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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Literature8, Chaunguyenle.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 23:30, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To add to article: additional original name for Hispaniola[edit]

To add to this article: the fact that "Bohio" is another original name for Hispaniola. (talk) 23:14, 3 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternate spellings for Quizqueia[edit]

Are Quisqueya, Kiskeia, or Kiskeya alternate spellings for Quizqueia? (talk) 00:42, 4 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 09:16, 28 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Original name of Island is 'Haiti'. Not sure why we are ignoring the history of natives to favor narrative of white Europeans.[edit]

~ The name of island before European invasion was 'Haiti'. Not sure why wikipedia is washing the culture of natives that lived on the island first.

  • Regardless of how folks may feel about it, the current, widely accepted, and well-documented name of the island is now Hispaniola. If you take a moment to read the article, you will see that Haiti is acknowledged as only one of several names (documented by the Spaniards) that were used by the native inhabitants. Also, Haiti was used by the Taino people to describe the northeast portion of the island, not the entire island. It was premature to make these significant changes before discussing them. Please revert these edits and wait for consensus to move forward. Glendoremus (talk) 01:13, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should follow the guideline for Naming conventions (geographic names), particularly, "When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it." Those who want to change the article need to demonstrate that Haiti is more widely accepted than Hispaniola as a name for the island as a whole. Linking to a supposedly sympathetic Yale University article that itself opts for the title Hispaniola is not a good start. Meticulo (talk) 15:11, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

~ To answer Glendoremus's point, the article points to evidence that the name Haiti was only used to describe a portion of the land. There is no reference in the article pointing to such evidence. The article also mentions "In the oldest documented map of the island, created by Andrés de Morales, Los Haitises is labeled Montes de Haití ("Haiti Mountains")". I would love to review such evidence suggesting the name Haiti was only for a portion of the island, especially as we find it illogical that they would label something 'Montes de Haití' when Haiti means "Land of High Mountains". Another argument for the name being Hispaniola in Wikipedia article is "In 1918, the United States occupation government, led by Harry Shepard Knapp, obliged the use of the name Hispaniola on the island, and recommended the use of that name to the National Geographic Society". It has been documented that the US occupation of Haiti had a racist ideology, with things like Jim Crow segregation laws being implemented in a predominantly black nation, so it's strange to let such motivations influence how the future of the world remembers history. I also disagree with the "widely accepted, and well documented" comment from Glendoremus, and with the comment about needing to demonstrate Haiti as being more widely accepted from Meticulo. My rationale for disagreeing is the following: if China decides to name the Dominican Republic by a different name, they have more than enough citizens to have any name they choose be more widely accepted than what the 11mm Dominicans choose to call their country. Reality is reality, and not what most people believe. Especially when there are questionable motives behind why certain people would want to erase/blur the history of natives in favor of some white supremacy, i.e. getting to name the world, or discovering a place that somehow already has people living there.Voice For The Unheard (talk) 23:05, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your rationale doesn't work for me. You seem to be claiming that the guideline for geographic names is fallacious because it's a version of argumentum ad populum. But we're not talking about the truth of a proposition, or what something actually is in itself. We're talking about what would be the most widely understood label. In any case, I doubt China's renaming of the Dominican Republic would sway English-language sources to a great extent, and those sources are what English-language Wikipedia relies upon. Meticulo (talk) 13:59, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

~ I appreciate the clarity behind the reason Meticulo provided for disagreeing, and the link to argumentum ad populum. The link suggests it is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so". I am however having a hard time seeing how saying that you are instead talking about 'the most widely understood label' is different from the suggestion that the name Hispaniola should remain as the official one in this article because many or most people believe it to be so. Being able to quote a logical fallacy does not mean you're immune from it. Geographic names are taught to people, there's no deep logical understanding really. There are also inconsistencies with the argument implying it's the English way of saying it: Ayiti in Taíno means High (Sacred) Land or Land of High Mountains, and it translates to Haïti in French, Haití in Spanish, and to Haiti in English. 'Hispaniola' means The Spanish Island.[1] So calling the island Hispaniola wouldn't be the English way, but rather calling the island by a different name. English is also widely spoken in China, so our fellow humans in China wouldn't have such a hard time overwhelming the world with what you're calling English-language sources (books, articles, etc) if they were to wage such a campaign. The same type of campaign that other groups in human society have waged over the years (and that’s also documented). Especially since we are not talking about a translation, but rather an arbitrary choice to call a place one name over another. This Wikipedia article was written at some point based on what the authors believed, and it's been updated over time. Whoever wrote it first could have reflected their own beliefs, and with the status quo established, it's not necessarily fair to use the circular logic that since this is the most widely accepted view, it should remain when the Wikipedia article could have contributed to this view regardless of correctness. The facts are:

  • 5000 B.C. - 1492: There was a name for the island before Europeans came (Ayiti, Haiti, Hayti, Kiskeya, Boyo, certainly not Hispaniola)
  • 1492 - 1804: Europeans called it various names (Hispaniola, Española, Saint Domingue, Santo Domingo, including Haiti)
  • 1804: Haiti became independent and renamed the island 'Haiti'. At the time Spain had ceded the entire island to France[2]
  • 1918: American General during occupation forced people on the island to call it 'Hispaniola' with no legitimate basis. Notice the use of word 'obliged' instead in article?
  • 2021: Who lives there now? Does the original name for 6,000+ years, most recent name, or some intermediary name get to be the official one? Voice For The Unheard (talk) 15:39, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm still not convinced a good case has been made for this article to be an exception to WP:NCGN. But I'm no expert on the region so have posted a request for comment. Meticulo (talk) 15:18, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

~ Thanks for raising the request for comment. We will follow up there. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 15:35, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ "Haïti, L'île des Mystères". (Haiti, Island of Mystery). Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Early Period". Haiti. Retrieved 29 July 2021.

Request for comment on island's name[edit]

Should the island as a whole be referred to as Haiti rather than Hispaniola? Meticulo (talk) 15:18, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WP:COMMONNAME does not apply here, especially as it is objectively guilty of appeal to authority and argumentum ad populum as logical fallacies. Probably why this very page on naming convention suggests that These should be seen as goals, not as rules. Additionally, the page only provides guidance for Native/English-language pairs that have a connection either phonetically, or through translation, none of which applying here. WP:UE and WP:TRANSLITERATE say In deciding whether and how to translate a foreign name into English, follow English-language usage. If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader. Hispaniola seems to only be the English-language usage of itself, not of the island's true/most recent official name, and therefore Hispaniola isn't justified by the policy. VoiceForTheUnheard (talk) 18:41, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No WP:COMMONNAME is overwhelmingly Hispaniola. WP:WIAN and WP:MPN are also relevant here. @Voice For The Unheard:Haiti (or Ayiti or any variation thereof) is clearly the native name, and by some metrics that does make it the "right" name, however Wikipedia conventions (relevant examples have been linked) tell us that we should be using Hispaniola. Also, using Hispaniola lets us avoid WP:PLACEDAB. BSMRD (talk) 16:24, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Disagree with BSMRD. We have the city of New York, and the state of New York. It's illogical to choose to be wrong for the sake of preventing ambiguity. Also Hispaniola isn't a translation of Haiti, which you're somewhat agreeing is the "right" name. I have no concerns with Hispaniola being cited on page as a name used for a fraction of the history of the land, but it should not be the title of page, or official name per Wikipedia. Wikipedia could be one of the first sites to get it right, so a mistake made broadly wouldn't be a reason to say it's right to use Hispaniola as The Name of the island. Also refer to appeal to authority Voice For The Unheard (talk) 16:43, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. Hispaniola is the correct name, from a policy viewpoint. WP:COMMONNAME is quite clear: our mission is not to correct language, or change it in any way, we call things what they are most usually called in the English language. Clicking on a few links that have been presented in the discussions above tells me that Brittanica calls it Hispaniola, that the Yale University Genocide Studies Program calls it Hispaniola, but I see no evidence of any sources using the term Haiti to refer to the island (aside from when they are talking about historical names). Now, there might very well be a strong case that it should be called Haiti, but that isn't how Wikipedia's naming policies work: we call things what they are called, not what they should be called. If and when the language shifts, and most reliable sources are referring to it as Haiti, we will change the name of our article; not before. Girth Summit (blether) 16:48, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Again, you aren't correcting Language as Hispaniola is NOT a translation of name, but rather an entirely different name. Refer to appeal to authority and argumentum ad populum. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 16:53, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, I don't understand what you're talking about - I didn't say that Hispaniola is a translation of a name, I said that it is currently the name most commonly used in the English language. Do you have any evidence to say that that is not currently the case? (You're gonna have to spell our how either of those fallacies apply, I'm not seeing it). Girth Summit (blether) 17:01, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to think framing your argument around the English language is helping your case, so if it's Haiti in any other language it cannot be Hispaniola in English since Hispaniola is not the translation of Haiti. However to help with your understanding of where the fallacies come into play, your "No" is only justified in your text by naming other sources that potentially made the same mistake, which is either claiming that they have some authority to determine the true name, or that because they are many they must be correct; both of which being logical fallacies. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 17:09, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Erm, no. Whatever the history of the word, Hispaniola is the name used, in English, for that island, and Haiti is the name used, in English, for one of the countries that exists on it. Other languages can call them both whatever they like. You think that the sources we use are making a mistake: that's fine, you're welcome to your opinion. Our policy is to use whatever name those sources use, so if they are wrong, so must we be: we aren't here to fix their mistakes. Now, go read WP:BLUDGEON, and stop responding to every single person who comments here - this is a request for comment, people will come along and express their views. You don't need to respond to all of them. Girth Summit (blether) 17:37, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for sending WP:BLUDGEON. I welcome any evidence you have to support your claims Girth Summit, which many disagree with. I think you're not hoping we just take your word for it. I also like that you appear to be an Admin, so if you could suggest some official entity regulating Wikipedia that we could actively consult, and also talk about precedents for challenging Wikipedia's rules since I don't think you mean to imply they are absolute. Wikipedia has a given purpose to be a source of knowledge, so it's hard to wrap our heads around rules that would make it impossible to challenge the status quo, even if challenge is justified. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 17:43, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard as I've already said, the evidence in the claims is in the links that have been presented in the discussion above - all of them refer to the island by the name Hispaniola. What you need to do, if you want to have any hope of getting consensus to change the name of this article, is demonstrate that most high-quality English language sources refer to the island by the name of Haiti. Do that, and I'll change my mind. So far I haven't seen any that call it that.
Proposals to change policies can be made on the talk page of the particular policy, but for a major change to such an important content policy as WP:COMMONNAME it would need centralised discussion and a wide participation: I can tell you now that you are exceedingly unlikely to succeed in changing that policy.
As an aside, you shouldn't use another editor's signature in your posts. If you want to ping them, use a standard ping template. I've changed your post above, look at that to see how to do it. Please also look at WP:THREAD - I don't know why you're starting all your posts with a tilde, but failing to follow standard indenting makes discussions difficult to follow. Girth Summit (blether) 17:56, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for providing insight into the Wikipedia format suggestions, Girth Summit. I've updated my posts accordingly. While I would love to convince you, I am not so sure this should be the standard for establishing what is correct or not. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 18:07, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, you need to convince other editors if you want to gain consensus. If you convince me, you will be one step closer to that goal.
Whatever is most commonly used in English language sources is the only thing that matters from a policy perspective. I just did a bit of Googling, here are some of the first sites that came up calling the island Hispaniola: Oxford's World Encyclopedia, CNN, BBC,, the World Wildlife Foundation. Cambridge University Press, the Smithsonian. Can you point to any at all that use the word 'Haiti' to refer to the whole island? Girth Summit (blether) 18:16, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please read Also read the earlier section suggesting China could technically change the name of the Dominican Republic with this policy. I am sure you don't mean to say that if there is a wrong view, as long as a majority of editors hold that view, the view is considered correct. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 18:34, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, we're not interested in the early period, we're interested in what sources call it in modern language.
This is the first sentence of the article you just linked to on Haiti: "Haiti, country in the Caribbean Sea that includes the western third of the island of Hispaniola and such smaller islands as Gonâve, Tortue (Tortuga), Grande Caye, and Vache."
This is the first sentence two sentences of their article on Hispaniola: "Hispaniola, Spanish La Española, second largest island of the West Indies, lying within the Greater Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea. It is divided politically into the Republic of Haiti (west) and the Dominican Republic (east)."
Britannica is yet another example of why our policy requires us to call this island Hispaniola.
Your China analogy is just silly. It's not about the number of people, it's about the number of high-quality English-language sources. All we do here is summarise what sources say - we use the same language that they do. I'm signing off now, feel free to ping me if find a load of high-quality English language sources using the word Haiti as the name for the whole island in a modern context. Girth Summit (blether) 18:52, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have the right to feel the analogy is silly. But you cannot deny that China could, in theory, significantly affect the number of high-quality English-language sources if one day they arbitrarily choose to wage such as campaign, and instruct their scholars to write articles in English with a different name. It has been documented that the US did a very similar thing in 1918, waging a campaign to generate more sources supporting Hispaniola (Citation for that can be found in this very Wikipedia article). So you should equally reject the silly choice arbitrarily made by some people to force the use of the name Hispaniola on people that were under their illegitimate influence. Because one was taught this as a child, or because one personally agrees that it should be called Hispaniola does not mean the rest of the world should follow them and others who think like them. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 19:58, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, regarding China, I doubt the practicality of your proposed scheme. I guess we'd deal with it if it happened, but it seems farfetched.
Regarding what I was taught as a child, as it happens, I was not taught anything about Hispaniola - if you'd asked me twelve hours ago, I couldn't have told you where it was. Everything I've said here is based on what the sources available to me say. Girth Summit (blether) 22:16, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I find it hard to follow why you think the China scheme is farfetched/not practical when there are clear precedents in history for it, including the scheme causing us to have this conversation in the first place. Are you suggesting that it's practical before a certain year in history, and past that year it's no longer practical? Or if orchestrated by people from a different continent or ethnicity? You said I guess we'd deal with it if it happened, I guess we are. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 22:30, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, the specific scheme you proposed was that the Chinese government might instruct their scholars to write lots of articles in English about the Dominican Republic in order to influence what English-speaking people call that country: that does seem farfetched, and a bit silly. However, the Chinese nation can and does change the common English word for some things: when I was growing up, it was common to hear people refer to the capital of China by the name 'Peking', but that has become much less prevalent, and the COMMONNAME is now clearly Beijing. The same sort of thing has happened elsewhere (Bombay to Mumbai, Madras to Chennai, Ayers Rock to Uluru), and so on. What matters to us is what modern sources call a place: when they change the name they use, so do we.
Your use of farfetched here is not justified given precedent (can always help show the similarities in case you're struggling with the task, just ask). Colonialist/US did what you're calling silly today. In any case, Island was officially renamed after colonialists left/were forced out so the argument of since "modern recorded history it's been called Hispaniola" does not stand. Hispaniola is not English-language name, but a different one with no connection other than being two separate words describing the same location. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 14:18, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see that below you have presented some links to support your assertion that there is contradictory evidence about the name of the island. Those links actually lend weight to the idea that the COMMONNAME is Hispaniola. This is a map in French from 1824, so it doesn't tell us anything about the modern English name. This is another French map, from 1731, so it's even less relevant. This source opens with the following assertion: "The Republic of Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola...", so it supports the idea that Hispaniola is the COMMONNAME. This map is from 1754, and it's not written in English (Dutch or German, I think), so its content is irrelevant; what is telling however is the filename: hispaniola-1754_hispaniola-lg.jpg. This does indeed show the island as being called 'Haiti/QuiQueya', which is interesting - but it's not clear the words used on the map are. It also seems to show the Florida Peninsula as being called 'Cautio', which suggests to me that it's not showing English names for places: perhaps this is a map of historic or indigenous names? That's just a guess, but it obviously isn't telling us anything about the modern English names for places.
I have not seen anything yet that suggests to me that any modern English-language source calls the island anything other than Hispaniola. Girth Summit (blether) 09:15, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have certainly seen such things, Girth Summit. Able to prove otherwise? (No!). It seems more like you have this arbitrary guideline in your head that makes some evidence acceptable, and others not. But others do not have to follow you, unless you back up your own way with sound logical reasoning (with no fallacy even if suggested by Wikipedia).
WP:COMMONNAME does not apply here, especially as it is objectively guilty of appeal to authority and argumentum ad populum as logical fallacies. Probably why this page on naming convention suggests that These should be seen as goals, not as rules, so find something better to justify your view. Additionally, the page only provides Native/English language pairs that have a connection either phonetically, or through translation, none of which applying here. WP:UE and WP:TRANSLITERATE say In deciding whether and how to translate a foreign name into English, follow English-language usage. If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader. Hispaniola seems to only be the English-language usage of itself, not of the island's true/current name, and therefore takes zero justification from the page people here keep quoting as to why it needs to remain. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 14:18, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, I see no merit in anything you just said, but no matter. This project runs on consensus, and so far you have failed to persuade anyone to support your proposed changes. The only way you will persuade people is by providing a great many high-quality English-language sources using a different name for the island. So far you have presented zero such sources; I don't believe they exist, but if they do, and you present them, you'll have proved me wrong. Good luck with your endeavours. Girth Summit (blether) 14:34, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Girth Summit. I am patiently waiting for when you make the suggestion more explicitly that having the numbers on your side makes your view correct. I could use some humor. Thank you for your wishes, friend. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 14:39, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can patiently wait for this RfC to be closed, and see what the closer says. I have given my view. Girth Summit (blether) 14:43, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Girth Summit. Given your Admin status, would you care to explain to us (me commenting, and others reading silently) what a closer is, and the credentials behind his/her authority? Voice For The Unheard (talk) 14:49, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, read WP:RFC Girth Summit (blether) 14:50, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Girth Summit. We apppreciate, thanks. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 14:54, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No Hispaniola is the appropriate name per WP:COMMONNAME, WP:PLACE, etc. etc. There's no evidence that any reliable, English resource refers to the island by any name other than Hispaniola. Furthermore, even in an historical context, there's no agreement that Haiti was the name used by the original inhabitants. Glendoremus (talk) 17:11, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Such evidence exists, Glendoremus. It is not like you are providing any evidence to support your claims anyways. Why would the burden of proof lie on others while you just sit and consult this page? Do more research. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 17:15, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No There are maps dating back to 1492-93, 1639 and 1690 that labels the island as La Isla Española or Hispaniola. From my research, the beginning of recorded history for the island has always identified the island as La Isla Española or Hispaniola. While there is evidence to suggest that the island bore other names in the past by indigenous inhabitants, (see THE ABORIGINES OF THE ANCIENT ISLAND OF HISPANIOLA by Herbert W. Krieger. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1929.), it is hard to substantiate what name was actually used in pre-recorded history as there are simply no records to support what the actual name was. Jurisdicta (talk) 00:51, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Simply no records? Are these good enough for you?
Bottom line is there is a lot of contradictory evidence, as is the case for many things that rely on "oh-so-perfect" human record-keeping; but people can follow the facts and come to a reasonable logical conclusion. The most recent declaration of an official name for the island was done in 1804, and it was Haiti. We would welcome it if you presented any later official record from a state authority recognizing the name as Hispaniola, a state with legitimacy to do so. Quoting the page WP:COMMONNAME: ... Rome rather than Roma, Hanover rather than Hannover, Meissen rather than Meißen). If a native name is more often used in English sources than a corresponding traditional English name, then use the native name. Two examples are Livorno and Regensburg, which are now known more widely under their native names than under the traditional respective English names "Leghorn" and "Ratisbon". The English/Native examples used in article bear some resemblance either phonetically, kinda same word but misspelled, or through a translation. Haiti/Hispaniola bear no such resemblance: They don't sound the same and one means Land of High Mountains while the other meansThe Spanish Island, so not a translation either. This certainly appears to be an exception to this policy that keeps getting quoted. Also shall I remind people of appeal to authority and argumentum ad populum as logical fallacies - and ask if Wikipedia rules are absolute, or done in such a way where challenging the status quo, while justified, is impossible? Voice For The Unheard (talk) 04:28, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you miss where WP:COMMONNAME also says Germany not Deutschland? If a place has a different (common) name in English, we use that, even if it has no linguistic relation to the native one. WP:MPN also is relevant here, even if Haiti was the name used for 6,000 years, it isn't now, and that's what we care about. Citing Wikipedia policy is not an "appeal to authority", it has been iterated upon for two decades now, and this flimsy evidence for what the island used to be called has no bearing on how we title our articles and is insufficient to overturn Wikipedia's conventions. WP:OR exists for this reason, Wikipedia is not a publisher of information, and it does not exist to teach people about "new" things, but rather to aggregate preexisting information, and modern, reliable, academic sources all call the island Hisponiola, so that is what we will do. There is a whole section of the article dedicated to etymology, which is where information on what the island used to be called can go, but we decide our titles based on what a place is called, and it is called Hispaniola. BSMRD (talk) 04:45, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BSMRD You might have missed my comment (not too far from your response) including the mention of translation. Review, and you might see my point remains intact. The Haiti/Hispaniola scenario is quite unique and deserves to be dealt with accordingly. Also this statement "even if Haiti was the name used for 6,000 years, it isn't now" is demonstrably false. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 05:09, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia rules are not absolute. As Girth Summit wrote above, "Proposals to change policies can be made on the talk page of the particular policy". In this case, Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names). The status quo can be challenged; it's very difficult but not impossible. Meticulo (talk) 05:00, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, per WP:COMMONNAME. (Summoned by bot) DonFB (talk) 05:41, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No (Summoned by bot) All the sources refer to the island as Hispaniola as the ordinary name in English, so WP:COMMONNAME applies. This proposal seems to be based on a rather silly, or at least naive notion that it is, even possible, to rename places according to how they should have been called, if history had only been nicer, rather than the names used by those who made the places known to the rest of the world - which is often going to be the name used by a coloniser or trading partner. Germany - and many European places - is known to most of the world by the name given to it by the Romans, not that used by its own people, nor their neighbours (Allemagne, Niemcy, Njemačka, Německo are just a few) let alone the ancient ones. England refers to the land of the Angles - post-Roman invaders who were not the earliest, nor sole, inhabitants, but who gave their name to the country - in Latin originally. America is of course named after an explorer and it probably did not have a single name to the many peoples who lived there before European 'discovery'. If it is reliably sourced that another name was used by ancient peoples for Hispaniola, that is of course worth noting, but this RfC is based on a foolish attempt to 'fix' history or to 'fix' English names, which are the net result of the chaotic processes of history. Pincrete (talk) 11:55, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No (Summoned by a strange comment on Girth's Talk page) per WP:COMMONNAME -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 15:13, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No The English language name for this island is Hispaniola, and the notion that anyone knows what its indigenous residents called the entire island 6000 years ago is without merit. Haiti is the name of the nation that is on the western 2/3 of the island, and the citizens of the Dominican Republic to the east would be amazed to learn that they suddenly live on Haiti. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 18:38, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No Hispaniola is the common name. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 18:52, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No COMMON NAME, COMMON SENSE Mwinog2777 (talk) 21:27, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No The appropriate name per WP:COMMONNAME is Hispaniola. BristolTreeHouse (talk) 08:05, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: I'm ending the request for comment, and have removed the tag, so as not to waste more editors' time by having them respond now that a consensus seems to have been established. If this is against some policy, please let me know. It's the first RfC I've begun. Meticulo (talk) 10:49, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 31 July 2021[edit]

Add (Officially known as Haiti) after Hispaniola in the first line.


The most recent official declaration of a name for the island was Haiti (review sources below)[1]. While it appears that Hispaniola has some relevance in popular culture, unless a later official notice can be provided, which declares the island as Hispaniola, the article needs clarification, as in the case of Bangalore.

Having finally defeated the French in late 1803, Dessalines published a declaration of independence on 1 January 1804, abolishing the colony of Saint-Domingue and creating the world’s first Black republic. He renamed the new state ‘Hayti’, the name used by the island’s indigenous Arawak people before colonisation. Dessalines crowned himself Emperor Jacques I of Haiti in October 1804.[2]

This happened at a time when the entire island was under French control. Consult Saint-Domingue, which correctly uses Saint-Domingue as a historical name, like I believe Hispaniola should be. But while we work towards consensus, I have provided evidence showing the official name to be Haiti. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 16:22, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Voice For The Unheard, that source says that the state was named Hayti; that state is no longer extant, and there are two modern states on the island today, one of which is called Haiti. It doesn't support the case for that being an official name for the island today. Are there any other sources that would support this view? (I'm not going to decline this request myself, since I'm involved in the above discussion, and I did advise VFTU to propose this as a compromise. Put me down as opposing this change without better sourcing though.) Girth Summit (blether) 16:33, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. It doesn't appear the entire island is currently officially known as Haiti ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 16:34, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
False. Another source: On Jan. 1, 1804, the entire island was declared independent under the Arawak-derived name of Haiti. [3]. Girth Summit It's certainly not a state no longer existing, despite variations in how people choose to write the word. On behalf of other concerned parties and myself, I urge you to approve Change or Provide logical reasoning behind refusal Voice For The Unheard (talk) 16:49, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Also you should be aware that shared accounts are not allowed on the English Wikipedia ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 17:10, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ScottishFinnishRadish, what I would want to see is a reliable source saying in plain English that the island is currently officially known as Haiti, and explaining what it means by that (like, who calls it that). A source saying that it was declared that in 1804 is not going to cut it.
I've asked this before, and I'll do it again : is there any high-quality, modern, English-language source that says the whole island is still called Haiti (officially or otherwise)? A yes/no answer, with citation, would be appreciated. Girth Summit (blether) 17:21, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies, SFR - that's reply link autopinging. The ping was intended for VFTU. Girth Summit (blether) 17:22, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Girth Summit Please allow me to say why I think I've met the criteria for this change to be approved. This link is Brittanica, a high-quality modern English-language source that says there was an official naming of the island as Haiti in 1804, which is the basis for "officially known as". Unless there is evidence that a later official declaration of the name as Hispaniola took place, the addition of "officially know as Haiti" would be justified. This is no different from Bangalore case. It could be proven that many more English-language sources refer to the Indian State as Bangalore rather than Bengaluru, the official name. And not to forget print still exists. Voice For The Unheard (talk) 17:41, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, an official naming over two hundred years ago, of a country which no longer covers the territory it once did, tells us nothing about the current situation. We can't infer from that that it is still officially called that. You need a source telling us that is what it is officially known as today. Girth Summit (blether) 18:04, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, it ISN"T officially known thus, since nobody has the power to 'officially' designate the island as anything. A source using the term for 1804 isn't good enough, it isn't even possible to work out what 'officially' would mean in 2021, since no single state/empire/whatever has jurisdiction over the whole island. Just as USA/Canada/Mexico etc. would not have the power to rename North America. Countries can change their own names, they cannot rename the geographic areas where they are situated. 'Bangalore' DOES HAVE jurisdiction over all of 'Bengaluru', so "officially known as", means something. There may be a case for what role the name 'Haiti' plays, but 'officially known as' isn't it. Pincrete (talk) 18:05, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you guys for jumping into the discussion, Pincrete and Girth Summit. The colony Hispaniola no longer exists, so how can said declaration in 1492 take precedence from an official name standpoint over a later declaration by a recognized country-state in the current World Order? Haiti was independent in 1804, and it was officially recognized as Haiti by France in 1825 when the entire island was one country. Citation in Haitian Revolution. We are not talking about what it's referred to commonly, but the official name. For the official name of a location to change, there has to be active action by a state entity. So chronologically, Haiti is the still official name of the entire island. Such as Bengaluru is also referred to commonly as Bangalore. VoiceForTheUnheard (talk)
Nobody has said that the Spanish colony still exists. The island still exists, and every modern source calls it Hispaniola. You have presented no modern sources saying its official name is Haiti,just your own reasoning that it somehow must be so because it was called that in 1804. That is not adequate: if you want to persue this, you need sources, not further argumentation. Girth Summit (blether) 18:38, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pincrete, Girth Summit How is this different from Bangalore? I presented evidence from sources you trust of the equivalent historical event that happened on the island of Haiti, the same historical event[4] that justified the use of officially known as Bengaluru on the Bangalore page. You keep saying "every modern source calls it Hispaniola", which would be relevant to popular culture, as in the case of Bangalore, but not to what the official name is. The name of areas/districts contained within Bengaluru could change, but that does not change or revert the name of the bigger jurisdiction.
Also adding a credible non-Eglish source saying how current name of entire island is Haiti: "Island State of the Greater Antilles bathed in the north by the Atlantic Ocean, in the south by the Caribbean Sea, Haiti occupies the western part of the island of the same name."[5][6] This is relevant given the lack of relationship between Haiti and Hispaniola, and the apparent limitations of WP:COMMONNAME (English-language name would be either a translation or phonetically similar). VoiceForTheUnheard (talk) 18:55, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, Bangalore is a city: a man-made place, with a governmental structure. If their government wants to change the name in English, that is pertinent - but note that we haven't changed it immediately. While most sources call it Bangalore, so must we. We note the chance of name announced by the city's government, but we don't change the name of our article until our sources do so.
Now compare to Hispaniola. It's a geographical feature. No one country can define its name, any more than Portugal or Spain could say that the Iberian Peninsula has a new name. You have presented nothing to say that anyone other than yourself calls it Haiti. What it's called in other languages is irrelevant - you have to show that it's called that in English, or you're wasting everybody's time. Girth Summit (blether) 22:32, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Girth Summit I am not sure if you have been given some authority over logical reasoning, where you get to set the standard of what's acceptable proof, or what's not. Especially since you have been setting a moving target throughout this discussion. If no one country can define its name, how come one did and you accepted it? When you imply something was my opinion, it was no more an opinion than your position. Unless you think your opinion becomes more than that because of appeal to authority and argumentum ad populum, both logical fallacies. Happy to review whatever evidence that supports the confidence of your position. VoiceForTheUnheard (talk) 23:03, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, I have not moved the target, I have been entirely consistent in saying that what we need is modern, high-quality English-language sources calling the island Haiti, or saying that Haiti is currently an official name of some kind. You have not done that.
I have not accepted a single country's renaming of the island; the English-speaking world accepted that long before I considered the question, as evidenced by every single source I've looked at. This is the point: we don't ask ourselves how the language got to be the way it is, we just use it. The question of 'official' names is slightly different, since certain places (like cities and countries) have human authorities that can decide their official names as distinct from their everyday names (e.g. France, officially the French Republic...) but that doesn't seem to be the case when considering an island with two countries on it.
I have no particular authority over logical reasoning, but neither do you, nor any other individual. Since there is no authority to make these decisions, we rely on consensus (which I've already given you a link to). I don't need you to review anything, because I'll be honest and say that I have given up on convincing you of anything. The status quo will be maintained unless and until you convince people that you are right - the onus is on you here to convince others, not the other way around. Girth Summit (blether) 06:57, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Girth Summit Adding this bold text here just to give anyone an opportunity to disagree, while I dig up more sources to meet these arbitrary standards: Status quo is not equal to correctness.' VoiceForTheUnheard ' (talk) 15:55, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Voice For The Unheard, please don't ping me again until you've found sources; there's nothing more to discuss until you do. Girth Summit (blether) 16:00, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am going to be devastated. I hope I survive. VoiceForTheUnheard (talk) 16:11, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Fick, Carolyn E (1990). The Making of Haiti. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press. p. 157–61.
  2. ^ "Letter From Jean-Jacques Dessalines - 1793". British Library. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  3. ^ "The Haitian Revolution". Brittanica. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Bengaluru: India's Bangalore city changes name". BBC. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Haïti". Larousse - Encyclopédie. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  6. ^ "English Translation". Google Translate.

Hispaniola is not a French word[edit]

Hispaniola is Latin. The French equivalent would be 'L'Espagnole'. But the Latin form is used in most languages. Including Spanish and French.

Fdezcaminero (talk) 20:42, 30 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hispaniola is not used in Spanish. Daniwhite2408 (talk) 21:35, 24 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]