We already have a tag and it already includes and as synonyms.

We just got a new tag so I hunted around and found there's also a single-use tag hanging around.

For uniformity shouldn't we make these two synonyms of the general tag too?

(I don't have enough score to suggest synonyms through the system.)

  • :O You don't have enough scores?
    – user141
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 12:35
  • "Score" is what the system complains about when you try to suggest a tag synonym but can't. I guess it means rep earned from posts with a given tag but I can't be sure. Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 13:20
  • To either suggest or vote for a tag synonym, you need a "total answer score" of 5 on the tag, which means total upvotes minus total downvotes. So no matter how high your rep, you often just can't do this. Especially on our site, this sucks.
    – Jonik
    Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 15:48
  • I totally agree that if english and arabic continue to be synonyms of languages, then other language tags should be merged too. But I don't see big problems in what Ankur suggests either.
    – Jonik
    Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 15:53
  • Well since the consensus seems to be that we have a bunch of per-language tags, which surprised me, some of you have probably noticed that I've gone ahead and introduced individual language tags for all relevant questions. As a non-mod there's nothing I can do to unmerge English and Arabic though \-: Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 18:11

4 Answers 4


I disagree with you here. Language like countries are kind of crucial in traveling.

What is next? Merging France, India, etc as synonyms to the tag "countries"?

I would split "languages" in its respective hyponyms.

  • What problems do you foresee? So far there's only two or three questions tagged German or Dutch after over one year. In that time nobody has complained that having Arabic and English lumped under "languages" has made it harder to find questions etc. On a languages or linguistics site it would make sense to split them all up, but for a travel site it makes no more difference than having all diseases together under "health" - and health is orders of magnitude more "crucial" than languages. Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 13:19
  • Now the site is small, but I think usually travellers know where they're going, and therefore what language is relevant for them. Different for diseases, because people don't know what disease they're going to get. So I disagree with @hippietrail's analogy and agree with disagreeing with hippietrail.
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 14:14
  • Please describe what you will be doing specifically with these tags that is not possible with them being synonyms of "languages". So far all I'm getting is that "you think it will be better" so I want to be sure you have a use case and actually understand what SE's tag features are for. Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 14:18
  • Well the question where the german tag was created is a nice use case. What are the german words I need for a certain type of traveling. Discussions about classifications are always difficult. I can follow your thoughts behind merging it into languages, but why not continue merging those under language-barrier?
    – user141
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 23:05
  • There is probably a case for merging "languages" and "language barrier" too. But "languages" would be the better main tag as it can be used for things like Language courses too. As for your use case, that's a case for the question, which I upvoted, but not for the tag. You can easily find the question by searching. Tagging only gives you stuff like favourite, ignore, tag search, related tags, etc. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 4:28
  • The same rationale could be applied to a lot of other issues, meaning that the tags are useless. I could actually ask for a description for a use case of that would motivate for keeping the different country tags and not merging them all into the tag countries. You can merge brasil to countries and still find brasil related questions by just searching. When it comes traveling I still believe that countries and languages are equally important classes, which deserves proper subclasses. In the end it is just a difference of opinion.
    – user141
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 7:18
  • Well there's not much sensible in these latest statements. All I can do is provide some canonical links from the SE blog about tags and tagging for everybody to read and think about: Tag Folksonomy and Tag Synonyms, Redesigned Tags Page, Improved Tagging. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 10:14
  • 1
    Let me answer with a question. What use case will not be possible by all languages be merge as language-barrier?
    – user141
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 10:47

A tag would appeal to a nerd who's into linguistics (not to mention any names!) more than it would to someone who has a real question about a real problem that involves a specific language.

Also, not allowing as a tag while allowing as a tag might get misinterpreted by some users.

They may get the impression that the stack exchange is designed for people who have English as a native language, and only "foreign" languages get a tag, and therefore, if they're not a native speaker of English, they ought to look for a different forum where they can "fit in" better. (This isn't the case - a number of users here are not native speakers of English!)


FWIW, I think Arabic and English should be un-synonymed and made free standing tags. We should also stick to a standard way, e.g., like for citizens, it should be arabic-language, english-language, german-language, etc. Generic questions about language barriers should be tagged languages I guess.

  • But could you also say why you think this is a good path. For instance do you think un-synonymizing should be done for most other tags also? And if not what is it that makes separating a good thing here but not elsewhere? And please, from the perspective of travel. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 13:48
  • Because I think there may be a legit use case for standalone language tags being important. But I do get your point about these being meta tags. This is a tough one. I need to think over it. Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 23:27
  • Yeah as I said I'm going to lay off being "tag boss" for a while. I've mostly been trying to carry on from Dori's example in the early days tempered by our deeper knowledge of travel issues. But when it comes to grouping sets of synonyms I've read everything I can find in the blog and in meta threads and there's lots of gaps. I don't want to "own" the tags. I was mostly just keeping them from getting too messy while it seemed few others cared much. Now that others care this much it's time for more democracy. I do wish there was more SE guidance though. Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 2:57

What are in use at present, in addition to , and :

and in my opinion these should be left as at present - mainly because I think there are many outstanding tagging issues with higher priority. Once those have been dealt with perhaps some usage statistics might be added above and further consideration given to what action, if any, to take.

  • Individual languages have already been de-synonymized with languages. I agree that they're fine as is, but language is no less contentious than nationality— is there one chinese-language, or are Mandarin, Cantonese, Hunanese, etc. separate? Should we say Farsi or Persian? Tagolog or Filipino? They're usually the same thing, but not always. Then there are languages which are intelligible when spoken, but differ in scripts; should we group Urdu and Hindi together as Hindustani, and Serbian and Croatian as Serbo-Croatian? That brings us back around to Chinese, of course.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 2:31

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