[API-users] language parameter of Species API

Markus Döring mdoering at gbif.org
Thu Aug 21 09:38:20 CEST 2014

Hi James,
it is correct that we default to english for non existing languages. I agree it might be confusing when you requested sth different and it might be hard to tell what language that name actually represents.
We will consider returning null in those cases.

As for the http headers Ill take a look and file a bug report.


On 21 Aug 2014, at 03:26, Nozomi James Ytow <nozomi at biol.tsukuba.ac.jp> wrote:

> Hi,
> SpeciesAPI document
> http://www.gbif.org/developer/species
> specifies language parameter of simple get species, i.e. species/{int}.
> Language parameter is explained at
> http://www.gbif.org/developer/species#p_language
> as "default=en or use HTTP header for this", 
> I tried to specify 'de' in HTTP header as Language request property,
> but it doesn't work.   Instead, http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/5231190?language=de works fine.
> Do I misunderstand the documentation?
> I also tried languages are not included in vernacular names list
> http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/5231190/vernacularNames
> such as http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/5231190?language=ja or zh or kr...
> I expected empty field for vernacularName or no record returned, but I got English one.
> It is misleading implementation that one ignorant of the language specified can misundarstand
> that the language uses the same word with English.
> I suggest to return null vernacularName if vernacular name of specified language is unavailable.
> Cheers,
> James
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