Talk:Tortuga Island, Haiti

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Untitled[edit]

This is the city that the pirates were destroying in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the city that Jack and Will go to in Curse of the Black Pearl, right? --VolatileChemical 22:43, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Is the island commonly called by it's Spanish name by English speakers? I would have expected the French name, since it's part of Haiti. User:Peter Grey 10:23, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Treaty of Ratisbon?[edit]

Wouldn't it be more correctly known as the 'Treaty of Regensburg' in English? The name 'Ratisbon' is actually the Latin name for Regensburg. - (Aidan Work 01:24, 11 December 2005 (UTC))

The island today[edit]

Some information about the isle today would be interesting. Siarching in Google Earthyou find some roads there, and looking at that map you also find them, together with some probably french names, maybe place names. What places are there? How many inhabitans?--Hun2 17:25, 19 February 2006 (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 don't move. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 20:02, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


I am curious about this too. I am shocked with the popularity of pirates that the island isn't made into a historical site, unless there is nothing left. Hati being such a poor country could use it to build up tourism. Laytonc32 Jan 20 2007

Request to Move Page to "La Tortue (Island)" or "Tortoise Island"[edit]

I filed a request to move the page because apparently I am too new a user to do it myself. I feel it's important, because the island has not been officially known as Tortuga since 1697. Every Haitian knows it only as Île de la Tortue. I am Haitian by marriage, and frankly I was shocked to see the title of this article. I do not believe that a simple redirect is sufficient here. I think the redirect should be from Tortuga, not from the french name.

I notice that the rule seems to be to translate all place names wherever possible. Therefore, on the Move Request page, I have requested either "La Tortue (island)" or "Tortoise Island". There was only one field for the requested name, so hopefully the admin will notice the strange combination and not give us an article with both names in the title! Obviously that would not be correct. Fowler Pierre 00:41, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Oppose for now. It seems to me that Tortuga Island is the English name. It may have come from Spanish, but so what? It has long been assimilated into English. Gene Nygaard 01:51, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • OTOH, I may just be confusing it with the unrelated Dry Tortugas, in the USA, which are clearly an English name, with an English adjective for the first part of the name. So it wouldn't take a whole lot to convince me that another name is appropriate, if it is shown that some other name is used in English. But then, the island on which Haiti itself lies is clearly "Hispaniola" in English; what is the Haitian name for it? Gene Nygaard 06:38, 8 April 2006 (UTC) Is it "Saint-Domingue" in French? 06:44, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Saint-Domingue was the name of the colony before independence. But if I'm not mistaken, the current French name of the island is Espagnole, and kreyol espanyòl. I have no idea what the Spanish call it, but again, as argued below, it may not matter, because I am not sure the name actually means something definite in English.Fowler Pierre 07:35, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me! Of course it means something. It means "little Spain" or "little Spaniard." Of course, since most of the island is Spanish, I have no plans to propose renaming its article!Fowler Pierre 07:37, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
To address your question of whether there is another English name that is used for Tortuga -- I don't have documentation for the historical use of "Tortoise Island", nor, admittedly have I ever heard it spoken. But, I am usually speaking of this island to Haitians, who as a matter of course say La Tortue. Macrakis asserts in his recent edit that the island is also known as Tortoise Island, but I don't know ... maybe he was just trying to include all viewpoints. For me, the issue has become the Wikipedia place-name policy of translating to English. Ile de la Tortue translates to Tortoise Island, so I don't think it should have to have been used to qualify as the correct article title. But if I had to choose between Tortuga and La Tortue (island), I would choose the latter because, as I've already pointed out, Tortuga has not been official in over 300 years. It would be kind of like the kreyol Wikipedia pulling New Netherlands out of the history books, translating it to kreyol Dutch, and making that the title of their New York article.Fowler Pierre 07:44, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
OKAY. I Googled "Tortoise Island"+Haiti and I found ... mostly other encyclopedia articles, which all seemed to be carbon copies of one another. BUT I found at least two real-world uses, including a BOOK that has been stored in Project Gutenberg:
[[1]]
[[2]]
Hopefully this establishes that Tortoise Island is something that English-speaking people say in the current century. Speaking of which, could it be that "Tortuga" has had a latter-day resurgence due to pirate movies? In which case, people's choice to use it is a matter of style, but their usage alone cannot be considered to prove that it is currently the correct English-language name of the island. After all, for linguistic issues Wikipedia follows the judgment of scholars, who may in turn follow movies and other mass-media -- but only if the media-promoted idea passes muster with whatever requirements the scholars decide to apply. Fowler Pierre 08:36, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now. As far as I can tell, 'Tortuga' is the common name in English, which is what WP policy says we should use. On the other hand, the official name if it's different should be given more prominence, as should its place in the Haitian administrative system -- I will do that now. --Macrakis 02:10, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Macrakis, thanks for your edits, it certainly helps. But I'm afraid I cannot agree with you guys about this "Tortuga is English" thing. See my comments below. (Sorry, I don't know how to link down there yet.) Fowler Pierre 04:40, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose English name is clear. (If there were enough for a separate article on the island as part of modern Haiti, along the lines of Istanbul/Constantinople, that would be perfectly reasonable, and that should probably be the long-term solution; but there isn't (yet)). Septentrionalis 23:26, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
    • For what it's worth, the English usage has nothing to do with the American occupation; it undoubtedly derives from (largely both earlier and British) pirate novels. Septentrionalis 23:26, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand what you're saying. The reason I brought that up was because I believe this to be a different case than the many European examples that were cited below, because it is a politically sensitive case. I really wonder if you realize how the use of Tortuga comes across to Haitians, especially after the Guano Islands Act, the Freeport Tortuga affair, corvee (slave) labor and all the death and destruction of the current occupation. It is a strong reminder of Americans' overt preference for the Dominican Republic over Haiti, for reasons that, well, they'd rather not get into. And your statement that English usage of non-French has nothing to do with American occupation is short-sighted. Truthfully it has everything to do with it. The reason occupations keep happening is because there is a small segment of the American elite who feel they cannot allow the world to see a country succeed which was founded by slaves who broke their chains. To use an official name implies that you agree these people have the right to name it. Steadfastly holding to a bygone name, encouraging its continued use, is a way of implicitly saying, "You want to change the name? Not if we have anything to say about it." It's a little jab that is intended to punctuate much more nefarious designs.
I want to be clear here. I am not proposing renaming the article as a way of combatting latter-day slavery and/or oppression. I am proposing renaming it to avoid expressing overt support for those things. To oppose renaming is to shrug our shoulders at acts of inhumanity. The encyclopedia is supposed to be neutral toward viewpoints, but not toward human lives. I think there's a clear line drawn there. As evidence, consider WP policies regarding members' treatment of each other.
On the list below, there are more citations for Tortue than Tortuga. And that applies to maps as well as to the overall list. (Even our own map on the Haiti page says Tortue, while naming bodies of water and the Dominican Republic in English!) If Tortuga being common English usage is clear to you, perhaps you can cite some examples. That way, if the proposal is to fail, it doesn't look like a hatchet job where we're simply going to "oppose" no matter what the evidence is.
I say that from a usage standpoint, this case is as borderline as they get, and the political sensitivity of it should tip the scales in favor of the host country. --65.32.172.101 04:30, 11 April 2006 (UTC) (That's me, keep getting logged out. --Fowler Pierre)
  • Oppose, after reading above. Jonathunder 22:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Add any additional comments
My response to the "Tortuga is English" argument:
If speakers of English are calling it Tortuga, it is because they have been taught the Spanish name for the island ... not because the island's "English name" is Tortuga! We all know, or have access to, the fact that Tortuga means something in Spanish.
The only possible "English name" for the island is a translated name. This must be so because the island has never been under the jurisdiction of an English-speaking country. Yes, I understand that English-speaking pirates lived there. But English pirates living there does not equal English jurisdiction.
I'll give you an example for comparison. Florida is an English-speaking state, yes? Okay. Why don't we call it the State of Flowered? Is it because, as far as User:Macrakis can tell, "Florida" is the common name in English? Does he, or any subset of society, get to decide? Or is it that we should agree, for the sake of civility, to look to the legal system to answer the question? Quite clearly, that is the answer. The legal system is Haiti's, and it says the name is Île de La Tortue. So, the English Wikipedia entry should be the English translation of that French name -- i.e., Tortoise Island, with redirects from Tortuga and La Tortue. There's no other fair way to answer the question.
Perhaps what's causing disagreement is the existence of the Dry Tortugas? Again, this is different, because they're under U.S. jurisdiction and Florida, presumably, has this as its official name for the islands. If Haiti wanted to call Tortuga Tortuga, then I would have no complaint at all.
You see, it's an issue of respect. Suppose some German people living in the French Republic (Republique Francaise) in the 19th Century had decided that the name they liked for the country was "Bundesrepublik Franke" (I'm just brainstorming here, I don't know what the German word for "French" is.) And suppose it caught on among Germans in English-speaking countries, then started to be used by speakers of English. Does that make Bundesrepublik Franke the correct English name for the country? The country calls itself Republique Francaise, which translates to "French Republic". And people know (or if they don't, the information is available) that Bundesrepublik means "federal republic". The answer is NOT to "pretend" that Bundesrepublik is just an English proper name. That is cultural imperialism. Believe me, the irony is not lost on me that I am defending a French word, and French is practically the official language of linguistic cultural imperialism. But I don't seek to defend the French language; I seek to defend the right of Haiti to tell the rest of us what the island is called in their language, so that we can then translate it if in fact it means something.
There were Haitians who fought alongside Americans in our war for independence. That means they were here, on our soil. Imagine if a couple of them had picked up an African name for, say, South Carolina from local freedmen. Perhaps the words translate to Decrepit Land of the Bedamned King Charles. (There were and are blacks in that area who speak an African patois with each other.) Let's say they bring it back to Haiti, and a lot of Haitian school kids learn it. Then, the world grows up. We have a global village. Haitians have the real name at their fingertips, which would be karolin-sid. What would we think of them if they put their old African patois version on the kreyol Wikipedia entry for South Carolina as the "common kreyol name" for the state? We would think "No wonder they have problems. They're arrogant." And, if in fact they had done that, we would be right.
I don't know if this helps persuade you or makes you more resolute. But all I can do is call it as I see it. Fowler Pierre 04:40, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
All you need do is look at the flip side of your "Bundesrepublic" coin. That, of course, was an adjective distinguishing one of the two "Deutschlands" that existed until Deutschland was reunified. Be we English-speakers don't call it "Deutschland"; we call it "Germany", I think from a Latin name for some of the tribes in the area. And the French don't call it "Deutschland" either; nor do they call it "Germany". They call it "Allemagne". Gene Nygaard 06:29, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
But the intended point of that analogy was that, let us say that Germans use the term to describe the nonfederal France, and it catches on in the English-speaking world. The fact that it caught on is, in my view, insufficient to make it the appropriate English name -- because doing so requires ignoring the English meaning of the word bunde, "federal". In other words, it requires making the disingenuous argument that in Bundesrepublic has become an English proper noun with no real-world meaning. Can you see the parallel with calling Tortuga an "English name"? It isn't a meaningless proper noun. It means something in Spanish. The only way it can properly be considered the English name of the island is if, at some point in the past, the island was under the jurisdiction of an English-speaking country, and that country passed a law or standard announcing that Tortuga is the official name. After that, any English country would be able to pick it up without slapping Haiti in the face. But, since there has been no English jurisdiction, the only fair option is to ask Haiti, "What is the legal name?" Then, ask "does it mean anything, as far as we can tell?" If no, then call it by the Haitian name. If yes, then translate the Haitian name to English. Any other approach amounts to presuming that we have some kind of ownership or natural jurisdiction over the land. Regrettably, Haiti has been down that road with the United States and France in the past. (As, of course, have other countries.) Because of this, they take it personally when wealthy, white countries act as if a piece of Haiti is their own personal property. I know it's just a name, but ... if someone has taken from you everything except your ability to name something, you're going to guard that ability jealously.
I'm simply trying to argue that imperialism has no place in Wikipedia, because of it's international nature. We would be very offended if the kreyol Wikipedia did something like this with our place-names, so we shouldn't do it either.
Thanks for your response and expansion of the "bundes" issue.Fowler Pierre 06:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Munich didn't get its English name because the English once controlled it and gave it an "offical English name". Nor did Turin; and Kiev#Kiev or Kyiv? is probably an even better example. Gene Nygaard 07:11, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
But do those words (the native versions) have a real-world meaning in their native language? If so, then the Wikipedia rules require that they be translated to English. That's all I'm saying. If they mean something, they have to be translated. When I first put the move request, the first choice I put was La Tortue (island). I now realize that the Wikipedia rule is hard and fast, which means if the native-language word means something, then it has to be translated. Fowler Pierre 07:30, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
There are many possible policies for geographic article names (Athina vs. Athens, Danzig vs. Gdansk, etc.), but I don't think anyone has ever proposed that native names be translated into English, unless that is already common practice. It would be bizarre to list Le Havre as 'The Haven', Kuşadası as 'Bird Island', Naples, Nablus, La Napoule, and Neapoli, Crete as 'New City', etc. You might also consider the example of Corfu, an Italian name for an island called in Greek Kerkyra or Koryfes (> Corfu); surely you don't want it called 'Crests Island'; similarly for Santorini, which it would be silly to call 'Saint Irene' (its official modern name is Thera...). To show that the name should be changed to XXX, you need to show that that name is actually the commonly used name in English, regardless of its etymology. I have no particular opinion about Tortue vs. Tortuga, but I do get the sense that Tortuga is more common in English (even if for bizarre reasons related to pirate stories). --Macrakis 12:46, 8 April 2006 (UTC), updated 14:25
If there are exceptions to the translation rule (which there clearly are) and you wish for this island to be an exception, it should be La Tortue (island), because Tortuga is Spanish (not a meaningless English proper name) and it has not been official for 300 years. Referring to my analogy above, calling it Tortuga in the English Wikipedia would be like the kreyol Wikipedia dredging up New Netherlands from the history books, translating it to Dutch, and then arguing the Dutch version should be the title of the New York State article, simply because Haitians happen to like it. But what ever happened to asking the New Yorkers what they like? Doesn't that matter at all?
There is no 'translation rule'. WP simply doesn't translate geographic names; it uses the common name in English. If the common name happens to be a translation (say Saint Petersburg for Sankt-Peterburg), then we use the translation. If the common name preserves the local form (say São Paulo, not Saint Paul), we use the local form. --Macrakis 15:41, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
All right, I know I swore this morning that I was done commenting, but I guess I have to say here that it's becoming clear to me that in most cases, the process you describe -- of making a determination of what is "commonly used" (whatever that means) by English speakers -- is in fact what's being done. I mistook that for an apparent rule or policy of translation. But here's why I did that: I was looking at the Departments of Haiti page, and I noticed that they were all listed as Department of X whereas in Haiti they are called Departement du X / de la X / de l'X. This is standard usage in French (though not Kreyol, but place names in Haiti tend to be published in French even though everyone speaks them in Kreyol; and that is DEFINITELY a topic meant for a different talk page). For anyone who doesn't know, du is a contraction of "de le", and "de l'___" is used for both genders when the noun referred to begins with a vowel or silent H. In other words, I noticed that the Wikipedia articles were translating the word Departement and were eliminating the word for "the". But I failed to consider that elimination of "the" from French place names is almost universal in English, even if the French version of the rest of the name is being preserved. (I knew this from a lifetime of geographic hobbyism, but it just didn't percolate to the surface at that moment.) And as for Department, obviously the translation of words for political units is something that is done as a matter of course in most, if not all, of the world. But I just got myself confused in thinking that something different was going on here.
But I still think the article merits consideration names other than Tortuga, simply because I can't recall ever seeing a map that called the island Tortuga, and I also think the opinion of hundreds of thousands of English-speaking Haitians living in U.S., Canada and the Bahamas deserves consideration. Just for the record, I have a BA in Geography from the University of South Florida, class of '93. I'm not, of course, a full scholarly peer, but I have a feeling that the majority of Geography professors who are familiar with the evidence would agree with me. I understand that my opinion of what Geography professors would think is not very relevant unless I can find some of them to contribute to this page. Is there any kind of user categorization system that enables such a search? ThanksFowler Pierre 23:58, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I figure I have exhaustively stated the case at this point. I'm glad to see you don't have a strong opinion that Tortuga is the "better" name. I just think that the question of what is "more common" in English is open to interpretation. Every map that I have ever seen that had a name for the island said Tortue, not Tortuga. Doesn't that count for anything? How about the fact that every single Haitian who speaks English calls it Tortue? There are at least a million Haitians in the U.S., and more in Canada and the Bahamas. Isn't it likely that they mention the island a lot more than non-Haitians? I'll shut up now, because I'm confident that all my points are clear. Even if you don't change your vote, I appreciate your responses, because they have let me flesh out my arguments, as well as find the links that I pasted above for Gene Nygaard. Fowler Pierre 14:51, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

As for determining whether "Tortuga Island" or "Tortise Island" or "Tortue Island" or "Ile de la Tortue" is the most common name used in English, I tried various permutations in Google, and as far as I can tell, Tortuga is the most common. And my counts exclude the many cases where "Tortuga" is mentioned by itself. The collocation "Tortuga Island" is frequent enough that it is clear that "Tortuga" is being used as a name.... But of course, if you have evidence to the contrary, be sure to share it with us. --Macrakis 12:46, 8 April 2006 (UTC), updated 14:25

Of course, you may actually have overlooked the most common name in English. (A Google search cannot tell us for sure whether you have or not, however.)
This table shows that there is some use of the name translated into English, without any adjustment for hits on Wikipedia and articles based on Wikipedia (currently the article includes Haiti, Tortue, Tortuga, and "Tortoise Island" but not the word "turtle" even outside the phrase "Turtle Island").
It also doesn't take into account those using both "Tortue" and "Tortuga".
It also doesn't take into account the language used (English, Spanish, French, anything else), something that is very unreliable even when used on Google.
Take all of this with a grain of salt, as with any search engine search.
Google hits
Haiti Tortue "Turtle Island" [3] 145
Haiti Tortuga "Turtle Island" [4] 298
Haiti Tortue "Tortoise Island" [5] 46
Haiti Tortuga "Tortoise Island" [6] 106
Haiti "Turtle Island" 51,200
Haiti "Tortoise Island" 130
Haiti "Ile de la Tortue" 33,200
Haiti "Tortue Island" 349
Haiti "Isla Tortuga" 837
Haiti "Tortuga Island" 23,200
Haiti "Island of the Turtle" 94

The Jacques Rozier movie Les Naufrages de l'Ile de la Tortue (1976) gets 97 Google hits under for its English title The Castaways of Turtle Island. Gene Nygaard 16:20, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Specific examples[edit]

Please feel free to add any specific usage to this list: Gene Nygaard 15:02, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Gene, I wonder what the right way to weight reference sources (encyclopedias, gazetteers, maps) is vs. popular usage. Some reference sources of course have policies which conflict with Wikipedia's policy. For example, the Encyclopedia of Islam always uses the Arabic or Ottoman Turkish form of placenames as the headword. Other reference sources always prefer the local name, with the common English name in parentheses, e.g. Athina (Athens). Note below that the Random House Dictionary isn't even internally consistent -- they licensed the atlas part from C.S.Hammond. --Macrakis 02:03, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

If they licensed the map part to another organization, which used Tortue, then that should constitute a "map" vote for Tortue. The main body of the dictionary constitutes a separate "book" or "reference" vote for Tortuga. So if maps get equal weighting with other reference sources, then the two votes cancel each other out.
However the weighting question is answered, one should consider that reference sources at least get some peer review, and thus could be said to represent a somewhat reliable representation of the geographic/linguistic community's view. The problem I see with considering popular or common usage is that I don't see that a workable definition has been agreed of "popular", "common" -- or, for that matter, "usage". Do we count only text sources? Do we count up the people who use it a particular way? Do we count the number of times per year it's spoken a particular way? Do we allow as a "vote" someone's opinion about what other people say? If we count popular or common text sources, don't we have to verify the overall language of the sentence in which the item is used? And does the number of copies of a printed source matter? And for all of these things, how far back in time to we go to gauge "current" usage?
It seems to me like a lot of trouble to go to for what, according to reference works, is a borderline case. It's also a politically sensitive case, given two controversial U.S. occupations of Haiti, one of which involved the imposition of slave labor on dark-skinned Haitians; and the imposition of a constitution written by an American; and incessant interference by the American Embassy in Haitian elections and domestic affairs. It also seems to me that, as with the controversy over Navasse, guano and/or cement may have played a role in American Dan Pierson's Freeport Tortuga project, which was cancelled by Haiti when it was discovered that the Americans had attempted to create "rules" exempting themselves from Haitian law. I hope that anyone who is searching for ways to promote Tortuga as the correct English name will take these factors into consideration, as they certainly don't apply (or not to the same degree) to the many European examples that have been discussed here. Fowler Pierre 15:23, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Tortuga:

  • In the 1979 Encyclopædia Britannica, the article is "Tortuga Island". So that name obviously didn't go out of use in English in 1697.
  • On the December 1977 National Geographic map "Colonization and Trade in the New World" it is "Tortuga".
  • "Tortuga", with "La Tortue" given as the French name, Random House Dictionary (Dictionary section), 1967 --Macrakis 15:45, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Tortue:

  • On the January 1970 National Geographic map "West Indies and Central America" it is "Île de la Tortue".
  • On the February 1981 National Geographic map "Tourist Islands of the West Indies" (Tortuga/Tortue and Hispaniola are not among the tourist islands with detailed maps, but are on the overall map on the other side), it is ""Île de la Tortue".
  • In the Aldine University Atlas, ©1969 and printed in Great Britain by George Philip & Son, Ltd., London, first published 1969 by Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, it is "I. de la Tortue" indexed as "Tortue, I., de la, Haiti" (there is a "Tortuga" island off Venezuela, too).
  • La Tortue, Random House Dictionary (Atlas section), 1967 --Macrakis 15:45, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • May I suggest that the map on the Haiti page is an example of using La Tortue as the English-usage version. Three of the four bodies of water, as well as the "Dominican Republic", are in English on this map. Fowler Pierre 15:24, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I must say a hearty thanks to both of you for all of this stupendous research. I know at least one of you is a professor, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you were able to come up with all this so quickly. I have a library in my home, and it does have maps ... but it don't come close to having this kind of a collection! Kudos to both of you, and however the consensus turns out, I really appreciate that you came to this page and debated me. Fowler Pierre 23:16, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Turtle or Tortoise:


Anything else:

  • At this tourist web page [[7]], the following four names are all used on the very same page -- and all in English sentences -- for the Venezuelan Tortuga : Tortoise Island, Tortuga Island, Island of Tortuga, Isla Tortuga. Additionally, the page states that this island was also used as a base for piracy in the 17th Century. So if this Wikipedia page is to stay "Tortuga", there should be a disambig. I think this supports my position for having the Haitian island under "La Tortue (island)". --Fowler Pierre 16:17, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
  • We can always great a disambiguation page if somebody feels the Venezuelan island is worth an article of its own. Otherwise would could just put a note on this page that there is also a Venezuelan island of the same name. It probably wasn't nearly as significant in relationship to piracy. Gene Nygaard 17:49, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
True. Fowler Pierre 04:33, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Who is the unamed pirate?[edit]

Towards the end of the article is this sentence: "At this same time, an English pirate started to promote himself and invite the pirates on the island of Tortuga to set sail under him." Why is he not named? Will someone identify this pirate by name?

  • Based on this site it's Henry Morgan. I added it, but if I'm wrong, someone correct me.--Bltpdx 04:14, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Location of Tortuga[edit]

According to a various websites that were confirmed on Google Earth, the location of Tortuga is not northwest of Haiti. It is actually located directly west of Isla Margarita, just north of Venezuela. This should be corrected within the article.


Is the Disney ad absolutely necessary?[edit]

Ok, it's a big hit, good for them, but I don't think this is appropriate. Can we put it on the Johnny Depp page or something? Tahrlis 02:26, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I concur, a mention might be made, but the whole "spoiler" section is completely out of the enciclopedian approach an article like this should have. I'm modifying it.

I think I might have mis-filed Tortuga.[edit]

The Tortuga article that was on here before had no reference to location that the article was speaking about. [8] was the way it looked before I changed anything.

"Tortuga" was just dumped into the common "Caribbean stubs" which if something is in there, at times it's impossible to know location of that item. Mainly-- because many spots in the Caribbean have the same name over-and-over-and-over again. Example: the "Dominican" Republic and "Dominica" (Both of which are Republics....) Or-- Basseterre (Saint Kitts and Nevis) and Basse-terre, (Guadeloupe)... I thought that Tortuga was "Tortue" so I had filed it under "Haiti" because the article also mentioned Hispaniola and I know there's no "Tortuga" Island anywhere from Trinidad and Tobago up until Montserrat with certainty. I didn't think about the possibility of small South American islands close to Venezuela.

At the time I was trying to clean up Caribbeaan stubs namespace because back then, Caribbean articles would get targeted a lot for deletion if they weren't added to fast enough. E.g. within 2 months. So by filing stubs under their country-- that usually sped-up the time it took to get someone knowledgable about the place to add to that article before the Delete posse on Wikipedia could hit it. As such, I think the Tortuga article then might possibly have been about Venezuela's *shrug*... But I can't say with certainty because the Tortuga article then had no reference to location and was just dumped into the main gernal Caribbean stubs when it was created. CaribDigita 02:14, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Tortuga today[edit]

I was wondering if there is anything new about the island now? With the new interest in Pirates, I am surprised something isn't done with the island. Can sites be built for tourists? Is it feasable? Or is Hati just so poor that the have other issues they need to worry about? I am just curious since I can find so little about the island and what it looks like today.--Laytonc32 04:22, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Laytonc32 (talkcontribs) 04:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

Pirates of the Caribbean[edit]

Please do not add templates and categories for fictional universes to real articles even if they correspond to each other. If if you see a need to describe Tortuga from that perspective, please move the content back to Tortuga (Pirates of the Caribbean), where it was before added here. --Tikiwont 08:10, 21 May 2007 (UTC)


On another Note: "By 1640, the buccaneers of Tortuga were calling themselves the Brethren of the Coast." "Brethren of the Coast" redirects to the fictional "Brethren Court". Slightly funny, since I thought I was reading real history. :) As I don't know anything about this topic I wouldn't know what to change, but i just thought i let you know. Gehweg 12:02, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Tortuga (Pirates of the Caribbean) was turned back into a redirect here. I've merged all fan-related stuff into a single Geography of Pirates of the Caribbean article. Please freely merge any material related to the films that may be misplaced in this article to that one, or at your discretion simply delete it and ask the editors who place it to use that article for their edits. --Tony Sidaway 12:36, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Mystery Object[edit]

I was searching Google Earth when i noticed a strange object marked on tortuga. It looks possibly like a shipwreck but i cant be sure, anyone know what it is? its in the North part of the island in the middle on the coast. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.205.70.254 (talk) 00:46, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Who discovered Tortuga?[edit]

I have put the tag "citation needed" to the sentence saying that tortuga was discovered by europeans... I mean, nobody lives there before? nobody knew this island before Colombus? This is absurd, or at least too much european-centric. Wikipedia is global project, so please reference a source before saying that someone discovered someplace when very probably autochthonous knew this place before. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.84.160.154 (talk) 14:37, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Sources and References[edit]

I've found some links that might add up to the verifiability of this article:

62.107.237.72 (talk) 09:01, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Name of Haiti's island (consider possible move)[edit]

Being that this is an island of Haiti, which uses French for names, film, books etc. I believe it should be called Île de la Tortue and Turtle Island in the description in English. From the references above, it is clear that there are sources that refer to its French name in its earliest publications in English. Île de la Tortue is in the first Haitian constitution written in French, not in the Spanish Tortuga. Turtle Island and Île de la Tortue, had the most Google hits; 1 and 2 respectively. See Île-à-Vache (Cow Island) - The same situation applies here as it is properly categorized in French not Spanish. Why should it be any different here? In short, it should not. Consider a possible move. Savvyjack23 (talk) 23:18, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Actually the Haitian constitution names it La Tortue similar case to La Gonâve which is listed as Gonâve Island on Wikipedia. Perhaps it should be renamed to Tortue Island which the native name Île de la Tortue be inserted as its native name. Also, under the name Tortue Island, there would be only one with no need to add , Haiti after it. It is unique to Haiti. Haitian constitution here [9] Savvyjack23 (talk) 23:31, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

There are 8 other islands with the name Tortuga and they are all from Spanish speaking nations, with the exception of Southern Florida and Fort Jefferson (Between the Gulf of Mexico and the Keys); which are both heavily influenced by Spanish speakers. Surely, Haiti's island doesn't fit that bill being that it is a French speaking nation with the world Tortue in its constitution. The question I have is why this wasn't realized sooner, or if it was how isn't this argument compelling enough to get it right?

The other Tortuga islands include:

  • Isla Tortuga, a volcanic island in the Gulf of California, part of Baja California, Mexico
  • La Tortuga Island, an uninhabited 156 km² island in the Caribbean Sea that is dependent on the government of Venezuela
  • Tortuga Island, Peru, a 1.3 km² island in the department of Ancash, Peru
  • Tortuga Islands, Costa Rica, a group of two Costa Rican islands, Isla Tolinga (1.3 km²) and Isla Alcatráz (0.6 km²), in the Pacific Ocean
  • Tortuga Island, Ecuador, an island that is part of the Galápagos Islands chain
  • Dry Tortugas, a group of islands in the Florida Keys in the United States
  • Dry Tortugas National Park, a national park consisting of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas
  • Isla Tortuguero, a 28.1 km² island in Costa Rica

Therefore, Tortue Island would be most correct (with the exception of La Tortue), with all other languages (Spanish etc.) in the description, though with a bit more emphasis for Turtle Island for the English speakers being that this is an English article; possibly added to the description bar. Savvyjack23 (talk) 23:51, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Comment:Is it me, or does the (historical 17th century) photo in the Haiti Tortuga Article not more resemble the shape of the Venezuelan "La Tortuga" island? I was staring at that several weeks ago and looking at it on Google Maps. Could there be a mix up between the two islands? CaribDigita (talk) 01:14, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

  • Retract suggestion: I have realized that the Tortuga Island name has a lot of history with this Caribbean Island and therefore feel it is the right name by default because it is recognized by many by it. Although, I still believe Tortue is correct, but I do not think it would be feasible for a change. It's a slippery slope. Savvyjack23 (talk) 03:27, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

You're right CaribDigita, they do look similar. Savvyjack23 (talk) 03:27, 9 May 2014 (UTC)