Talk:Moomin

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Character List/Novel synopsis[edit]

I've created a footer template for the English novels - see Comet in Moominland. It would be great if this and the other novel synopses could be fleshed out. Also as the list of characters is quite lengthy - suggest moving this to a separate page (List_of_Characters_In_Moomin_Books?), keeping only the main character profiles on the main page? --Katstevens 14:49, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Really written in English???[edit]

According to this article the Moomin comic strips were written in English and then translated to other languages. The can't be true, surely? I thought all the moomin stuff was written in Swedish. I've definitely seen the comics in Swedish, and it doesn't seem likely that they would be written in a foreign language and then translated to the author's mother tongue. I will remove this reference if nobody has any evidence of it being true. Unsigned comment by User:82.32.6.147

No it's true. The comics were written for the English language newspaper the London Evening News, hence they were written in English. Both Tove and especially Lars were very good at English. If you want to learn more about the Moomin comics i can recommend the book "Vid min svans! Tove och Lars Janssons tecknade muminserie" [1] which explains a lot about the comics (sadly it's only availiable in Finnish and Swedish i think). bbx 01:16, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
No, it's not true. :-) Lars was the one who translated them to English from Tove's Swedish.--Wormsie 20:31, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
However, they were first published in English, which I think was what the original user asked :-) The Swedish version of the comic strips are translated from English (and the drawings still contain English writing in the background, which always mystified me as a kid!)--Bonadea 12:45, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
It is very complicated! At first she wrote English, later she wrote swedish, Lars translated and they were lettered in England, then Lars took over and mostly wrote straight in English. If you check some originals you can see the difference.Seniorsag 16:21, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Request for non-American emphasis[edit]

I think its worth pointing out that the Moominboom never really penetrated the US, despite English translations reaching other areas. Personally I think this is a good thing. It is remarkable how few Americans have heard of Moomins, and how this relates to the fact they haven't been co-opted by large corporations. Cuvtixo 9 October 2005


Request for philosophical quotes[edit]

I really enjoyed the two quotes in the Swedish article. Could we see some typical quotes from different characters in the English version, at least on this page, but perhaps as part of the character descriptions? --Kronocide 15:40, 16 September 2005 (UTC)


"There are four spin-off TV animation series, one Polish and three Japanese, and a large merchandising industry."

I remember watching a moomin trolls animated program which lasted for about 5 min which was shown on British television durning late afternoon childrens television in 1984. I remember that this was in english rather than Polish or Japanese. I also remember english translations of the books in South Africa in the late 1970's

There were two noably distinct Russian animations, but I don't know whether ythey wer original or translations. Mikkalai 23:28, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

At least two of the Moomin tv series have been dubbed into English, one I remember from the 80s, and one more recently (and there may have been one in the 60s, but I'm not sure). I don't know which one is which, but that is how come you were able to see them in English. --MockTurtle 14:17, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Just a quick correction- 'Comet in Moominland' was the second book, not 'Finn Family Moomintroll'.

The removal of the note saying Stinky was a product of the Japanese anime series was right. Stinky can very much be found in the original comic books, which predate the anime series by decades. In fact, far from "inventing" the character, the Japanese simplified him, removing his stench. JIP | Talk 10:19, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I remember that the Hattifatteners are shown as growing from seeds in the first episode of the comic strip (where they also speak!), but is this established in the books? I haven't read them for ages, so I don't quite remember. Awahlbom 28 June 2005 14:24 (UTC) [I didn't notice that I had been logged out when I wrote this originally. Awahlbom 21:39, July 10, 2005 (UTC)]


I thought that perhaps the original Swedish names should be added to the article.

Adding some of the missing names from memory.

Moomin- Mumin

Also called Mumintrollet in the books.

Moominpapa - Muminpappa

Moominmama - Muminmamma

Sniff - Sniff

The Muskrat - ?

Bisamråttan

Snufkin - Snusmumriken

The Snork Maiden - Snorkfröken

The Snork - Snorken

The Hemulen - Hemulen

Also, non-Swedish speakers should note that the "-en" in "hemulen" is the definite article; the Swedish singular is "hemul".

The Groke - Mårran

Little My - Lilla My

Too-Ticky - Too-Ticki

Stinky - Stinky (His name comes from the English word, even in the Swedish version)

Hattifatteners - Hattifnattar

Spelled "hatifnattar" in the books.
This is a really bad translation of their name to English. The Swedish name comes from a colloquial verb, "hattifnatta," which means to run back and forth aimlessly and behave irrationally. "Få fnatt" basically means go nuts. It's obviously a fitting name for these odd creatures. But "hattifatteners" make it sound as if they are fat, or fattening, or something. A much better English name would have been Huttinutters, or something like that.
--Kronocide 19:45, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Fillyjonk - Filifjonkan

The Ancestor - Anfadern(?)

Förfadern, I think.

Misabel - Misan

Sorry-oo - ??

This could be Ynk. Need to check.
Yes, it's Ynk. FWIW; I'm not sure the translated names are interesting enough to list in the article.--CodeGeneratR 00:26, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Hope my additions help. Awahlbom 21:39, July 10, 2005 (UTC)


Qro-

Muumipeikko, Muumimamma ja Muumipappa in Finnish. Not sure about the editing though. Adding the other character names later. (unsigned)

I expressed some concerns about including translated names in a comment above (and that was Swedish, the author's language(?)), but since they seem to re-appear: Could we come up with some standard format for adding them without disrupting the rest of the content? I could imagine that once someone starts, lots of people would add translated names in their language. I'd like to see some formatting that allows the translated names to appear unobtrusively but distinct from the descriptions.--CodeGeneratR 15:56, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Suggestion 1: Adding the translated names in italics below each character description.

  • Sniff - Moomintroll's immature friend and later adopted brother. He is one of the few characters who is sincrely interested in money, and is always on the lookout for another way to get rich quick.
Swedish: Sniff; Finnish: Nipsu; German: Schnüferl
  • The Muskrat - a philosopher who believes in the pointlessness of things.
Swedish: Bisamråttan; Finnish: Piisamirotta; German: Bisam

Suggestion 2: Make a separate section or article for translated names of Moomin characters... Just my 2 öre. Other ideas? --CodeGeneratR 15:56, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Update some more characters, until something is decided
Thingumy and Bob - Tofslan och Vifslan
Niblings - Klippdassar(?)
Don't know if the Joxter is rådddjuret, need to check that out. 惑乱 分からん 17:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Since pretty much my first thought after finding the page was that it needed the original names along with the English translations, I went ahead and added them. I apologize if it was pre-emptive, but I do think the original should rate pretty highly in significance here, whether additional translations are added later or not. In any case, the content I added is correct and can be used if anyone decides to change to format. The capitalization may look haphazard, but this is how the names are predominantly written in the books. The reason not all names are capitalized is that most often they're really designations of what type of creature someone belongs to, and as such are not capitalized under Swedish typographical rules. There are exceptions; Snusmumriken is capitalized in most books, but there's at least one where he's not. /Per

I think it's a useful addition. I've copy edited the note about the names at the beginning, and put them in italics per our Manual of Style's guidelines for non-English words. Thanks! — Saxifrage 20:40, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

about the "see also" section[edit]

The section currently reads:

The short story The Littlest Jackal by Bruce Sterling, published in A Good Old-Fashioned Future, mentions the Flüüvins, child characters created by a reclusive Finland Swedish woman from the Åland islands, that have become a fad in Japan.

Oh yuck! The invented name "Flüüvins" is both ridiculous and revolting. No Scandinavian languages use the letter ü, so how would Sterling's invented caricature of Tove Jansson ever have come up with a name like that? I'm not familiar with the short story in question (it could be a satire on what I'm ranting about), but from the name alone, Sterling appears to be willfully ingnorant and insensitive to other cultures, by not even bothering to find a believable name. People like Sterling ought to be embarrased over their ignorance, only that they're too ingnorant to understand what's embarrassing about it. It's a combination of audacity and cluelessness that really makes me go kaput.--CodeGeneratR 04:57, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Far too many Anglosaxons think one accented letter is as good as another, and pay no attention to what languages they are used in, not to mention even the vaguest guess about their pronunciation. That's what got us the Kata Kârkkâinen fiasco. JIP | Talk 12:14, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Oh well. See Heavy metal umlaut. Leibniz 20:18, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Removal of Links[edit]

Should the links to specific characters be removed? After all, none point to articles... St.isaac 23:50, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

The Moomins and the Great Flood[edit]

The article states that:

The first book, known in English as The Little Trolls and the Big Flood (original Swedish title Småtrollen och den stora översvämningen) has not yet been officially published in English.

According to this page the first Moomin book was published in english as of 2005, under the title "The Moomins and the Great Flood." But I can't find it on amazon or like places. Does anyone have more info on this?

The anniversary English translation was published by a Finnish or Swedish company, I believe. I think it's on the German Amazon. Drjon 13:58, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Anti-virus software[edit]

The finnish IT security company F-Secure has just published an anti-virus software with Moomin-themed graphical skin. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 195.70.32.136 (talkcontribs) .

My life is now complete. 86.141.95.16 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 00:41, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

The article on moomins is written in poor English, has a lot of false information in it and above all contains foul language and inaproppriate comments like "Sniff is a ex-drug rehab patient" and "Little Bi - She is a small, determined and fiercely independent bisexual. When she wants something, she gets it straight away..... strapping on her 12" piece to give mooinpapa what he deserves".

I seriously hope you will remove this rude article. The Moomins are something the Finns take a lot of pride in. Having an article like this in Wikipedia is shameful.Please remove it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.161.50.228 (talk) 21:55, 4 June 2006

I've reverted the misinformation on here. Someone obviously vandalised it and others failed to notice it. -- jeffthejiff 21:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Song[edit]

Does anyone know where I could find the song from the TV-series? Preferably without the volcals.

Which TV-series? The 90s Japanese animation? Shouldn't be too hard to find, I think? Doesn't the end of every show featuring the song w/o vocals, btw? Possibly on some old Japanese karaoke disc or something, as well... 惑乱 分からん 23:54, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I grew up in Hawaii and the Moomin were fairly popular when I was a child. I remember that at one point there was a local Hawaiian female group who sang an opening theme to the Moomins and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Does anyone else remember this? It also might be worth mentioning Moomin's Hawaiian popularity somewhere in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.30.128.112 (talk) 03:49, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Why? The Moomins have been popular through much of the world: is there anything noteworthy about the fact that Hawaii is no exception? Or, to put it another way, do we give a huge list of all the places where they have been popular, and if not, why single out one place? JamesBWatson (talk) 19:33, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
It has been noted that they never met with much popularity at all in the U.S., with the exception of Hawaii. I think that alone is pretty noteworthy. Also, as I already noted, Hawaii had it's own local theme song and opening added to the show. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.30.128.112 (talk) 03:58, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, what is "noteworthy" is to some extent a matter of personal judgement, but I can't see anything in the Wikipedia notability guidelines that makes being much more popular in one part of one country in the world than in other parts of the same country notable; I have been unable to find any "significant coverage" of this fact elsewhere. I have no doubt that to many people in Hawaii the fact that they have taken more notice of the Moomins than people elsewhere in the USA will seem interesting, but on a global scale it is rather a parochial point. JamesBWatson (talk) 10:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

New book[edit]

I don't really know enough on the topic to throw this in properly but there is a new book out in October 2006: Moomin Book One: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip ISBN 1894937805 - details and samples. (Emperor 20:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC))

Suspicious information[edit]

Some anonymous editor added this information, which I remain skeptical to:

The theme tune for the television series was originally "The Moomins" 
but then it was replaced with "True" by Spandau Ballet.

惑乱 分からん 00:09, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually it was Gold, at least in the UK. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.141.95.16 (talk) 00:44, 6 October 2007 (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 consensus. -- tariqabjotu (joturner) 02:59, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

MoominMoomins – I think pluralised version would be more appropriate. The article concerns the world of Moomins, not just one Moomin. The title of the first Finnish book is Småtrollen och den stora översvämningen, and I understand Småtrollen to mean small trolls in plural. Does anyone know what was the title of the comic strip? --Qviri (talk) 01:49, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Support - well, I'm nominating. I'm declaring a bias, my encounter with Moomins was in Polish where they're known as plural muminki. --Qviri (talk) 01:49, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP style preference is for the singular, partly because you can then always link to the plural: [[Moomin]]s Septentrionalis 00:51, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Add any additional comments
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.

Translated character names in Finnish[edit]

I believe that the names of the characters in Finnish should not be given. The original character names were Swedish, so it makes sense for these to be given. If we are going to give Finnish, surely we have to also give the translated names in all other languages that the books have been translated in. What do other people think? 94pjg 00:06, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Tove Janson is a Finnish writer so I don't think finnish translations are completely out of place. Her work is also most well known in Finland.

Since she was translated to English (and I think Japanese before she was published in Finnish I think that Finnish caracter names is unnessesary, specially as she is far more published in Japanese and English. ALSO she is a Swedish writer, remember that Swedish is a motherlanguage in Finland since at least 1AD. (Finland was an integral part of sweden until 1809 when it became a Grand Duchy under Russia.)Seniorsag 16:35, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Seniorsag (well perhaps not that Swedish was so established in 1 AD). If Tove Jansson was an English speaking Montreal resident, I would not expect the French names to be given in every article about her book's characters because French is the majority language in her home province. Certainly Tove Jansson is Finnish, but Swedish is as much a language of Finland as Finnish is. It almost seems to belittle this fact and give the impression that Swedish is a foreign language in Finland when we put the Finnish character names as well. Moomintrolls are also very popular in their Japanese translations. Should we also give their Japanese names? 94pjg 18:46, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

If Tove Jansson was a French speaking resident of Toronto, I WOULD expect the English names to be given in most articles about her book's characters because English is the majority language in her country. Swedish is really a foreign language in Finland to vast majority of people. Its only an official language by law. There are more native russian speakers in Finland than there are swedish speakers.

There are not more native Russian speakers in Finland than Swedish speakers. That is not at all true, perhaps in the longterm future it may well be, but not yet. Swedish is not a foreign language in Finland and it is an official language by law and also in practice. 94pjg 21:58, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Swedish is most certainly not a foreign language in Finland, and for Wikipedia to support this kind of lingual oppression from the side of the Finnish-speaking majority would be utterly wrong. Wikipedia do not give also Flemish translations when relating to Francophone Belgian authors, does it? 80.251.207.19 18:14, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
>>"... remember that Swedish is a motherlanguage in Finland since at least 1AD." My recollection is that there were no Swedes, no Sweden, and no Swedish language in 1AD, but I'll concede that it's been a while. Langrel 18:54, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Help is needed[edit]

I'm tring to make a better wiki article for Moomin (1990 TV series), all Moomin fans of the series are welcome to come over there and help contribute their knowldge. Acidburn24m 11:43, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Moofam.gif[edit]

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Moominpappa's Memoirs[edit]

My copy of Moominpappa's Memoirs says:

English translation (c) 1994 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Text and illustrations (c) 1968 by Tove Jansson
Published in Finland as Muminpappans memoarer by Schildts
Revised edition of The Exploits of Moominpappa, 1966.

So, how does this reconcile with it being from 1950? And how revised is it? 131.215.240.58 02:33, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

My copy of The Exploits of Moominpappa says "first published in English by Ernest Benn 1952", but does not give the date of publication in Swedish. JamesBWatson (talk) 14:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

My Swedish copy of Muminpappans Memoarer (the revised version) says that it dates from 1968, while the original (Muminpappans Bravader Skrivna av Honom Själv) was published in 1950. David Arthur (talk) 14:15, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Scandinavian trolls[edit]

The lead section had this sentence: "They are a family of Scandinavian trolls...". I removed "Scandinavian" part since the Moomins live in their own universe thats not particularly Scandinavian. bbx 03:13, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

The books are specifically set in Finland, it is stated so in one of the earlier books. ((Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)))

Does it really say that they are set in Finland?? I read the books in Swedish several times as a kid and I do not think ANY nation or nationality is ever mentioned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by VsanoJ (talkcontribs) 19:14, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

The only reference to Finland that I know of is in the title of the English translation of Trollkarlens Hatt, namely Finn Family Moomintroll. Is this sufficient evidence? In my opinion the inclusion of the word in the author's original title would have been enough, but not in a title chosen by the publishers of a translation. I am therefore going to remove the claim that Moomin Valley is in Finland. JamesBWatson (talk) 14:00, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

No, there’s nothing in the untranslated books to give the Mumintrolls any particular national origin; they live in a fantasy world, though they certainly follow Scandinavian customs (such as Midsummer celebrations). It's just the English editions that make the characters Finnish by analogy with the author. David Arthur (talk) 14:18, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Moomintroll nationality[edit]

Here's a general question on which I have no opinion really. Perhaps I'm treading into dangerously nationalistic waters, but I've always been curious. Are the moomintrolls Finnish? My initial reaction would be to say that they are fantasy creatures and as such they live in a purely fantasy world. As such I agree with the recent removal of "in Finland" from "The series is set in the fictional Moomin Valley." But is the family itself Finnish? The reason I ask is that Book #3, Trollkarlens hatt, has been translated into English as Finn Family Moomintroll. Was this just a bit of editorializing on the part of the translator? Who OK'ed the name for the book in English? -Thibbs (talk) 15:18, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

There’s definitely nothing in the original books to suggest that their fantasy world has anything to do with real countries. Their customs have a definite Scandinavian flavour, but only in the same way that the Shire is English and space aliens tend to speak like Americans. So, as literature, they're definitely Finnish, but not in a geographical sense. I suspect the English title has more to do with Swiss Family Robinson than anything else, as odd a bit of intertextuality as I've ever seen; its suggestion of their nationality isn't any more meaningful than its suggestion that Trollkarlens hatt is the first book. (And this is minor compared to the liberties taken by, for example, translations of Pippi Longstocking from the same era.) David Arthur (talk) 18:56, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense to me. Interesting idea about The Swiss Family Robinson. I've not seen that comparison drawn before, but it sounds likely to me. Probably safest to avoid any nationalistic claims anyway. Also I just realized that I'm duplicating discussions from above so I'll move this up there. -Thibbs (talk) 19:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC) (moved 19:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC))
That Swiss Family Robinson idea interested me and I've looked into it a bit, but unfortunately I find almost no sources discussing it. The best I found was this blog entry where the blogger suggests that "back in 1950 somebody thought [Trollkarlens hatt] could best be introduced to the british public by reference to that great children's classic, 'swiss family robinson'." It's an interesting idea. I'll see if I can find anything better. -Thibbs (talk) 21:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Interestingly enough (at least I find it interesting) the connection with Swiss Family Robinson had seemed so obvious to me that it had never crossed my mind that it might not be the source. JamesBWatson (talk) 22:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess for me the dissimilarities of the plots of the two stories was enough to keep me in the dark. Particularly telling though, I think, is the fact that it's another Scandinavian family something-or-other. In other words I'd be less likely to believe that this was an allusion if the original book was Thai Family Laksanawisit. -Thibbs (talk) 23:04, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Howzatagain? Switzerland is not Scandinavian. --Thnidu (talk) 01:47, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure because I don't have the book handy, but as I recall there was a map in Moominpappa At Sea, presumably drawn by Tove Jansson, which depicted the Gulf of Finland, and indicated that the lighthouse which was visited in the story was located in that region. Perhaps someone who has a copy of the book could verify this?140.211.180.139 (talk) 02:40, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, the map in Moominpappa at Sea is titled "The Gulf of Finland". It even gives a location: Lat 60°7'12"N, Long 25°45'50" E. (Not far from Helsinki, about 26 miles east, and 7 miles from the coast; though no island exists there in real life.) What the original Swedish book has I don't know. Is there anything on the comics ? The Yeti (talk) 14:06, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Superfluous citation tags[edit]

Miguel.mateo has added a whole string of "citation needed" tags in the section on the comic strips. He does not give any reason for this. There seems to be a notion among many Wikipedia users that citations are necessary for everything. The Wikipedia verifiability policy states "...any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation." I am not aware of any reason that the existence of the comics should be likely to be challenged, so the tags are completely unnecessary. I have given one reference to one of the comic books, but removed all the tags. JamesBWatson (talk) 13:57, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Let me start by saying that I agree with you. I think Wikipedia is overrun with well-intentioned but ultimately counterproductive deletionists, and I think cn-tagging everything in sight is nothing more than a lesser form of deletionism. With that said, I don't think the evidence points to Miguel.mateo as being a deletionist by any means. A review of his contributions shows that he makes substantially more positive/contributory edits than he makes negative edits. What this means to me is that by cn-tagging material at this article with the summary of "Asking for sources," Miguel.mateo was implying that he challenged the material. If this is the case, then assuming his challenges pass a standard of reasonableness, we should respect his challenge and seek to provide sources. Then again, I suppose there is a case to be made that Miguel.mateo incorrectly thought that others challenged the material. I believe this is far less likely an interpretation, however I will not re-add the tags since Miguel.mateo has nowhere explicitly said that he challenged the statements. If he repeats his request, though, I think we cannot ignore it as a mistake. -Thibbs (talk) 18:47, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
What's with this conflation of "positive" and "adding content"? Adding content that is wrong or merely an editors opinion has negative impact on the project, not a positive one. I for one would like to know what source said Tove ran out of inspiration for the comic-strip - there may be other interesting things that could be added to the article from the same source. Can I respectfully suggest that instead of just removing [citation needed] tags, people actually do the hard work or sourcing content they want to keep? That way the article might actually be improved. --Davémon (talk) 19:49, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Please calm down. I meant the term "positive" mathematically (i.e. edits which tend to increase the content rather than reduce it). I was making no judgment about the unsourced material because assuming good faith is a fundamental principle on Wikipedia. Since Davémon seems to be in agreement with Miguel.mateo that citations are needed, I suggest the cn-tags be reinserted. I apologize if I've offended anyone's sensibilities. I recognize that deletionism plays a large role here at Wikipedia even if I disagree with it as a modus operandi. -Thibbs (talk) 21:08, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I have added the citation requests to the parts that I think citations would be most helpful for. A 400 line article which was 200 lines of unverified content and has that unverified content removed becomes 100% verified. Mathematically that's a 50% improvement of the article. Adding 100 lines of unverified content to the article degrades that article by 25%, mathematically. Examine any WP:FA - nearly every statement will be cited, and that is one of the reasons those articles are FAs. I hope someone will have some good sources and be able to cite the information and help move this article towards being an FA one day. Unfortunately there are few biographical works on the Janssons in English. If anyone would like to help search this might be a good start: [2] --Davémon (talk) 22:20, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... Not sure I entirely agree with you there, Davémon. Let's explore your logic a little. On your suggestion I examined the very first FA on the list, 7 World Trade Center, and found that it contained 181 lines, 107 of which are referenced. According to your "mathematical" approach, removal of the 74 non-cited lines would result in a 41% mathematical improvement of the article. I think you'll find that the removal of 74 lines from any article (FA, GA, you name it) will produce an edit summary displaying the mathematical change in red with a little minus (-) sign next to it to indicate a mathematical negative. Furthermore, I think you'll find that all FA articles will suffer qualitatively by the removal of all unsourced material. The fallacy you have slipped into (and don't get me wrong, anybody might have) occurred when you improperly conflated objective mathematics with subjective valuation-judgment. We're speaking about two different things here. I am suggesting that editors whose primary goal is the removal of unsourced content are not advancing the encyclopedia in a very meaningful way. You are suggesting that a lack of sources negatively impacts the article. It's a matter of "glass half full" versus "glass half empty." Where I see the removal of content as a bad thing you see the lack of sources as bad. For what it's worth, I agree that more sources could only be a good thing. I do not believe, however, that simply because something is lacking a source that it is original research, vandalism, etc. As I've explained, I make it a point to assume good faith in my fellow editors, and part of that is to assume that they have simply forgotten to add the reference rather than that no reference exists. -Thibbs (talk) 01:40, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
The error in logic is your own. I am not conflating quantative with qualative as you are are but am simply quantifying a single dimension of an article. Of course it doesn't measure all the subjective dimensions, such as the quality of the prose nor the quality of the sources used nor the veneer of "truthiness" the article may have, nontheless it is an accurate measure of the verifiablility of the content. The analysis of the 7 World Trade Center article provided is completely mistaken as the 180 line count has included the lede, the "See also", "External Links" and "Other Languages" and "References". These sections do not require citations, and in the case of the lede, is often only cited if controversial, relying on the main body of the article to verify the general introduction. The 180 line count also includes empty lines used for formatting and headings. An assumption of good faith means exactly that, assuming it. Claiming the assumption good faith while proposing ad-hominem fallacies like "editors whose primary goal is the removal of un-sourced content are not advancing the encyclopedia." is not actually assuming good faith, it is making value judgements on other editors contributions to the project, which is not really very productive. Meanwhile I can't find any source that says Tove stopped doing the comic strips because she ran out of inspiration for them. --Davémon (talk) 15:03, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Your major premise is flawed. As has been pointed out, WP:V only applies to "material that is challenged or likely to be challenged." If you were quantifying verifiability as you claim, then your 400-line analogy makes the highly unlikely assumption that every line is "challenged or likely to be challenged." When I say you've conflated quantitative assessment with qualitative value-judgment I mean that you have only counted a 1% improvement where the line is verified and you have failed to take into account the fact that many lines will simply not fall under the strictures of WP:V. I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that I had counted the "See also", "External Links" and "Other Languages" and "References" portions of the actual example I examined. In point of fact you are completely wrong. I invite you to (actually) tally the figures yourself. In fact, I counted the number of sentences (181) and examined how many were sourced (107). I counted in-line (i.e. non-<ref>-tagged) citations and even went so far as to count multiple sentences as verified by a single source if the reference after the second sentence covered the first. Rather than making a misleading calculation as the 400-line example proves to have been, I made a detached and objective calculation of an actual article. This does, interestingly, illustrate your point that an assumption of good faith means exactly that, assuming it.
As far as your accusations of ad hominem reasoning on my part, I think that many good-faith editors (myself included) often make edits that do not advance the encyclopedia. With these editors I disagree and from there we resolve things. In the case of "editors whose primary goal is the removal of un-sourced content" my suggestion would be that these good faith editors would make more productive use of their time looking for sources to cover those statements they wish to remove. I'm not necessarily the best role model, however when I have taken issue with a statement my first move has been to do the research. My second move has been to attach the source that bolsters the argument. If I am unable to find a source for the statement, then my second move has been to cn-tag the line. Step 3, after the cn-tag has been up for at least a week, is the earliest point at which I would even consider deleting the material outright. I believe that, in general, good faith deletions do not advance the encyclopedia. As such I generally disagree with them. It's been a while since I cracked the old Latin book, but I seem to remember general disagreement translated to discidium or something like that. Let's leave ad hominem accusations out of it until someone actually demonstrates such behavior.
As this relates to edits made here at this article, I have no issue with the way in which either Davémon or Miguel.mateo have conducted themselves. Issue seems to have been taken with certain lines and, after a brief hiccup, cn-tags have been affixed. Davémon, it looks like you are following my preferred 3-step method slightly differently as you've taken step 2 prior to step 1, however, I don't think there's anything wrong with this approach. I am also glad to see that you have not immediately "improved" the article by deleting all unsourced claims. I think I would have been justified in characterizing such an edit as vandalism. I appreciate your attempts to educate me as to the fallacies of inclusionism, however rather than watch you wind yourself I should probably simply explain that your attempts will ultimately be futile. I'm not so unreasonable as to think all deletions are bad nor that all inclusions are good, but if I have to chose sides I'd opt for over- rather than under-inclusion. In keeping with this I am generally disinclined toward the modi operandi of single-purpose editors that exclusively use such tools as the cn-tag, the prod-tag, etc.. That I disagree with them generally does not mean that I hold ad hominem opinions about them. It seems clear to me that you are more inclined to under- rather than over-inclusion. That's fine. I hope this perspective serves you well in future edits. -Thibbs (talk) 16:58, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

More to the point (I think), most material in that section was already verifiable because it refers to releases of published materials, who authored them, and translations of them, all of which can be verified by checking the materials themselves. It would be nice and handy to provide an online secondary source to make verification easier, but it's not needed per wikipedia policy to do so. The only fragments that weren't verifiable are the ones that are tagged now ("she lost inspiration, saying that she no longer had time for painting or writing" and "who could duplicate the style of drawings and texts accurately"). So in my opinion, Miguel.mateo's original tagging was clearly over the top. Siawase (talk) 21:03, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

I most apologize for not getting involved in this dicussion earlier, since I was out for the last two days. Let me start that I do agree that the citations request were superflous (meaning extensive), but I most stress that the section I requested this tags for had no one single citation.
I am having this article in my watch list since I am a big fan of the moomins (God knows how many times I have reverted vandalims here). Having a whole section unsourced that talks about literature; that, as Siawase properly said, are published materials, for me is forbidden ... it should be very easy to verify and source those materials. Wikipedia does not have to be only online sources, there could be references to news releases, books ... etc. Imagine me, for example, that do not own one single piece of that literature, how can I know everything said there is true? If there is indeed extensive literature, source it and reference it sounds logical to me.
Now please note, I have place several tags, one after the other, and I am aware that several sentences can be referenced with the same source; I have made that on purpose, since I am sure that different sources can cover different pieces. So finalizing: am I a deletionist? Definitely not (thanks Thibbs for doing the checks). Am I challenging all the senteces in that section? Definitely yes.
Please remember that not all of us in Wikipedia are as knowledgefull about the Moomins as some of you seems to be; you should have that in mind when adding contributions: having them checked, cited and referenced is the proper way to guarantee that the content is reliable. I will revisit that section again in a few minutes, maybe there is no need for more sources now. Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 00:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Here are the current section's tags requests:
  • The Moomins also appeared in the form of comic strips; their first appearance was in the popular London newspaper The Evening News in 1954. ... how do we know this is the first appearance?
  • Tove Jansson drew and wrote all the strips until 1959 when she lost inspiration, saying that she no longer had time for painting or writing. ... where did she say that? We most be very careful about this sentece, if can not be sourced ASAP, it should be removed.
  • After this her brother Lars Jansson, who could duplicate the style of drawings and texts accurately, took over the job until 1975 when the last strip was released. ... was this really the last strip? nobody else took over this job? was Lars really able to duplicate the style?
  • The strips were made in English and then translated to other languages. ... this most definitely be sourced, for the normal public she was a Swedish writer. Note that there are discussions as back as 2005 about this topic, without one single reference to it.
  • The first three volumes of "Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip" are currently available, with two more volumes planned to follow. ... we are talking about the future here, avoid WP:CRYSTAL by sourcing it. Note that I have removed a sentence here that is WP:POV.
  • In the 1990s, a comic book version of Moomin was produced in Scandinavia after Dennis Livson and Lars Jansson's animated series was shown on television. ... again, was it really in 1990? where in Skandinavia? Which country? in which language?
I hope is clearer now. Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 00:54, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

(1) I am astonished by the amount of discussion I have started here.

(2) Some of the discussion seems rather unconstructive, but I will let it pass.

(3) Now, as for the comments above from Miguel.mateo:

(a) "I do agree that the citations request were superflous (meaning extensive)" What? "superfluous" does not mean "Extensive": it means more than can reasonably be regarded as necessary.
(b) Miguel.mateo has now challenged many of the statements in this section, but in most cases does not say why. For example: "their first appearance was in the popular London newspaper The Evening News in 1954. ... how do we know this is the first appearance?" What reason is there to doubt it? (If there is none then why challenge the statement? One could question every statement in every article in this way: it would not be constructive to do so.)
(c) I have now provided a couple of references as a step towards satisfying Miguel.mateo's requirements: some of the statements regarding Drawn and Quarterly's books can be verified from Drawn and Quarterly's website, and an article in Ny Tid provides confirmation of some of the facts concerning the origin of the comic strip.
(d) If anyone can provide citations for any more of the statements which Miguel.mateo doubts, please do so. JamesBWatson (talk) 19:47, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I think my views on the mater are clear, so I hope you don't think I'm endorsing cutting anything out of the article when I say in answer to comment (3)(b), that citations are needed to verify the content. Miguel.matimeo is within his rights as an editor to challenge the statement simply to provoke verification for it. He doesn't need a reason beyond this as the burden of proof lies with the editor who added the line now challenged. M.m has carpeted a section with requests for verification and this prompted me to examine his editing history where I found that he is a reasonable editor and not one who questions every statement in every article in this way. I agree with you, JamesBWatson that questioning every statement can be quite nonconstructive even if it is in good faith, and it can even be downright disruptive. However the weight of policy is slanted in favor of this kind of edit so there's nothing we inclusionists (or non-deletionists anyway) can do (apart from lobbying to change wikipolicy) but grin and bear it. Thanks for your citation additions, by the way. If I can find some time for research I'll try to add some myself. -Thibbs (talk) 21:33, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I have read the sources given and have re-organized the section slightly. IMHO, still these items need to be verified:
  • "Tove Jansson ... lost inspiration, saying that she no longer had time for painting or writing."
  • "Lars Jansson ... duplicate the style of drawings and texts accurately"
  • "The last strip was released in 1975"
  • "a comic book was produced in Scandinavia after Dennis Livson and Lars Jansson's animated series was shown on television." ... can some one please check the NyTid reference? It may talk about this topic, but I do not read Finnish Swedish.
Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 03:39, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I can verify the Ny Tid cites.

The part relating to Sophia Jansson-Zambra states:

"In relation to the [Livson-Jansson] movie, two new comic strips were launched by Finnish artists, and since 1993 there have been new comics for newspapers. Lars Jansson oversaw the artistic quality and content of these series, and this task is now undertaken by his daughter Sophia Jansson[-Zambra]."

The part relating to the comic strip's appearance in The Evening News states:

"Tove Jansson went to England for training. The Moomin strip was then published in The Evening News and its launch on September 20, 1954 was a carefully planned event. Jansson and Sutton had been in contact for nearly two years awaiting the right offer. The Evening News was the world's largest newspaper in 1954, with 12 million copies in circulation."

Cheers, -Thibbs (talk) 04:38, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Thibbs for your translation, by my count, only two sentences (three phrases) in that section needs to be cited. Now let me play devil's advocate for a second here: Doesn't that section look way better than what it used to be? Don't we have more interesting, notable, reliable and sourced information that can be added to this section to enrich it (I am talking about the two sentenceds that Thibbs just translated)? Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 06:00, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I also appreciate the argument that citations improve articles. I for one never said anything to the contrary. On the other hand, as long as we're playing devil's advocate, we might imagine a situation where nobody was watching this article or where the editors who had added this material had left the project for good. We might further imagine that only one or two editors stuck up for the material and that the editor who had challenged the material was invested in deleting it and took the matter to arbitration. Then the verifiable material would be lost for no better reason than that policy was slanted against those defending the lines. Depending on how bitter the arbitration process, this could drive new/inexperienced but knowledgeable editors to renounce the project forever. I have seen this happen before.
I feel that if an editor is going to tag material as unsourced that he should do so because he has failed to find the sources himself after making a good faith effort. I believe that if an article is tagged to be deleted that the tagging editor should have done sufficient research to gain a firm belief that it is necessary. I would have made these common editing courtesies into mandatory averments had I written the policy, and I will continue to disapprove of the common editorial style of "Well I never heard of this so it must be false."
Anyway, I hope we can round up some sources for those 3 issues that remain. I feel like the "last strip released in 1975" line should be quite readily available. I believe it appears in the recent Drawn and Quarterly releases if I remember correctly... -Thibbs (talk) 07:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Hah, that was fast. Would this research paper from the University of Tampere cover it? -Thibbs (talk) 07:04, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
All references have been covered, thank you all for the hard work and the constructive discussion. Miguel.mateo (talk) 07:48, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, this has been a really interesting discussion: I had no idea that I was stirring up such a complex issue when I questioned the tags. Just for clarification, I never intended to accuse Miguel.mateo of being a deletionist, nor do I regard myself as an inclusionist. (Indeed I am at this moment planning to delete some material from elsewhere in this article: it will be interesting to see whether that turns out to be equally controversial - I hope not.) However, as regards "Miguel.matimeo is within his rights as an editor to challenge the statement simply to provoke verification for it", I do not think that because one is "within one's rights" it necessarily follows that one is justified, and in my opinion if one is going to ask for citations it is a good idea to indicate why, except where the statement concerned is blatantly dubious. Anyway, Miguel asked for references and got them, and I agree that the end result is an improvement, so maybe we can all be happy. JamesBWatson (talk) 13:26, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Talk archiving ...[edit]

Does anyone has anything against me setting a bot to auto archive all conversations older than six months per year? Meaning conversations that took place in 2005 will be in a 2005 archive and so on ...

Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 06:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

That sounds good to me. -Thibbs (talk) 07:08, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Done, let the bot run over the next few days and this talk page will be cleared and archives will be felt accordingly. Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 07:47, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I have nothing against it. However, it seems odd to ask "Does anyone has anything against ..." and then, less than two hours later, announce that you are going ahead. Surely it would be desirable to wait at least a few days to see whether anyone "has anything against" the suggestion. JamesBWatson (talk) 13:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

OK, reverted. Miguel.mateo (talk) 13:17, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Above I wrote "I have nothing against it". On reflection I will go further: I think it is an excellent idea. I still think it best to wait a couple of days, though. JamesBWatson (talk) 22:19, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Synopsis and Characters section[edit]

The "Synopsis and Characters" section contains several statements which seem to me to be opinions rather than facts, to whit:

1 Moomintroll and Little My can be seen as psychological self-portraits of the artist.
2 Moominpappa and Moominmamma are often seen as portraits of Jansson's parents Viktor Jansson and Signe Hammarsten-Jansson.
3 The Moomin stories have a very humane message.
4 The novelist Alison Lurie has described the Groke, a black, hill-shaped creation with glowing eyes, as a walking manifestation of Nordic gloominess - everyone she touches dies, and the ground freezes everywhere she sits.

Some of these have been tagged as needing citations, but it seems to me that even with citations they cannot be justified. Statements 1 & 2 fall under Wikipedia's concept of weasel words, whether or not they can be given citations, and I have been so bold as to remove them. While I totally agree with statement 3 it is an opinion, not a fact, and I feel it is not justified. Any opinions to the contrary? If not I shall remove it too. As for number 4, is the opinion of some individual who has read the books noteworthy? Does the fact that the opinion is expressed by a novelist make it more relevant than my opinion, or yours?

I think the statement that Tuulikki Pietilä's personality inspired the character Too-Tikki needs justification, so I have tagged it for a citation. Merely stating "Tuulikki Pietilä's personality inspired the character" without giving justification is not a lot different from saying "I think Tuulikki Pietilä's personality inspired the character".

Finally I am removing the statement that Sniff is a rodent. When he is first introduced in The Little Trolls and the Great Flood he is described merely as a "small creature", and nowhere in any of the books, nor anywhere else that I have read, is it made more specific. JamesBWatson (talk) 13:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I'll see what I can find about Tuulikki Pietilä's being the inspiration behind Too-Tikki. I have read this many times in reliable third party publications, and I seem to remember reading it in interviews with Tove Jansson. -Thibbs (talk) 15:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I also believe I've read statements 1 and 2 above in reliable third-party sources. If I can find something that backs them up I'll re-add those lines. The lines (especially #1) are poorly written and may contain weasel words, but I don't think that makes them per se excludable. -Thibbs (talk) 15:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Evidence for statements #1, #2, #4, and the Tuulikki Pietilä statements: this graduate thesis from the University of Jyväskylä suggests that:

"The Moomin family lives in a house where there is always space for guests and parties, Moominmamma holds the family together and never gives up, while Moominpappa is a bohemian and forges his own path. Moomintroll loves his mother more than anything in the world, but also finds his pappa's memoirs exciting. He is easily overcome by conscience and he finds it difficult to say no. He wants to explore the world, but always returns home again in the end. Eventually he somewhat releases his need for his mother. All this goes back to Tove Jansson's own childhood. The environment in which she grew up has largely put a mark on her works. (Salonen 1983, 28; Jones 1984; 12; Ørjasæter 1985, 92, 98, 132-133.)"

Given what we know about Tove Jansson's youth, the evidence clearly shows that Moominpappa and Moominmamma are at least influenced by Viktor and Signe Jansson. For those that would question my translation of the Swedish source above, I have tried hard to recover some English sources on the topic. This English source clearly spells out that:

"Based as it is on her recollections, the core of the Moomin family is very reminiscent of her own. The figure of Viktor Jansson is the same as that of Moominpappa, who occasionally becomes depressed by the verdant calm of Moomin Valley, packs his family into a boat and moves to an islet far out to sea. Just as similar to each other are Moominmamma and Signe Hammarsten-Jansson, fluctuating as they do between creativity and housework. In interviews Tove Jansson has spoken openly about the backgrounds of and possible models for her other characters. The lively and rational Too-ticky ... bears a clear resemblance to ... the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä. Moomintroll can be regarded mainly as a self-portrait: with its modern, sensitive and insecure, illogical tolerance, the figure is a prototype of today's often destructive human being. A second figure portraying Jansson is certainly Little My, an 'arch-child' - rational to the point of cruelty, unscrupulous and brazen."

Again, this other English source explains that:

Jansson's companion in life was the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä, whose personality inspired the character Too-ticky in Moominland Midwinter (1957). Moomintroll and Little My can be regarded as the artist's psychological self-portraits. The Moomins, in general, bore a strong resemblances to Jansson's own family - they were bohemians, lived close to nature, were tolerant towards the peculiarities of other creatures, and fond of Moominmamma's cooking."

According to the same source, Ros Coward in the June 30, 2001 edition of The Guardian wrote: "Sometimes, Jansson's characters border on the sinister, like the Hemulens, who are always officials, or the strange Hattifatners, who move in a singleminded, menacing crowd. Novelist Alison Lurie has described the Groke, a dark, mound-shaped creature with staring eyes, as 'a kind of walking manifestation of Scandinavian gloom; everything she touches dies, and the ground freezes wherever she sits.'" If the words of Pulitzer Prize-winner, Alison Lurie, are notable enough for The Guardian, I submit that they are good enough for this article. I am confident this addresses any concerns editors have as to the verifiability of the information that used to be in the article, and I will make the executive decision of re-inserting it together with the sources I found. If there are problems with these sources, I can supply additional ones. There are quite a large number of sources (especially in Swedish and Finish) which advance similar arguments. Cheers, -Thibbs (talk) 17:12, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I think thanks are due to Thibbs for putting in the effort to find citations for some of the statements here. However, the fact remains that "can be seen as" and "are often seen as" are unmistakably weasel words within the meaning of the Wikipedia policy. To say "Joe Smith sees Moomintroll and Little My as..." would not be weasel words (though there might be other issues, such as whether Joe Smith's opinion is noteworthy). Some time when I find the time I will rewrite this passage to improve it, if nobody else beats me to it. JamesBWatson (talk) 22:04, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

No problem. It only took a few moments on Google. Converting the cites to wikicode took me longer than finding them to be honest. Also I'm not sure if I gave the impression that I was contesting the weaselness of the words used, but what I intended to say was that weasel words do not make statements per se excludable. By this I mean that sentences with weasel words should be rewritten to remove their weasel nature but they should not be excised from the article unless they are unsupportable by citations. I'll leave the rewriting of those words to you, JamesBWatson, and thanks for taking that on. Cheers, -Thibbs (talk) 01:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Sniff as rodent[edit]

Finland vs Sweden[edit]

This has gotten to be kind of ridiculous. Tove Jansson was a Finnish woman who wrote in Swedish. I think we should source this and present both nationalites in places where this can be sourced. We should put "<!--" comments at all places where these nationalistic battles erupt to explain this and this should be our general rule of thumb. Does that sound good to everyone? -Thibbs (talk) 18:42, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

In this case, Swedish is a language, not a nationality, so there shouldn't be any issue – the infobox, where the recent issues have occurred, offers fields for both language and nationality. I think the problem is not a nationalistic one, but simply the common misconception in English-speaking countries that these books were written in Finnish (since most people are unaware of the status of Swedish in Finland). David Arthur (talk) 20:41, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes but surely this sort of thing could be better sorted out by properly sourcing the matter and adding a comment, no? -Thibbs (talk) 21:10, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah OK I see you've added a comment. I source would be nice too, but what we have currently will probably be enough to keep anybody but a vandal from re-inserting the wrong info. Cheers, -Thibbs (talk) 21:12, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
The books themselves are more than sufficient source here. Any copy in English (or Finnish) will credit a translator, and probably give an original title in Swedish, whereas a copy in Swedish will not. David Arthur (talk) 19:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid I can't agree with that. You're describing original research. I don't really care if stays unsourced, though. I'm not one of those who needs every obvious thing sourced. The only reason I brought it up was as an idea to help keep good-faith-but-wrong editors, nationalistic-POV-pushers, and vandals from changing it, but maybe the comment alone is sufficient. -Thibbs (talk) 21:52, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm not describing original research – I'm describing citing the book itself, which is about as far in the opposite direction as you can get. But a mistaken assumption, no matter how widespread, isn't nearly enough to overcome the common knowledge among anyone who genuinely knows the circumstances of these books, so I agree that any citation at all would be overkill (and probably would have no effect on anyone stubborn enough to want to change correct information). David Arthur (talk) 23:50, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I hate to contradict you, but that's definitely original research. How can you cite an oeuvre? How do you cite the absence of a translator? Even if you could do that what have you proved except that one book listed no translator and the others all did. Unless you mean to cite a passage from a particular book that states "Tove Jansson was a Finnish woman who wrote in Swedish," you're asking the reader to draw the same unsourced conclusion you drew. Review just the lede of WP:OR. I'm sure you'll see I'm right. -Thibbs (talk) 01:55, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Original research is 'I have conducted this experiment which proves Einstein wrong', or 'I was an eyewitness to this historical event'. It is not in any sense 'original thought' to read an inside cover page which says 'Original title Trollkarlens hatt' and recognise (as anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of either language could do) that this title is in Swedish, rather than Finnish. David Arthur (talk) 13:54, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) Original research is everything from asking readers to blindly accept your assertions to asking readers to draw the same unpublished inferences you have. Just because it's TRUE doesn't mean it's not OR. Quoting WP:OR: "To demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that ... directly support[s] the information as it is presented." What you are suggesting is a means to obliquely support the information as it is presented. I recognize that it's frustrating. This is one of the major reasons why so many good-faith editors get sick of the bureaucracy here. This issue normally only arises when the matter asserted is challenged, and right now nobody's challenging it so let's leave it as is, but if someone did come here to challenge it then we'd have to find a source that directly states the information. Thankfully I'm sure there are a great many such sources available. The real frustration comes when true information is hacked out by some editor who doesn't know the truth simply because you (the good-faith editor) are unable to find a published source that directly supports the true statement. I've been in that place a number of times. -Thibbs (talk) 14:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
PS - Since we're in agreement as to the basic issue, perhaps we should move whatever more of this discussion that there is into usertalk. -Thibbs (talk) 14:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Of the two fairly recent occasions where "Swedish" was replaced by "Finnish", one (by an anonymous editor at IP 88.195.248.134) could well have been an innocent error by someone who assumed the books were in Finnish because they were written in Finland. However, the other was by an anonymous editor at IP 84.248.3.178, who has a history of inserting references to Finland and Finnish into articles, and on some occasions also gratuitously removing references to Sweden, so it seems likely that it is motivated by some form of nationalism. JamesBWatson (talk) 15:17, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

New Changes[edit]

Hey guys. After the most recent edit I've had enough. I added a citation that discusses the very issue of whether or not the books are Swedish or Finnish, and among other things the source says that both cultures claim the books as their own national literature. So rather than endlessly monitoring and reverting things here, I think we should include both languages with the citation I added. Now the new form of the debate will be what order to put them in. The solution I see most often elsewhere is to put them alphabetically, however I have temporarily left Swedish before Finnish due to the fact that the original language was Swedish. So they're in chronological order. IF this sounds like a good compromise to everybody then I suggest we replace the warning tag that was deleted by the last IP editor and replace it with one explaining the chronological order scheme that we've gained consensus for. So do we have consensus for this? -Thibbs (talk) 20:54, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Thibbs's recent edit summary: "OK this is now officially ridiculous" pretty well sums it up. The anonymous editor at IP 88.195.248.134 has ignored the warning tag, and his/her one non-Moomin edit is also on a Finnish theme, so maybe this editor too is motivated by nationalism. As for the suggested solution, it would be nice to find an easy consensus, but I'm afraid I don't agree. Swedes and Finns may well both regard the Moomins as part of their own national literature, but the language in which the books were written is Swedish, so I can see no justification for listing anything under language other than Swedish. I have written a note on the anon IP editor's user page. In my experience notes to anon IP users rarely produce any effect, but I think we should try every method of persuasion: I am reluctant to let one editor with a fixed idea over-rule consensus by sheer persistence. For the present I am leaving the double reference "Swedish, Finnish", as I think it is more helpful to try to reach consensus by discussion, rather than each of us endlessly changing things to our personal preference. However, unless a justification can be given for stating keeping the reference to Finnish I do not think that it should remain for long. JamesBWatson (talk) 10:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

JamesBWatson is right that language and national identity are quite different. Reading from Template:Infobox Book, Language is defined as "Language of original book." That's definitely Swedish in this case, so only Swedish should appear under "language." The Book Infobox Template contains a special note for translations however, and perhaps this would be a good place to go for a compromise for those Finnish nationals who feel cheated. An example is provided at Template talk:Infobox Book#Translated books case study that shows a workaround that may be used to cite two or more books in the infobox if two or more books are important to cover. It should be noted that even in this example, however, the language line is still the original language. I suggest we use this method to cite the first Finnish translation (and we could even do the first English translations as well since this is en.wiki) but that we change language back to Swedish and retain the reference since the reference directly states that "Tove Janson, creator of the Moomins, [] is a Swedish-speaking and writing Finn". Thoughts? -Thibbs (talk) 14:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
"Thoughts?" asks Thibbs. Well, my first thought is to agree 100% with one of Thibbs's edit summaries: "OK this is now officially ridiculous" pretty well sums it up. This is one of the kinds of things which make Wikipedia frustrating. I have looked at the example case study linked by Thibbs, and perhaps the idea could be used. I have made a draft version here. I find this a cumbersome arrangement, however. The point of the infobox is to give one neat, concise summary: having more than one infobox somewhat defeats this purpose. Perhaps a single box could be made giving all three versions, but it would have to be custom-made, as the standard Book Infobox does not provide the necessary flexibility. I am also not sure whether this will achieve the desired purpose of bringing the problem to an end, but I am not against trying it. Any comments? JamesBWatson (talk) 09:25, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Since writing the above I have made a try at a custom info box listing Swedish, English, and Finnish. It is not perfect, but I think it has advantages over separate boxes for each language. It is available here Any comments?
I think it looks great! Unless there are objections I move that we adopt it. -Thibbs (talk) 18:13, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Right: I have put it in place. JamesBWatson (talk) 18:54, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Other literature/tv shows with characters sharing similar appearance?[edit]

I find some of the characters in The Backyardigans bear high resemblances to the Moomins. Do you know of others? If there has been trademark or such disputes that would be interesting information for the article. Then again there has been copying of the Mickey Mouse going on as well. Now they certainly don't look 1:1 identical but my first reaction was "Sue Nick Jr!" given that series has the looks of a cheap knock-off.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.112.172.94 (talkcontribsWHOIS) 09:05, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

I think they would claim that the shape of the characters (rounded creatures with big noses) is just a common shape and that it was too basic to trademark and probably aesthetically functional. Giving trademark protection to such a common shape would produce a strong negative effect on competitors unrelated to the source-identifying aspect of the trademark. For other examples of similar characters, see the Trouble for Trumpets series by Peter Cross or even Nerds (candy) or Hungry Hungry Hippos. I agree, though, that if anyone can find any litigation in this area then that should be added to the article. I just don't think it's very likely that we would... -Thibbs (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Schildts (publisher)[edit]

The original publisher, Schildts Ab, has a no-article link. Their website seems to be only in Swedish and Finnish; Google has a cached copy of their English Moomin page, which is currently not available on the publisher's site.

I've added a reference after "Schildts", linking to the Swedish Moomin page, with a note that that seems to be the only version. Even when you click on the Finnish flag labeled "SUOMEKSI" you just get the same (Swedish) page. -- Thnidu (talk) 01:57, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

More background information needed[edit]

I read where the Mommins are based on Finnish folk tales, but there's no mention of that here - is that false? Also, what was the critic reception for the books, both in their home country and the rest of the world? How and when did they travel from Scandinavian countries? What languages have the books been translated into? Spill all the background beans! Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 02:12, 26 April 2014 (UTC)