Dialects and minor languages

Started by Private User on Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Profiles Mentioned:

Showing 1-30 of 36 posts
Private User
3/23/2011 at 4:44 PM

A few of us have been having a good conversation about the usage of dialects and minor languages in profiles names.

As the classic debate goes, on one hand, we want to represent the person as authentically as possible, and on the other, we want to allow the profile to be recognizable by as many people as possible.

Unfortunately, due to Geni's much lacking naming options, the choice tends to be between one or the other.

As curators, other look to us to set the standard. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

3/24/2011 at 10:08 PM

I think we need to do some testing on "searchability."

Question: does not listing names in the Nicknames field help a lot? And obviously as text in the about me.

3/24/2011 at 10:20 PM

im in favor of historical accuracy, but e.g

Alexios I, Eastern Roman Emperor

I'd prefer it in greek, but as i use "ignore display name" i cant read it...

3/24/2011 at 10:23 PM

Hey cool profile. How do I turn OFF ignore display name? That would solve my problem.

3/24/2011 at 10:24 PM

tree view, preferences, names, ignore display name

3/24/2011 at 11:19 PM

OK I have always had "display names" enabled but I don't see it in profile view. That's the problem then.

3/24/2011 at 11:20 PM


Your profile photo shows on my "homepage" newsfeed but not in discussions. Weird.

3/24/2011 at 11:33 PM

I opened a curator request:

Our ability to use multiple languages for historical profiles is hampered otherwise.

Private User
3/24/2011 at 11:55 PM

I can't access Erica's curator's request, and I am not sure I understand the problem.

On Alexios I, Eastern Roman Emperor I see the English name clearly visible above the profile where it says:

You are connected to Alexios I Komnenos, Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

So I can see exactly who it is, even besides being able to read Greek.

(This is also besides the curator MP note)

Did I miss something here?

3/25/2011 at 12:02 AM

thats his display name david

Ἀλέξιος Α' Κομνηνός, Αυτοκράτορας της Βυζαντινής Αυτοκ

is his name in the name fields

Private User
3/25/2011 at 12:09 AM

Yes Jason understood - so what's the problem - or am I just intruding in a curator discussion that somehow slipped into a public discussion?

3/25/2011 at 12:14 AM

just saying that i have display name turned off so i just see the greek version

Private User
3/25/2011 at 1:03 AM

OK Jason - good for you! If you switch off the English or multilingual display name and therefore are left with the Greek name that's your prerogative.

I still don't know what Erica was requesting in her curator request. No worries.

3/25/2011 at 5:08 AM


I cannot see the display name in profile view (even though I have "display name "enabled.") In other words, I only see the Greek name when I'm looking at the "about me" page. That's what I wish exposed and I opened up a "curator request" to expose the field in that view. A community request on help.geni.com wouldn't hurt if other people have the same issue.

3/25/2011 at 5:10 AM


As I pointed out, even though I have display name turned ON I cannot see the display name. Therefore I can *only* see the Greek Name. This is pretty useless. :)

3/25/2011 at 5:12 AM


You only see it because you have the relationship calculated. If you have *not* recently "pinged" the path you would only see the Greek.

Now that I did a path relationship I see it too:

Alexios I Komnenos, Emperor of the Byzantine Empire is your 27th great grandfather.

BUT that's NOT the display name field and it will go away as soon as UNcached (a week or two).

Now am I making sense?

3/25/2011 at 5:14 AM

I bring this up because its directly relevant to Victar's question about dialects etc. IF the display name is enabled AND the you can see the English (or whatever your language!) version, then it would make sense to do names in the original obscure dialect only 15 living persons currently read. :):) But without that ....

Private User
3/25/2011 at 8:51 AM

Well I think more than 15 people speak the obscure dialect of Greek ;).

3/25/2011 at 9:17 AM

Nooooooo :) Am I right that the issue is display name exposure in all views? Then I think going with the dialect etc. as the first name / last name is fine. Otherwise -- there's a problem.

3/25/2011 at 9:18 AM

BTW I speak "street Greek" just fine. I can't *read* it. Don't deprive me of grandpa!

Private User
3/25/2011 at 9:56 AM

Let's not deprive Greeks of their heritage. We want to encourage them to use this site.

3/25/2011 at 10:21 AM

Of course not. Are you suggesting taking away the English display name? Then why would I use Geni to find my ancestors if that's the plan?

3/25/2011 at 10:22 AM

In other words, I'm saying the way it's set up now works fine for me (a descendant) and should work fine for Greek descendants as well.

Private User
3/25/2011 at 10:39 AM

Oh okay, I guess we were misunderstanding each other. I'm happy with the way it is set up now.

To get this back to topic though, the real issue is the use of dialects. Occitan for example is spoken by a bit under a million people. The majority of them also speak French.

One option is to put the full name in Occitan and the display name in French. Would doing it this way still pose an accessibility issue? Is it worth representing minor languages and dialects?

3/25/2011 at 10:46 AM

Well, it's all Greek to me.:) Seriously, as long as the display name is modern and common enough (French, German, etc.) *and* Occitan is still used, I think it would be better. If the language is archaic I would reserve that for the "about me" (historical interest only).

3/25/2011 at 11:40 AM

Jason's point is being lost here. He has display names turned off (user option) so he sees only the Greek. Whatever standard emerges should take into account the possibility that users will choose among the available options. Or, another strategy would be to tell Jason and users like him that he has to turn on the display name if he wants to see the name in something other than Greek.

3/25/2011 at 1:02 PM

Yes, thank you for pointing that out, Justin. The display name seems like it would be so useful! And then all these issues creep in about it.

Private User
3/25/2011 at 1:10 PM

The display name is on by default so unless people turn it off for whatever reason, it shouldn't be a problem.

3/25/2011 at 1:18 PM

So I guess I'm seeing it the same as Grandad of Byzantium.

The best case scenario is to write his original name in the original language, particularly if that language / alphabet is still in use (see my caveat on archaic and it's just an argument in fact: I could see the other side of it).

Then the display name field can be used for a more findable / searchable / accessible alphabet; for Occitan I presume that would be French.

3/25/2011 at 1:25 PM

Victar you know thinking about it? If I were Occitanian? I would be pleased that the geni curator took the trouble to attempt my dialect for the profile.

Showing 1-30 of 36 posts

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