Common names in french instead of english

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About):

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Firefox

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: Upload Button and add pictures

Step 2: For species selection, some species are only giving the french common name, not the english one as is the case with the link above.

Step 3:

If it matters, I am in Canada.

That happened to me with a couple observations.

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It wasn’t initially French, but it switched to French at some point and has stayed that way. The common names of all my other observations are still in English.

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This happens when a common name is set to be the default for a place rather than just for a language. So, in the case of Mycena leaiana, “Mycène de Lea” is set not only as the top global French common name, but also as the top common name for Canada and Quebec.

I’m not sure why the common names attached to a place override global common names in other languages. I don’t know if that’s a bug or if there’s some rationale for it.


This has been happening to me as well, with some common names showing up in Spanish.

If you go to the taxon’s history page you can see when the name was attached to Canada and who did it, eg

The place name preference is mostly for situations like in Latin America, where the same species may have a different Spanish common name in different countries/regions. So if you choose a place for your name preference, it uses the default common name attached to that place, regardless of your account’s locale. Since there’s only one name for Lycogala epidendrum that’s attached to Canada, that’s the one you see.

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I don’t know whether this is a connected problem. I am mentioning it here in case it is. There is another French prioritization that puzzles me (I also live in Canada, if that matters). My default language is English but for some species the autocomplete suggestions give me French names in parentheses behind the scientific name, e.g. for Astragalus missouriensis:

This happens for example when I try to add an identification to an observation or when I enter a name in the Identify menu (see example above). I had Canadian names prioritized but the French name still pops up after I removed the place priority. [This happens on the website, and Firefox is my browser]. This is the case both on and

What puzzles me even more is where the French name is given: in parentheses behind the scientific name. The English name also shows as normal in the field for common names. My question is: why does the field for scientific names display common names at all? In my opinion, the field for scientific names should be reserved for them and never show common names, regardless of the language. There are not a lot of species for which this is the case but Astragalus missouriensis is not the only one. Astragalus spatulatus is another example. And there are others that I don’t recall anymore.

My preference would be not to have French names displayed but I don’t know how to turn it off.

So, could I add Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold as a common name to make it so that each language has a common name?
A few others like Crown Tipped Coral fungus also switched to french recently.
(edit: looks like Lycogala epidendrum has an english common name again, nevermind)

This has been happening with me as well. All observations for River Jewelwing (Calopteryx aequabilis) and American Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) now show up with the French names only, even when I am browsing other areas. My default language is set to English. This is not yet happening with other species, and recent curation history shows that recent name changes have been applied to those two species. So whomever is doing this, please stop. This is extremely frustrating for me when browsing observations. I do not speak French, nor do I desire to.

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So the issue seems to be folks setting the curation of taxon with a regional over ride. In all the examples I noticed it was a specific curator that set the region to canada instead of quebec. The immediate solution will be to put in curation request for each one we encounter, though imo this should be a user preference, not part of curation, or maybe just a user preference to turn this off.

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Hello everybody! Most of the instances that were shared in this thread seems to be my fault! I just wanted to apologize for the inconvenience. I have been adding a bunch of common names in French for many fungi that didn’t have any yet; some had one, but used the European one that isn’t used here in Canada.

I included Canada as a location for francophone communities outside the region of Quebec. Not sure why it changed some English common names across Canada? What I did was following the guideline described on that page:

Anyway, I removed Canada from all the modifications that I made so far, so the problem should be resolved.


FYI, now that I have done the modifications, I find myself with the same issue described above (some taxons display the English common name instead of the French one)

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What’s your account’s locale?

It’s set to Quebec, CA. But I get the English common names for certain species (e.g. Omphalotus Illudens, Mycena leaiana), even though I created a regional (Quebec, CA) French common name for those. I noticed that an English regional (Canada) common name was created recently for both of those examples. I have this problem with many other taxons

That’s your place names preference, which is different from locale (it’s confusing, sorry). Locale is a differetn setting, choices are listed as languages. We use “locale” because choosing a langauge also determines how dates are displayed, etc. So which language are you using iNat in?


Oh you’re right, it was set to Canada. I just switched it to Quebec, CA, and now everything seems to be working fine. I use French as my language in iNat. Thank you for your help!


I think adding both a regional english and a regional french common name just for Quebec should cause the behavior to be as expected (correct language chosen in Quebec, global english name chosen elsewhere), is that right?

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Based on what happened recently, I suspect it would. However, in the cases mentioned above, were there instances where regional common names for Canada were set in French and in English?

Well, when I first looked at it, the one from the original post had a regional common name for all of Canada in English and one for just Quebec in French. So I was wondering if the different regional targets was part of the issue?

This is a global bug.
Someone just set “djíngu” as the Kwe name for southern Africa, and now no matter what language you use as default, the name “Marabou Stork” which is the global default, is now overwritten for all users using southern African vernacular names.

The displayed vernacular should be in the language specified, and not be overwritten by defaults in other languages.
Otherwise I am going to have to flag hundreds of names - which will have to have the English names modified as the default for southern Africa - as more and more regional African language names are added to the names.

But this is an old problem and was reported years ago (and still not fixed).

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