Use of Disambiguation for trans-lation/literation of non-Latin script, languages

There seems a fairly common practice of using the Disambiguation field to provide a translation of track/work/artist/label names that are in non-Latin scripts and sometimes for names in non-English languages as well, into Latin script or English language.

Without these disambiguations tracks/works/artists/labels become opaque for the majority of editors/users.

But this use of the disambiguation field is not approved of in the relevant guidelines and may not be seen as OK by all editors.

Does this practice need to be included into the guidelines or ruled out by the guidelines?


In some situations the following appears much superior

Though the artist, 植松伸夫, remains effectively opaque due to my illiteracy.

I’d rather see a more prominent implementation of aliases so that users browsing MusicBrainz in English will automatically see the English name for the artist instead of a Japanese name with a disambiguation comment.

Of course that is not as easy as it sounds: for example, a French user would prefer the French alias displayed, and if there is no French alias another alias in the Latin script. The current (and rather weird) language list for aliases isn’t really suited for that (I think it would be better if aliases could have two properties: script and language).

Unfortunately the interface doesn’t really accommodate aliases right now, but during the summit it was decided to: “improve the user experience of our projects”, so hopefully this is an area that will be looked into as well.


Not really, I have not really seen that, or maybe in a (not so) distant past when we had no aliases.

As @mfmeulenbelt said, aliases and pseudo releases are better.

@Billy_Yank is fixing this one.
It is from a time when we could not have artist credits.

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Am I missing something, I didn’t think alias localisations were replacing artist names yet on MB website.

Edit: Just checked and I’m still relying on the transliteration in the disambiguation for recognition of Tchaikovsky.

If replacement is not happening I don’t see how aliases would help with search results that are effectively opaque to all illiterate in a foreign script.

When you say “fixing that” what do you mean?

It’s indeed not yet the case but it’s one of the goals of aliases: MBS-7830.

The inline searches will display the alias in your language (selected site language), no need for comment there.
But it’s true that it’s not yet the case for the page artist itself (cf. ticket above).

They’re applying a Latin script artist credit, consistently with the Latin script track titles. :slight_smile:
This was not possible before artist credit (AC).


Seems like it’d be better to determine the script used by the characters in the alias, at least if we’re only going to use it to pick a best alias to display. The Unicode data file contains that data for each character.

Or just do it based off language — I’m sure that is a 95% solution. English, French, German, Spanish, etc. are always written in the Latin script. Sure, Japanese uses two scripts, but that just means you only display it to Japanese users (or maybe Chinese users would prefer it, despite the Hiragana). But this seems very much like a case of take the 95% solution, it doesn’t stop you from fixing the remaining 5% later, if ever.

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Yes that’s completely exact and there is also ticket for that: MBS-5192. :wink::+1:

I too like the idea of implementation of aliases.
But with unassigned since 2014 there seems to be a large gap between the future usability of the encyclopedia once aliases are implemented and where we are right now and will be for the planned future around usability of some pages.

The following page appears more of a hinderance than a useable presentation of data for those illiterate in Japanese.
I’d probably be better off if the page didn’t exist and I was forced to use google to find an accessible form of the data.

Why are others at all confident that alias implementation is going to happen anytime soon and provide a solution?
Have you got a sense of rate of progress that you are working from?
I can see that trans disambiguations take time and will (hopefully soon) be rendered redundant.
But they are available now and they do work now.

I am not really waiting for this ticket because I prefer genuine scripts, including for scripts I don’t know.
It’s part of the charm. :wink:

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LOL. Yes - I love charm too.
I’m considering withdrawing my vote for that ticket as it will spread utilitarian ugliness and destroy mystery and romance.
And it is very true that trans disambiguations are ugly, utilitarian destroyers of mystery and romance as well as being signifiers of linguistic and cultural colonialism that undercut the recognition of non-English sensibilities.

Consider me your faithful Sancho Panza as we ride to spread mystery and romance oh Don Quixote.

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