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Thanks to the anonymous individual who pointed out that "ordonance" was a misspelling. Nevertheless the correction should be to "ordinance" rather than to "ordonnance" as it is the former that refers to a law or decree. I also fail to see the reason for the italics. Eclecticology 18:45, 2004 Mar 22 (UTC)
Despite all the huffing and puffing in January when I last visited this article, it is still not finished, although the formatting has certainly improved. Are these historical lists really so hard to find? Adam 01:44, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm in the process of finishing the list. -- Emsworth 01:09, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)
My Lord, I am pleased to see you applying your usual diligence. My comment above was aimed at the people who told me in January to mind my own business and then left it unfinished for months. Adam 01:21, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've moved the list of immortels to a separate page because it was lengthening this one too much. Now, with the professions, even that page is too long. On that basis, it might be necessary to remove the professions. -- Emsworth 21:29, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
The result of the debate was No moveDuja► 10:28, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
That's not a privilege, as I for instance, came across a few German such names in Wikipedia.
That's no excuse or logical reason. By restricting Google searches to reputable sites, e.g. edu domains or UK or Canadian universities, it is very easy to prove that the current title is nonsense in addition to violating WP policy. Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English) says clearly use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. Even highly educated people only very rarely say the French name in the middle of an English sentence. And Encyclopædia Britannica and other reference works therefore also obviously have the English title.
Quote from Encyclopædia Britannica: French Academy - French ACADÉMIE FRANÇAISE, French literary academy, established by...
I will ask someone who lives in Canada to verify this because it is quite hard to believe that this is true for the vast majority of English-speaking Canadians. In any case, even those few who may perhaps use or also use the French term to flaunt their level of education will have no trouble understanding the normal English name French Academy, which therefore should be the title for UK and US citizens and can be the title even for those Canadians who use the French term. --Espoo 01:13, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
My suspicion has been confirmed that you're presenting your personal preference or that of your small social group, not an objective picture of actual Canadian use. The English name is more than twice as common as the French one on Canadian English websites. Although quick searches with "French Academy" and "Académie française" find about the same number of English pages each (which still does not defend use of the French name in the WP title), a quick look at the results shows that many are in fact written in French and incorrectly indicated as English pages by incompetent and/or sloppy webmasters. As a result, the real number of English pages with the French name is much less than the number of English pages with the English name. By adding the article "the", we can compare pages truly written in English, and here the results show almost the exact same strong preference for the English name as on all English language websites and all edu sites: 197 English pages for "the Académie française" site:ca458 English pages for "the French Academy" site:ca.
That "French Academy" search is meaningless. Did you look at the entries for those searches? "French Academy of Architecture" "French Academy of Medicine" "French Academy of Sciences" "French Academy of Agriculture" "French Academy in Rome" "French Academy of Fencing Masters"... If you dump all that, you'll get 180 hits approx, but I didn't even dump all the wrong French Academies in your faulty statistics.
Most of these seem to be talking about the only institution correctly referred to as only "French Academy" in English; the others are all called by their longer names in carefully edited texts such as in encyclopedias.
These results show that the English name is at least as common as the French one on Canadian websites in English because many of the results with the French name are actually in French. In addition, many if not all of those websites using the French name in English are not written for the general public and are not carefully edited.
On the other hand, approx 190 of the hits for Academie Francaise seem accurate. 188.8.131.52 23:12, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Where did you get that number from? Even if there were only 7 pages in French incorrectky identified as in English by the webmaster, that still means less pages than with the English name. In fact, according to WP naming policies, we should use the English name even if it's less common than the French one as long as it is well-established and widely used. Google searches cannot change the fact that the French name is used in most encyclopedias and carefully edited texts meant for the general public.
That's nonsense; we don't use French articles in English sentences even when we use a French term. Even you hopefully wouldn't seriously suggest changing the beginning of the article "The Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent" to "L'Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent".
Actually, we do, as you can see from all those English language pages that use the term " l'academie francaise " with the " l' ". Ofcourse some of them are also French language quotes on English language pages, which your search also much to convieniently excludes. 184.108.40.206 23:23, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
And this puts a 29 to 0 nail in the coffin of your claim:
Only 15 of those hits are valid. Did you even look at them, or are you googling indescriminantly? And there are 5 hits for the French version. (admittedly, a 3:1 advantage at McMaster) 220.127.116.11 23:20, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Looks like you didn't look at the results; the only ones with the French name are citing the name of the dictionary, not the academy, and a diploma (from "Academie Francaise de la Poesie"), whose name is not changed. In any case, these results show that according to WP naming policy we should use the English name because it is well established. WP naming policy says use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. --Espoo 03:12, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The dictionary refers to the prescription for correct French as detailed by the Academie Francaise, and therefore a correct hit. The l'Academie Francaise prescribes the correct form of French for France. A dictionary would be a natural outcome of such an endeavour. 18.104.22.168 23:23, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
So, stop making a prejudicial search. There's more than one French Academy, and the one we're discussing is the language institute. Further "l'academie francaise" is used in English more than "the academie francaise". 22.214.171.124 23:26, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
After your incorrect and illogical statements above and these new search results with statistically ridiculously low relevance, your accusations are quite ludicrous. My results show that the English name is widely used and in carefully edited texts "French Academy" is only used for the "Académie française" as shown by the quotes from encyclopedias and other carefully edited print sources. Your wild claim about use of the French name in the middle of an English sentence in Canada is highly prejudicial and not based on actual Canadian use except among English speakers with some knowledge of French. The situation at McMaster (and what i was told by my Canadian friend) shows that real intellectuals and normal speakers do not use the French name, probably only pretentious snobs or true bilinguals talking to other bilinguals. --Espoo 03:12, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Why did you choose McMaster University? (Instead of McGill, or University of Toronto, or University of British Columbia) The Canadian national media uses a large amount of French names in English because Canada is a bilingual country. 126.96.36.199 23:23, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. A google search for academie francaise, which turns up about 580000 results in English, most with diacritics. I've seen "Académie française" in many news and academic publications as well. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:18, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
In addition, you apparently didn't understand that your and these improved results are webwide searches for any page written by anybody on the topic usually without basic understanding of copyediting standards necessary in an encyclopedia. Most edu pages are well edited, and they show an even stronger preference for the English name 33,700 English pages for "French Academy" site:edu15,700 English pages for "Académie française" site:edu. In addition, as shown above, which you and the other opposing voter seam to ignore, the French name is not used in the title of any edu pages.
That means that well-edited pages may and will often also refer to the French name in the text, in the case of a professionally copyedited page only after first using the English name, but they will not use it in the title.
We are looking for the correct title for this article, and my explanations show why your search results don't prove anything for this situation and why my search results show that well-edited English texts never use the French name in the title (and in the text only after mention of the English name).
Comment: The vast majority of .edu domains belong to U.S. institutions. My experience - and I don't know for sure whether this is the case here - is that Canadians and Europeans are more accepting of the original, untranslated names of foreign institutions. I know this is true of French-language Canadian institutions such as the École Polytechnique de Montréal. — stickguy (:^›)— || talk || 15:46, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
stickguy, didn't you see the Google results for Canadian sites showing that the English name is more than twice as common as the French one on Canadian English websites in general? Did you also not understand that the following was talking about pages at a Canadian university?:
Clearly I missed that - although I'm not sure how. I suppose my overall point is that even if "French Academy" wins out in this case, it shouldn't set an automatic precedent for all foreign-language names. As the top of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) says: These guidelines are under development. Please discuss and improve. (emphasis added) — stickguy (:^›)— || talk || 19:45, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that decisions on whether to use the English name of an institution or thing or concept in a non-English-speaking country or foreign language should not be in any way automatic. I also agree that the WP naming guidelines can still be improved, but i think very few people would question the wisdom behind the combination of these two main principles of the WP guidelines: 1) If there is no commonly used English name, use ...the name in the original language. and 2) use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. (my emphasis, and my deletions of irrelevant parts)
I agree that it would be strange, ideological, impractical, and clearly amateur to use English equivalents that are rarely used or to even coin them. However, i find it very disturbing and depressing that huge amounts of WP editing time are wasted on unnecessary and clearly amateur discussions of this and related naming and spelling issues. We should simply do as other encyclopedias and reference works do and not waste time speculating and Googling unless necessary, e.g. when dealing with a new term not yet in existing reference works. For example, it should be enough to end this discussion (and the similar one at Talk:Yleisradio) by quoting Britannica or other well-edited reputable sources. There is a reason why Britannica uses the English name "French Academy" but the French name "Institut de France", and the reason is precisely the part of the WP guideline i labeled as 1) above.
More importantly, we shouldn't go Googling concerning naming issues unless we have serious reason to believe Britannica or some other reference work goofed. Such a serious reason should not be based on what we feel is usual in our small social group; the only kind of thing that qualifies is an opinion expressed by an expert, and even then we have to first find out what other experts say about this.
We should not try to reinvent the wheel. Britannica and other reference works are copyedited by professionals and most of us are amateurs. We should concentrate our efforts on having better and more up-to-date content, which is where we can be better than traditional reference works, even in their online, updated forms. Almost all spelling and naming discussions on WP are unnecessary and a huge waste of time. Worse still, the often amateur results give WP a bad name because many people still judge people and texts on the basis of errors and amateurisms in spelling, naming, punctuation, and similar things. --Espoo 23:28, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
The Oxford Dictionary of English has an entry for Académie française, but none for "French Academy". If you are able to search oxfordreference.com, you'll see that "Académie française" is standard across all Oxford reference works, which comprise a substantial corpus of authoritative, professionally edited works. (Neither phrase appears in the OED.)
The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) doesn't say whether the names of foreign organizations should be translated or not, but the following section (10.28), indicates that the Chicago University Press views "Académie française" as a standard form: "There is considerable variation in French publications with respect to capitalization and punctuation. For elegant advice, with frequent reference to the Académie française and numerous examples from literature, consult Maurice Grevisse, Le Bon usage.
The New York Times also uses "Académie Française" (with and without diacritics), e.g., this obituary of J.-F. Revel; some of the other results are for op-ed pieces about the Académie's efforts to prevent the use of English loanwords, others are articles in the travel section. It seems clear that NYT house style is to use "Academie Francaise". A google search of the Times for "French Academy" turns up many more results than "Academie Francaise", but most of those results are for the French Academy of Cinema.
The Washington Post uses Academie Francaise (no cedille, with or without accent in "academie"), and French Academy, and the French spelling seems slightly more common when referring to the language-minders--there are other organizations whose names include French Academy/Academie Francaise. But this publication, at least, doesn't seem to have a firm rule about how to refer to the Académie.
I feel quite sure that within the academic world the standard form is Académie Française. For instance, the Harvard University Press' page for vol. 2 of A History of Private Life notes that "Georges Duby, a member of the Académie Française, is Professor of Medieval History at the Collège de France."
In my opinion, then, the usage of several prominent publishing houses and news organizations supports the title "Académie française" (or Academie Francaise). In fact, I would guess that Harvard U. Press and The Economist would regard "French Academy" as undesirable, and would ask authors to change it to "Academie Francaise" or "Académie française". On some of the other issues raised by Espoo, I fully agree that too much time is wasted on naming disputes, but at least some of that is caused because WP contributors make the issues more emotional than they need to be. --Akhilleus (talk) 21:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, Akhilleus, for this first constructive and mature contribution including reputable sources contradicting my claims. The reason i got so emotional is because it seemed that nobody gave a damn about basic WP policies. More specifically, nobody seemed to give a damn about my research showing usage in reputable sources. If important editorial decisions in WP are based on personal opinions or sloppy Google searches, that should be something that upsets anyone interested in not letting WP go down the drain. And allowing foreign names in titles where not necessary would indeed set a very strong and dangerous precedent that would soon start multiplying like crazy.
I will look at your search results in more detail later, but it is obviously not possible to claim that "within the academic world the standard form is Académie Française" unless one ignores all my research above including the 46 to 0 and 29 to 0 results shown above for Googles on US edu sites and on a Canadian university site. It seems that, once again, this may be a mainly UK/US difference, although Harvard, NYT, and WP seem to be exceptions. I will contact Harvard University Press to see if this is indeed their policy and if this is indeed an exception in the US or if other US universities also follow this OED and perhaps UK usage.
In any case, my reputable sources show that "French Academy" is perfectly acceptable and probably more common in well-edited English texts and in English encyclopedias and that there is therefore no need to use the French name. WP policy says very specifically use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. It does not say "never use the English version of the name unless it is more common than the foreign name" and it does not say "ignore usage in other encyclopedias and reference works if this contradicts the usage at some university or newspaper publishers."
Akhilleus, your sources show that the French name is also used, but they do not show that the French name has to be used or even that it is more common in carefully edited texts in all English-speaking countries. On the contrary, according to the quoted WP policy, there is still clear proof that the English name can and should be used. --Espoo 20:42, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
A search for "French Academy" -ARTFL site:yale.edu yields 65 results, including results for the French Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters, the French Academy of Fine Arts, and the French Academy in Rome. Very few of these results are for the Academie Francaise. This page, one of the results from the Yale search, clearly uses the phrase "French Academy" to refer to the Académie des beaux-arts. In contrast, searching yale for "Academie Francaise" yields 14 results, none of which are ambiguous.
A general google search for "French Academy" turns up the Wikipedia page for French Academy of Sciences, the homepage of the same organization, a page about the French Academy in Rome, and a page for the Mary W. French Academy Elementary School in Decatur, Illinois. There are similar problems with the search of edu sites in Espoo's comment above: results for the French Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Medicine, the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, and the French Academy of Pharmacy are found in the first 30 results of this google search. For this reason I don't think that google searches are telling us anything useful about how often "French Academy" is used to mean Academie Francaise.
These results show that "French Academy" sometimes designates organizations that aren't the Academie Francaise. In addition to the Yale page I mentioned earlier, this press release from the University of Texas at Austin says that one of their professors has been elected to the "French Academy"--but they mean the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, which is a different section of the Institut de France than the Academie Francaise. Therefore, not only is "Academie Francaise" (usually without diacritics) the preferred form of several news organizations and academic publishers, it is less ambiguous than "French Academy". Therefore I stand by my "oppose" vote, and recommend changing French Academy into a disambiguation page. --Akhilleus (talk) 23:34, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Akhilleus, you're begging the main argument against your previous ones, which you have ignored and not addressed: your sources show that the French name is also used, but they do not show that the French name has to be used or even that it is more common in carefully edited texts in all English-speaking countries. On the contrary, according to the quoted WP policy, there is still clear proof that the English name can and should be used. WP policy says very specifically use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. It does not say "never use the English version of the name unless it is more common than the foreign name.
More specifically, these new results of yours are fraught with the logical flaw in all attempts to prove that some other region's English is incorrect or less good than one's own. Your search results only show that some sites prefer the French name; they do not show that the reputable sources i cited are incorrect and they do not show that the sources you provided would necessarily consider the English name incorrect. More importantly, they do not demonstrate that "French Academy" would be incomprehensible to English speakers used to the French name or incorrect or ambiguous to English speakers in general. There are many instances of other institutional names used in an abbreviated form that resemble or are identical to another organisation, but these instances do not occur in titles or at first mention.
I'm quite sure that the vast majority of all native English speakers in all countries would have trouble saying and understanding the French name, and that's the strongest case against use of it as the article name. On the basis of all information collected by all of us, i'm quite sure that almost all well-edited publications addressed to the general public use the English name in the title and only use the French name as extra info in parentheses. Despite the OED's claim to be a purely descriptive dictionary, it is heavily biased towards literary and educated use and against usage in the spoken, living language and in scientific and other carefully edited texts for the general public.
And despite the OED's claim to be a purely descriptive dictionary, your example is not the first i've seen that clearly contradict this noble tradition and claim because the OED would certainly not venture to claim that use of the English name on the reputable US and Canadian sites i found is incorrect or non-existent. (I will start to Google UK university sites now.) I will contact the OED; last time, i received an answer within a few days, so this discussion can hopefully be extended until i get an answer. The OED seems to be the only reputable publication addressed to the general public (well, based on what i wrote about its biases, it is mostly addressed to a fairly small sector of the population) that prefers the French name; all other reputable sources addressed to the general public seem to use the English name alone or first. Newspaper articles or other texts addressed to insiders and highly educated people seem to also but not exclusively or even predominantly use the French name, but i'm quite sure that at least the New York Ties and Washington Post would use the English name in a major article and in a heading and especially in an article title or major headline addressed to most readers, even if they try to sound really cool and in the know by flaunting their French in relevant articles addressed to intellectuals.
WP is for the general public and should not use French names as article titles for things given an English name in other reputable sources such as Britannica, Columbia, Catholic Encyclopedia, Encarta, etc. It is completely irrelevant that the OED and maybe some other reputable sources use the French name. WP policy says very specifically use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. It does not say "never use the English version of the name unless it is more common than the foreign name. In addition, Encarta says: French Academy, usual designation (in English) of the Académie Française, the oldest of the five learned societies that make up the Institut de France.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is a good example of how only the English name is used when editors stop to think a bit; despite some but less use of the French name than the English name in other articles, the editors only used the English name in the title and in the article dealing with the institution as the main topic. --Espoo 06:57, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Espoo, I'm sorry to say this, but I think your response is an example of making things more emotional than they need to be. Accusing editors of preferring the French title as a way of showing off cultural literacy isn't conducive to a productive discussion. The allegation that editors want to prove the superiority of a regional variety of English is also unhelpful. (I also don't understand the claim, since The Economist and The New York Times and the University of Texas represent different varieties of English.) Saying the Catholic Encyclopedia is an example of "how only the English name is used when editors stop to think a bit" seems to imply that I'm not thinking, which I do not appreciate.
I would also point out that you don't seem to have read my comments very carefully. I specifically noted that the OED does not have an entry for "Academie Francaise"; whatever one's opinion about the editorial practice and social register of the OED may be, it isn't particularly relevant here. That entry is from the Oxford Dictionary of English. Moreover, many reference works from Oxford, searchable through oxfordreference.com, use "Académie française". These works are professionally edited and addressed to the general public. They include The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary, The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, World Encyclopedia, The Oxford Companion to English Literature, and many more. Those results indicate that the policy of the Oxford University Press is to use "Académie française" in its reference works.
Your comment begins by alleging that I haven't shown that "Academie Francaise" is more common in English. But the burden of proof falls on the nominator: you need to show that "French Academy" is the most common form. You've attempted to do so through google searches and through citations of reference works such as Encarta, the Columbia Encyclopedia, etc. The Google searches are problematic because searches for "French Academy" turn up many results that aren't the Academie Francaise, including a private school in Decatur, Illinois. On the other hand, you've illustrated that some reference works use "French Academy"; but reference works from Oxford use "Academie Francaise", and so does the Economist, the New York Times, and several university presses in the U.S. In other words, there are more reference sources and publishers that support "Academie Francaise".
I notice that you said "i'm quite sure that at least the New York Ties and Washington Post would use the English name in a major article and in a heading and especially in an article title or major headline addressed to most readers..." It's not hard to see how these newspapers use the phrase, I think I even linked to some examples. I'll quote one, from a theater review in 1988: "By the time of his death in 1955, Claudel was an Immortal in the Academie Francaise and was regarded as one of the leading Catholic writers of his time." And here is a more recent article about the winner of the Prix Goncourt for 2006: "Last month the book, which has so far sold some 250,000 copies in France, won the Académie Française’s annual fiction prize." No parenthetical translation, no first mention of "French Academy" (which occurs nowhere in these articles). This is hardly unique to the Times--this article about a book club in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reads: "Modeled after the celebrated Academie Francaise, the literary hall of fame founded by Louis XIII with its fixed membership of '40 immortals,' the club limits itself to 40 members from the North boroughs, all of whom must be invited to join by a current member (and sponsored by yet another)." Again, no parenthetical translation, and "French Academy" occurs nowhere in the article.
"Academie Francaise" is also common usage on edu sites. In addition to the searches I've already posted, this can be confirmed by comparing two searches of osu.edu: one for "Academie Francaise" site:osu.edu (8 results); one for "French Academy" site:osu.edu (11 results, none of which are for the Academie Francaise, but rather French Academy of Medicine, etc.). OSU provides us with another example of the bare phrase "French Academy" to mean an organization other than the Academie Francaise, on page 170 of this paper which appeared in the July 1962 issue of The Ohio Journal of Science.
To return to newspaper articles, if you have access to Lexis-Nexis, you can see that "Academie Francaise" is common in a wide variety of news sources. Search within "General News--Major Papers" in the last 6 months and there are 25 results for "Academie Francaise". There are more results for "French Academy" (37), but once again these results turn up things like a high school, the French Academy at Rome, etc. It's obviously true that "French Academy" sometimes designates the Academie Francaise. Search boston.com, the website of the Boston Globe, and "Academie Francaise" gets 16 results, all pertaining to the language organization, but "French Academy" gets 3 results, 2 of which are the same article, an obituary for a member of the Academie Francaise. However, 2 is less than 16!
I am not at all convinced that "French Academy" is the most common way to refer to the Academie Francaise in English. In fact, I think the evidence I've given suggests that many "carefully edited publications" use "Academie Francaise", and that they do so more often than they use "French Academy." This includes the New York Times, the Economist, and the publications of the Oxford University Press, the Harvard University Press, and the University of Chicago Press. There's no reason to change the article's title. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:59, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Weak oppose. Some things are best in the original language and this seems one of those. --Sugaar 02:56, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Neither you nor any of the other opposing voters have given reasons for disregarding established practice for this name in other encyclopedias and all reputable sources cited so far. WP policy specifically says use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. As already shown above, Encyclopædia Britannica and Columbia Encyclopedia have the English name as the article name and specifically redirect the French one. --Espoo 10:34, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
We are not Britannica, we are surely more concerned about multiculturalism, I hope. --Sugaar 23:17, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Do you think the same of Columbia? Can you contribute constructively by citing a single encyclopedia that supports your opinion on this article title? --Espoo 05:04, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. Reviewing some of the literature about the academy, it appears that in English the expression "French Academy", though common 75-100 years ago, is a rather archaic usage that its not greatly used by contemporary writers. Javadane 00:51, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Please give some examples of such literature. I'm beginning to be convinced this is to a large degree a UK/US difference that also reflects "degree of snootiness", at least in the US. I would guess that 90% of the US population is incapable of reading the current article title out loud, let alone pronounce it correctly. Although that percentage is perhaps lower in the UK due to the proximity of France and a more widespread habit of showing off knowledge of French in public than in the US, i'm pretty sure even British schoolbooks would not use the French name in a title, alone, or even at first mention. --Espoo 05:04, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Oppose - "French Academy" is vague, as outlined by Akhilleus above. "Académie française" is unambiguous and clear.  --Stemonitis 10:56, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Comment- Stemonitis, didn't you see my response to Akhilleus's claim? "French Academy" is not vague. It always means "Académie française" in carefully edited texts, and "Académie française" is an unusable and unsuitable article name for the vast majority of the population in all English-speaking countries. "French Academy" is only used as an abbreviation for the other member organisations of the Institut de France in carefully edited texts after first mentioning the full name. We cannot let sloppy use in daily newspapers determine WP article names to produce a user-unfriendly encyclopedia. --Espoo 12:25, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Consensus will determine what we "can" and "cannot" do. --Stemonitis 13:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, my choice of words was not good, but could you please respond to the content of what i'm saying? Have you found any reputable source that is not subject to the stress of the daily newspaper printing routine in which anyone uses "French Academy" to mean anything but "Académie française"?
BTW, the links you provided above didn't contribute any new info: the first one presents the opinion of a private commercial site's lone editor who cannot be accorded the same weight as the combined editing staff of almost all encyclopedias consulted so far, and the other two links are connected with the French Academy itself and with the OED, whose so far unique position on this matter in reference works was already pointed out by Akhilleus. --Espoo 16:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
It is an error to think that a translation of a proper noun is itself a proper noun. In English, "French Academy" could be a shortened form of all sorts of organisations, from l'Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-Lettres, l'Académie des Sciences, l'Académie des Beaux-Arts and l'Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques to the Governor French Academy and the Mary W. French Academy. Only one of these is covered by the explicit "l'Académie française". Furthermore, how unsympathetic it would be to the academy in question to insist on giving it an English title, when it puts so much effort into fighting against pervasive global anglicisation! Yes, we have to write in English, but we could be a little more magnanimous about its dominance. I am also disappointed by your efforts to belittle sources which contradict your opinion. To assume that a single editor must be wrong is simply false, and the thought that "the stress of the daily newspaper routine" makes a source unusable is risible. Wikipedia has thousand of newspaper citations, and there's nothing wrong with them, even if they are produced on a daily basis. The stress of the daily newspaper routine is no reason to think less of the material it produces. --Stemonitis 17:09, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, now we're finally getting to the crux of the matter. Because the French Academy is engaged in an unscientific, quixotic, and senseless campaign (that has been fruitless for centuries) to make people speak French differently than they are, we are now being asked/obliged to also start speaking English the way they want, at least in some rare cases. (There is nothing unscientific or quixotic about creating viable alternatives for imported foreign words, but by trying to enforce use of its often bad coinages by old-fashioned, unscientific, and counterproductive prescriptive comments instead of leaving the choice and even the coinage to the population, the French Academy is actually helping to make its cause look ridiculous and alienating the French against this worthy cause. In Finland, for example, there was on the contrary a national contest to find an alternative to "CD-ROM", and the result was much better than what a bunch of old fuddy-duddies could come up with and was instantly adopted by the population.)
The French Academy should not be a sacred cow that can make us violate basic principles of WP such as writing for the general public and using the English version of foreign names except when they are very rare and not used in other reference works too. And in this case, the English name is even more common in reputable sources meant for the general public (i.e. not necessarily university publications). I'm pretty sure that only very few even educated speakers say "Académie française" in a normal English sentence when speaking to normal members of the population. And these pseudo-intellectuals interested in flaunting their knowledge and uninterested in communicating constitute less than a very small percentage of the total population in all English-speaking countries. If most US and Canadian university sites and most English-language encyclopedias use "French Academy" more often than the French name, then the fact that the name is sometimes used sloppily i.e. incorrectly by newspaper editors to mean a different academy is no reason to not use it on WP.
You misunderstood what i said about newspapers; they are obviously good sources when more carefully edited ones are not available, but newspapers obviously cannot spend as much time in researching usage and in copyediting as a reference work, and newspaper editors would laugh if someone thought they could be offended by stating that fact. Your opinion and that of the university presses of Oxford and apparently also Harvard and Yale are fighting windmills and are in contradiction to usage in most encyclopedias and by the vast majority of the population. Even most other university sites use "French Academy" and for only one institution. Its use for other institutions requires mention of the longer, full names first; otherwise it just shows sloppiness or ignorance. --Espoo 17:49, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Strong Oppose The actual name of this institute should be preserved on wikipedia. --Bob 23:05, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Your statement nicely summarises the illogical reasoning of the opponents of the move. According to this reasoning, normal English speakers without any knowledge of French should adopt the naming conventions used by some university publishers in publications meant for intellectuals and should as a result stop talking and reading about these issues. According to this reasoning, we should also stop saying the "French government" and should instead write "Yesterday the gouvernement français decided to send troops to...". And according to the ridiculous argument added by an anonymous user above, this should of course be further "improved" to "Yesterday le gouvernement français decided to send troops to...". So if Académie française is not moved to French Academy as in most other encyclopedias, Government of France should obviously be moved to Gouvernement français.
This proves that this whole discussion is a joke and a clear case of Wikiality. If other encyclopedias, other reputable sources, and even university sites use "French Academy", the term is well established and there is no reason to use a French name that is unusable by normal encyclopedia users. Just because editors of this page can speak French doesn't mean that a French name is acceptable. Only in cases such as Institut de France, where there is no well-established English equivalent, is a French article name not in violation of basic WP policies and sane practices in all other encyclopedia. People arguing against these decisions made by large numbers of professional editors in other encyclopedias only show their incompetence and amateurism. I hope the admin deciding this case doesn't count votes as such and ignores those votes that ignore basic WP policies. --Espoo 02:07, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
What's the rationale for ignoring the usage of the Economist, New York Times, and Oxford Dictionary of English? Is it that these publications are unprofessional, or simply that you feel they're too snooty? What about the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette? Is this publication aimed at "intellectuals", whatever that means? Or how about that bastion of snobbery, USA Today? This publication (which has the largest circulation figures of any newspaper in the US), obviously doesn't care about the sensitivities of the reader who can't deal with those funny-looking French words. (USA Today uses "French Academy" once, as far as I can see, but it's the French Academy in Rome.)
On the other hand, when you're citing the usage of edu sites, why aren't you taking into account the searches of yale.edu and osu.edu? (Try searching uchicago.edu, utexas.edu, and washington.edu if you think Ohio State is too elitist.) And again, please note that this press release from the University of Texas School of Law uses "French Academy" to refer to the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, and similar instances of "French Academy" meaning something other than the Académie are scattered throughout .edu sites. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:38, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The whole point is that according to WP naming policy we should use the English name if it is widely used in reputable sources. Just because the French name is used by other reputable sources, does not affect the correct decision according to WP policy. And yes, a lot more time and by a lot more people and by people more competent in writing an encyclopedia is spent in deciding what to call the entry in all the encyclopedias i quoted than in the newspapers and magazines you happen to find.
And yes, i'm convinced they're using the French name to sound more refined, or snooty, or informed, or cool or whatever it is they're trying to be. I'm sure almost none of those same editors would use the French name in talking to a normal reader who doesn't speak any French, so it's a bad editorial decision to use it as the headword (instead of as an addition) in writing.
According to WP naming policy, which is also observed in other encyclopedia, we should use the English name if it is widely known and used in reputable sources. The WP policy specifically advises to follow usage in other encyclopedias. Oxford Dictionary of English is a bad example because they're explaining the French name, not using it as an article. I guess they don't have "French Academy" because it's more or less self-explanatory, which is exactly why WP should use it as the title like other encyclopedias do. The situation would be the same even if all newspapers and magazines and all university Internet pages and some encyclopedias used the French name. As long as a substantial number of reputable sources use the English one, it's the best one for an encyclopedia for the general public. As it is, the English term is widely used in many newspapers and magazines, many if not most university sites, and most if not all encyclopedias. And in well-edited sources, e.g. all encyclopedias, "French Academy" is never used to refer to other academies with longer names. That kind of sloppiness is typical of the media and should not affect editorial decisions in an encyclopedia.
And to emphasise that this decision is based on WP policy and usage in other encyclopedias, let me point out that the article for Institut de France (and similar institutions for which no English name is in common, not majority use) should keep its French name. --Espoo 09:03, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
L'Académie française or l'Académie Française?
I waded in and "corrected" the adjectival french to French, because that was what I was taught many years ago - specifically that it was disrespectful to write "france" (etc.) rather than "France". Times have changed. It seems the official view of the Académie is decided against me, so I have reverted.
This is not just an artefact of fancy typography. On leur toile-site http://www.académie-française.fr/la-langue-francaise/questions-de-langue there is FAQ "Adjectif ou nom de nationalité : « il est français » ou « il est Français » ?" which explains some Academician's view, in summary that only proper nouns are to be capitalised. Well, they must surely know best, though I an left wondering in which century that decision was made.
Whilst this might be considered self-referential, the Académie is charged with legal authority to decide such matters so we are stuck with them as RS.
I should not stray in political science.
So I have contented myself with removing various appearances of Françoise (who I have not seen since '69) and substituting the French for "French" (lower case, naturally).