Talk:Białowieża Forest

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National Park[edit]

How come that, with so many edit wars around here, this article remains untouched? Every child knows that the true name of the forest is Puszcza Bialowieska! But seriously, only joking. What I really wanted to ask is whether this article needs some info on the fact that that the whole forest has been a National Park since 15th century? This makes it one of the oldest National Parks still existing...Halibutt 14:06, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

You can have it as you are wrong. The true name in which language? The importance of which part of the forest? The information about the belarussian part is that they are felling trees on an astounding rate. So what is important? The part that is well known or the part that might be well known but is not.
Try going there and have a good look.. GerardM 18:10, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Both names (Belavezhskaya Pushcha and Bialoveza Forest) are equally valid, but refer to different parts of the territory, see the UNESCO site. This article is about the Belarussian part, with brief mentioning of the Polish one. One has all possible rights to replace the Bialowieski National Park redirect by a full-blown article.

I added a piece from UNESCO site. I understand, the information from there is in public domain, unless specifically indicated (like GIS data, which requires donation). Mikkalai 19:12, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Page moves[edit]

I've moved this page from Belavezhskaya Pushcha to Bialowieza Forest for the following reasons:

  • Pushcha doesn't mean anything in English. Replacing it with "forest" seems obvious to me.
  • Since the forest is named after a town in Poland, I can see no reason to write its name in Belarussian in the title.

Of course, both Polish and Belarussian names of the forest are still mentioned in the opening paragraph. --Kpalion 07:14, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I moved it back:

  1. it is the official English name, see e.g., the UNESCO list.
  2. If you want Bialowieza Forest article about the Polish part, you are welcome to cut material from here to there. Mikkalai 07:24, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  3. Google hits: Belavezhskaya Pushcha + Belovezhskaya Pushcha: 7,550 +1,680; 2,410 for "Bialowieza Forest", 5,590 for "Puszcza Białowieska". So much for English language :-) Mikkalai 07:36, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  4. Correction (English language pages only): Belavezhskaya Pushcha + Belovezhskaya Pushcha: 4,450 + 886; for "Bialowieza Forest": 2,090, for "Puszcza Białowieska" 57 + 163 (ł vs. l) letter. Mikkalai

According to the UNESCO website you keep referring to, the official name of the forest is Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest. But I'm not sure whether we really have to copy the strange politically correct solutions of UNESCO; according to the same website, Jerusalem is a separate country!
I also can see no reason for two separate articles about one forest which happens to be divided by a political border. It would be like having one article about Canadian Rocky Mountains and one about US Rocky Mountains.
I suppose that my proposition is the most English you can get. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is just a romanization of the Belarussian name. I'm not going to repeat myself, see explanation above.
And is Google the only arbiter on the English language? --Kpalion 08:08, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

  • UNESCO: you are looking at the wrong page. (Do you also think that there is a country Belarus/Poland, mentioned there as well? :-)) Better see [1].
  • What's wrong with romanization? It as a name. Do you want me to "translate" my name as well and sign myself as User:Victoriferuos?
  • Please note also that the alalogy with, e.g., Volga River being a translation of "reka Volga", will not do. Volga is the actual name of the river, while "Bialowieza", etc. is not the name of the forest. Tsarskoye Selo is not Tsar Village. Mikkalai 18:17, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Alright, I'm not going to argue with you; perhaps you're right. The case for Belovezhskaya Pushcha is that a greater part of the foretst is on the Belorussian side. I'd only like to say thay we were talking about hte same UNESCO site - and it does say Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest. For some strange reason the Belarussian name (used for the Belarussian part of the forest) has only been romanized but the Polish has been was translated. This seems quite awkward to me. Maybe it's beacuse Poles are used to translating foregin names into Polish (e.g. we do translate Tsarskoye Selo as Carskie Sioło) so they also tend to translate names into English. But if we assume that the Belarussian name is what the English speakers use for the whole forest, than it's OK. --Kpalion 21:56, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

UNESCO: Probably you misunderstood my brief explanation in mocking tone, sorry. At their site they list Belavezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest under the "Belarus/Poland" header, meaning that belarussian part is puscha and polish part is forest. There are quite a few similar case there; e.g.,
Indeed, it seems the usage of pushcha/forest is polarized by which side is writing about it, with noticeable bias that "forest" tends to refer to the Polish part, thus producing a possible confusion. How about a trade-off for the common article: Belavezhskaya Pushcha and Bialowieza Forest (slash cannot be used in titles)? With the following introduction:
Bialowieza Primaeval Forest, known as Беловежская пуща in Belarus, which is traditionally transliterated as 'Belavezhskaya Pushcha, and Puszcza Białowieska in Poland, traditinally translated as Bialowieza Forest, is a ancient virginal forest reserve stradling....
Mikkalai 23:07, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Actually, this would be too awkward and even worse. The title should be either Bialowieza Forest or Belavezhskaya Pushcha. I believe the former would be better, but, well, I could live with the latter. After all, Bialowieza Forest redirects here anyway. I would also simplify the intro:
Białowieża Primaeval Forest, known as Belavezhskaya Pushcha (Беловежская пуща) in Belarus and Puszcza Białowieska in Poland, is a ancient virginal forest stradling....
And BTW, if we were really translating that name (Polish or Belarussian, doesn't matter) into English, we'd get: "White Tower Forest"; but of course I don't mean to go that far.
--Kpalion 23:31, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
OK. You almost convinced me. If someone else comes and renames the article your way I will no longer object. (Let me strike this out for not to encourage someone unnecessarily :-) This summer I'll be visiting Belarus. Shall we meet somewhere in the Belavezhski Forest? Mikkalai 00:16, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I'd do the renaming myself, but I'm somehow involved so I don't know if it counts. As to the meeting somewhere in between - might be interesting. However, crossing the border might be a problem since Belarus is the only Poland's neighbour to still have mines on the frontier...Halibutt 01:25, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You guys are too funny, and Mikkalai, can you bring back one of those mines from the western front? You know it does not really matter what the name is, that is supposed to be the value of redirects, you can makes all variations of the names redirects and bold face them in the lead-in to the main article. I vote for the Russian name, after all wasn't it the Imperial Tsars that originally named it? (If not excuse me for starting another controversy). Anyway, whatever you slavs decide to do in your nationalistic fervour remember that really it isn't Polish or Belarusian or Russian or anything else, it is just part of our common world heritage (and beautiful, I visited the Belarusian part of it three years ago around May 1). — © Alex756 05:23, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

No, the name sake for the forest is the village (now a town) of Białowieża which in turn is named after a "white tower", or a white wooden manor built there for the king Wladyslaw Jagiello. I expanded the history section since apparently we don't need two separate articles. Also, the forest stands there since some 25 000 years, and it's been divided for 60, so there's not really much sense behind such a division. Halibutt 21:20, Jul 9, 2004 (UTC)

Ded Moroz is not an invention of the Soviet Union as far as I can tell. see: — © Alex756 07:13, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The Britannica title[edit]

The Britannica name for this article is Belovezhskaya Forest.  Grue  14:15, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Britannica used the Russian word. Very stupid of them. Again they demonstrated that they are not up to the high encyclopedic standard that they set to themeselves. --rydel 16:12, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Can anybody explain to me why the name is rendered in a Polish spelling with all the stresses and apostrophies and whatever-those-things-are-called on top of the letters. To borrow KNewman arguments, some people are not even sure how to pronounce it, let alone how to write it. And some of them don't have Polish language support, so all they see is little cubes instead of certain letters. I believe the Russian word is better known. Another option is to English it as Belavezha Forest or White Tower Forest or whatever. --Ghirlandajo 16:06, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

The Brtiannica article [2] is indeed called: Belovezhskaya Forest and starts like this:

Belovezhskaya Forest, also called Belovezh Forest and Bialowieza Forest , Belarusian: Belovezhskaya Pushcha , Polish: Puszcza Bialowieska

forest in western Belarus and eastern Poland. It is one of the largest surviving areas of primeval ...

I think this alone is enough to settle the debate because I never saw a difference between the prevailing usage in English media (I use LexisNexis Major paper search) and the title picked by Britannica. If anyone's in doubt, I will do a media search. So, whoever has time, please list this at WP:RM or I will do it myself when I get to this. --Irpen 17:39, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

As to the current name of this article, it simply seems the most obvious option. Both Polish, Belarusian and Russian names for the forest are coined after the town of Białowieża, which has been in Poland since its creation. Hence it seems to be natural to translate the name after the original name-sake, and not after its translations to Russian or Belarusian. Otherwise we'd have dozens of names to chose from, most of them being but transcriptions of Russian or Belarussian names. Halibutt 09:53, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
The Polish name is derived after the Ruthenian Belaya Vezha, Belarus. As I've said before, Belavezha Forest is the most suitable name. --Ghirlandajo 10:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but this seems factually inaccurate as most sources I know support the Białowieża ethymology. Could you name the sources to support the Ruthenian version? Also, if it has to be a Russian name, then we'd have to chose from Belaya Vezha Forest, Belavezha Forest, Belavezhskaya Forest, Byelovezhskaya Forest, Bielovezhskaya Forest and dozens of others... Halibutt 10:14, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
That's because you consult Polish sources only. Belarusian sources say otherwise. The village, first mentioned in the 16th century, is named after the forest, which is named after the 13th-century tower. I don't assume that the Russian name should be applied, Belarusian is quite OK for me. --Ghirlandajo 10:22, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Belarusian is quite ok for me as well, though I still find the "tower" history incredible. Contrary to that structure, the village of Białowieża has been the administrative centre of the area (and the forest) since 16th century and still serves that purpose. On the other hand, that mysterious building seems to be quite interesting, but hardly of any significance to that forest's history. Halibutt 16:31, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Firstly, Kamenets is the historic centre of this district, and the forest formerly adjoined the town. Secondly, the tower used to be so important a structure that the city apparently borrowed its name: kamen is stone, cf. Kamenets-Podolsky with its fortress and Kamenskoye with its fortified church. --Ghirlandajo 16:47, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, according to what I know the town took the name after the stony embankment of the nearby river, as the Tower of Kamianiec is made entirely of bricks (which are not white, BTW). Secondly, that is the version mentioned in the wiki article on Kamianiec (The name of the place derives from the Slav word kamienny meaning stony, as it was founded atop a stony rise.). Also, the version with that town being the centre of the area seems highly dubious as it was Białowieża where the seat of the forest administration was established and that town was actually built for that purpose in the very heart of the forest while Kamianiec was (and still is) to the east of the eastern edge of the forest. Halibutt 17:43, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't presume to possess an expertise on the etymology of Kamenets, but it is widely known that the toponyms starting with kamen- were associated with fortified places. It does not really matter whether fortifications were built of stone or brick: I don't think Kamenets-Podolsky is built of limestone either. In old Ruthenian languages, brick churches (i.e., Kiev's St Sophia) are called the stone ones (каменные). The same applies to other srtuctures as opposed to the wooden one. The epithet "white" also had varying meanings: "White Ruthenia", or Belarus, hardly takes its name from the colour. That it was in Bialowieza that the forest's administration was established, may explain the village's name, derived from the nearby forest. --Ghirlandajo 19:53, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Or the other way around. To make it short, unless we can find any proof that the forest was named the way it still is before Białowieża was founded, I believe we should stick to common interpretation. Halibutt 21:23, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, of course. And the common interpretation is that the forest is named after Bela Vezha, or the White Tower. --Ghirlandajo 11:39, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Any sources to back that up? Halibutt 12:06, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Try to google for "forest", "belarus", "white tower" - and you'll get plenty of links. --Ghirlandajo 12:18, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
I browsed the first page of such search and it seems that, while many authors properly translate the name of the forest (as it means the White Tower Forest in both Polish and Belarusian), none of them mentions that the name stems from the Kamenets tower. In fact this site uses the term The Belovezha dense forest is unique beauty of, which would suggest that the name is a relative of the name of the town of Belovezha - called Bialowieza in Polish. Only the Brest Online claims that the name was taken after the tower, but it also suggests that the name of the tower was changed much later, so there seems to be some logical flaw in such statement.
On the contrary, the Polish wiki article explains the naming history pretty well. In my harsh translation, the story goes like this: In early Middle Ages, until 13th century, the Bialowieza Forest was not a single entity and was rather a part of a greater primaeval forest complex ranging from Polesie to Grodno. Some settlers have arrived there both from Lithuania and Mazovia, but such settlements were scarce and dispersed. There were also signs of Yotvingian settlements, which are known to our times because of many Baltic toponyms in the area. In 15th century the forest was divided onto several parts, each of them attached to a different manor as its property. What is now the Bialowieza Forest was divided between the manors of Bielsk, Kamieniec and Wolkowysk. Hence the names used were Puszcza bielska, puszcza kamieniecka and puszcza wolkowyska. After the founding of the manor of Bialowieza, it became the name-sake for the northern part of the puszcza kamieniecka. Increasing settlement effort brought the existence of the puszcza bielska to an end, and the only remaining part of it is a tiny puszcza ladzka. Puszcza wolkowyska was divided onto smaller parts, among others on Swislocz forest, Mscigobow forest and Jalow forest. The latter ceased to exist due to settlements, and the privately-owned forest of Swislocz (belonging to the Tyszkiewicz family of Swislocz) was attached to the Bialowieza forest in 1832. Thus, what is now the Bialowieza forest, is in fact a conglomerate of the surviving parts of the puszczas of Bialowieza, Ladzk and Swislocz. Seems to explain your controversies pretty well to me. Halibutt 15:42, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Back to the naming issue[edit]

While it was mentioned before, I don't think enough was made of the fact that the Belarusian section of the reserve is nearly 18 times bigger than the relatively tiny section in Poland. Given that, it simply seems inexplicable that this article remains under the Polish (or Polish/English name). I understand some think the name comes from a Polish town, but there is also evidence that it is named after a location in present-day Belarus. At any rate, both countries call it something different--but one of them has over 90% of the reserve, and the other less than 10%. I'd say that gives the Belarusian name pride of place. --James Honan-Hallock 04:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

As pointed out above, we have yet to see a single reference that would back up the version, according to which the forest was named in 15th century after the 19th century romantic name of a tower in a town to the east of the eastern edge of the forest. But of course, we could invent a compromise name here, some sort of White Tower Forest. This might border WP:NOR, but perhaps would suit some of us. Halibutt 06:37, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
See EB's article for a reference and check its name too. --Irpen 14:33, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

My move: the Polish name is Puszcza Białowieska, the belarussian name is <whatever>. The English name is "Bialowieza Forest". A title that mixes them is simply ridiculous and that move was made without any discussion. I didn't notice it simply because the article edited very rarely and it didin't pop up in my wathclist.

So I reverted to the previous version which, you Halibutt should remember, was achieved after long and frustrating talks, so I am not giving it up easily now. mikka (t) 19:02, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Please read above. There are concerns that a different name may be proper in English. Some point out to Belovezhskaya Puscha used by 2004 Britannica. Others think that Belavezha Forest would be all right, because the forest lies predominantly in Belarus. UNESCO employs double name, too. As the issue surfaces every month, I don't think that Bialowieza Forest is a consensus just now. --Ghirlandajo 19:09, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Please read above. I am not saying it is a consensus now. I am saying it was, after the previous talk. Also I am saying that a half-polish half-english (and semi-translated, too) title is not cool, colleague. the same my opinion as about semi Russian. The full name is "Bel... Forest", not "Bel..." We don't have a name Lower Novgorod for Nizhny Novgorod. While I am sure EB had its reasons for their strange name version, they didn't provide them for us, so we must talk it over ourselves. mikka (t) 20:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
On Google Book Search, we find:
To be more exact
To me at least this is strong evidence that Bialowierza is much more frequently used in English publications and hence the article should remain under the title Bialowieza Forest. Balcer 03:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree that, particularly in a case where no one foreign-language name should be preferred, common English usage should determine the page name. While the forest is perhaps not often discussed in English, to the extent it is, it is certainly without Polish language diacritics. As someone who is taking university-level Polish, I have nothing against diacritics like ł and ż, but while they mean something to me they mean nothing to 99% of English speakers. Given this, and the fact that most of this forest is in a country which uses the Cyrillic alphabet (whether for Russian or, less commonly, Belarusian), I don't think it makes much sense to include them in the title. By all means, they should be in the Polish name in the first sentence. My concern with the UNESCO name, though, is that an English speaker would pronounce it "Bee-al-o-wheeze-a", which is far from how it's pronounced in either Polish or Belarusian. The main thing is the lack of an implication of the "zh" sound signified by ż, which exists in the Polish, Belarusian, and Russian pronounciations. Any thoughts? --James Honan-Hallock 21:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  • "pronounce": It is well known to the whole world that English cannot read what other people write, so IMO no big deal here. I know several people with name Pesic, who know that it sounds funny in Slavic langs, but have no special desire for the "correct" Peshich. mikka (t) 21:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


Text from several articles of individual trees in Bialowieza Forest has been merged to this article. OzLawyer 17:11, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Here is our long-forgotten family home[edit]

Białowieża Forest is Belarus ethnic area. Maybe a group of Russian Starovyer is living there, but it's rather not the case of Starovyer. Xx236 12:04, 1 June 2007 (UTC)


I added coordinates with the "coord" template, showing up at the page top, and in second infobox, since I noticed fields for them there. I don't know if the coords in the infobox would get picked up by Google Maps / Earth, so I also used the coord template, which I know does. I wish there was an easy way to footnote or somehow reference the coord template so you could point to the source of the coordinates. I figured with a forest that crossing an international boundary there might be some disagreement over which coordinates would be best. Since I don't know a way to show my source in the page itself, I'm doing it here. These coordinates are from: NGA GNS gazetteer (I searched for "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"). I'm not sure if I can link directly to one of the search results pages, but this might work: Belovezhskaya Pushcha (BGN Standard. Pfly (talk) 17:18, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

To add to what I wrote above -- I realize the infobox is about Poland's national park, and perhaps should have different coordinates. According to the Poland's Bialowieski Park website's maps page, the coordinates are N 52°42'04.9" E23°52'10.2". I won't change the infobox right now, but just leave it up to others -- does it matter? There's a couple maps of Poland's part of the forest that look interesting, just as a sidenote, this one and that one. But I can't read Polish so can't make much sense of them. Pfly (talk) 17:59, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

The only remaining part of forest in Europe?[edit]

The article states: "It is the only remaining part of the immense forest which once spread across the European Plain." Naturally Białowieża Forest is not the only forest in Europe. It is not even the only virgin forest. It is not even the biggest virgin forest in the European Plain if the plain is defined to stretch to the Ural Mountains: there are vast pristine forests in Russia, (for example, see Virgin Komi Forests). But it would be safe to say, for example: Białowieża is the biggest virgin forest in Central Europe. Krasanen (talk) 19:48, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Date linked...[edit]

..."because it is relevant in the context" (according to the comment recently added after 1410). Can Richard or someone else explain what this means? All dates are relevant in the context, otherwise we wouldn't mention them at all, but why does this particular one require linking?--Kotniski (talk) 13:57, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, the context is that it's the date of a battle, not just someone's birth date or another arbitrary date without such context. It seems to me quite possible that someone reading the article might want to look up the historical context of that battle, and if so, the link would be useful. I agree however that it's a rather marginal case, and I'd not be too troubled if it remained unlinked. Richard New Forest (talk) 17:35, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Dąb Car[edit]

Someone should integrate the two photos from the mreged page:

Perhaps the external links as well:

Note the interlang links: (talk) 04:15, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Tsar Oak[edit]

Note the leftovers from the merge from Tsar Oak: (talk) 04:20, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Tsar Oak Dąb Car[edit]

There's also: (talk) 04:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

the statement "Soviet marauders continued the slaughter until February 1919" cannot be true as the Soviets were too far from the forest till 1920! Yogi555 (talk) 18:23, 21 February 2011 (UTC)


Since this is such an important location (historically and politically), it would be very useful if there was a map to indicate where along the Poland/Belarus border this forest is situated. I imagine a map of the border or the two countries probably exists on the Commons, the forest just needs to be located on it, with an indication of how much of it is located in each country. Thanks! Liz Read! Talk! 14:16, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

There's now a map in the infobox. Ajh1492 (talk) 06:34, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Belarusian name[edit]

Re. this edit:

  • Firstly, it was not me who introduced the Russian name into the article. If you look closely at my edits, you will see that I changed only one instance of (Belarusian) belAvezhkaya to (Russian) belOvezhkaya. The rest of the article already used the Russian name. The bigger part of my edits consisted of placing {{nativename}} tags around the Russian and Polish names and including the names in Cyrillic script.
  • Secondly, the Russian name is the official one in Belarus. You might want to read up on Belarusian language politics, especially the post-1995 policies (after the referendum that made Russian nominally 'co-official' but in effect re-established Russian as the dominant language). Sources for the Russian name being the official one include UNESCO ([3]), the Belarusian government ([4]) and the Belarusian ministry of foreign affairs ([5]). For a real-world example, see e.g. this photo. Notice the Russian name on the sign.
  • Thirdly, I did actually include the Belarusian name in the article, although noting that it isn't official.

Unless you can prove that the Belarusian name is the official one, stop reverting my edits. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 10:35, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Personally I don't mind if the article gets split one day into two separate articles based on national borders even though the core text would probably remain the same because the UNESCO World Heritage Site was awarded to one (!) not two forests. What is unacceptable however, is ramming the Russian {{native name|ru}} and {{lang|ru|}} into this article which has no connection whatsoever to modern Russia. Please stop doing this. More new ideas below, Poeticbent talk 16:48, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
You seem to be missing the point. This has nothing to do with the geographical location of the forest (which indeed isn't Russia) but simply with its official name in Belarus. The official name in Belarus is the Russian one. Therefore, this is the one that should feature in the infobox as the official name. By the way, you seem to be taking the name of the "native name" template too literally. This is not a POV-pushing template to suggest that the Russian name is in fact the 'native name' of the forest. It is simply a template for easily formatting a foreign-language name. Please see the template's description. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 23:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Please do not engage in wp:original research. Provide a working link to reliable third-party source that supports your claims. Thank you, Poeticbent talk 21:27, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Your accusation of original research is unfounded. For establishing the official name of an entity, secondary/tertiary sources are not needed; it is sufficient to cite the authorities who are responsible for the official name. After all, the official name is the one that responsible authorities assign to it. Any other names, no matter how linguistically sound or politically correct they are, are by definition non-official. In this case the relevant authority is the Belarusian government ([6], [7]). Additionally, UNESCO ([8]) uses the Russian name as one of the names under which the forest is inscribed in the World Heritage List (the other being the Polish name). So there are two authoritative sources on the Russian name being the official one. You, on the other hand, did not provide one single source on the Belarusian name being official. If you cannot provide one, I will reinstate my modifications to the article. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 11:36, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Go put your energies into Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Białowieża Forest is going to get cleaned up to just talk about the Forest, not the parks. Ajh1492 (talk) 21:31, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Ajh1492, you are finding yourself on the wrong side of the argument. You argue that "the two native names (...) from the UN WH listing" are to be used. That is exactly what I made sure by my edits: the two names inscribed on the World Heritage List are the Russian and the Polish one. Simply clicking that link should convince you that the World Heritage List does not include the Belarusian name.
There is also the fact that Russian is the native language of 70.2% of Belarusians (versus only 23.4% for the Belarusian language) which means that the Russian name is not only the official name, but also the modern local name of the forest. Which are two reasons for using it on Wikipedia per WP:NCGN.
I must say it is very rude to threaten to 'report me', while in fact I am the only one who does obey the Wikipedia guideline of WP:Verifiability. Use of the Russian name for the forest is well-sourced. The Belarusian name is not sourced at all. And I literally mean at all: not only has no one provided a source for the Belarusian name having any official status, there is also no source given for «Белавежская пушча» being an actual Belarusian-language name for the forest in the first place. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 14:31, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Ajh1492, please desist from pushing for an edit war on this article. If, as per your comment below, you intend to create a separate article for the region in question as per the discussion to split it below, be certain that it is accepted via the proper channels. In the meantime, the accusations of POV push from TaalVerbeteraar are completely unfounded as the infobox for this article should adhere to Wikipedia geographical templates. In this case, the closest is probably that of being a forest. Ultimately, that is irrelevant as, if you check the assigned values for these parameters, regional type templates all adhere to the basics of native name 1, native language 1, native name 2, native language 2, etc. The parameter guidelines are explicit: the nomenclature is to adhere to the list of ISO 639-1 codes and NOT transliterations/transcriptions into Latin where the native language/s are non-Latin.

Belarusian script is Cyrillic, therefore, if concessions are to be made allowing the Belarusian form of the name, it must appear in Belarusian Cyrillic. Whether it appeals to you or not, no matter how you look at it, Belarus has two official languages - being Belarusian and Russian - therefore the Russian version of the name must also be included. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:03, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

I have been saying since the beginning that the alt names field in the infobox should be only stated as the name is inscribed in the UNESCO WHS list (Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest), nothing more, nothing less no cyrillic. I don't personally care if Belovezhskaya Pushcha is transliterated belarussian or russian. All other names go into the article lede. Ajh1492 (talk) 07:01, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

What you have been saying and what Wikipedia policy says are, then, two entirely different things. It's unfortunate that you don't want anything in Cyrillic because it isn't your call. As TaalVerbeteraar has noted, the transliteration on the UNESCO site is of the Cyrillic Russian name, not the Cyrillic Belarusian name. If you want to edit Wikipedia, you abide by Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Infobox = native language/s = as written in the native language without Latin transcription. Which part of that do you not understand? You are engaging in blatant wp:original research.
I'm reverting the infobox to the correct form. If you revert yet again, you will be engaging in an edit war. You should also acquaint yourself with reversion policy as you have not provided a single valid reason for changing the infobox template format but are arguing an I don't like it case. Misunderstanding the UNESCO site and its relevance is can no longer be used as an excuse because you've had various Wikipedia policy-based explanations. Thank you for your understanding and for refraining from further disruptive editing. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 09:38, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you and TaalVerbeteraar are being the disruptive editors. I said that I do not care if the UNESCO name is transliterated Russian or it is Belarussian. Using the Infobox protected area template the field is called alt_name which states "This parameter can be used to display the name in the local language or for an alternate English name if it is commonly used. If you would like to italicize the text use wiki markup.". I would call the name UNESCO uses as an "alternate English name if it is commonly used". So I am sorry if you don't like it, but I am following EN:WP good practices. If you disagree, then you are welcome to bring it up on WP:ANI. Ajh1492 (talk) 14:00, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Ajh1492, your actions contradict your words.
1) despite arguing that the names from the World Heritage List are to be used, you repeatedly reverted to a version of the article which used the name "Bielavezhskaya Pushcha" in the infobox, which is *not* on the World Heritage List in either Latin or Cyrillic form;
2) despite claiming that you do not care whether the Russian or Belarusian name is used, you did not only revert the changes to the infobox, but also the changes to the article proper that inserted the Russian name;
3) also, I would think that using "this is not the Russian Wikipedia" (I'm paraphrasing here) as an argument for a revert is an indication that in fact the Russian-vs.-Belarusian issue does matter to you.
Furthermore, despite your claims to the contrary, the usage instructions of Template:Infobox protected area neither say that the UNESCO WHL name is to be used in the infobox, nor do they say that the name has to be in the Latin script. In fact, you seem to admit as much, saying that you "would call" the UNESCO Latin-script name a suitable name for the infobox The mere fact that you think so does not make it Wikipedia policy. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 14:41, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
So you put words in my mouth by paraphrasing me? Ajh1492 (talk) 13:19, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Please stop with original research once and for all

If the UNESCO does not specifically say on their own website that the name is in "Russian" (!) and "Polish language", all claims that the World Heritage Site is written in "Russian" and "Polish", belong to you, not to them. Please use the UNESCO name as is, without commenting on it. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 15:17, 8 November 2013 (UTC) (direct quote)

Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest
Grodno Province (oblast) (BY) / Podlasie Voivodship (PL)
N52 30 0 E23 34 60
Date of Inscription: 1979
Extension: 1992
Criteria: (vii)
Property : 92,669 ha
Ref: 33bis

(end of quote)

You cannot be serious. It is hardly "original research" to state that Belovezhskaya pushcha is the Russian name rather than the Belarusian one. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of East Slavic languages can tell you that in Belarusian, in contrast to Russian, akanye is reflected in the orthography. That is, unstressed etymological O's are written as A's. Therefore, one can exclude on linguistic grounds the possibility of Belovezhskaya (in which the O is unstressed; the stress is on the third syllable "vezh") being a Belarusian word. We don't need UNESCO to state the blindingly obvious in order to be able to include it on Wikipedia. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 16:12, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Please stop with original research once and for all. (sic) That's excellent advice which I think you should practice and not merely preach.

Ajh1492 and Poeticbent, I don't think I've come across such a blatantly nationalistic POV push posturing as being good practice before... and that's saying a lot. Which particular 'good practice' are you referring to, Ajh1492? This one? This one?

'Protected' applies to the area as an important world site: it does NOT translate as protecting your interpretation of what 'alt_name' means. Where, on the UNESCO site, Poeticbent, does it state that they are using THE be all and end all nomenclature, or that all information pertaining to that protected area is fully dealt with in their very brief 'long definition'? Please take a look at the searches from 2005 on this page. Any changes to what it yielded then are minimal. Do UNESCO declare that are presenting more than an outline the importance of the area to world heritage and are giving a very short, short historical context?

Where, as pointed out by TaalVerbeteraar, does the 'protected' template state that Latin transliterations should be used for native and other alternative names? Read the description text again with care, then take a look at this talk page going back to its inception and show me precisely where any consensus on the nomenclature was reached at any point, much less anything that even begins to support Ajh1492's self-confessed 'no Cyrillic' policy. We're writing our own policy now, are we (including splitting the article based on blatant POV entirely removed from the content)? That's plain, underhanded subterfuge and is antithetical to all Wikipedia policy and guidelines. I've already compiled an extraordinarily exhaustive list of 'under the radar' practice articles with regards to Slavic subject matter. There's only one protected area of forest, therefore it constitutes one article and one article only. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:13, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The use of "alt_name" in the infobox protected area template was a direct quote from the template's documentation file - "This parameter can be used to display the name in the local language or for an alternate English name if it is commonly used. If you would like to italicize the text use wiki markup.". I would call the name UNESCO uses as an "alternate English name if it is commonly used". All the common names are reflected in the article lede, plus a special section immediately after the lede expressly calls out the name usage in Belarus. I see no reason why not to have an article that talks about the forest itself (PL:WP has a rather nice treatment of the flora and fauna) and separate article talking about the individual national parks. This allows the national park articles to focus on the facilities of each. I reseate what I said earlier, I am sorry if you don't like it, but I am following EN:WP good practices. If you disagree, then you are welcome to bring it up on WP:ANI. Ajh1492 (talk) 13:19, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
You are quoting the correct parameter usage instruction, but you focus on the wrong part of the text. Of course, Belovezhkaya pushcha cannot be interpreted as the alternate English name, unless you know of an English dictionary that includes the word "pushcha". Instead, it is the name in the local language (it is literally used locally), which is also permissible as an alt_name per the template usage instruction. The usage instruction does not require the use of the Latin script (or the script used on the World Heritage List). In fact, the instruction says "in the local language", not "in a Latin transliteration of the local language".
On another note, you still haven't elaborated on which "EN:WP good practices" you are following. You see, on the English Wikipedia, good practices aren't just unwritten rules. They are actually codified, see WP:GUIDES. So if you are indeed following good practices, you should have no problem providing some links to the guidelines which you have applied in this particular case. - TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 14:45, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm still awaiting a response on which 'good practices' you're invoking, Ajh1492. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:09, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Splitting the article maybe?[edit]

The treatment of transboundary protected areas on wikipedia is inconsistent currently. Pieniny National Park (Poland) and Pieniny National Park (Slovakia) are separate articles, while Białowieża Forest is one. Lower Oder Valley International Park (for the whole) and Lower Oder Valley National Park (for one of the parts) as two separate articles is yet another varian of organising things. Should not it all be taken to some uniform variant, whichever one makes more sense?.. AntonBryl (talk) 13:25, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Someone would have to write these two articles first: Białowieża Forest National Park and Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park. Only then, the "Forest" article could be trimmed to a transboundary protected area. See above for more of the ongoing problems with POV pushing, Poeticbent talk 16:48, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
The article is about the forest, not about the national parks. Using your example, it's equivalent to the Pieniny article. Ajh1492 (talk) 06:39, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I see no contradictions here. Pieniny is a considerably short article featuring a link to Pieniny National Park (Poland) article which is about twice that size. Surprisingly enough, the link to Pieniny National Park (Slovakia) is missing from it, although it should be added. I was proposing something along the same lines basically, to resolve the conflict similar to what has been going on at Karkonosze since a few years already between Polish and Czech Wikipedians. Poeticbent talk 07:56, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Go have fun, I've split the two national parks into their own articles pulling from a couple sources. Ajh1492 (talk) 21:28, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

One only has to read this 'discussion' in order to establish that splitting this off into two articles was deliberate POV forking. It absolutely reeks of twisting Wikipedia policy and guidelines in order to try to establish an WP:RELAR as there is, in fact, no justification for an acceptable fork. Very, very bad form indeed. Poeticbent, I had been under the impression that you are an intelligent and FAIR man. Trying to disguise intentional manipulation of Wikipedia policy as a rational method of resolving 'disputed'/'controversial' subject matter because you are unable to be neutral is an embarrassment to your status in the Wikipedia community. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:35, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Iryna Harpy, I remind you of No personal attacks. Your comment toward Poeticbent, IMHO, crosses the line. Since you have started commenting on this talk page you have been rather incivil and personal in your comments. I ask you to refrain otherwise I will open an ANI about your behavior. Ajh1492 (talk) 09:19, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
By all means, Ajh1492, if you feel that I have overstepped the line on any issue, I would encourage you to report me. That is what Wikipedia has such processes in place for.
In the meantime, I'm still anxious to hear from Poeticbent regarding the matter of splitting the article based on a POV push. Having gone through the talk history, there have been no problems regarding the content of the article. The sole identifiable POV issue has revolved around the nomenclature (and that is my only interest). If it was considered that this is such an insurmountable issue that no consensus would be reached, why was there no attempt to reach consensus on the absolute necessity to split the article? I'd already stated that I was opposed to splitting it because I found the rationale highly dubious. It's one designated area and it is still an issue that could be resolved through WP:DR. I would certainly be prepared to abide by the decisions made by uninvolved parties and I'm still grappling with why an executive decision was made to syphon off the bulk of the content to this article, leaving behind a straggly piece of undeveloped nothing behind in the form of Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park. In fact, I've only just realised that I'm writing on the talk page of another article and not the one I was originally commenting on. Even the talk page at Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park has been left wiped clean. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:54, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
You might have been looking at the wrong subpage again, Iryna Harpy. Please examin the 'article' history, not the 'talk' history. The article was pretty much stable for years (even though still grossly underdeveloped), before TaalVerbeteraar showed up on the scene in mid October and plastered huge, bolded Russian Russian Russian (in both Latin and Cyrillic) all over the opening sequence. That was a wp:red flag for me, and the actual beginning of a fierce edit war. However, separate articles for the National Parks are a natural progression in Wikipedia for all transboundary areas. Please look at Germany and France, not just Poland, Slovakia, and Belarus. And, wp:comment on content, not on the contributor next time. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 11:22, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
The splitting of the article was first brought up by AntonBryl, plus if you notice that I was originally opposed to splitting the National Park-related information from the Forest-information, but after researching PoeticBent's comments and looking at the foreign-language entries for Białowieża_Forest (especially pl:Białowieża_Forest, it became real clear to me that the Forest article needs to concentrate on the forest and two National Park articles need to be created. So the consensus at the time from the 3 editors was to split, so a bold edit later we have three articles (the NP articles were already redirects, Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park since 9 April 2004 and Białowieża National Park since 21 September 2006). I wouldn't call Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park a straggly piece of undeveloped nothing (left) behind, it is not a stub, it is over 4000 characters with a well-developed infobox - it would have qualified for a DKY if the time was taken to cite the information.
Plus you claim you were involved in the discussion to split the article occurred that in late October (the actual split occurring on 30 October 2013), yet your first comment on the article talk page isn't until 9 November 2013 and your first comment about the split wasn't until 10 November 2013. Unless you have a handy Einstein-Rosen Bridge hanging around, how can you claim you were involved in the October decision to populate the two national park articles? Ajh1492 (talk) 15:37, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Response to Poeticbent

Apologies for any personal attacks. I could take the suggestion that I lack the requisite skills to be capable of discerning between talk page and article page history as intentional effrontery, but I'll choose to disregard it. I checked and analysed the content of all the pages very carefully before drawing any conclusions.

Please refer to this history on the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park article. Now refer to this history of this newly 'split' article (Białowieża Forest with the majority of body of existing article developed by people other than those disputing nomenclature syphoned off).

2012-07-15 21:32 to 2013-10-17 16:41 Poeticbent edit total = 8

Substance of contributions by edit:

  1. 15 July 2012 Removal of copyrighted material (Good catch)
  2. 28 November 2012 Nomenclature
  3. 27 January 2013 Removal of image files not relevant plus addition of an image file of your choice (Fair call on files removed)
  4. 27 January 2013 A little tidying (although it's really an awkward call as you tweaked the info and removed a perfectly valid citation)
  5. 11 September 2013 Tidy to existing text (ultimately, minescule)
  6. 15 October 2013 Nomenclature with edit comment: "r/v the most obvious misunderstanding → Belarus is not in Russia and has its own language".
  7. 15 October 2013 Nomenclature with edit comment: "please stop pushing a POV or you will be reported → modern Russia has nothing to do with Białowieża Forest".
  8. 17 October 2013 Reverting over nomenclature issue with comment to "see talk". Notably, any Russian language references were removed and Beralus Cyrillic was removed. Also 'Kamyanyuki' in Belarus was replaced with 'Kamieniuki' which is the Polish common name, not the Belarus transliteration or any form of an English common name.

Even more interesting is that the current version of your 'split' article suddenly contains the Belarusian AND Russian Cyrillic names, along with transliterations, in the lead. What happened to your 'Russian has nothing to do with it' POV dispute over the nomenclature? If this was rationale for splitting the article then I can only interpret it as being an admission that Cyrillic and Russian DO have a lot to do with the article. So much for any arguments as to a need for a split due to an unreasonable POV push from the bad guys and red flags. What I can see is that the bad guys wrote the article you've wrested for your own POV push.

In all fairness, if you take a look at Ajh1492 plethora of edits, the substance of his contributions to the article has been in over-the-top infobox POV pushes which appear back to back with your reverts. If you were so concerned about neutrality, how is it that you missed his complete misinterpretation of infobox parameters, excessive anti-everything Cyrillic and didn't bother to revert any of his 'contributions'? After all, he was at the centre of dispute over the infobox, not TaalVerbeteraar. It is a gross misrepresentation to accuse TaalVerbeteraar of plastering anything. I'll parse Ajh1492 'contributions' separately for my submission to Dispute resolution as it has, unfortunately, gone too far to attempt any other form of neutral party intervention.

As regards the call for a split, yes it was initiated by AntonBryl on 17 October. What was his involvement? Prior that, he had never been involved with the article at all: no edits or appearances on the talk page. You responded on the same day in order to point out the articles to be created. Since then, AntonBryl has only emerged to fix a minor problem in the infobox of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park (that's a grand total of one edit post his talk page). Well, the entire 'consensus' reasoning is on the talk page, although I fail to see how it can be understood to be Wikipedia:CONSBUILD in any shape or form. Your 'natural progression' fails to wash, either. There's a distinct difference between a true consensus for a split and hijacking and dragging off what you, yourself, have admitted was a fairly stable article in need of some development. Yes, I promise that I have most certainly noted that Ajh1492 had left just enough behind to not leave the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park article as a stub... by a whisker. What's been taken for your further development was in no shape or form developed by any of the three of you and the proof is in the editing history. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:32, 12 November 2013 (UTC)


The locator map showing where the forest is in "Europe" is not helpful. What's needed is a map of the forest, or a locator map showing its context in Poland (and Belarus?). Sca (talk) 20:28, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

That's possibly because the article underwent a POV-split at the end of 2013. The Belarus section of the park can be found here at Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. I suspect that the kind of map you'd be expecting would resemble the one to be found at List of national parks of Belarus, except that it would show the designated UNESCO area including both sides of the border. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:41, 11 June 2015 (UTC)