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If finding it a mixed bag then it would be appropriate to correct the spelling to the convention that was most historically appropriate to the article, however that would ideally need to be done across the article if time permitted. The anon edits to the Bangkok article seemed to have a bee in their collective bonnets, I guess they were technically correct though.

Certainly it is most important that if anyone takes it upon themselves to change an article to either US or UK English that it must be applied across the entire article and a change should only be made if it is clearly regionally appropriate, such as anglicising an Indian or Pakistani article, or americanizing a Phillipino article.

Many destinations are potentially ambigious though, and I include both Indonesia and Thailand in that group. In somewhere such as Thailand this leaves us using the correct name of a commercial enterprise such as Siam Center , yet correctIy describing something as being in the city centre. Fortunately most places are a lot more straightforward than those examples. It has for example 53 matches to centre and 14 to center. I think what irks many of us is the pedants-on-tour who decide they must do some 'corrective' work on a well established article by americanizing or alternatively anglicising bits and pieces of it, often seemingly at random.

BTY, my current spell checker spells "anglicising" as anglicizing. I think we have all seen the results of the American tourist visiting Paris, Florence, Siam Reap or where-ever and deciding that the spelling and phraseology is all wrong and then setting about fixing some of it, placing a previously stylistically acceptable and consistent article into a mish-mash. Americanizing edits to articles such as Iran may sometimes be a little more nefarious, hence I revert them if I see them as Iran does not appear to favour US EN.

This table offers a good standard reference point that may at least assist in some clarity. It is also very Guideline worthy and I hope that it finds its way into Spelling when it is resolved. Such exercises as this are certainly productive and useful but we must all remember that content is more important than regionalised spelling, rubbish is still rubbish, even if it is corrected to trash. Frank; this is not current policy! The new heading did not contradict that it is indeed policy to use the local variant of English -that's in the lede which I expanded with some exceptions to British English useage in Asia.

However,if you look at this text that you did not delete with your revert that has been our stated policy for a long while: " The only case in which it would make any sense to go through an article to standardis z e the orthography would be in preparation for a star nomination or for offline publishing. If you are preparing to do this for any destination outside of the four regions listed above, it is best to first discuss which variant you are going to use on the article talk page.

If people want to spend their lives switching English to American spelling back and forth, I'm happy to sit back and just add the travel information. I think the existing policy strikes the right balance. The English variant isn't important, the content is. By adding more rules, we make it sound like the English variant is important, and that's contrary to what we are trying to say. It isn't important.

It doesn't matter. For editors: do not "fix" dialect differences; there are far better uses of your time than changing "center" to "centre" or "traveller" to "traveler, or vice versa. Pashley talk , 6 December UTC. It is quite a slippery slope we are on here, and if we let this pass we can expect to see this tag appear on the other articles where this user had made spelling corrections in relatively short order. We have a set of policies, including spelling, defined in the policy documents.

I agree with the policy, but certainly not the principle that we start tagging the article talk pages with policy wording. I've plunged forward and removed some of what will be very contentious under the WMF umbrella. The first was this weird idea that, say, Burmese English should be used on Burma-related articles. This would be a profound disservice to all but Burmese readers who read English Local terms, if glossed, are fine, but the grammar and lexicon of English is already splintered in much of Asia, and not appropriate for a global readership. The five or six native varieties are remarkably homogenous, given their geographical spread, so I believe something closer to en.

WP's guidelines on variety of English would be more practical. Dividing East Asia into American and British zones is very dubious. The practical thing to do is to retain existing major varieties in these articles, based on the one employed at earliest disambiguation. But where a country in which a major variety is dominant is concerned, the previous and current guideline looks ok. No British English for US-based articles, for example. Most folk will just write in whatever variety they've been using; so the issue is one of giving imprimatur to editors who periodically go around fixing stuff like that.

Oh, and making US English the default is just not going to last. It's American imperialism at its worst; so we may as well bite the bullet and use the "first editor's choice" where non-native countries are concerned, as en. WP has done for a long time. That policy works very well there. Tony talk , 13 January UTC. The current zoning of Asia into post-colonial spelling regions can surely be left to stand in existing articles, under a "leave the established variety in each article" policy—that is, unless there's a roughly equal mixture of varieties, in which case, personally, I'd go back and see which was earlier in the history, if I could be bothered.

But when creating new articles, I believe an American editor should be free to use AmEng in an article on a Malaysian resort, and a British editor BrEng on a Japanese resort. Anyway, Japanese people use varieties according to where they were taught. In Hong Kong not mentioned , BrEng is normal; in the rest of China, AmEng is likely to be used by the majority, but not all, second-language speakers China is also not mentioned —but as a reader I wouldn't be concerned if a new HK-related article used Australian English and a new article on a town near Canton used Canadian English.

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It shouldn't matter. We are lucky in that the varieties are really remarkably homogenous, and it takes a trained eye to identify which an article is written in sometimes. So while I'm tempted to say that we fuss too much, one needs a guide to avoid clashes between editors who do care in relation to a particular article. AmEng as a default across articles is going to irritate some editors, though, and is inappropriate for an international site. The statement at the bottom, that "We just need to pick one default spelling style for consistency", falls over because there's already a list of prescribed inconsistencies, just above.

However, I was told quite correctly it seems that it is not. Try and use a commonly understood word or phrase in preference to one that has a different meaning because of national differences where convenient appropriate. Surely this would be an uncontroversial policy to adopt to sidestep some but certainly not all of the difficulties expressed in the section above? Since there was no answer to my question to Peter and I don't know what on earth CJensen's bike shed comment meant , I take it that there is no real rational objection to advocating commonality as a matter of policy here on Wikivoyage.

WP's example is a lousy one and here is a better example right from our own discussion pages. There, Peter writes that he'd " In these countries, one tables a motion if one wishes to propose not withdraw the motion! I'm not necessarily quibbling with the standard, but where can I see the discussion that lead to this part of our current stated policy: " Plurals should not have apostrophes unless the result is ridiculous. If nobody can produce such a consensus discussion, then I intend to revert only the " "s" not "'s" " example as unusually prescriptive and anal even by recent standards and rather at at odds with the spirit, at least, of the earlier advice in this policy page: But it's no big deal This all came up in the context of this light hearted comment.

Serpents and settlers

Dear WV colleagues, I'd like to ask the community to consider making what I believe are some long overdue modifications to the spelling policy. While many of en. WP's guidelines and policies are unsuitable for en. WV, I believe some of them, in part, could be very effectively borrowed to improve this project. These zones defy actual usage in many cases, contain glaring omissions, and go against what would be much more practical as a leave as you find it, provided you find within-article consistency practice, based on the variety that was originally chosen.

The sacrifice is, of course, that articles on nearby coastal attractions in India, for example, might use UK and US spelling, respectively. Who cares? WP doesn't seem to mind this, since it doesn't present the jarring effect of different varieties on the same page. Saves arguments, too. I think you'll find that as more editors join the community that is what we want, yes? Let's look at some quandaries in the current policy: "Wikivoyage prefers no major national variety of English over any other. This isn't because US English is somehow better or to stomp on the rights, heritage, and cultures of other English-speaking countries.

This will rankle with a lot of editors. And the stated desire to avoid inconsistency just doesn't wash for a moment, since there's inconsistency is prescribed all over the system see text above this. I also see punctuation and other stylistic matters creeping in. Peter, I'll leave a slot here for you to chime in to say "why bother, it's too much trouble". That's not what wikis are about: their advantage lies in their continual updatability on a number of levels. Tony talk , 1 February UTC. There are obviously cases where the local expression are widely known among English speakers most notably Autobahn , but it would be unhelpful to write Motorvej in the Denmark article.

Not being a native English speaker, I would like to hear some opinions on what term to prefer for countries with no tradition for using one of these English term over another. What is the basis for making a decision like this? We can only pick one word. My criteria I gave was the most common and widely understood word to English speakers.

So, do we disagree that a. Or do we disagree that b. Pashley corrected it as I did a month ago—thanks. I believe this is the standard term, rather than US English. Tony talk , 8 February UTC. I do think we need to introduce a rule about the first variety of English that is used in an article.

Tony talk , 1 April UTC. The second reason is that in many parts of the world, such as the subcontinent, there's no clear pattern of usage. Within-article consistency is what matters, as at en. WP, which has effective and time-tested rules about this.

Many en. WP rules are not applicable here, so I don't suggest en. WP as a model without careful thought first. If you read the long history of these varietal spelling disputes, people regularly come out with a version of "it isn't that important, but It really is time that we put all this contention to rest so that the wikignomes can point to something definitive when an editor used to working on South Korea articles where US English is the preferred national variety changes some but not all of the existing non-US English in our North Korea article.

Most readers are exposed to more than one variety on the internet, anyway. Like the Philippines which was part of the American empire for quite a long stretch , US spelling is predominant in Indonesia. Why is world being divided into these complicated patchworks of post-colonial dictum? Why make prescriptions, except for the six countries in which the majority of the population are native-speakers that's probably necessary because some editors and some readers will get their knickers in a twist if you don't prescribe for them.

By contrast, no one gives a toss whether the article on Shanghai uses UK or US spelling, and whether the article on Beijing uses the same or the other variety—as long as it's within-article consistent—what about Hong Kong? And unless the variety is an inconsistent mess, you don't go around swapping from one to the other. Many people are likely to be very uncomfortable about the prescriptivism in dividing the world up according to the whims of certain native English-speakers. Why go there? An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation e. For other articles, Wikivoyage favors no national variety of English, but within each article one particular variety should be followed consistently.

When a variety has been established in an article, it is maintained in the absence of consensus to the contrary.

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Tony talk , 28 April UTC. This is why I believe—for articles related to countries other than the six majority-native-anglophone countries—the simple rule should be to leave them in whatever variety they've grown in that is, unless they're in a jumble of both varieties, in which case the original choice should be respected from the page history.

Tony talk , 30 April UTC. I keep seeing "traveler" spelled with two L's and as an American English writer it's grinding my nerves. I saw on the policy page that American English should always be the preferred spelling unless the page is based in a location using another dialect. Can we change all the Wikivoyage pages to "traveler" or is there a reason for this? It looks like it's just a holdover from the Wikitravel page titles. If your policy is to use American English spellings since Wikimedia is founded in the United States then you should be consistent and use "traveler.

From Wikivoyage:Spelling : "If the destination has no history of using English and no clear preference for the variety to use, we prefer US English spelling. We just have decided to pick one default spelling style for consistency. So whoever makes the page first then uses their own spelling variant British vs. You should change the policy statement though. I am a native U. English speaker who edits largely Thailand. In Thailand, despite the massive U. Perhaps due to Malaysia and Burma being former British colonies. Hence, I use British English for the country and those bordering it.

No problem. I can read Dickins or Vonnegut and still understand what is being communicated. Seligne talk , 21 April UTC. The New Yorker uses "travelling". Pashley talk , 29 April UTC. This is probably partly because I'm irritable from a nasty cold I'm struggling to get over, but right now, I feel like there's nothing more annoying than a spelling troll, especially when they're or if you prefer, "he or she is" wrong.


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Changing articles about Uzbekistan and Ethiopia from one form of English to another without providing a good reason for doing so is dumb, and changing articles about a place like Taiwan, that has a long and close connection with the U. This and adjacent edits underline why dividing the world up into post-colonial British and American nation-states is a very bad idea. It might have been a stop-gap solution way back in the early days of Wikitravel, but it's now looking ridiculous. Where's China, where's Hong Kong in this arbitrary mix, please?

What does "most of Africa" mean? Tony talk , 13 July UTC. It's making a rod for our backs to insist that whole nation-states bend to one or the other except, sigh, for majority-anglophone countries. The more practical way, related to the task of copy-editing or auditing an article, is to emphasise within-article consistency for articles not related to majority-anglophone countries.

No one's gonna copy-edit hundreds of Thailand-related articles all at once—it's just not practical. Tony talk , 14 July UTC. You make two more points: first, that different spelling varieties would be "confusing" in articles on, say, two different Thai resorts whereas they wouldn't be "confusing" in relation to the current forced rule that Malaysian is BrEng and Indonesian articles are AmEng? The experience in other wiki sites is that readers notice inconsistent spelling and formatting within an article, since they're more likely to be exposed to it in one go or to return to it shortly after.

The article is the fundamental unit in a wiki, unless I've got something very wrong.

George Orwell

Moving to a related article in the hierarchical taxonomy is a psychological leap, as it were. To address your concern that en. WP's article-consistent rule is fine for them, but not for us: I question the premise that en. WP articles don't come in thematic bunches just as en. WV's do. The category system is a quick link between structures very akin to WV's hierarchies. And even closer cousins could be found in seconds, all over the site. Just to be ready for some Star nominations I hope and to prevent unproductive reverts, I think we should add both Israel and Saudi Arabia to our list of countries that prefer US English.

Before I add them, does anyone object and, if so, why? Frank email talk , 11 September UTC. LtPowers and Texugo: Have I understood you correctly? Are you really trying to maintain that Evan Prodromou was utterly wrong and completely in error when he put forward the notion that the spellings of traveller rather than traveler and travelling rather than traveling were at the time he was writing in also rarely used US spelling variants? Tony and Pashley: I understand that you may be unhappy with the current policy, however, I am not seeking to change the current policy, just to ensure that editors like LtPowers and Texugo do not waste their valuable skills in making unproductive efforts "correcting" traveller to traveler and travelling to traveling wherever they appear in any article whatsoever, whether the page is to be found in Wikivoyage namespace or in a US article or in a Mongolian article.

The reason those types of edit are contrary to policy is at least two-fold:. Now I have to tell you that if, after 10 years you are seeking to re-open the decision about traveller and travelling, then this throws everything into a new light and would cause me to question the other part of the decision: to mandate US English as the default. I really don't think you can "cherry-pick" which parts of the current spelling policy you wish to obtain. Frank email talk , 16 September UTC.

On any wiki, but especially one that we hope might be edited by one-off or very casual visitors-as-travellers, gnoming is important. No one's going to get into a twist if an editor does the wrong thing; but equally, gnomes need encouragement and logical, viable guidelines so they can go about their housecleaning.

Tony talk , 29 September UTC. If we can go back to the theme of this thread: it is not appropriate to legislate for articles related to whole countries like Israel and Saudi to have to follow US or UK spelling. However, where an article concerns a majority of English native speakers, historical and cultural identities strongly suggest that the local variety should be used unerringly. Tony talk , 30 September UTC. What is the concern is that articles not be a mixture of spellings and varieties: that's almost universally regarded as disruptive to readers in a single, continuous text.

By contrast, insisting that all articles related to a particular country like Vietnam, or Poland be in the same variety of English is not going to add value for readers: this brings little return compared with all the trouble and current non-compliance it leads to at the moment. The practical thing to do, as Pashley has said on this page, is to plunder more of what is useful from en.

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WP's time-tested approach for copy-editors, without causing any reverse-engineering task. I suggest something much slimmer and simpler for Wikivoyage. The opening would be much the same as overleaf, now, down to the bulleted list:. Wikivoyage prefers no major national variety of English over any other. American and British English can differ in vocabulary soccer vs. Some words are unique to a variety; in such cases, it's useful to gloss the meaning or the equivalent word in another variety in parentheses immediately after the first occurrence "some drivers charge extra for the use of the trunk boot of their cab".

Here, trunk and boot might not be known in some varieties, although cab and taxi are probably so widely known everywhere that it's not worth bothering with an explanation.


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  • But it's no big deal. Don't worry if you're not familiar or comfortable with a particular variety of English. Just write in the style you're accustomed to, and eventually someone will come along and check it for you. The rule of thumb for articles related to the following majority English-speaking countries is:. If the destination has no history of using English and no clear preference for the variety to use, we prefer US English spelling. For articles related to other countries, Wikivoyage does not favor any national variety of English, and within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed consistently.

    When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, it is maintained in the absence of consensus to the contrary. When no English variety has been established and discussion cannot resolve the issue, the first sign of a variety in the page history is generally considered the default.

    Disputes over which English variety to use in an article are strongly discouraged; such debates waste time and engender controversy, mostly without accomplishing anything positive. Remember not to alter quotations, proper names, or titles to match the variety used in the main text. Tony talk , 1 October UTC. So as soon as you get away from legislation of huge geographical areas, you have to sacrifice one thing: this enforced uniformity in large groups of articles.

    A quick survey of the existing state of affairs will quickly reveal that this is an unrealised dream. And copy-editors just don't devote themselves to going through or articles on Germany. We'd be lucky if they went through a single article, actually. That practical reality should be driving us to treat the article as the unit, because that is more akin to how the housework is done, and requires no legislation.

    Your second point is that there's some value in using "the variety the traveller is likely to encounter in that country when they do encounter it". Apart from the fact that English-variety usage tends not to be uniform in second-language countries, I'm struggling to see why this is relevant to a travel-info site. In the last decade and before Evan sold Wikitravel to Internet Brands, I seem to recall that there was an executive decision made to try and put an end to unproductive language variety to-ing and fro-ing. The decision that I recall was to mandate a default of US English for all destination articles except those that had a history of using a different variety of English or a clear preference for using a different variety but to diplomatically mandate the spellings of traveller rather than traveler and travelling rather than traveling since they were also rarely used US spelling variants.

    I've been searching for a while now to find the original discussion but can't find it. Does anyone know where it is, please? Frank email talk , 4 September UTC. I doubt that for most of Europe but for Germany I think it is downright ridiculous. Germany has way more American soldiers stationed there than British ones. Words such as Shoppingcenter are spelled as if they were American words I have never ever seen anybody use the word "centre" for anything in Germany unless it was in French signage that for some reason still employed at train stations and there is a American TV shows to British TV shows ratio of at least with some selected few actually being shown in their undubbed English on pay TV.

    Therefore I have to ask: What is the justification for using British English in articles about Germany, Austria and Switzerland but particularly those about Germany? For some reason there now exists an assumption that Europe or at least the member of the EU "ought to" use British spelling, when this article says nothing of the sort and in fact implicitly states the opposite that unless there is a good reason for British English and none is given in this article nor anywhere else for that matter, besides an obscure EU manual that nobody ever reads that I found after hitting the googles.

    Should we a include Europe in the "speaks British English. I hope not to wake sleeping dragons with this. And the vast majority of contributors seems to be a fan of the bigger marine vertebrate frying hypothesis which - I must admit - is not entirely wrong and has a lot to it. But I think we should have a clear policy that matches the reality "on the field" precisely to avoid the kind of edit wars that some contributors seem to be still a little shell-shocked from, if I may say so. If we can link to a clear guide on spelling when somebody changes all of Europe 's theatres to theaters, this person will either cease such behavio u r pretty soon or there are good reasons for blocking that person.

    As of now the rule is so ambiguous as to be worthless and spelling will crop up from time to time leading to either frustration or edit wars on the part of those whose preferred spellings are unceremoniously reverted by the powers that be without any policy giving a hint as to why. That said, if we need a standard for Europe at all, then I think, obviously it should be British spellings, since that is EU policy. Pashley talk , 27 March UTC.

    One of this site's heritages is this a word? Now I know we don't have anything against our history or against that other site per se , but maybe we could distinguish ourselves some way or another. Our section headings are not what you would find in "any other old guidebook" and the spelling "traveller" was made to distinguish us to begin with, so maybe we could or should replace it with the word "voyager" or else use turns of phrase like " bon voyage " where appropriate?

    And please don't let this descend into a flamewar, I am merely thinking out loud and will gladly retract the idea if consensus is that we should keep " travelling ". Hobbitschuster's idea is a good and necessary one IF it's necessary to distinguish this series of guides from the Wikitravel ones AND we had a physical presence in book stores, for example.

    Since both are not true, the more important job to be done here is to boost our search engine read Google in most markets visibility. What's being done to persuade Google that this isn't an inferior mirror site to be placed on the second and subsequent pages of search results? Why have you preserved the inferior naming scheme and weird section headings you inherited? We have a lot of pages with names such as historical travel. If we want to reduce our use of said word s maybe we could or should find alternatives?

    What are your thoughts? Hobbitschuster talk , 10 May UTC. Play Slideshow. Bugs With wings 13 Aug, Cockroaches 13 Aug, Wasps 13 Aug, Fleas 13 Aug, Spiders 13 Aug, Want stories like this in your inbox? Sign up for the daily ET Panache newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn.

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