Talk:Technical University of Berlin

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Purpose of Redirect[edit]

Berlin Institute of Technology is the name indicated on the English translation homepage of the TU Berlin website. --Danorton (talk) 05:23, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

It may have been in 2008, but it is now clear the thing is simply called Technische Universität Berlin. All attempts to cook up an English language name won't work, mostly for the simple reason that Universität means much more than "university".—Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.137.182.27 (talkcontribs)

Horseshit. --Chris (クリス • フィッチュ) (talk) 02:13, 29 April 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't this article be renamed? the official website of the university uses the name "Technische Universität Berlin" and not "Berlin Institute of Technology" on its english page. http://www.tu-berlin.de/menue/home/parameter/en/ Lilied1 (talk) 13:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

It should be moved. The "BIT" was probably a failed marketing idea, published here cited from the newsletter "TU intern", 01/2008. It never did catch on, and today it is only found in obscure or dated places. The recent guidelines in the standard impressum of tu-berlin.de pages tells that the official name is "Technische Universität Berlin" and it's not to be translated. The "BIT" is only to be used as a explanation of the official name. -- LutzL (talk) 10:44, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Need to bring this up again! This should rather be called Technical University Berlin. Just as the article Technical University Munich calls the TU. Cheers, Horst-schlaemma (talk) 08:53, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
No, this is a wrong translation. It sounds like it is a technicality that it is an university. The bit of BIT that associates "technische" to "technology" is actually the correct way. Any translation of TUB has been rejected by the university itself, so that should be respected.--LutzL (talk) 13:28, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

""Technische Universität Berlin"" is the official title of the university. Despite all the given website translation arguments which are outdated by now, it is best to look at the published work of the university. All the publications of the Technische Universität Berlin (and, by the way all other TU's) have the german title Technische Universität Berlin, even in english written language. I can think of that all the Technische Universitäten have agreed on building up the "TU" brand (in an educational sense). Given the fact that all the websites, scientific papers, books and other publications are labeled with Technische Universität Berlin, I don't think that "Institute of technology" is an accurate naming (even though a correct translation!). Of course, "Technical University Berlin" is a bad translation, so, that is no option. Keep in mind that there are many german professors that care about the german language and also the german education system, which would also be an argument for the "Technische Universität Berlin" version. 198.129.37.71 (talk) 00:16, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion 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 proposal was no consensus to move. Proposed name has not been shown to be the common english name of the university.--RegentsPark (talk) 21:42, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Berlin Institute of TechnologyTechnische Universität Berlin — Move back to the only official name. It is not to be translated per [1]. "Berlin Institute of Technology" is only to be used as transliteration. LutzL (talk) 10:09, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. This request appears to be based on the common misapprehension that official names are automatically the best article titles, ignoring the fact that official Wikipedia policy is to prefer common names. Andrewa (talk) 12:37, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Perhaps so, but which is more common in English-language sources? Do English-language sources use the translated name? Powers T 12:43, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
      • Good questions. It's up to the supporters of this move to answer them, and until they do, there's no case for a move. Andrewa (talk) 02:13, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Noone but a handful of insiders in Berlin would suspect that "BIT" refers to the TU-Berlin. Since the use of "BIT" was for a short time official policy to use "BIT", there are of course lots of references for it. However, google trends does not find enough data for "BIT" (expanded of course), in contrast to "TU-Berlin" and its long form. So next to no one is searching for "BIT", contradicting, for whatever it is worth, that it is a "common name".--LutzL (talk) 14:52, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
      • That's a better case, but still vague and unconvincing IMO. Provide some links to the Google searches, perhaps? Andrewa (talk) 02:13, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
As you wish:
BIT no result
TUB (both forms)
Note also that at the website of the university, except in the impressums, there are no official pages presenting the university using BIT, contrary to what one would expect for a common international name. The only pages where BIT is actually present are homepages of researchers and research groups, and the library. The other pages, even if displayed by google, do not contain the BIT phrase, even in the source. -- I would even say that the original move to BIT was a violation of the common name policy.--LutzL (talk) 07:14, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, still unconvinced but at least now we know exactly where you are coming from regarding Google Trends. Disagree that common English names would necessarily appear on official sites, official sites tend to use official names. Your claims about the only pages... and the other pages... seem rather selective... why exclude the ones you have? I'm trying to assume good faith but it seems very like an attempt to manipulate the results to me. A naive Google search [2] finds many hits (not all of them English!), are the English ones really all excluded by the conditions you have chosen, as you seem to claim above? Andrewa (talk) 18:37, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I can't do anything further. I'm unable to do an international poll of how many people know that the "Berlin Institute of Technology" actually is a full university. And I suspect that you would equally not be able to do a counterpoll to prove that the original move of this article was justified under the "common name" policy. Of course there are lots of google hits since around 2008 "BIT" was for a short time the officially proposed translation. But, per your own words, what the university proposes does not make an internationally known "common name". That they stepped back from that decision can be read in the impressums, sadly not the when and why.--LutzL (talk) 09:51, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
<-- reset indenting

Ah, is that the real issue perhaps? That the article title currently doesn't do the instutution justice, as it's a full University? The title Institute of Technology is actually quite vague in English; MIT for example is also a full University. Andrewa (talk) 20:35, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. 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.

Wikipedia has made a mistake. If the want to translate "Technische Universität Berlin", it has to be Technical University (of) Berlin. When you say Berlin Institute of Technology, nobody knows what you are talking about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.27.19.236 (talk) 22:59, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

No, that "technical university" is a bad translation is, IMO, one of the reasons for the original move of the TU9 to "institute of technology". Out of the ten TU in the TU9, only the Karlsruhe Inst. of Techn. retained that name, and this only (again hearsay) because of the fusion of the universtity with a research institute at about this time. Another complication is that the Fachhochschulen (engineering schools) started to call themselves "university of applied sciences", so "university of technology and applied sciences" would be too close and too long.--LutzL (talk) 11:55, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

New argument for redirect?[edit]

All 9 (or 10?) German "Technische Universitäten" agreed around 2000 to call themselves either (preferred) "Technische Universität" or (if an English translation is necessary) "Institute of Technology (University)". Therefore, this article should be renamed "Technische Universität Berlin".
Unfortunately I can't cite any sources, but as far as I know, the TU9 (the 9 Techniche Unis), or their heads resp., meet or met regularly and once decided to use the Germany title on such a meeting. — Tauriel-1 () 18:48, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I concur. A "naïve google search" as proposed above, limited to English language pages yields about 132,000 results for "Berlin Institute of Technology" (Wikipedia was excluded from the search) but about 768,000 results for "Technische Universität Berlin." Since many people regard Wikipedia as their resaearch authority, it should not give unofficial names as official ones. Neoryt (talk) 09:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Carl Bosch.jpg[edit]

The image File:Carl Bosch.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --04:01, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Seems like it is a photo which is now owned by BASF. I contacted BASF and I was asking for a proper photo and licensing. We might also use a version from the Nobel Commity... --Maderthaner (talk) 01:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The BASF people said that this picture is free to use. I try to change this in the media file. --Maderthaner (talk) 18:09, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Requested move (October 2013)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Title of Berlin Institute of Technology emphatically rejected; no consensus found between Technische Universität Berlin and Technical University of Berlin; moved back to Technical University of Berlin in absence of consensus and without prejudice against a re-proposal. Complicated, many dueling arguments, and few explicit sources. It is very difficult to determine the common English name for this university. I cannot find a policy-founded consensus between the two titles and therefore we have to push it back to Technical University of Berlin, which everyone agrees is a sight better than the unfounded name, Berlin Institute of Technology. A new move proposal, expertly crafted specifically to prove Technische Universität Berlin's commonality over Technical University of Berlin, looks as if it might have a reasonable chance of success. No consensus here, though. (non-admin closure) Red Slash 00:19, 20 November 2013 (UTC)



Berlin Institute of TechnologyTechnische Universität Berlin – The Technische Universität Berlin finally decided on a corporate design (Aug 2013). Since there are many votes for a name change in the talk-page and no (new) oppose comments I'd like to request a move. Some of arguments for a move are:

  • The naming tradition of the university in (almost) all it's publications (books, papers, etc.) is in the german variant. See this english written book.
  • The internal handle is Technische Universität Berlin. TUB german-english guide.
  • The Wikipedia article itself uses most often the german writing Technische Universität Berlin.
  • As in previous comments provided, the google search results for the german naming are much higher.
  • Follow the RWTH Aachen wikipedia naming (as a branding), and also, the naming of TU Darmstadt and their discussion about the naming

I'm happy to discuss opposing votes. However, for the internal voting system do not forget to actually support this request. Hopefully with even better arguments!--Relisted. --Mdann52talk to me! 13:35, 4 November 2013 (UTC) Relisted. Favonian (talk) 15:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC). 2602:304:56B5:3D9:558F:BB3B:C55A:B315 (talk) 05:53, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Comment: What evidence of a current date do You have that BIT is anywhere the common name of TU-Berlin? Any recent paper where the address of the author is given as BIT, conference announcement where the affiliation of a speaker is given as BIT?--LutzL (talk) 17:12, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, unsurprisingly, per RM from some months ago. The same arguments still apply. BIT was better than "Technical University", but was very fast abandoned without leaving much of a trace. Sources for the history of BIT or the TU9 move to "institute of technology" are scarce, to put it mildly.--LutzL (talk) 17:11, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
  • - The common name for this institution is undoubtedly "TU Berlin" (as in this short version) as used in e-mail addresses, web location, logo.--LutzL (talk) 17:30, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Alternative: Although some editors have commented negatively about the idea before, I don't see any real problem with the title this article had before March 2010, namely Technical University of Berlin. I suggest that name in preference to the German form. It's in English, it abbreviates nicely as TU Berlin, and I don't find the alleged potential misinterpretation plausible. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:45, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Note: There was another prior move request discussion that people here may not be aware of. Please see Talk:Technical University of Berlin. It proposed the move Technical University of BerlinTechnische Universität Berlin. The result (on 25 January 2006) was "don't move". The later move in March 2010 moved only the article page without moving the Talk page, and seems to have been an undiscussed move. —BarrelProof (talk) 03:27, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
-Would this then even more strongly suggest that the move to BIT was a violation of the "common name" rule? I've to agree, 'Technical University' is the common (mis-?)translation of "Technische Universität".--LutzL (talk) 05:29, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Is it a mistranslation? I'm not fluent in German by any means, but the translation appears literal and correct. Perhaps it doesn't capture a nuance present in German, but I don't think that makes it a mistranslation. --BDD (talk) 22:55, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure. There was a reason that the TU9 acted against "Technical University", but I don't find it documented anywhere. Could one misunderstand it as "it is a burocratic technicality that it is an university"? There are lots of "false friends" that make english difficult for germans. Saying to a waiter "Ich bekomme ein Steak." is perfectly good german, "I become a beefsteak" a too 'letteral' translation.--LutzL (talk) 23:18, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Note: I don't think, that a plain google search hit number can estimate the most common usage. Just think of all the scientific papers, which are read and cited with the german full naming. Also, old paper's and books may not be digitalized.--Maderthaner (talk) 07:16, 9 October 2013 (UTC)\
Note: Then how do you explain this search? "Technische Universität Berlin" x68,400; "Technical University Berlin" x13,400; "Berlin Institute of Technology" x2,290 this search includes most scientific and legal documents, not only books as previously done. --Maderthaner (talk) 03:04, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Most of what I see with that search is not written in English. —BarrelProof (talk) 13:48, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Here are the english only search results. "Technische Universität Berlin" x42,700--Maderthaner (talk) 07:56, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
A different perspective: One would expect that a common name is used in google searches. Google trends allows to compare search terms, for the proposed names it results in this. "Technical University" is barely visible.--LutzL (talk) 22:40, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support move to Technische Universität Berlin, with Technical University of Berlin as the second choice. Current name Berlin Institute of Technology has nothing to recommend it. Andrewa (talk) 20:09, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME 06:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Agathoclea (talkcontribs)

Discussion[edit]

There is an inherent problem for democracy in three-way votes. It's easy to devise a thought experiment in which A beats B beats C beats A in the three possible two-way contests.

That's one good reason Wikipedia is not a democracy. Andrewa (talk) 09:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Then let's make a summary: This article was created in march 2003, probably as "Technische Universität" (only visible in the history of the redirect), a stub that uses "technical university" in the text, and was first moved shortly after creation (14:59, 26 August 2003 Sandman) to "Technical University". The second move in 2010 (12:18, 4 March 2010 Mootros, with quite a history of compulsive, undiscussed moves) to BIT violated several principles. It was not discussed. It did not move the talk page. It went against a prior consens in 2006 that "technical university" is the common name. It ignored information on the same talk page and on the BIT redirect talk page on official naming policy in 2007/8. All still visible on the old talk page. Is this enough to qualify as "move in bad faith"?
On Google results, I would think that their summary in "trends" of actual search terms would give the most information on what name is common. However, the location information given puts all searches inside Germany, but here we are looking for usage outside Germany. In scientific papers the occurrences will be affiliations and addresses of authors, hardly evidence of common usage outside Germany.
My only concern is to make BIT into the side note that it actually is. It was a nice idea at the time it was invented, did not catch on and probably also diminished the long established brand of "TU-Berlin". I was surprised at the small role that "technical university" has in the google trend pictures, so please take that into account when deciding on moving the article.--LutzL (talk) 10:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Technische Universität is like a branding of 9 different universities all over germany. All of them prefer the german variant, also, in the international context. If you look around the other TU wiki articles you'll find the german writing already. That being said, even on wikipedia the german variant is accepted as common name. Only the TU-Berlin article community is having a hard time realizing that... --Maderthaner (talk) 00:05, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if you realized it, but this page, or rather the possible targets, are move-protected. So it has to be an admin that has to do the move, and in the event of a move back to "technical university", also the merging of the talk pages. As you can see, Andrewa (an admin) changed his opinion from 3 years ago, but is unsure of the correct decision. And as I tried to document, there is no correct decision based on "common name in the english speaking world", the majority of the cited google hits can be suspected to originate in Germany, mostly in publications by members of the TU-Berlin, creating a hard-to-untangle bias. There is a history of using "technical university", but no indication on actual current usage.--LutzL (talk) 01:29, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I just typed "Technische Universität Berlin" into both Google and Bing (from an IP address within the US). Both of them, on both their web search and maps pages, brought up "Technical University of Berlin" or "Technical University Berlin" as headlines on the right-hand side of the page and as map location identifiers. —BarrelProof (talk) 02:48, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank You. What does the google-trend picture show from your location? Any search locations outside Germany?--LutzL (talk) 16:31, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Just checked it with my US IP. Search trend shows the same picture (TU Berlin>Technische Univer.>Technical Univer.=0). However, people that search for TU Berlin mainly come from germany.--Maderthaner (talk) 16:35, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid I think this misquotes me, on both occasions. My opinion remains that no case was made for the earlier move, but that a case has been made now (and perhaps that's because important things have changed in the past three years, or perhaps it's just that the research has been more thorough this time, n'import). I also believe that Technische Universität Berlin is the best target, but that failing that Technical University of Berlin would be an improvement on the current name. How you can get unsure out of that escapes me. And yes, I'm an admin, but not an uninvolved one so I won't be closing this RM anyway. There are several others watching WP:RM, fortunately. Andrewa (talk) 05:55, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry for misreading You. Or being clumsy in my summary of your point of view. You did change your opinion from "no point in moving" to "moving is appropriate". And as with anybody else, there is no clear direction if the german or the english name is the better target. -- I do not have the impression that the situation or the arguments have changed over the last 3 years. The recent discussion just has more participants, the arguments (against BIT) are the same as in 2010 and even in 2008.--LutzL (talk) 16:31, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Fascinating... we seem to agree on the name Technische Universität Berlin as proposed [3] [4] but I disagree with most of this last post. But I'm also asking myself, what does any of it matter? The relevant thing is just, on the evidence now before us, what's the best article title?
Let's focus on that. We seem to have consensus above that the article should be moved somewhere, and I think we have a rough consensus on the destination too.
The question of non-admin closure which you raised above is similarly irrelevant. This is sufficiently controversial to require admin closure even if there were no protection in place. Andrewa (talk) 05:34, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. As I see it, the argument pro "technical" is the historical precedent and one sighting on google-maps (there surely are others, only hard to find for me due to the helpfulness of google). The argument pro "technische" is the recent consensus on (re)naming of some of the other "Technische Universitäten" here on en-wiki and the official corporate image of the TU-Berlin.--LutzL (talk) 10:45, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I do have to stretch the point, that in the very beginning Technical University was dismissed. "Technical" is not a proper translation of "Technische". Due to that bad translation the idea to move to Berlin Institute of Technology (BIT) was born in the first place. Now, we all agree that this move to BIT was a bad call anyways. So, we should not run in circles here. I also have the feeling, that the wikipedia naming affects the common use, e.g., the BIT wiki article is linked in Facebook. This may lead to more and more wrong translations and namings. Choosing "Technische Universität Berlin" is in many ways a good idea! It is a (the official) proper and correct naming. Arguably, it is the most often (english) used name. It would also close the discussion about "Technical" being an improper translation/naming, since it is easily mistaken with a Fachhochschule and not being a full university. Since there are no other problems with the german variant, I really think we may have a naming candidate for a long-lasting wiki article name. --Maderthaner (talk) 10:27, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I fully agree with your intentions, however, to remain fair, I was corrected somewhere above that "Technical" is a valid translation. I only suspected and always asked for confirmation if it was a bad translation, but it took a long time for the first competent refutation. MIT and CalTech were given ans examples that "institute of technology" is a valid name for a full university, with the problem remaining that it has no tradition in Germany (outside Karlsruhe) and an "Institut" usually is a part of a faculty, i.e., a department, or outside of universities, a smaller independent research institution. There no longer are "Fachhochschulen", for some reason they dropped the "Fach".--LutzL (talk) 12:27, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Personally, as someone familiar with English and not so familiar with German, I think it is false to say that "Technical University" implies some lower status of scholarship than "Institute of Technology" (in English). If someone wants to convey a lesser level of scholarship or less complete breadth of education, they would use the phrase "Technical College" or "Technical School" rather than "Technical University". Anything called a "university" is generally understood to have a complete educational program and a high degree of scholarly status. To me, the term "Technical University" simply implies a scholarly university that focuses particularly on technology. Google and Bing both translate "Technische" as "Technical". —BarrelProof (talk) 18:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm missing something, but very little of the above seems to relate to the policy at Wikipedia:Article titles. The question is, what is the best English name that will be recognizable to readers, unambiguous, and consistent with usage in reliable English-language sources. Not what it should be. Questions of the accuracy of the German translation, for example, seem academic on this ground alone. (But I still prefer Technische Universität Berlin anyway.) Andrewa (talk) 20:18, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, this link here would be the most important one I guess: [5]. It lays the most weight on a uni-form wikipedia naming. It also says, that we should respect the official english naming claim of the university. The link also refers to technical but since a technical university is a german thing (as far as I know) there is no way of having a uniform naming while using "technical" OR "technische". So, I have to say, either stay with BIT in order to have a uniform wikipedia entry (which we agreed not to) or stick with technische/technical. Being stuck between technische and technical again, I would weight the official naming claim as the most important reason to go for the german variant, since we're also stuck arguing what is the most common english name. I also think that, everybody and I mean everybody who reads "Technische Universität Berlin" does know about which university in the world we're talking about. Not because it's such a famous university but because it's straight forward to figure it out.--Maderthaner (talk) 23:17, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Interesting, and I agree with the eventual conclusion of course, but still not relevant. Does the section you quote (better linked as Wikipedia:WikiProject Germany/Conventions#Universities and colleges) have any authority? Wikipedia:WikiProject Germany/Conventions reads The following is a proposed Wikipedia policy, guideline, or process (my amphasis). It's not linked to from WP:AT as it should be if it were in force. And it's rather strangely phrased, quite out of step with other Wikipedia naming conventions. It needs both work and discussion before it will be of any use to us here, IMO. Andrewa (talk) 02:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
If the translation of technische to technical is correct, I have to quote this though: "The title: When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it." That basically forces us to use "Technical University Berlin". I also looked up, that there are "Technical Universities" in the Netherlands etc. At least NYTimes and The Times use the technical name much more often. --Maderthaner (talk) 00:59, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I think you are quoting Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)#Widely accepted name there. Again, not relevant I'm afraid. Andrewa (talk) 02:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. Well then, in that case we have to look at the goals that we should achieve by choosing a fitting article name. Wikipedia:Article titles#Deciding_on_an_article_title says: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, Consistency, but that brings us back to the original discussion anyways, right? In that case I would again prefer the german variant! --Maderthaner (talk) 12:34, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. That was the original proposal, and the evidence points to that move, and the policy points to it too, and there seems to be a rough consensus on both of those last two points.
I'm guessing that the main reason that this RM is languishing in the backlog is that we've given any potential closing admin a daunting job in sorting out the relevant points above. It got off to a bad start, the proposer is a newbie with no talk or user page and only three contributions (all concerning this article, although I suspect they may have other anonymous contributions) and the proposal didn't focus on the relevant points, and we've never really recovered from that. I chose to vote and then later to comment because I was hoping that this would make it easier for another admin to see a consensus. It didn't work out as I was hoping. Andrewa (talk) 19:24, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Historical names[edit]

Where does "polytechnic university" come from? The only old names I found are "Königlich Technische Hochschule" until 1920 and "Technische Hochschule" until 1945. Are there any sources that confirm it as the usual english translation? The university itself uses "Technical College" in the english version of the "facts & figures". One can argue that since it got the right to award the doctorate (in engineering?) (article only mentions the diploma) in 1899, it was by then a full, but specialized universtity.--LutzL (talk) 12:27, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

As far as I know "polytechnic university" is just another way to express an Institute of Technology. It comes from the GB-english and it is also used in the french language. I also did look at the TU Berlin website and found the same historic names [6]. I also checked that the "Technische Hochschule" was granted the right to award the doctorates degree (german wiki entry). I can think of that "Technische Hochschule" was directly translated into "technical college". I would agree, that you could translate it to (technical) university since technical implicates its a specialized university. Yet here again, we see a rather not 100% fitting translation and it may be more useful to use the original name, because, if people are more curious they can google it or find more in wiki. Either way, polytechnic university berlin is not very practical ;). --Maderthaner (talk) 06:38, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not saying that it is wrong to use "polytechnic college" or "polytechnic university". I was just curious if there are sources using this translation outside of wikipedia, or if this is an original wikipedia invention. But I would opt for "college" until 1920.--LutzL (talk) 13:11, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Speaking US-EN, I'd say that you can use "technical college"! --Maderthaner (talk) 04:16, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Another possible move[edit]

I have looked long and carefully at the non-admin close above. This is not a substitute for review by an uninvolved admin per Wikipedia:Requested moves/Closing instructions#Non-admin closure which reads in part All non-admin closures are subject to review by an admin. I'm involved so that should not be me.

My comments here are intended:

  • To help any admin who does perform such a review.
  • To sound out support for yet another RM.

It's a borderline non-admin close IMO. One of the conditions is The consensus or lack of consensus is clear after a full listing period (seven days). I don't think there's a lack of consensus above, I actually think there's a rough consensus for Technische Universität Berlin. Whether that's true or not, I don't think you can possibly say that the lack of consensus is clear, and that's part of the condition for a valid non-admin close too.

Having said that, I also think it would be far better to open a new RM rather than reopen the old one. The close makes exactly the same point I've been trying to make, that we need to focus on the relevant issues, and explicitly leaves the option of an immediate rematch open.

I still think that a valid case can be made to move to Technische Universität Berlin in terms of the name being recognizable to readers, unambiguous, and consistent with usage in reliable English-language sources. In fact this case was quite possibly made at the second try, it's just that right from the start it was also tangled with less relevant arguments, most notably but not only the accuracy or otherwise of the translation.

Some of the arguments also seem to have suffered themselves in translation from German, and these two observations both suggest to me that it's at least possible that some contributors similarly fail to understand the details of the English Wikipedia policies and guidelines.

The English Wikipedia policies and guidelines do not necessarily correspond to the German Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Or in other words, the German Wikipedia policies and guidelines are not supposed to be translations of the English ones, nor vice versa.

Comments? Andrewa (talk) 17:28, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Glad to comment. I approve of what you said here; I think it was somewhat clear that no consensus existed between the main options and it was very clear everyone hated the BIT title. So rather than deal with what would have been a messy move closure, I basically called it "no consensus". Was that outside of my rights as non-admin closer? I really don't think so, mostly because I feel it's easier for us non-admins to say "listen, there's no consensus here" versus having to come out and say "there IS a consensus and it is X". The proposal also was really poorly suited to match Technical University versus Technische U. I felt that rather than scraping together a consensus from a messy RM, we could just start a new one and take the only real consensus--to reject BIT. I won't lie--I struggled with whether or not the German title had consensus, but I just couldn't see it as a consensus. Anyway, I think you absolutely should file a new move request. I'll look at it and keep tabs on it with interest, and my bet is that a consensus will develop for the German name for the university. Red Slash 03:35, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, most constructive. As was the close. Absolutely no censure is intended, what I wrote above (and below) is technically criticism but meant in the sense of discussion rather than of objection.
I do think that it technically oversteps the bounds of non-admin closure. But perhaps the rules are wrong in this particular case, or perhaps I'm wrong myself. I certainly think the closure is the best way forward. Those are the reasons I called it borderline rather than anything stronger.
Perhaps I should say, the best way forward given that no admin has come forward to close this RM. Backlog means just that, if you do the arithmetic ideally RMs are closed the day before they enter the backlog! It rarely happens, we're all rather busy. And to come up to speed on this discussion as it was would be a considerable commitment. Hopefully, a new RM will be a bit more straightforward. Andrewa (talk) 23:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
And while I don't agree with all of your closing summary, overall it's well above the average standard set by admins, IMHO. (;-> I should have said that before. Andrewa (talk) 22:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you so much. I mean it! I loved your creed, by the way. Red Slash 21:35, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
While not my absolutely favored solution, the current state is a solution I can live with. Any foreigner coming to Berlin and asking for 'Technical university' will get correct directions at the first try, which would not be the case with 'BIT' (or 'Berlin Central Station'). Any further move to the german name will get only weak support from me, and not much argument.--LutzL (talk) 11:43, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Weak support and letting your previous words speak for themselves is a good reply. And very helpful to make your position clear here, thank you. Andrewa (talk) 22:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I was quite surprised that the RM was closed. I'd also say that there was at least a rough consensus for Technische Universität Berlin and while we were searching for policies to actually set this in stone, the RM was closed - maybe a little too early. I also agree with creating a new RM. Now, nearly all the arguments and facts are on the table and we can write a clear written RM. So far, I could live with the english naming of TU Berlin but the problem I see: There is not a uniform handling of all the TUs. Some have a german, some have an english name. It would be nice to reach a wiki-wide consensus on the TU naming! That being said, most of the TUs have their german name. I think it would be nice to make a (new) RM for all TUs to their german name and close this topic for good. I'm happy to help with a mock-up RM but in the end I think it should be an admin (you Andrewa?) who actually opens the RM. --Maderthaner (talk) 18:31, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy to do so, and it appears to me that I should too, in view of the general support so far. But my being an admin is in theory irrelevant once I have become involved in the discussion. I'm now acting purely as a registered, confirmed and long-standing editor. (Which doesn't always count for much either.)
Many good points, thank you. I'll need a few days probably to find the time and get my thoughts together. Andrewa (talk) 22:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Affected articles[edit]

Following Maderthaner's suggestion above that we seek consensus for uniform handling of all the TUs above, I think the first step is to list the affected articles.

Looking at Category:Technical universities and colleges, Category:Universities in Germany and Category:Engineering universities and colleges in Germany, I came up with:

I may have missed some, and looking at de:Kategorie:Technische Hochschule and the other corresponding German Wikipedia category pages looks like it might yield some more too. But I'm at a bit of a disadvantage speaking almost no German.

The TU9 members are given in that article as:

(all given above as the current article titles rather than redirects where these are used)

Which of these are affected? Any others? Andrewa (talk) 06:18, 24 November 2013 (UTC)


That's a good beginning. I'm actually a little afraid myself, but the list is *much* longer :-). But that's okay, it actually emphasizes the whole problem... Digging into Institute_of_technology I found a more or less complete list of the universities - world wide! I guess, let's concentrate on the german-named ones first ;-). When I look at all the "Technische Universitäten" from Germany, Austria and Switzerland I get:

- The TU9

- Smaller german TUs (still full universities!)

- Austrian's TUs:

- Swiss has:

X - marks names which could be directly translated to "Technische Universität XXX". Y - marks names which can not directly be translated to "Technische Universität XXX", so, they need special attention. Z - marks universities that could be directly translated but since they are the only universities in the city, they should just go by "University of..."

All of those are full universities. They are granting a doctoral degree.

I believe, that every university marked with an Y has to have it's own RM. About the Z marked ones. I don't know where I read it, but I think wikipedia rules are, that for clarity reasons, we should use "University of XXX" only.

Well, if I haven't missed one, I suggest we get startet with the guys marked by an X. I think, we should even include the already german named ones just because there will be an uniform naming after the RM. --Maderthaner (talk) 07:55, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

It's quite possible that we can cover all of these with a single RM, and even more likely that we can cover all of the Xs with a single RM. WP:RM#Requesting multiple page moves provides the means to discuss up to 30 moves in a single discussion, and in a way that even allows people to oppose some of the moves while supporting others.
However if the justification is significantly different or stronger for some than for others, then we should consider separating them along those lines, in the hope that all the subsequent arguments will then also apply equally to all of the pages nominated in that particular RM, making it far simpler and easier for everybody. Andrewa (talk) 17:19, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I suspect that the circumstances surrounding each of the names will be so distinct that attempting to impose uniform naming will not be a useful exercise. —BarrelProof (talk) 17:04, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what this means in practice... Are you saying that no multiple moves at all will help, that we'll need to deal with each article individually? Or simply that we'll need more than RM even using multiple moves? Or would you agree with my guess, that the optimum is somewhere between these two extremes?
Let's see what we come up with. Andrewa (talk) 19:40, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

It's all gone very quiet. Perhaps waiting for me. I haven't forgotten it, just got busy elsewhere. Andrewa (talk) 23:31, 10 December 2013 (UTC)