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Language of the "authoritative names" (majority?)  XML
Forum Index -> FAQ - frequently asked questions
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Major cities might have well-known names in more than one language. In Finland, which is officially a bilingual country, city of Turku (Finnish) is also known as Åbo (Swedish).

I see that currently, the Swedish version is given as the authoritative name in Geonames. This seems a little strange to me - I would assume that it should be the language of the majority that is used in determining which name is used- at least in cases such as this when the minority is very small.

This can be a bit heated issue- perhaps it is best approached for example by asking which way contributes more to Geonames use/usage?

In this case, name "Turku" is of course better known in Finland and more used. In Scandinavia, I do not know, but I suspect "Åbo" might be better known. Internationally, who knows?

Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 4279

This is definitely an interesting question. You might also post it to our mailing list to discuss it :, archives are at

We don't yet have "authoritative names" for Finland.
Please feel free to change and correct the 'main' name, but don't forget to add is as "alternate name" if you change it.

Luistxo from the Geonative project is preparing lists to be integrated in :

or Finland :




I think that simplest he is most natural. The natural thing is to always put the name in the own language of the place. It is, by justice, to have which we cannot do without.

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