August 2019 at 06:06

Sorry, Luciano, but I dont really understand.

Honestly about languages, I wish one day we do massive relocation project of our countries to fit our cultures better. But this may not work out…

The best we can do now is try to keep the cultures in a certain area consistent. I hope the map will help that.

Comment from mstr on 31 August 2019 at 13:00

Thanks for your work, but, to be honest…

you removed data from the map, which is in my eyes not okay!

Should I spend my time to check it after each edit, and add my countries (and others) again or do I have to accept that it is removed? None of the two options does work!

So if you think that you have to modify something which concerns other users as well, take the time to do it consistently without changing the content (or if you think the “content” does not fit at all, contact the user).

If not, I will mark the edit as “vandalism” and revert the page.

Comment from Rustem Pasha on 31 August 2019 at 13:04

I guess it’s because of general assumption that the only countries that are realistic are these which follow the rule “one nation, one country, one Führer” which is completely wrong (even in Europe, home of nation states, Belgium exists) and another wrong statement that languages occupy always fully continuous area. In fact both factors are determined by history and politics (border changes, resettlements etc.). Without knowing these facts (and most of the countries in OGF don’t have history flashed out enough) we can’t say that placing several languages in one city (like medieval Jerusalem with Jewish, Arabic, Armenian and “Christian” quarters) is impossible.

Comment from Luciano on 31 August 2019 at 13:54

+1 @Rushem - better said than I did.

But also, there was a lack of respect shown in making presumptions about other people’s intentions, and the abuse of data structures shared by other users. The idea that there is only one valid approach to geofiction is offensive to me - what about conlangs (as in my Mahhal)? There’s really no accommodation for that in this approach, so far. What about alternate cultural histories (as in my Ardisphere, where cultures and languages coexist in a way not really seen in the real world)? And anyway, if you’re going to make or update a map such as this, why not actually take the time to research the countries, and to contact users, etc.? All the information about the linguistic picture in all my countries is readily available, yet they are ignored? Any reason for that? I’m sure many others feel the same way. Lack of respect of other users is one issue, but just simple laziness and refusal to put in effort to produce something that reflects well on community is another. The page isn’t even named appropriately per well-established OGF conventions.

Comment from yoyo21 on 31 August 2019 at 13:59

I agree with Rustem Pasha here. There are instances in the OGF world where languages aren’t continuous, such as in the Federal States (Bas-Chanceux speaks mostly Franquese).

@Mstr I wouldn’t call these edits vandalism. The dictionary definition of vandalism is “deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.” Any damage done I assume would be unintentional. These edits were performed in good faith. But the editing should’ve been done more carefully, paying attention not to remove any data.

Comment from yoyo21 on 31 August 2019 at 14:02

And I do think that this should’ve been discussed with the community before just going right ahead with changing everything.

Comment from mstr on 31 August 2019 at 14:07

@yoyo21 I’m with you that it might have been unintentionally, that’s why I’ve said that it should be corrected, not directly reverted. But I want to make clear that if we start to change other users’ work without permission we can close this project. And yes, asking before making general changes would have been nice, I guess the layout before was to simply edit the map (no polygons required) and to make information easily accessible and not to have a nice design

Comment from louis_walker on 31 August 2019 at 14:07

This is a great example of why we have such a chilly climate around the larger collaborative project of OGF. Sude tried to improve something that wasn’t really working, their solution still wasn’t perfect, and now they’re being harassed for it. This is clearly not “vandalism,” and it seems pretty obvious to me that a lot of work went into it, so calling it “lazy” is equally unproductive.

The old version of the map was hardly a beacon of legibility and user-friendliness, so why don’t we try to build on the work that sude has started? Their assumptions about language are incorrect, but that doesn’t mean we have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s figure out how to create a better map that also makes room for multiple languages. Perhaps relations for national languages with individual markers for regional divergences? Or a different color for “Mixed” with more information when the relation is clicked on?

Comment from Luciano on 31 August 2019 at 14:16

@louis What I mean by “lazy” is that … why is so much information readily available online about so many of the countries on the OGF world ignored in this effort? Is it so hard to go look at country’s wiki pages, etc.? If you’re going to work on something like this, you don’t just go with what’s easy, you make an effort and find information and incorporate it accurately.

In general, the linguistic picture in OGF is a mess. An unmitigated disaster. And I doubt it is fixable - too many members of the community have strictly incompatible notions of how the language picture even works. Mostly I just ignore efforts to document language issues on OGF, because people are so naive and uninformed about basic principles of linguistics and insist nevertheless on imposing their vision on the community. But when someone takes the time to brag on the diaries about what a great thing they’re doing for the community on question of linguistics, I think that gives me the right to point out that our community, collectively, doesn’t have a single clue about how linguistics and language geography works.

Comment from mstr on 31 August 2019 at 15:12

@louis_walker … “wasn’t really working” … “being harassed” … “clearly not vandalism”

  • it was working in the sense to give an overview, now it is much more complex to add information since you have to extract polygon data (I can do it, but not everyone can do it), so I’m afraid of there will be data missing in the future only because new users cannot add their language easily

  • okay, I notice the consensus that changing/modifying/deleting data of other countries/users is fine?

  • again: I’ve never called it vandalism as long he’s doing it consistently, but just to modify data without caring about others’ work is not fine

Comment from Luciano on 31 August 2019 at 15:15

+1 mstr - consensus? It most definitely IS vandalism if it’s something a reasonably intelligent user should be able to realize is modifying other users’ data. And yes, now it’s more complicated, and so has all the same weaknesses as the previous version (linguistically incoherent and naive), with the addition that it is now difficult to maintain and seems to involve stomping on other users’ toes.

Comment from Luziyca on 31 August 2019 at 15:42

While it does look very nifty, and I do feel it is a great start, I think with all the issues raised by mstr and others, it might be best to revert the languages map to what it was.

Maybe if someone else can do what sude attempted to do, but preserve all the data in the previous version of the map, and ideally not have the whole “one nation, one language” shtick attached to the end, it’d be a good solution.

Comment from geoboi on 31 August 2019 at 16:40

Here’s an idea –

What if you could click on each relation surrounding each country, and there’s a link that will take you to that country’s wiki page and the section covering languages, to provide some sort of explanation of language diversity. Take Leresso for example. If I were to put this idea into motion, the languages description on the Leressan wiki page would look something like this:

“In Leresso, both Ingerish and Everian are official languages. No matter where you are in the country, you will see signs posted in both Ingerish and Everian. The regions of Leresso where Ingerish is spoken more often are West Kadmar and the coastal regions. Since a vast majority of Leresso’s population is concentrated on the coast, and all major economic centers of the country are also on the coast, it is only fitting that Ingerish is a majority language in these regions. Further inland, however, Everian is more frequently spoken by the population because it’s somewhat isolated from the international community, so Ingerish has not had as much of an influence.”

Comment from sude on 31 August 2019 at 16:41

La que se está liando.

I did this map because the other one was full of lost countries and those points were not accurate at all. Do you want to contibute in this map? Add your country.

In addition, I won’t add countries with more than one language, because I would have to create relations to extract the points, and the owner of each country is the one who better knows where is each language spoken in his own country.

You are not obligated to follow what I said. It’s just my advice. It’s not necessary to get triggered for that.

Comment from sude on 31 August 2019 at 16:43

In addition, you have talked about colangs. There is no problem if there are languages that are not real. You can go to my country and see a black region which says “Sawiri”, without a real world equivalent, because it’s a colang.

Comment from wangi on 31 August 2019 at 21:42

I have moved your changes to a sandbox and reverted the wiki page to its previous state.


  • The page must be easy to update; manually getting the polygon points, pasting them in… is not easy to update
  • The page must be maintainable and not a massive burden on the server - you were using unsimplified polygons. This had already added 700k+ of source for a handful of countries. It needs to be using the cached polygons used in the overview map, or otherwise simplified
  • You need to respect users countries, leave them to edit specifics for their own countries, do not simplify without discussion

You can use the wiki talk page to work through these issues.

Comment from histor on 31 August 2019 at 21:49

Whow - such trouble with a simple overwiew-map? I think, we need such map as overlook, but we can delete a lot of such stuff like “towns in 100 languages” and so on.

Comment from iiEarth on 31 August 2019 at 22:16

Excellent work, sude! Is it possible to create a much more detailed language map, via subdivisions? This would make it easier to learn a country’s languages; say, a country has two major languages. I will just use India because I cannot think of any other countries with a wide variety of languages. Instead of showing the whole country as ‘Hindi-speaking’ because more of the population speak Hindi, it could show the states and show it according to what the majority of the people speak there (Kannada would be visible, for example).

Comment from sude on 31 August 2019 at 22:19

De verdad, no tenéis nombre. Me hace gracia porque cada vez que cualquiera hace algo para mejorar la wiki o cualquier cosa, volvéis a ponerlo como estaba antes, que era un auténtico desastre por no decir otra cosa porque encima me banearían.

Ni me voy a rayar por esto, porque es un sin sentido. La última vez que hago nada para la comunidad.

That is the end of the thread.

Comment from chazeltine on 1 September 2019 at 05:21

Sude, no one is saying you can’t improve the wiki or the OGF world. Each one of us is slowly making this place a little better each day with our own ideas. But it’s important to discuss new and improved ideas first before making the improvements official, especially if these changes affect the whole community.

I think you have great ideas for the community, but you must learn to keep your develop your ideas in your sandbox and ask for community feedback first before moving these ideas out of your sandbox to implement them officially in the OGF world.

Comment from MOI N on 1 September 2019 at 21:52

@luciano i agree ogf is a complete mess . it’s a great idea, and it’s sad how everybody’s work on the wiki is just deleted + you are my favourite admin

Comment from yoyo21 on 1 September 2019 at 22:49

Luciano isn’t an admin anymore. He resigned from the admin team.

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