Talk:Governorate of Estonia

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Old talk[edit]

Since the name was changed into Governorate of Estonia in 1796, it should have it's own article. Or the name of this one should be changed as the name of the region the most of the time. That it was originally 'Reval Governorate' is good to know of course but still it would need appropriate sources and refs.--Termer 09:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Principality of Estonia (1721-1917)[edit]

Tsar Nicholas was in the news lately, and apparently his formal title was: "Nicholas the Second, by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, King of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogitia, Belostok, Karelia, of Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhny Novgorod, Chernigov; Sovereign of Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislav, and all the northern territories; and Sovereign of Iveria, Kartalinia, and the Kabardinian lands and Armenian territories; Hereditary Lord and Ruler of the Cherkass and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, Oldenburg, etc, etc, etc"

We have Grand Duchy of Finland for the same period. So therefore would it be logical to rename the Governorate of Estonia to Principality of Estonia (1721-1917)? Obviously the Governorate is an division for internal administrative purposes, but formally it was a Principality, right? --Martintg (talk) 20:48, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

The actual title of Russian Tsars was not "Prince of Estonia" but Duke of Estonia [1]/Duke of Estland [2] based on the Duchy of Estonia/(Estland) established by Valdemar II of Denmark in the 13 century. The title was hold first by Danish Kings then by Swedish kings and in the end by Russian tsars. However, since Swedish era, Swedish Estonia the region has been most often referred to as a governorate not as much as a duchy. therefore I don't see any reasons to rename the article since Duchy of Estonia most commonly refers to Danish Estonia only. Referring to Swedish Estonia as a duchy is a bit on the edge already considering "common use" despite that the Swedish kings like Russian Tsars did hold the title...--Termer (talk) 21:03, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

PS.Calling it a governorate makes also sense since the land had governors during the Swedish and Russian eras who actually ruled the land in the name of the monarchs and the Duke title was just for the show off for the royalties. unlike Duchy of Estonia during the Danish era that was directly annexed to Denmark and the King and the Queen mother approved and extended the fiefs of the vassals in person.--Termer (talk) 21:19, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

PPS. however, it seems that in case of Russian tsars "Prince of Estonia" [3] is the most common form of the title used in English indeed. How did the Duke title change into Prince during the Russian era and what was the title originally called in Russian would be good questions to ask.--Termer (talk) 21:38, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Here you go ru:Николай II Великий Князь Финляндский...Князь Эстляндский, Лифляндский, Курляндский
for some reason 'Великий Князь' is getting translated as 'Grand Duke' but just 'Князь' as 'Prince' instead of 'Duke'. So the question is in interpretations of titles from Russian to English and somebody has got it wrong at one point and it keeps spreading.--Termer (talk) 21:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
According to Grand duke it is 'Великий Герцог', and Google translate confirms. Note that the Swedish Kings was also known as "King of Sweden, Gotland and Vandalia, Grand Duke of Finland, Duke of Estonia and Karelia, Lord of Ingria" when Estonia was ruled by Sweden. Perhaps in order to gain support of the Baltic German nobility, the Russian Tsar changed Estonia from a Duchy into a Principality. Martintg (talk) 02:53, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
the google translation "Герцог" refers to the Germanic form of the title de:Herzog that translates to Duke in English. Prince and Principality are English titles that Russians and Germans, Danes and Swedes did not use but used de:Herzog or ru:Князь respectively. Nicholas II is listed as Duke of Estland in earlier English translations like this one [4]. Also I just finished Duke of Estonia.--Termer (talk) 03:43, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

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

The result of the move request was: no sign of any consensus for renaming Kotniski (talk) 10:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Governorate of EstoniaEstonia Governorate — Like all the other things, except one, called governorate in Category:Governorates of the Russian Empire Schwyz (talk) 10:39, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

C'mon, we have English Wikipedia here, not Chinese. 'Estonia Governorate' is simply not normal English; Governorate of Estonia is the term, see google hits or google books. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 10:43, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
You may learn more about the richness of the English language by visiting Category:Governorates by country. Schwyz (talk) 13:56, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per WP:COMMONNAME. This is English Wikipedia, Russian names are irrelevant to the name of the article (but they should be mentioned in the lede). Zero relevant results in Google Books and Scholar searches for the proposed name, quite a few for the current one. Not to mention, Estonia Governorate is just really bad English. --Sander Säde 14:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Comment. There are hits in Google Books, maybe try the interface again. Simply saying this is bad English does not count. Maybe your English language experience is limited to Estonian school English. Hundreds of governorate articles use that naming style. Schwyz (talk) 16:38, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
So please link to those hits, showing how they describe Estonia Governorate? Also, please avoid personal remarks and attacks or you will be blocked in the future. --Sander Säde 19:59, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed that here, opposed to Talk:Governorate_of_Livonia#Requested_move you wrote of "irrelevant" results. Schwyz (talk) 02:41, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
If there were governorates in the UK, we might well have London Governorate, on the other hand, we wouldn't have Britain Governorate or England Governorate. Genitive is needed there in case of those larger, 'state size' entities that possess such a form. Thus, British Governorate / Governorate of Britain would sound quite OK. Similarly, we have Republic of Estonia aka Estonian Republic, but NOT Estonia Republic, which sounds like machine translation. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 21:02, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
For other comparisons from the list Schwyz was referring to: Courland Governorate sounds quite OK (but could also possibly be called Governorate of Courland), since there's no corresponding adjective present in English like *Courlandian; on the other hand, Lithuania Governorate is not OK, since there's the adjective Lithuanian there that one would expect to be used in such a phrase: hence, it should rather be named Lithuanian Governorate. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 21:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you looking for Curonian? Of course all entities could be called "Governorate of Something" - but here what is wanted is a naming scheme for all governorates. Estonian Governorate would go well with Volhynian Governorate. Still, nouns are fine, compare with Sakha Republic, Altai Krai, Tuva Republic, Sakhalin Oblast, all entities, for the size argument, bigger than the Estonia Governorate. The noun also makes it more clear that it is not an Estonian Governorate (referring to ownership), but the Estonia Governorate (referring to a region). Schwyz (talk) 02:41, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
In case of Estonia, Livonia, Latvia, Lithuania, it is necessary to use the adjective derived from the name and that's it. *'Estonia Republic is invalid, though 'Sakha Republic' may well be in use (it's referred to in the English language media so infrequently that I can't really compare it with the usage of the Baltic place names, that have their clearly established forms). Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 10:49, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Which has no hits apart from Wikipedia and its clones. AFAIK 'Estland' is not an established term for Estonia, or the Governorate that was once located in the Northern parts of the area, that is now the country called Estonia. 'Estland' in English seems like an apparent Germanism, with no trace of use in sources. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 21:09, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I commented in more detail at Talk:Governorate of Livonia, but for the sake of record-keeping I just wanted to point out that "Estland" is in fact used by sources: [5], [6], [7] to name just those which floated to the top in a quick googlebooks search.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 10, 2010; 14:04 (UTC)
I checked your sources and made another google books search. 'Estland guberniya' gets 6 hits; 'estonian guberniya' 9. 'guberniya of estland' - 1 hit, 'guberniya of estonia' 2 hits. Even here, Estland is clearly more rare. The usual obsolete English term for Estonia (or the Northern governorate) was Esthonia, not Estland. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 10:19, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - See Talk:Guberniya#WP:RM. Would support Estland, but if this were a vote, I would have to vote against Schwyz – his argumentation is invalid. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 07:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  • oppose the use of the word Estland for now, until sources have been provided that the term was used in English. Dictionaries do not list it [8], note that Sakha occurs there. No maps have it that way: old books use either Estonia or Est(h)onia
I've managed to google some sources that have Estland/Livland/Liefland (some modern Russians and the Estonian author T.Ü. Raun), but I'm not positive that those versions are more frequent in English.
Just compare those results: Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 10:13, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Also, check maps like this one. There's no indication that Estland or Livland were widely used in English. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 12:15, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I cannot find the reference now, but the modern use of Estonia in English for the new unified country ("Estland" and northen Livland) was a decision made by Estonian nationalists soon after independence. At that time "Estland" was still an equally likely candidate. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:33, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Oxford Dictionaries Online does not have Estland because the policy of that dictionary is to exclude obsolete words and meanings and focus instead on modern English (hence "Sakha" is included). See the last question in this FAQ. I don't have access to full OED at the moment, but I will check what it says about "Estland" when I get to it (or, if someone already has access, I would appreciate if you could look it up). On the term usage being "rare", I cannot agree with this conclusion if it is made solely on the basis of counting google hits.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 11, 2010; 14:09 (UTC)
The map I referred to today was published in 1790, after Est(h)onia and Livonia had become subjects of the Russian empire. And Petri, the 1911 Britannica edition [9], [10] was published a few years before the Estonian “nationalist conspirators” could rule on the name of the united country in English language, wouldn't you agree? ;-). Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 20:00, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
The further searches I have made this evening have strengthened the view I had developed already in the course of the last few days that the word 'Estland' - how handy it may seem to us for the purpose of distinguishing between the present day Estonia (Eesti) and the Governorate/guberniya of Estonia (Eestimaa kubermang; note that the difference is there in Estonian language) - that the word Estland is not the one to use.
Consider my queries: there are 489 hits @ google scholar for works written till 1900 that the site recognizes as being written in English and containing the word Esthonia (I specifically searched for the obsolete version of 'Estonia'). In contrast, the same search terms give us mere 83 results for Estland, and it should be added though I limited the search engine to include only results in English, many books amongst those 83 seem to be written in other languages, in addition - in many of those results, the word Estland seems to occur merely as parts of references to books in German etc., i.e. it's not used in English in those cases.
Based on this, I have concluded that there is no basis whatsoever to favour the use of the word Estland as 'historic English' for the country of Estonia, or the northern part thereof. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 21:05, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I came up with this random source from 1780: The Monthly review, Volume 63. It uses "Estonia or Estland" while calling the southern neighbor "Livonia". The problem is, its not possible to tell what languages the two forms are supposed to represent: is it English and German – as some here would suggest, or Latin and English? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:53, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Oxford dictionary doesn't have Estland - nor does it have Estonia. Closest result was "Estonian", "A. adj. Of or belonging to Estonia (native name Eesti) /../ B. n. 1. A native or inhabitant of Estonia. 2. The Finno-Ugrian language of Estonia."
I have yet to see any English source to refer to Estonia or Livonia as Estland or Livland, respectively. ..onia has been the common English name for the areas for centuries, see for example [11], [12].
As for the "decision made by Estonian nationalists", they chose the name to be "Eesti Wabariik" in Estonian and "Republic of Estonia" in English. As for the borders, let us not forget that provinces of Estonia and Livonia were just an administrative divisions, not based on language, culture or ethnicity. It stemmed largely from Livonian Order, was taken up by Swedes and eventually then by the Russian Empire. By far most of the northern Governorate of Livonia was inhabited by Estonians, Livonians were living in a modern-day Latvia, with just couple of small villages on Estonian coast.
--Sander Säde 08:25, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Strong oppose - per wp:commonname. Governorate of Estonia was created as the term Duchy of Estonia established in 1219 as the name of Danish Estonia. It became a proper name in English denoting the territory consisting of Revalia, Harria, Vironia and Alutaguse. During the Livonian War, as the result of the surrender of the territory to Sweden , Rotalia and Jervia were attached to it. Occasionally, the island of Ösel was treated as part of Estonia. The establishment of the Governorate of Estonia by the Russian Empire only replaced the title Duchy with Governorate. The same happened with the Duchy of Livonia (so the nominator's claim about the uniqueness of the title is false). Note that the title of the Duke of Estonia was carried by the Russian emperors so the term retained its relevance until the end of the Russian Empire. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 12:33, 14 August 2010 (UTC)


Miacek, et al, please note that this search which is for estonia governorate returns (for me anyway) 133 results. If you flick thru the results you will see many of them are from publishers called Books LLC or Icon Group. These are not reliable, as they are simply books made up of Wikipedia entries; yes, it's stupid that people will pay US$28 or US$12 for a book that they can read for free on Wikipedia. Other results seem to simply have the words estonia and governorate in them, for example, this book is titled "Doing business with Estonia" and that section is explaining that Kuwait is broken up into governorates. There is a reference to "Estonian Governorate" in this book, but as it is a book on woodworking, is it a good guide or not? --Russavia I'm chanting as we speak 21:22, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's why I tried a more specific search at Google Scholar, which shows unambiguously, I think, that Esthonia was the most frequent term in English until 1900. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 10:25, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Interesting to note, that this source, number 7 on the search results list refers to Estland and the Duchy of Estland.
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:40, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
As explained above, Google scholar sources for 'Esthonia' until 1900 outnumber 5.8:1. (We could say 6:1, given that in many hits that the search return, the word 'Estland' is used in German titles etc). The fact that there were some results for your preferred version no way refutes the fact that Est(h)onia is an established term, and Estland not. Additionally, it's funny how you complained that wicked Estonian nationalists have perverted the use of English language after Estonia gained independence, whereas you now show up with sources from the 21st century to support your assertion that 'Estland' was once somehow the established term. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 10:49, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
No, I did not call these "Estonian nationalists" wicked nor am I saying there anything wrong with the word Estonia for Estonia. I am simple referring to the discussion in Estonia around 1919 about the name of the country in English. I am sure you Estonians are better able than I to find the relevant sources. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:08, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support - Estonia Governorate is fully in line with the applicable titling policies on English language Wikipedia. Just check any category of governorates...Rubikonchik (talk) 09:06, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Note 2[edit]

I think we are losing focus here. I know it's fun to call each other names, but can we concentrate on the issue at hand, please?

First off, I hope nobody is contesting the fact that "Governorate of Estonia" is an acceptable title as it is. However, I equally hope that nobody is contesting that it is not the only acceptable title—as it has been demonstrated, the governorate is referred to by a variety on names in English. In light of that, two other things need to be considered. First, no single variant clearly predominates (a 6:1 ratio is pretty meaningless when it refers to only a handful of sources; it's not like we are dealing with thousands of results here!). Second, the English sources use whatever terms they damn please. The subject of the Russian governorates is not very well covered by the English-language academic sources, so naturally, as with many other Russia-specific things, the authors resort to using whatever feels right to them at the time of writing. Trying to make sense of these arbitrary choices and to see some sort of definite pattern is a pretty hopeless endeavor. The best thing we, the Wikipedians, can do is to make sure we avoid using the terms which do not exist (such as "Estonia Governorate"). Everything else, as long as it can be demonstrated it enjoys usage, is fair game.

The purpose of this move request, if you recall, was simply to better organize the articles in Category:Governorates of the Russian Empire. "Estland Governorate" fits the bill; its usage has been demonstrated, and its "less frequent usage" (established, I would like to remind once again, using only a very limited sample of works) is not the same as "no usage" or even as "negligible usage". With a variety of fairly equally obscure titles to choose from, why should we not choose one that at least works for our organizational purposes? Why? Why? Why?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 14:15 (UTC)

I must have missed something. Where is "Estland Governorate" used, both Google Books and Scholar are giving me zero results? And, as this is English Wikipedia, the name of the article should be the most common English name, if there is no official English name - both per WP:COMMONNAME and common sense. All appropriate redirects can be created, naturally. --Sander Säde 14:50, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
We are using the term "governorate" to refer to the guberniyas of the Russian Empire and append the proper name to that term to construct the article title. The choice of "governorate" is arbitrary; we made it because it's better than the alternatives ("province", "guberniya", "government"; all of which enjoy a wider usage than "governorate", which is something no one here seems to see as a problem). It's just as organizational of a matter as using "X Governorate" instead of "Governorate of X". And the use of the proper name ("Estland") has been demonstrated above. As for the redirects, all appropriate redirects can indeed be created. Why not create a set of redirects that point to a title supporting our organizational efforts? Does that answer your question?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 15:13 (UTC)
No. What has been demonstrated is that 'Estland' is not an established term, and the 5.8 : 1 ratio itself is meaningful (what else do you suggest we rely on?), because this is English Wikipedia, not German, Estonian or Russian one. Still trying to argue (without any support) that 'Estland' is an acceptable as Est(h)onia or a reasonable compromise (?) can be summed up as the attitude “I can't, I can't, but I really want so much!”. If you'd take a look at the 83 hits I got for Estland, you will see, that even amongst those the overwhelming majority of those hits is either not referring to Estonia (!) or not English, but German titles cited in an English books. If this not negligible use, what is? That “the use of the proper name ("Estland") has been demonstrated” (in all honesty: in very few sources) does not make this a common name. The use of the term Est(h)onia in English (since 18th century) is demonstrated by the OED:

1795 in W. Tooke Varieties of Literature I. 23 Esthonian poetry. Ibid., The Esthonians..have an extremely soft, delicate, and tender articulation. 1841 LADY EASTLAKE Resid. Shores Baltic II. xvi. 62

> Nothing can exceed the hospitality of the Estonians. 1863 R. G. LATHAM Nationalities of Europe I. xii. 129 Ma, in Estonian, means land. Ibid. 132 The Estonian instrument is the harp. 1874 A. H. SAYCE Princ. Compar. Philol. 322 Wanna Issi in Esthonian means ‘the old father’. 1894 W. F. KIRBY Hero of Esthonia I. p. xvi, The Finns, the Esthonians, and the Lapps..speak very similar languages. 1925 O. RUTTER New Baltic States xi. 199 Estonian folklore owes something to the Finnish. 1941 J. H. JACKSON Estonia i. 20 The Soviets..were asking

for naval bases on Estonian territory. Ibid. iii. 58 One of the eight chairs on the original foundation was a professorship in the Estonian language. 1948 A. ORAS Baltic Eclipse i. 20 The Estonian shipyards, railway works, plywood factories. 1952 E. UUSTALU Hist. Estonian People v. 82 These tax and work registers, or ‘Vakus-books’, as they were called in Estonian.

The point of view that Estland can be a common place name in the English language is nothing more than an OR assumption. Whatever purpose it may fit, Wikipedia shouldn't start re-naming countries. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 15:39, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

How can call a term not established when you yourself confirm it is being used (although by "very few" sources)? As for what I am suggesting, it's that we stop using google hits as the only yardstick. For names returning thousands of results a quick google search may be of use, but for names with only a handful results it is quite meaningless. If I have a dollar and you have six, you are six times richer than me, but that doesn't change the fact that we both are going to starve to death if that money is all we have to go on for the next several weeks. The population size does matter when you are trying to make a decision based on that population's samples. When google books contains every book published in the world, then it would be another matter entirely.
Google book is not all there is. Did you try anything else besides googling? Why would you, for example, so easily discard the WDL's decision to label a map of this governorate as the map of Estland Province? Even with googling, why ignore the fact that a query for Estland gubernia returns almost as many results as one for Estonia gubernia (with many of those results overlapping, indicating mixed usage)? No 6:1 ratio here. How about the fact that any search you make will be skewed in favor of "Estonia" simply because it is the name of the modern country? Now, what do I suggest to use instead? If you haven't read WP:SET, I strongly suggest you do; it explains very well why relying on google alone is wrong. Now, if you have other concerns about the term "Estland", let's hear them out. The "not used" (or "hardly ever used") assertion is just patently wrong.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 18:14 (UTC)
With the search that you describe

with googling, why ignore the fact that a query for Estland gubernia returns almost as many results as one for Estonia gubernia

you seem to have made the trivial mistake - correct me if I'm wrong - that you've simply counted pages with the occurrence of either Estland or Est(h)onia among the hits. Make a search that clearly juxtaposes Estland gubernia [13] - Estonia gubernia [14] - Estonia gubernia [15]. Feel the difference.
I actually combined them like that on purpose—in hopes of boosting the population size. I don't think it helped much. With the above method there are even fewer results to work with, which brings me back to my complaint regarding the sample being too small.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 20:01 (UTC)

If you haven't read WP:SET, I strongly suggest you do; it explains very well why relying on google alone is wrong.

what is wrong with relying on Britannica or OED then (if that dictionary does not serve the purpose, present alternatives!)? Explain what was wrong with my google.scholar results? Why don't these count? If 'Estland' is such a widely used term, why did I get just handful of those meager 83 [16], that are really on-topic? Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 18:39, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with using the OED. There is nothing wrong with using google books. There is nothing wrong with using google scholar. And there definitely is nothing wrong with using an old-fashioned library. But it is wrong to rely predominantly on a set of google searches which don't even return a statistically meaningful number of results or to not recognize the limitations of the tools one is using.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 20:01 (UTC)
Now, as for How about the fact that any search you make will be skewed in favor of "Estonia" simply because it is the name of the modern country? Do I need to comment on that? Where could you find bias in the way I conducted search at google.scholar? This argument is as much of rubbish as if I had accused you of bias towards 'Estland' since the Russian term was Эстляндская. It would nonsense to be biased towards mixing the current country name with that of a historical province 1/3 of the current country. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 18:48, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I did not use the term "biased". I used the term "skewed towards". There is a difference. "Biased" means consciously using one term over another for a certain reason. "Skewed towards" means that any modern academic work worth its salt would mention the name of the modern country (Estonia) when discussing its history within the Russian Empire; regardless of which term is selected to refer to the historical entity. That's "skewed".—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 20:01 (UTC)
I will try to answer from the point-of-view of the Estonian community. This article is not only in the scope of Project Russia, it is also part of Project Estonia. Its focus is not or should not be the administration and internal division of Russia, but this particular period in the History of Estonia. Therefore Estonian historiography matters equally much as Russian bureaucracy. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:57, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe anyone is arguing against that? If "Estland Governorate" sticks out of an appropriate category dealing with Estonian historiography just as much as "Governorate of Estonia" sticks out of Category:Governorates of the Russian Empire, then obviously it's a problem that needs to be taken care of. If not, "Estland Governorate" is a pretty good compromise, don't you think? In articles, redirects/piping can always be employed to convey the proper shade of meaning. The issue we are having with the title is purely organizational in nature.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 15:13 (UTC)
And the reason to move the article from a name used in both books and scientific literature to a name not used anywhere at all is that it "sticks out"?! Why don't we just decide to blow off all the Wikipedia guidelines while we're at it? --Sander Säde 16:08, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I can't answer your question because your "not used anywhere at all" premise is incorrect. There is ample evidence that the term being proposed is used; I've added some more in this very edit (see above).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 18:14 (UTC)
I've been thinking of a Russian comparison for your obstinacy to argue a case withour having found a factual basis first. What you're doing is tantamount to me starting to argue that for some obscure reason the article on Oryol Oblast should be renamed. And not quite into Orlovskaya Oblast, but, indeed, into Orlov Oblast, as there are, after all, some sources that do indicate such a possibility. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 19:13, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you seriously putting "Orlov" in "Orlov Oblast" on the same footing as "Estland" in "Estland Governorate"? Should something called "common sense" no longer play any role in our discussion? As for "no factual basis", how are my google hits any worse than yours? That's the whole point I was trying to make—if you so obstinately insist on going with the google counts, why not accept that, statistically, a good number of variants would be acceptable?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); August 13, 2010; 20:01 (UTC)

Estland is the German/Sweadish/Danish name for Estonia, has always been. Due to the German autonomy in the "Estonian Governorate' of the Russian empire the name in Russian was also derived from from German: Estlyandskaya guberniya. In English this would be either the "Estonian Governorate" or "Governorate of Estonia". Just that both those forms are WP:OR. Most commonly used term for the era in English is the Estonian province (of the Russian Empire). And what was the reason again to standardize all the governorates on Wikipedia? Wikipedia was suppose to be based on secondary published sources, not on original research and ideas.--Termer (talk) 06:14, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

PS. regarding "Governorate of Estonia" sticks out of Category:Governorates of the Russian Empire, perhaps the reason for sticikn out is is that the province wasn't even governed by the Russian Empire but by the Baltic German nobility whose control over the local administration had been "permanently guaranteed" by Peter the Great through the Treaty of Nystad in 1721.--Termer (talk) 06:29, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia was suppose to be based on secondary published sources, not on original research and ideas: one of the purposes of the encyclopedia is to organize related concepts in a consistent way. Sometimes it's natural and easy, sometimes it's borderline (such as this particular case), and sometimes it's just plain impossible (in which case I would agree with your statement 100%). It doesn't mean we shouldn't at least be trying. The proposed title was (to different degrees) recognizable, natural, precise, concise, and consistent—all the qualities asked for by WP:AT. However, if the prevalent opinion is that the current title fits these traits better, well, so be it. As WP:AT succinctly puts it, [w]hen no consensus exists, it is established through discussion, with the above principles in mind. That's what this RM was for. I have no complaints; do you?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 2, 2010; 13:43 (UTC)

To organize related concepts in a consistent way, it would be straight forward if only published sources were followed. In the context it would be Provinces of the Russian Empire About 7,310 results on google books vs. not "Governorates of the Russian Empire" - 1 return on google books.--Termer (talk) 01:55, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

This had been previously addressed. The sources don't have a problem with using a term such as "province", because the Russian governorates are often the only concept of this nature they are dealing with (or just mention them in passing). Wikipedia, on the other hand, faces an enormous task of dealing with all kinds of the administrative subdivisions the Russian Empire ever had, and the term "province" would be a very unfortunate choice here because it makes it difficult to distinguish between "provinces" the guberniyas, "provinces" the oblasts, "provinces" the provinces (провинции), and probably other stuff I'm forgetting. Try explaining how Moscow Province was once divided into provinces which were soon abolished; that at one time provinces co-existed with provinces in other parts of Russia; and how Moscow Province was eventually transformed into Moscow Province, and you see what I mean. The term "governorate" is a mighty good alternative, but if you show me another source that solved this problem satisfactorily, I'll be happy to put it into use.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 3, 2010; 12:14 (UTC)
  • it makes it difficult to distinguish between "provinces" the guberniyas, "provinces" the oblasts, "provinces" the provinces.'s not, because in English the administrative divisions of the Russian Empire are referred to as provinces for the guberniyas, as territories for the oblasts and districts for the "provinces". Never heard about the "Moscow Province" nor "Moscow Governorate", in English it's called Moscow district -About 13,500 results on google books vs. "Moscow Governorate" about 11 results.--Termer (talk) 02:27, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Interesting discussion. Marcelline J. Hutton in the book "Russian and West European women, 1860-1939" offers this mapping, ordered in increasing size, between Russian and English: village (volost), city (gorod), county (uezd), province (gubernia), district (oblast). --Martin (talk) 22:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
This is not an uncommon way to go about it (although the translation of volost gives me pause). The point, however, is that it does not work for us very well; not to mention that the above classification is far from being the only possible one. I've seen "volost" translated as "sub-district" and "rural county"; "uyezd" as "district"; "guberniya" as "province", "government", and "territory"; "oblast" as "province" and "territory"; and even "okrug" as "circuit". Whatever one's personal preference is, it would not be hard to find a source or five substantiating it. It is, however, important to remember that Wikipedia faces a different task than any of those authors who only deal with guberniyas tangentially, or limit the research to a certain period of time, or only need to do basic comparisons with other countries. We not only need to deal with all of those aspects, but also make sure the pieces fit the big picture; the big picture being the administrative-territorial structure from the times of the Kievan Rus' to medieval period, to the Russian Empire, to the Soviet times, to modern times (we are, after all, an encyclopedia covering "all human knowledge"). "Province", for example, is a way overused term to be of much help on this enormous mission—it is variably used to refer to guberniyas, oblasts, provintsii proper (which this particular author had to awkwardly bill "sub-provinces"), even the whole Russia, and probably a slew of other concepts I'm forgetting. It seems easy to default to using it now, but we would only be inviting problems later on when content gets more developed.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 10, 2010; 13:36 (UTC)