Talk:Tokunoshima

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Tokuno Island[edit]

User:Io Katai reverted my mention of this name in the lead citing MOS:JAPAN#Islands and the rationale that it "isn't used in any notable sources or maps". MOS:JAPAN#Islands lists "Tokunoshima" but actually states

Islands should be named X Island(s) if common usage does not require appending -shima/jima/tō (島)

Likewise, you can be sniffy about it, but I am here precisely because Bing does call it Tokuno Island. (Incidentally, since National Geographic now outsources their map to Bing, they're using it as well.)

Since I wasn't setting out to start a move—just to include both common names in the lead—I didn't do the math ahead of time: it's simply obvious that an island with "island" in its name is going to have that removed pretty frequently in English. Since there was some pushback, though, here are the numbers:

Google Books
200-odd (also here) for "Tokunoshima"
100-odd for "Tokunoshima Island" or "Tokunoshima Is."
40-odd for "Tokuno Island" + another handful of "Tokuno Is." that can't be separated out
a handful for "Tokuno Shima"
Google Scholar
782 for "Tokunoshima" (mostly on point)
499 for "Tokunoshima Island" &c. (mostly on point)
208 for "Tokuno Island" &c. (many people's names) and 45 for a narrower search

So that's enough that it isn't mostly the result of Japanese English-speakers forgetting to translate the name (or to distinguish it from Tokuno), but—given that it's used by, inter alia, the Encyclopædia Britannica and numerous maps such as this one at the David Rumsey collection—yes, we should be mentioning it and be less sniffy about "any notable use". — LlywelynII 00:09, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

I reverted it because you completely changed the lead name without providing any strong rationale or discussing it first, whereas the name and others alike were formerly discussed on MOS:JAPAN and the consensus was that it was 1) inappropriate to separate names with morpheme markers and 2) the most commonly used name in English sources must prevail regardless of sentiment.
From a grammatical perspective, "Tokuno" is incorrect because it leaves hanging the genitive particle の no, so it's like saying "Toku's". Just because you recognize the suffix "-shima" doesn't make your transcription any more correct. Further, by your own sources and admittance, "Tokuno Island" is by far less commonly used in English than "Tokunoshima" outright. Even the town and the airport of Tokunoshima advertise their name in English all in one word, so I'd say the usage of "Tokunoshima" is pretty well established.
That said, I don't mind adding a mention of the usage (as you now have done), I just don't think it's appropriate to rewrite the entire article with a nearly unused name. It would also be extremely silly to go and change every article on Wikipedia with "-shima" in it just because it technically translates to "Island". I mean, if we're going to partly translate, why not go all the way and call the place "Island of Virtue"? Or why not call Haida Gwaii the "Haida Islands" or the "Islands of the People"? Usage isn't always governed by logic. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 05:28, 27 July 2014 (UTC)