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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 move to Heimosodat. —Nightstallion (?) 11:00, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Tribal Wars is wrong[edit]

The translation into English "Tribal Wars" is not a good rendition as a closer meaning than the English "tribe" would be given by terms such as "related peoples", "cousins". As there is a specific term "Finnic" to denote, amongst others, Finns, Estonians and Karelians I have replaced "Tribal Wars" with "Finnic Wars" in the text however I do not know how to change the title of the stub. Ehaver 29.01.2006

I agree, "tribal wars" is a very poor translation here. I am trying to start a discussion of this in Finnish Wikipedia, let´s see if we find a good term that has been already used in historiography. 10:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Seems this is not a much visited discussion page but for anyone who is tempted to reinsert the word "tribe" in this stub, here is an explanation of the English-language word "tribe":

"In common modern understanding the word tribe is a social division within a traditional society consisting of a group of interlinked families or communities sharing a common culture and dialect.

"In the contemporary western mind the modern tribe is typically associated with a seat of traditional authority (tribal leader) with whom the representatives of external (eg state or occupying) powers interact."

1st sentence is based on Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2004. 2nd sentence my explanation. 20:55, 26 April 2006 (UTC) uses word tribal war expeditions [1]: "The idea of incorporating Eastern Karelia to Finland became more intense during the tribal war expeditions in 1918-1922" Kahkonen 20:24, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

It is still a misleading translation, made by someone who is a bit confused about the meanings of word "tribe" in English and word "heimo" in Finnish. 17:52, 2 May 2006 (UTC)'s Oxford says it means same, but maybe "kinship war" is right term. I read some books in library and ... no one used English term for heimosodat, but in "Nygård, Toivo: Suur-Suomi vai lähiheimolaisten auttaminen, Aatteellinen heimotyö itsenäisessä Suomessa. Kustannuyhtiö Otava 1978." there was about kinship relations and so on. We can not say that it is erroreously translated Kahkonen 11:13, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
What? Actually 62... made it clear that Finnish "heimo" and English "tribe" do not mean the same thing. Let me clarify it a bit. Finnish "heimo" can be translated as "tribe" in some occasions. But often "heimo" carries meanings that English "tribe" does not have. Finnish heimosodat were not "wars fought by tribal societies" (tribal wars), but "wars fought on behalf of the nations related to the Finns". I quess the "kinship wars" is the best translation presented so far.
And we can certainly say that the Tribal Wars is an erroneous translation! It has been made clear several times on this discussion page. 20:22, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thank you 217..! I think "Kinship Wars" is technically a very good translation in this context. On the other hand, one has to bear in mind the meaning words carry for their reader. Let me give an example. There once was an Estonian-language publication called "Kodumaa", and it was actually a very cleverly chosen name for the publication in question. However when the publishers issued an English-language supplement called "Homeland" the translation was technically correct but the meaning had been lost - there are after all hundreds or thousands of homelands but the word "Kodumaa" without additional explanation conveys a specific picture of one place. "Kinship Wars" is good but there have been thousands of such wars all over the world. Can't we reintroduce "Finnic" somewhere? (Ehaver)

Well, why not? "Finnic kinship wars"...hmmm. Does it sound clumsy? Kinship wars of Finland? On the other hand, I would not resist the simple name "Finnic wars", although it is a neologism (it seems that these conflicts do not have an established English name) 19:17, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
What about if we simply name the article as heimosodat? Finnic kinship wars sounds best so far but I'll try again to find terms used in history studies. Let's see after tomorrow. Kahkonen 20:12, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Looks like that kinship is a term for nearer relativity than nationwide. (Hmm...) Dictionaries says that for "heimokansa" right translation is "kindred people", "nation" or "folk" and these terms are also used (see google). One of the people I contacted said he translated "Heimosotaristi" to "Cross for the wars for the Finnish kindred folks". So, Finnic kindred people wars? Best translation, I would say. Kahkonen 16:32, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal Move to Finnic Kinship Wars or Heimosodat[edit]


  • Support Heimosodat, Oppose Finnic Kinship Wars. Heimosodat is not very common in English, but it's used as the preferred term in encyclopedic entries. Finnic Kinship Wars, while less ambiguous than Tribal wars, seems to be original research. ~ trialsanderrors 22:14, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Support heimosodat, oppose original research. Kahkonen 22:24, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


Another historian (Jussi Niinistö) answered that maybe we can approach the problem this way: "Heimosodat - wars for the liberation of the Finnish kinsmen 1918-1922" or "Heimosodat - Intentions to liberate the Finnish-kindred folks?". This does not help us with article name but what about this solution:

Article name: Heimosodat
Articles introduction: Heimosodat is a Finnish term (literally "Kindred Nations Wars", often erroneously translated as "Tribal Wars") for conflicts in territories of Finnic people, in which some 9000 Finnish volunteers took part between 1918 and 1922. Many of them were inspired by the idea of Greater Finland. Some of the conflicts were expeditions from Finland and some were risings by the people on these areas, and volunteers wanted either to help people gain independence or annex the areas to Finland.

This because we can not use English term when there is none! :) Grammar correction is welcome. Kahkonen 10:03, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't be too worried about neologisms in our context, when translating one is forced into them sometimes. Remember also that Wikipedia is anglocentric and the guidelines were not designed with our problem in mind! I like "Finnic Wars" because of its snappiness but now I am getting used to "Finnic Kinship Wars" because of its completeness too. I'm not so keen on "Kindred Nations Wars", it seems a bit clumsy. 17:11, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Finnic kinship (itämerensuomalaisten sukulaisuus, relationship with other Finnic people) could be something like we in Finland think what heimokansa (Kindred nation) is. So Finnic kinship wars would tell to other than Finnish readers, what we have behind this term. But, just because of that, I don't think it is appropriate. I don't know (and maybe can't write it down). So we have two neologisms: Finnic Wars, Finnic Kinship Wars and Kindred Nations Wars which is as straight translation as possible. The only problem: No one really use them. Btw, we really do not have to invent new term if we clearly explain at the start of article what those wars were. Kahkonen 22:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I think it not good in an English-language website to have a title in a foreign language except where that word has gained common usage in English. The title of the article should mean something to a non-Finnish speaker. If necessary the title could be long but I think it needs the label "Finnic" which focuses the reader immediately on the geographical-ethnographical area - this one little word caries a lot of meaning for the reader. ( 16 May 2006)
Ok, but then we have to say that it is invented term in start of article.
Name: Finnic Kinship Wars or Kindred Nations Wars
Introduction: "Heimosodat is a Finnish term (literally "Kindred Nations Wars" or "Finnic Kinship Wars", often erroneously translated as "Tribal Wars") for conflicts in territories of Finnic people..."
Btw, you can sing your comments with ~~~~. Kahkonen 11:18, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


Name: Finnic Kinship Wars
Introduction: The Finnish term "Heimosodat translated here as "Finnic Kinship Wars" literally means "Kindred Nations Wars" or "Kinship Wars". It is often erroneously translated as "Tribal Wars". It refers to conflicts in territories of Finnic people..." 17:19, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok, that's good one. Anybody opposing? Kahkonen 08:54, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
If Heimosodat is an established term and no agreed-upon translation exists Heimosodat seems the best solution as per common name rule. Finnic Kinship Wars seems better than the current, perfectly generic, title. Ffrom WP:UE: If there is no commonly used English name, use an accepted transliteration of the name in the original language. ~ trialsanderrors 09:14, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
So, article title should be heimosodat? If so (I prefer it, and heimosodat it was when I started this article), normal user cannot move it. Kahkonen 12:16, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Dear people, Regarding If there is no commonly used English name.... an accepted transliteration: we are not dealing with a non-latin alphabet so we do not need to transliterate anything. So WP hasn't helped us here. If we focus on the word "accepted" and forget the word "transliteration" then WP still does not help us because there is no accepted Finnish-language name used in English (the opposite case applies to "sauna", though I don't know whether there is an overenthusiastic "a" at the end of the English version, the Estonian nominative is saun and the only Finnish I know is "kiitos"). I still maintain you cannot fill the English language WP with foreign names that have not gained common usage in English. Poor little beggars will start to think they have entered a language lesson. 16:31, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Ugh. Just because there is no need to transliterate Heimosodat doesn't make this passage invalid. The whole discussion is testimnoy to the fact that no common English translation exists. Sauna, of course, is a word commonly used in English, however horribly misspelled. ~ trialsanderrors 17:40, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
If we transliterate 'heimosodat', we get - 'heimosodat'! :-) Kahkonen 18:31, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

That's what I mean, there is no transliteration involved. (Well probably you get 'heymowsodet' in standard English but that's just me trying to be clever). Can't we focus on the word "accepted"? Heimosodat is not accepted in English and that's that. I still maintain the title of an article has to mean something in English. By the way, I am told that 'sauna' is the Finnish nominative singular? So there you go, a pure Finnish word accepted in English with no transliteration (different pronunciation of course). 15:39, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Radiosomaggismo, Totenkopfring, Repartimiento, Rampjaar ~ trialsanderrors 17:57, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
WP:UE: If there is no commonly used English name , use an accepted transliteration of the name in the original language.. Lets see: (1) there is not commonly used English name -> (2) the name in the original language: "heimosodat" -> (3) transliteration: "heimosodat" (strike, because: Latin-alphabet languages, like Spanish or French, should need no transliteration) -> (4) Articles name: Heimosodat. Kahkonen 20:45, 18 May 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.

About the name, again[edit]

The name's for this is quite odd. The term "heimosodat" or "kinship wars" in English are used only by the right-wing radicals or sympathisers as I know as a Finn. The White intelligentsia here used to use that term to pussyfoot the fact that in exception to Estonian civil war, the volunteer Finnish soldiers or civil guards were fighting to expand the arae of the Finnish state - which was sympathious for that - and they were armed by the goverment (Army) or with the blessing of goverment (independent Civil Guards). The radicals titled those small-scale skirmishes as wars for propagandic means - the war bands were no larger than a rifle company (even that size was rare) and they did mostly fight independently without no supreme commander than the platoon/company commander, and they'd like to have more support amongst the folk and the civil guard to expand the minor struggling to a small conquest! I'd say so that the current name is nothing but biased, and should be changed as this project aims to be a good virtual encyclopedia. But what should be a proper, non-biased name? I dunno. Dunno, because these strugglings are never mentioned under same name in Finland (in exception of right-wing sympathizers). The Aunus expedition and the Finnish volunteers' journey to Eesti is the most heard of these, by the reason that these were the only "wars" of those so-called "kinship wars" to have a supreme commander and more troops than a few independent militia platoons and companys outta there. Cheers - "Bassman"-- (talk) 21:32, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

The aversion to the word tribe[edit]

The whole discussion above is simply the result of people with a non-fluent, or non-native understanding of English having a negative association with the word tribe. Finns hearing the word tribe immediately associate the word with undeveloped, "tribal", or primitive people. This whole "schism" isn't based on any outside sources and is completely contained to Wikipedia.

The truth of the matter is that both "heimo" and "tribe" have the exact same meaning.


A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader
Oxford dictionary


ryhmä sukuja tai klaaneja, joita yhdistää naapuruus, kieli ja kulttuuri. esim. Alkuasukas-, intiaani-, beduiiniheimo. Mustalaisheimo. Kansanheimo. Karjalaisten heimo. Heimon päällikkö.

JukkaPietila (talk) 17:42, 1 December 2014 (UTC)