What I really wish we had, is a good multilingual glossary of carto terms. Maybe we have one, only I'm searching wrong. Not the ones about maps (neatline, compass, altitude key) but the geographical terms on maps (lake, hills, desert). If anyone knows of such, let's link to it. If not, we can create one, here... or once it's started, in Wikipedia or the Wikitionary... the better to get lots of input :-).
Lots of world atlases have such a thing as this Glossary of Foreign Geographical Terms. OK, that serves when you're figuring out the labels on existing other-language maps. We need the other direction, like when we're making a part of our world have consistent names that sound like Spanish, or like Russian, or whatever.
Above is noted Wikipedia's delightful List of Landforms. That's in English - I assume other-language views of Wikipedia may have the same, but if I could speak language "X" well enough to use its Wikipedia, I probably wouldn't need to :-). But at least it's a good list of the sort of geographic terms we could start with. Lacking are cultural features (town, wall, bridge).
If you delve into the Wikitionary, you can get what I'm talking about... but just one word at a time. Take the English word mountain -- on that Wikitionary page you can swap into any of the list of languages in the lower left column. Cumbersome. Though one nice thing about some of the Wikitionary pages is they'll have audio files so you can hear the words. I don't read cuneiform or cyrillic, so my "sort of like" versions of those language labels are going to be strictly "sounds like" transliterations.
These two ... different examples illustrate more what I'm after. Neither seems really suited for what could easily be a matrix of a hundred terms by a hundred languages (hey, I can dream, can't I?) I know some of the newer Wikipedia table forms are sortable six ways from Sunday; maybe that's the trick. Or maybe it's a database with flexible reporting I'm thinking of. The output I think we want is like some comparisons of products in online catalogs - out of many different products (languages) pick just a few manufacturers (English, Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian instead of Ford, Toyota, Fiat) and then show the whole list with just those columns. After all if I'm trying to give the nation I'm labeling an eastern-European flavor, I don't need to see Cherokee and Chinese next to Czech.
The terms I want are not only to plausibly label, say, a mountain range, but also to form geo-based "proper names" of towns, lakes, whatever. Think how many towns at river crossings have -ford built into the name, or -bridge. Likewise Whatever-port, West-whichever, Lower Someburg. I'll still have to hunt up bilingual dictionaries to get the more random name-fragments I want - "Pont-des-<quick what's the French word for gazelles or whatever :-) >"
Does that make sense? Is there already some such resource tucked away in a corner of the Guild that I haven't found?