Talk:Ivory Coast/Archive 1

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It was requested that this article be moved to Ivory Coast, for which 60 people voted: 24 supporting the move; 2 neutral; 34 opposing the move. This means 24 + 2 people = 26 people = 43% would not oppose the move. This is less than 60%, so no move was operated --Francis Schonken 19:44, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Archive of Page History

(cur) (last) 06:16, Jun 17, 2002 Danny (redirected back to Cote d'Ivoire--see Talk)
(cur) (last) 14:42, Mar 14, 2002 Eclecticology (*This is a perfectly valid English name for the country)
(cur) (last) 14:30, Mar 14, 2002 Eclecticology
(cur) (last) 15:51, Feb 25, 2002 Conversion script m (Automated conversion)

--The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ed Poor (talk • contribs) 20:30, 2 December 2004 (UTC) (Archive of Page History)

Where is the archive? --PBS 09:23, 11 November 2005 (UTC)


I've merged Cote d'Ivoire into this page (with the title spelled correctly), but I'm too lazy to rename all the CIA-based X-of pages, which eventually need to be rewritten anyway. --Brion

I suppose the re-write is for next year, for now, I moved them Docu


The "US has been trying to destabilize for years" stuff is interesting, but leave it out if you can't document it.

Côte d'Ivoire and Ivory coast - under which name should the article appear?

Wikipedia:naming conventions (use English) suggests we should use Ivory Coast rather than the French. Dunc| 13:25, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree it is a bad idea to call it Côte d'Ivoire, do we call Germany Germany or do we call it Deutschland? I think we call it by the English name: Germany. We should call Côte d'Ivoire by its English name: Ivory Coast, since this is the English Wikipedia. --ShaunMacPherson 17:04, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That claim has some merit. But if we follow that logic, shouldn't the article for the city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho be renamed to Alene's Heart, Idaho? Or San Francisco to "Saint Francis", California? Of course not. The name Canada is simply a corrupted spelling of kanata, which is a Huron word meaning "village" or "meeting place", but we don't translate that either. All of these non-English originating words have been accepted in English as the name of the places they refer to, even though they could be translated from their original language into English. The nation of Côte d'Ivoire has asked the rest of the world to refer to them as Côte d'Ivoire, and not to translate their name. The US State Department even refers to them as Côte d'Ivoire. I don't see why we shouldn't honor Côte d'Ivoire's request. It would be different if they had never asked. --Steggall 20:42, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The issue is in the renaming. Coeur d'Alene shouldn't be renamed, because it is known as Coeur d'Alene in English. With Ivory Coast, it is the other way around: to call it Côte d'Ivoire is to rename it. The decision of the government of that country was absurd. I understand why many like to respect the decision, given its origin, but it is still absurd. Confusion in international fora? What about China? Are we to call it 中国? Would anyone know to pronounce this Zhōngguó? Côte d'Ivoire is rather hard to spell and pronounce correctly for non-French speakers. "Ivory Coast" is well established and clear for all. Chameleon 22:09, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
A country isn't allowed to rename itself? Other countries have renamed themselves in the past and their changes have been accepted. Thailand, Zaire, Belize, and Surinam are all new names of countries. Should we have ignored their name changes because their previous names were well established? What if Côte d'Ivoire changed its name to "Wobbleonia"? Should we continue to call it by it's previous name simply because it was well established? People seem to have a problem because the name Côte d'Ivoire is a direct translation of how it is/was known in English. Steggall 00:09, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The BBC are using Ivory Coast Dunc| 22:45, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
"A country isn't allowed to rename itself?" Of course they are, but that's not what Ivory Coast did. They tried to dictate the translation of their name into another language. Côte d'Ivoire is a French name for the country and has not changed. Ivory Coast is and always has been the English translation. If Congress declares that their country is United States, not Etats Unis, then the French-speaking world should be free to ignore such a silly declaration as well. Also, a quick scan of this article reveals that most, though not all, other Wikipedias have this article in a local language. Also, does this declaration by the govt of Ivory Coast apply to languages other than English and French? Do Arabic, Russian, and Chinese writers have to switch to a Latin alphabet when referring to this country? --Polynova 23:10, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

We've had an enormous discussion over whether "official" renamings should be treated as authoritative before, and the consensus was that they shouldn't, and that governments don't have any authority to dictate how English speakers use their language. We don't translate things into English, we use the form that is used by English speakers, which in this case is clearly "Ivory Coast". Talking about "Coeur d'Alene" is irrelevant, since English speakers call it that. Proteus (Talk) 14:05, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

If the U.S. State Department calls it by the french name, that is the kind of indication we are looking for. How about other big organizations? I think the French is catching on and there's no need to be obstinate, except that the spelling is an obstacle. Tough call. Tom - Talk 23:06, Dec 1, 2004 (UTC)

The CIA calls it Cote d'Ivoire. The circumflex should go though. It doesn't matter what "cote" means in French. We're writing in English, in which circumflexes are an affectation.Dr Zen 02:12, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I feel inclined to note here that I had not read this talk page or the article history when I edited the article to put Côte d'Ivoire first, and I really didn't mean to step on a controversial issue without any discussion. Reading the article, and the note about the name, it just seemed like an obvious edit to make. Although I probably wouldn't have messed with it had I seen this discussion, I do stand by my edit: It definitely makes more sense to use their official name, especially since the U.S. government does so. ~leifHELO 01:15, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Clearly the German government must be forced to call my country "Australia" in German rather than "Australien"! Apparently the Chinese don't even use Latin letters for Australia - that has to stop! Apparently every government in the world can tamper with English so I suppose the reciprocal is also the case. We need to start issing decrees interfering with other languages. Avalon 12:52, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Heh... This suggestion reminds me of a joke an Iranian friend once told me... The Shah, while on a state visit to India, was told by Gandhi as follows: "Dear Shah, I would like for you to tell your people something for me. It seems that whenever anyone in Iran is belaboring the point, or explaining something too much when it isn't really necessary, that you Iranians have this saying, where the other person will reply "I know! I know! I'm not Indian!" - where "Indian" is being used as a synonym for "stupid" or something like this. This is extremely insulting to the Indian people, because it is suggesting that we are all stupid, or that we always have to beat a dead horse into the ground whenever we are speaking to each other. So please, if you would tell your people that they should stop using this expression "I'm not Indian", whenever they mean to say "I'm not stupid", I would be most grateful." The Shah replies: "Okay! Okay! Sheesh! I'm not Indian!!"

Back to English

According to the article, most English speakers refer to it as "Ivory Coast" (with or without the initial article: "The Ivory Coast"). Despite the government's request or dictate that the "name cannot be translated".

Wikipedia is under no obligation to take sides in naming disputes, and clearly Cote d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is trying to MAKE other people take its side.

Until English usage starts following the "Cote" version, I think we ought to stick to our guns: we do NOT take sides in naming disputes; we do NOT try to set an example by promoting "correct" (or politically correct) usage. We simply go with the flow and employ the most common usage -- which is Ivory Coast.

So I'm moving the article (back) from Côte d'Ivoire to Ivory Coast. The usage note in section 8 of the article will explain everything to readers, in case they think we are "bucking the trend".

This is not the international Wikipedia (we decided not to have one) - but the English-Language Wikipedia. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 20:21, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

The real reason?

Because of the disorder this could allegedly produce in international fora, in October 1985 the government requested that the country be known as Côte d'Ivoire in every language.

This insinuates that the government's stated reason is the real reason. But another possibility is that they are feeling out their strength: let's see if we can MAKE everyone do what we say.

I'd purely LOVE to see a Wikipedia article on national name changes. What motivates governments to rename their countries? I can understand changes from "Germany" to "Republic of Germany", but why change "Upper Volta" to "Burkina Faso" or "Rhodesia" to "Zimbabwe"?

Are they trying to assert their own identity and throw off the vestiges of colonialism? (Not that I'm against this, I'm just asking.) --user:Ed Poor (talk) 20:47, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

The country's present name is Côte d'Ivoire. Most people who say "Ivory Coast" do it out of sheer ignorance. There aren't many who know the name was changed and knowingly defy it by saying Ivory Coast. An encyclopaedia should enlighten the reader, not dumb down to his ignorance. Anyone looking for "Ivory Coast" will be redirected here without a problem. Gzornenplatz 22:31, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

I've come here through request for comments. To me it seems likely English speaking people will type and wikify "Ivory Coast". However, if Cote D'Ivore is the version preferred by its government, that's really the place it should be. I agree a redirect from Ivory Coast to this article is indeed the best solution. [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 09:50, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

I also agree. Folks in Ghana (next door to Côte d'Ivoire, anglophone) also call it by that name. Wizzy 10:02, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

RFC reply. Cote d'Ivoire (without circumflex) seems to gain usage in official documents and many news sources worldwide since the Ivorean government announcement. So maybe in a few years it will come to dominate; in the mean time there's the argument that the French is in some sense more correct. (But at least "Ivory Coast" is a direct translation; I just lost the argument that East Germany should be housed at the correct English version, German Democratic Republic, on the basis of Wiki always using the most common English term full stop. See Wikipedia:Requested_moves Dec 14.) Rd232 14:59, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Consensus and unilateral un-doing

The consensus of this talk page is that calling the country "Ivory Coast" is in accordance with English Wikipedia policy. I have moved the article to Ivory Coast twice, and someone has surreptitiously moved it back twice. I don't know how to find out who did this, but I wish they would discuss their plan with others instead of taking unilateral, secretive action. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 18:44, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

Where do you see such a consensus? I see that Leif, Mgm, and Wizzy have agreed with me. Assuming a consensus is at least 80%, that would require 16 people agreeing with your view. Where are they? I'm also surprised that a veteran like you doesn't know how to find out who moved a page - just look at the page history of the redirect. Gzornenplatz 20:51, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)
There is no consensus. And you arguments for moving the page to Ivory Coast make as much sense as moving United States to America. I wish I could say it was the first time your insularity has shown itself - Xed 22:32, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Policy and Poll

Current wikipedia policy: Geographic articles should be named after what most English speakers would call them, even if that is different than the official English spelling. The official English spelling should still be mentioned in the article.

This policy was recently reaffirmed in a poll. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 18:49, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

Not if it's essentially a mistake, as opposed to a conscious decision. We also use diacritics, even though "most English speakers" tend to ignore them completely. Gzornenplatz 20:51, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)
There is no consensus on using diacritic marks. A lot of people want to avoid using them in cases where most English speakers would not use them. (The macrons in Japanese names are a perfect example for all the Europeans here - how many of you know how to write Junichiro Koizumi's name with them? I use this because it's a far fairer example than the diacritics in your own languages, which of course you know.) Noel (talk) 04:14, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Our duty as Encyclopedia writers

  1. We are an English-language encyclopedia, so we should call everything by whatever most English-speakers call it.
  2. If this differs from something's "official name", we of course should discuss this difference as much as necessary to "enlighten" readers about it.
The country's present name is Côte d'Ivoire.

Not exactly. To be precise, the country's official English-language name is the French phrase Côte d'Ivoire. The article points out that the country wishes for its name NOT to be translated into English (or any other language).

No, it's the official name in all languages. And it being originally French is as irrelevant as the fact that Ecuador or El Salvador are originally Spanish phrases - they are the universal names of countries which you can't translate at will to "Equator" or "The Saviour". The only difference is that this universality of the name Côte d'Ivoire has only been introduced in 1985, and people are always slow to follow such changes. Gzornenplatz 20:51, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)
Most people who say "Ivory Coast" do it out of sheer ignorance.

No need to be insulting. But if you would like to cite an authority who makes that point, please add it to the article: Prof. Vusette "Stu" Peed branded as "ignorant" anyone who would refer to "our beloved country" by anything other than its French name (source: Newsweek, August 4, 2003)

That's not an insult, it's just obvious that most people who say "Ivory Coast" are ignorant about this specific fact (doesn't mean they are generally ignorant people). Gzornenplatz 20:51, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)
There aren't many who know the name was changed and knowingly defy it by saying Ivory Coast.

It's not a matter of defiance -- at least not on our part. Our policy is simply to go along with the majority of English speakers. Letting advocates (such as the US State Department, the United Nations, or even the country itself) tell us what to do is allowing THEM to dictate our policy. Well, Wikipedia is independent.

An encyclopaedia should enlighten the reader, not dumb down to his ignorance.

Sure, and that's why the 2nd paragraph refers readers to the naming issue in section 8. If you want, you can move the naming issue up to section 1 (right after the intro). If you think our readers are so dumb that they can't follow a link - or that they're in such dire need of enlightenment, then make a little more effort. But don't HIDE the fact that the country is STILL best known in the English-speaking world by the translated term "Ivory Coast" -- because that would PERPETUATE the kind of ignorance we're trying to eliminate.

I don't want to hide anything. We may write something like "(still often called Ivory Coast in English)". Gzornenplatz 20:51, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)
Anyone looking for "Ivory Coast" will be redirected here without a problem.

It's just as easy to send them directly to the Ivory Coast article, and they won't be confused by the redirect notice. Anyone who cares about the country's official name (and their policy that no one ought to translate it) can obtain that info from the article. If the politically correct name of the country is the most important thing about the country, then by all means put this in the first paragraph.

  • Ivory Coast (official name: Côte d'Ivoire) is a country in West Africa. In the year #### the government issued an edict forbidding foreigners from translating the name into their local languages and specifying that its French name is also its official English name. The UN and the US state department have followed suit, but the majority of English speakers still call it Ivory Coast.

I don't think the name is the most important thing, so I'd prefer to see this info in the 1st or 2nd section FOLLOWING the intro. However, I'm easy-going. If it has to go in the intro paragraph, so be it. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 19:10, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

I think it belongs in the intro - it is good where it is. I (personally) would prefer it at Côte d'Ivoire, but I do not care that much. It (somehow, and not just here) is an issue, and should be addressed early. Wizzy 19:46, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that regardless of which name is first, the ambiguity needs to be addressed in the first sentence to let people looking for either name know they've found the right article. And I still think it makes more sense to use the country's official name first, but I won't revert it again without a clear consensus on this talk page. ~leifHELO 21:17, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Politics of name changes

I guess I'm going to have to do a Will Rogers on this one: he said he'd rather be right than be president. I'm going to defend Wikipedia policy, as laid out by founders Jimbo and Larry (and shaped by discussions and votes) -- even if causes me to "lose" the arbcom election. "I'd rather be right than be part of a committee."

Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English) says:

  • Name your pages in English and place the native transliteration on the first line of the article unless the native form is more commonly used in English than the anglicized form. If you are talking about a person, country, town, movie or book, use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article . . .

Note that this means Côte d'Ivoire should redirect to the Ivory Coast article, which should begin something like this:

Ivory Coast (official name: Côte d'Ivoire) is a country . . .

I would also suggest that we find a way to satisfy those who really care about the request of Ivory Coast that non-Ivoirians refrain from translating the country's name into other languages. A note about this request (in the body of the article) would suffice, I think.

Also, thinking about this over the weekend I may have had an insight. Perhaps some contributors feel that by placing the Ivory Coast article on the Ivory Coast page somehow endorses the English tranlation as some sort of preferred usage. Well, it doesn't. It is simply Wikipedia policy to "name our pages in English ... unless the native form is more commonly used in English". (No one is suggesting to translate "Los Angeles" to "The Angels"; why? because the Spanish form is more commonly used in English.)

Now I'm going to go look for the page where this was all voted on a few months back. Then I'll cite that page, move the article back to its proper English title once more. If a minority insist on going against both (A) Wikipedia policy and (B) the vote re-affirming that policy, then I guess this will become a case for the arbcom. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 16:02, Dec 6, 2004 (UTC)

Oops, no I'm not: I could not find the page with the vote (did I imagine it?). So I guess we have to go through the whole process again. The question is: shall the English Wikipedia set its own standards for article titles, or should it bow to the will of various official entities such as the United Nations, selected "leading nations", and/or whatever a specific government says? If it's the latter, I fear a slippery slope where Wikipedia takes it upon itself to settle disputes much more serious than names; I would personally prefer the Wikipedia to stay out of all disputes and instead stand back and DESCRIBE these disputes with Olympian detachment. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 16:28, Dec 6, 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming policy poll is probably what you're looking for. It's worth noting that the "Not at issue - the poll does not apply to these" section was never part of the vote, and most of the entries were added late in the day by proponents of the losing side when it became apparent that they would lose, in an attempt to exempt those pages from the implications of the vote. The statement "I agree with current wikipedia policy. Geographic articles should be named after what most English speakers would call them, even if that is different than the official English spelling. The official English spelling should still be mentioned in the article." is what is relevant, as it is what was being voted on, not the lists above it. Proteus (Talk) 17:01, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Proteus. I see the vote went 45 to 18 in favor of policy, i.e., "Geographic articles should be named after what most English speakers would call them, even if that is different than the official English spelling. The official English spelling should still be mentioned in the article." Therefore I will move Cote D'Ivoire back to Ivory Coast one more time. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 21:22, Dec 6, 2004 (UTC)
I think that policy should be interpreted to apply to distinguishing among arguably correct names. If a poll were to show that a majority of English speakers misspelled the state next to Alabama as Missisippi, I don't think we'd move the article there, with Mississippi reduced to a redirect. It seems that "Ivory Coast" is no longer a correct name. I favor putting the article at Côte d'Ivoire. What I feel more strongly about is the point made above by Leif: that "regardless of which name is first, the ambiguity needs to be addressed in the first sentence to let people looking for either name know they've found the right article." A model to follow is found at Myanmar. (Incidentally, Ed, it wouldn't surprise me if most English speakers still call the place "Burma". If so, would your reasoning call for moving that article?) JamesMLane 19:18, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
One of the main articles that caused that poll was Calcutta, which is in exactly the same situation as the Ivory Coast - the Indian government has decreed that its official English name is "Kolkata", but most English speakers still call it "Calcutta". The poll decided that it should be at the latter. And most English speakers call Myanmar "Myanmar" (except, of course, in historical contexts). Proteus (Talk) 10:55, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Since there is some amount of dispute as to whether or not the poll in question relates to this article, I would recomend that a new poll is created specifically for this article. Also, I think that a major quesiton is do more Wikipedia articles link to here through Ivory Coast or through Côte d'Ivoire? -KalevTait 23:06, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Far, far more link to Côte d'Ivoire, See [1] and [2] - Xed 23:38, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Using the criteria for Calcutta, and others of mine, Google says:

  • 3,060,000 English pages for "Cote d Ivoire".
  • 4,490,000 English pages for "Ivory Coast".
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Cote d'Ivoire
  • BBC News - 1,124 results for "Ivory Coast", 72 results for "Cote d'Ivoire"
  • (news aggregator) - Cote d'Ivoire
  • 154 from Google for "Ivory Coast".
  • 96 from Google for "Cote d'Ivoire"

So - it seems Ivory Coast is ahead by a nose. It is possible it will slide to Cote d'Ivoire - but maybe we should not pre-judge ? Wizzy 11:32, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)

Searching google for "Cote d'Ivoire" or "Côte d'Ivoire" gets 4,620,000, beating "Ivory Coast" by a slim margin. - Xed 22:58, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

First of all, redirects are cheap, so no matter what some types into Wikipedia's Search Field, whether it is Côte d'Ivoire, Cote d'Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, the person is still going to end up at the same article. So in a way, all of this argument is meaningless except as symbolism. But as can be seen from way too many edit wars on the Wikipedia on how to title the articles of various cities and countries, that symbolism is important to quite a few people. I can see why the symbolism is important to someone living in a region, and to partisans involved in disputes in those regions. What I have been totally unable to fathom is why using an English-language version for the name of a city or country is so absolutely important for anyone who has no other connection to the region.

In my opinion, the English-language Wikipedia is not, and really has never been just an English-language encyclopedia. Instead, just as English is the primary language for international commerce, for science, for other academic subjects, and for aviation, the English-language Wikipedia is an International encyclopedia that is written in the English language. That is the reason that there are numerous users on the Wikipedia whose primary language is not English, but they have still chosen to spend most of their time and effort editing articles in the English-language Wikipedia. Because of that, I think that we need to go out of way to show some sensitivity to things like the issue of naming cities, countries, and also to the naming of people. Since the country has asked that Côte d'Ivoire be used, why shouldn't the primary title of the article be Côte d'Ivoire? I can still type in Ivory Coast and still end up at the same place. The other reason to use Côte d'Ivoire is that it is the most accurate description of the country. [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 13:36, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I totally agree. Some people feel strongly about the correct name being used, and the most common can redirect to it; redirects are cheap. (NB The commonly-cited example of Los Angeles/The Angels is a complete red herring - the latter is neither correct (local/official usage) nor common.) Rd232 15:07, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
See Naming conventions (country names), a page that (once developed) will hopefully clarify the matter and prevent unnecessary future debate. Rd232 13:25, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Some people here have stated that most english speakers call it Ivory Coast. Is there any objective evidence to support that belief? Or is it just based on personal experience/anecdote? Just wondering. My own subjective belief and experience (being doing research in and around African issues for about 15 years) is that most anglophones call it Côte d'Ivoire, but are not confused by 'Ivory Coast'. To my ears it sounds as obsolete as 'Gold Coast' instead of Ghana.

--Mount Pleasant 00:40, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I don't want to get involved in the name controversy, however, since Côte d'Ivoire is used, could someone include a pronounciation key? I, and probably most English speakers, don't speak French, and I believe it is common for many countries' articles with non-English names to include pronounciation guides. Anyway, thanks for any help. --Dmcdevit 20:27, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

FYI: The German Wikipedia recently changed its article name from "Côte d'Ivoire" to de:Elfenbeinküste. The reasoning was that "Elfenbeinküste" is the predominantly used German name for this country in the media as well as in encyclopedias like the Brockhaus, and that it doesn't really matter whether the name is "officially untranslantable". Many other Wikipedias also use the name translated into the respective language: da:Elfenbenskysten, eo:Ebur-Bordo, es:Costa de Marfil, fi:Norsunluurannikko etc. I think this article should be renamed to "Ivory Coast" as well. Or otherwise e.g. Switzerland should be renamed to its official name Confœderatio Helvetica and Russia to Rossiyskaya Federatsiya or what? ;-) Gestumblindi 23:29, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Once again these comparison with Russia and Switzerland are irrelevant. They would be if these countries officially demanded that everybody uses these original names which is clearly not the case. Kapo USA

It is in fact rather irrelevant to an encyclopedia what the countries officially demand - it should be described in the article, of course, but not necessarily dictate the choice of the lemma. The form most commonly used in English is the best choice for an English-language encyclopedia. If this form is indeed "Côte d'Ivoire", then fine. The "Google test" seems to support the use of "Côte d'Ivoire" (33,800,000 hits when restricted to English language sites compared to 21,400,000 for "Ivory Coast"). However, Google numbers don't always reflect media reality entirely. E.g.: what is heard on English-language television? What use widely-read newspapers? Based on the answers to such questions, a vindicable decision is possible, and it can well be a decision for "Côte d'Ivoire", granted (for German it was not, for the reasons outlined above). But not based upon "official demands." Gestumblindi 19:42, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Requested move

This vote is to determine whether the article Côte d'Ivoire should be kept at the current location or moved to Ivory Coast.


The articles makes it clear that while the diplomatic name used is Côte d'Ivoire, "Despite the Ivorian government's ruling, "Ivory Coast" (sometimes "the Ivory Coast") is still the most commonly used name in English . . . Journalistic style guides usually (but not always) recommend "Ivory Coast"." Wikipedia policy is to use the most common name used in English. This does not necessarily mean the English name. In this case the English name is the one overwhelmingly used worldwide, including by major news gathering organisations like the BBC. To use Côte d'Ivoire involves breaking Wikipedia's own naming policy. It is like putting Germany in as Deutchland, Italy in as Italia or Spain in as Espana. If it is not the version used by English speakers then English Wikipedia does not use it, just as if French speakers use Côte d'Ivoire primarily French Wikipedia would not put the article in as Ivory Coast. Côte d'Ivoire completely goes against our agreed name usage in hundreds of thousands of articles here.

It also runs contrary to usage by media organisations worldwide, including the BBC, ABC, CBS, Sky News SABC, Newsweek, Time, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Bloomberg, and other sources. The claim that the name used here is name used in English is demonstrably untrue.

For example:

  • The BBC website shows
    • 1,281 for IC,
    • 78 for Côte d'Ivoire/Cote d'Ivoire (many of which go straight to IC).
  • Reuters showed some references to IC, none for C'dI.
  • ABC News (US) shows
    • 75 references to Ivory Coast, most of them actual ABC references.
    • C'dI got 45 references, most in French, the others an African news agency or Wikipedia.
  • NBC News shows
    • 369 references to Ivory Coast
    • Côte d'Ivoire gets 4.
    • Cote d'Ivoire also gets 4.
  • Sky News had
    • 11 references to IC,
    • Cote d'Ivoire has 0.
  • South African television uses more IC that Cote 'd'Ivore. A search of the latter throws up articles that use either both or just Ivory Coast.
  • The British and Foreign Office lists the country profile name as Ivory Coast. In the article, as Wikipedia does, it gives the official name as used by that state.
    • 54 links on its site link to Ivory Coast.
    • 52 link to Cote d'Ivoire; most of whom use Ivory Coast either first, with the French translation second or in brackets or as the headline. 54 use IC, all as the primary name.
  • Time magazine shows
    • 259 links to Ivory Coast.
    • 2 links for Cote d'Ivoire, one of whom used Ivory Coast in the headline.
  • The New York Times shows
    • 6341 links to Ivory Coast.
    • 16 to Cote d'Ivoire and variants.
  • The Times of London shows
    • 349 for Ivory Coast.
    • 3 for variants of Cote d'Ivoire.
  • The US Department of State lists
    • 1000 references to Ivory Coast, many of them documents from the 2000s.
    • 1000 references to Cote d'Ivoire. (This suggests that their search engine automatically lists either country. However an examination of documents — one speech by an Under Secretary is quoted in the discussion below — shows regular usage only of Ivory Coast, with Cote d'Ivoire occurring as expected primarily in formal diplomatic documents, and Ivory Coast in general discussions about the country.

FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 01:41, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

According to other sources Côte d'Ivoire is the most commonly used:

  • Google: 31.900.000 hits for "Côte d'Ivoire" (English-language pages of all domains; excluding "wikipedia" from the search)
  • Google: 19.700.000 hits for "Ivory Coast" (also only English-language pages, all domains, & excluding "wikipedia")

Another way of looking at it could be to say there's no conclusive evidence either "Ivory Coast" or "Côte d'Ivoire" is the most used among people who express themselves in English. In which case the vote below starts to make sense (if the evidence were conclusive a vote wouldn't be necessary, would it?). So, just vote what you think makes most sense, like I did. --Francis Schonken 09:49, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Misleading. Google searches link official usage, semi-official usage, colloquial usage, letter of credence usage, linguistic links, correct links, incorrect links. Blanket google searches are rarely reliable on anything. (eg. they prove the Prince of Wales has a name he does not have.) As most websites are US based, google searches also reflect US rather than world usage. A targeted search on sites that deal with the issue of common usage name, which is what the MoS requires the name to be here) shows overwhelmingly that exclusively English language sites dealing exclusively with most common name use Ivory Coast by up to 80% on average; some 100%. No mainstream site dealing with most common name had a majority for Cote d'Ivoire. The county in the English speaking world that most uses the French name is the US. An examination of the leading US government, politics and media sites produces a ratio of US usage of 75:25 Ivory Coast/Cote d'Ivoire. That is the highest level of Cote d'Ivoire usage. The lowest produces a ratio of 100:00 and that occurs in many countries. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of Ivory Coast, more so that I expected. I expected a breakdown of 60-65:40-35, and with no group of national English speakers below 20.
It is irrelevant what we think should be more used. It is irrelevant what we think will in time be more used, what we would like to see used, what name we like and dislike, etc. Under Manual of Styles the issue is right now what is most used, and the evidence is overwhelmingly clear. If and when a majority use Cote d'Ivoire as the commonly recognised name for the state, then WP must use it here. Until that happens WP under its own mandatory rules must use the name currently most recognisable name as the article name, not the theoretical name, government name, registered name or whatever. The MoS lays down one mandatory requirement: the most commonly used name, meaning that name that an ordinary member of the public, if someone comes to WP to look up the country's details, will be using. All countries on WP are put on by most common name and nothing else (eg, Germany, not Federal Republic of Germany; Australia, not Commonwealth of Australia; Malaysia, not Kingdom of Malaysia, etc.) They same rule under MoS rules is meant to be followed here strictly. User talk:Jtdirl 02:25, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Jtdirl, most countries have at the same time two formal names in international (english) usage- a conventional long form ("Republic of...", "Kingdom of...", "Commonwealth of...", etc), and a conventional short form. Wikipedia chooses to use the short form as the article title, however both are correct- but the choice between IC/CdI is not one between long form and short form, and that comparison is itself irrelevant here (the long form would be "Republic of Cote d'Ivoire").--cjllw | TALK 22:07, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

:Add #Support or #Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~

Support - have the article at Ivory Coast

  1. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 01:41, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. Strong support This is a matter of principle. A group or nation may have the right to call themselves whatever they wish, in whatever language they wish. But this does not obligate others to abide by their wishes. We should point out, early on in the article, that Ivory Coast's "official English name" is its French name!!! But Wikipedia must not give in to this demand of letting people or groups force our policy to accommodate their wishes. Our goals are (1) to let our readers find information easily - with no jarring surprises; and (2) to describe fairly and impartially all disputes over what is "really correct" when their is a controrversy. Uncle Ed 15:00, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
    Question for Uncle Ed - does your support have anything at all to do with the following disputed sentence you kept trying to add to the article intro yesterday? "Nonetheless, English speakers persist in calling it the "Ivory Coast", although the term is unpleasantly reminiscent of similar colonial-era terms Gold Coast (British colony) and Slave Coast"... Just curious, Codex Sinaiticus 16:27, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. Strong support. Agree completely with Jtdirl. The current name is contrary to both policy and common sense, and we shouldn't allow anyone, sovereign nation or otherwise, to dictate what we say. Proteus (Talk) 00:37, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  4. Support Astrotrain 13:56, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  5. Support, Ivory Coast is still the most common name in English. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 16:49, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  6. Support Agree with the above citation for move; the use of "Republic of Côte d'Ivoire" name is a Anglo-French mixture and wikipedia policy is clear on use of English; could it not be decided on one language and, instead, a hybrid? Whilst a quick google shows that the French is, in fact, more common it must be remembered that a great deal of these will be due to the cultural impact of France and the French throughout the world, and this is the English wikipedia firstly. I cannot say I have heard the French in use, outside the elite and vogue. Djegan 20:59, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  7. Support The name in English is Ivory Coast. -EDM 01:12, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  8. Support This is the English Wikipedia (we decide the titles), and I personally have found Ivory Coast to be much more popular with English speakers. In fact, I've never heard anyone say "Côte d'Ivoire". Bratschetalk | Esperanza 04:17, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  9. Support. I am persuaded by the evidence that Ivory Coast is still more common in English use. And I had a friend who spent two years there in the Peace Corps: mail sent to her with "Ivory Coast" on the envelope reached her just fine. Jonathunder 05:14, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  10. Support. Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive; it doesn't matter what this country "should" be called in English (by whatever authority one happens to choose), only what it is called. I believe the evidence shows that it's most commonly called "Ivory Coast", and so there it should go. Bryan 05:33, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  11. Support This is the name of the country in English. --Tony SidawayTalk 06:48, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  12. Strong support Wikipedia should use English names where they are established, and should follow overwhelming common usage even if it is at direct odds with official decrees. sjorford #£@%&$?! 10:17, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  13. Support - Common English name... Lou I 15:40, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  14. Support - My impression is that most English speakers still call it Ivory Coast. Deb 16:36, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  15. Support Côte d'Ivoire should be a redirect to Ivory Coast, just as Den Haag currently redirects to The Hague. Ann Heneghan (talk) 20:24, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  16. Per FearÉIREANN. 172 | Talk 20:57, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  17. Support --Apyule 00:57, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  18. Support -- "Ivory Coast" is the most readily recognized English name for this nation. We should of course make it clear what the official name is, just as we do for other nations. --FOo 05:09, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  19. Support because it appears to be quite clearly the most common name for this country. Tuf-Kat 08:20, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  20. Support, as per Manual of Style. Clearly "Ivory Coast" is the common English name; we don't have the Germany article at "Deutschland" or "Bundesrepublik Deutschland". Jayjg (talk) 17:46, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  21. Support because the name seems to be the most common in English language. "Ivory Coast" is literally the same thing as Côte d'Ivoire, no government can't force the other languages to have its name translated in a foreign language. -Hapsiainen 22:05, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  22. Support because as user:Rcharman and others can not see the difference between this and Myanmar vs. Burma, and I thought there was a clear difference, (Burma should be called Burma until at least a democratically elected government ask otherwise), so I must have been mistaken I had better vote in favour of this move. PBS 09:49, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  23. Support because you can't selectively vote away policy. Phil Sandifer 02:50, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  24. Symbol support vote.svg Support. silsor 16:12, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
  25. Support - Wikipedia should follow an International standard. In every wikipedia language, the name of the country is translated. What about English-speakers who can't speak French? They cannot even pronunciate the name "Côte d'Ivoire". Mrzero 13:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


  1. Weak oppose for now. Moving into Neutral, good arguments both ways. Though our policy pages recommend most common usage our de facto policy is to pay a lot of attention to official names and native names (Breslau, anyone?). I could perhaps be convinced in this instance if the argument is compelling. What recent style guides, exactly, recommend Ivory Coast? And can we have some usage statistics? I think moving the article to Ivory Coast would be nice in that that would allow us to specify "no diacritics in country names" as a rule without exceptions. - Haukur Þorgeirsson 13:36, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
    The Oxford Manual of Style says it's "Ivory Coast", and doesn't even seem to deem "Côte d'Ivoire" a common enough mistake to be worth mentioning. Proteus (Talk) 00:41, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    • The BBC page on the country uses Ivory Coast See discussion below for unambiguous evidence for actual usage worldwide with the BBC, ABC, NBC, SABC, Time, Newsweek, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the State Dept, Reuters, etc. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:19, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. Why I am neutral. What an extraordinary exercise this is. The proposal says - "If a consensus developes that Côte d'Ivoire should be an exception to this (naming) policy, then adminstrators will move the article from Ivory Coast to Côte d'Ivoire as requested by the vote below". Pretty clear? Yes it is, but the reality of the voting is something else. Voters' comments indicate majority support for Côte d'Ivoire. However, those who prefer Côte d'Ivoire have effectively voted oppose against a proposal that would see their preferred Côte d'Ivoire used as the name of the article. Those who prefer Ivory Coast have given a support vote to a proposal which would cause their preferred Ivory Coast to disappear. Sure, it also says that It has been proposed to rename Côte d'Ivoire and move it to Ivory Coast. So which one is it?Moriori 22:29, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
On the 14th, Ed Poor moved it to Ivory Coast saying "If a consensus developes that Côte d'Ivoire should be an exception to this policy, then adminstrators will move the article from Ivory Coast to Côte d'Ivoire as requested", and added an explanation accordingly [3]. When this move was reverted, on the grounds that moving it during a moving debate is just going to confuse matters, it seems someone forgot to remove his explanation above. Shimgray | talk | 22:33, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Aha. That explains it. Maybe Ed Poor could be persuaded to remove his comment. Tks Shimgray.
Might be worth leaving him a note. Because it's 1:30 am and I'm confused as hell as to what's actually gone on, I've made the "Support" and "Oppose" headings somewhat more clear. I hope no-one will strangle me too much if I've screwed up; I don't think I'm misrepresenting anyone. Shimgray | talk | 01:37, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I've left him a note at User talk:Ed Poor, which hopefully makes sense (goodness, I'm tired). As it stands, yeah, it does seem to read the opposite. Ow. Head hurty. Hopefully the section headings will make it all magically clear... Shimgray | talk | 01:53, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Oppose - have the article at Côte d'Ivoire

  1. Qero 17:28, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. OPPOSE. The country is called 'Cote d'Ivoire' nowadays in every language, we don't translate the name of every country into a literal meaning. We respected other countries when they wished to change from Persia to Iran and from Abyssinia to Ethiopia and from Burma to Myanmar and from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. We no longer translate "White Russia" for Belarus, nor "Kingdom of the South Slavs" for Yugoslavia. Respect for some countries wishes and not for others, should not be based on how much you personally like them. Codex Sinaiticus 19:56, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
    That is not Wikipedia policy. In an english language encyclopædia the version used by English language speakers is what is used, not the native version in a native language. English language users say Germany, not Deutchland, Republic of Ireland not Poblacht na hÉireann, Italy not Italia, and Ivory Coast not Côte d'Ivoire, so the articles belong under Wikipedia policy at Germany, Republic of Ireland, Italy and Ivory Coast. As to the claim that the country is called 'Côte d'Ivoire' that is simply not true. It is only called that by people in the country, French speakers, diplomats and the US State Department. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 20:23, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
    Comment - It would be a different story if Germany or Italy had ever made an official request to be internationally called 'Deutschland' or 'Italia'. But they have not AFAIK, so your logic doesn't hold. Iran, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, and Belarus I believe all made official requests at various times, and were all honoured. As for Ireland I think they did officially request to be called Eire once, so I would support that change as well. Codex Sinaiticus 00:08, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    No it wouldn't. We do not use official names for states, nor do we do the bidding of governments. We use the name used by English speakers in English Wikipedia and nothing else. And no Éire is not an option. That was thrown up with a 'don't be ridiculous' tag the last time anyone suggested it. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 00:17, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. Strong oppose. Not only is Côte d'Ivoire (with diacritical mark) the official name and the one used by major world governments, it's peferred by Britannica, Encarta, Worldbook, and Not using it here looks lazy and ignorant, though I understand Ed's and others' concerns. —Amcaja 22:48, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
    Per FearÉIREANN's findings, I no longer strongly oppose the move. I still oppose, though, because encyclopedias (which we are) seem to prefer Côte d'Ivoire. —Amcaja 05:23, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    The reason why they use the official name is twofold:
    (1) Encarta, Brittanica and Worldbook are all US publications. All three, but particularly WB have a long history of relying for information on the State Department and CIA publications and often reflecting their linguistic usage. (Errors in some CIA handbooks famously used to be replicated in WB editions.) Unlike most states, the State Department and the US uses the French name more than other English states partly for reasons of geopolitics — it wishes to to have influence in West Africa. If that means doing the bidding of the Ivory Coast's govt on language (something it does not do to the same extent elsewhere) it will. But only on formal briefing papers. (I went through 9 different speeches tonight by members of the Bush cabinet delivered in the last 4 years where they referred to the Ivory Coast. Members of Clinton's cabinet did similar.)
    (2) I know from personal experience (I worked for one of them) US hardcopy encyclopædias see an increasingly educated Africa as a target market. So they can ill afford to ignore an ultimatum from an African government that "you must use name 'x' not name 'y' or else' in case if they don't they are banned from exporting to there.
    Wikipedia is in a different position. Firstly, unlike Brittanica, WP and Encarta (the latter, BTW, has a poor reputation in publishing) we aren't a US publication. As a world source we have to reflect world usage, not preferred US usage. While we use the CIA documents (albeit carefully given the astonishing number of errors they contain) we don't have the same source restrictions of the hardcopies. Secondly, as we don't sell in Ivory Coast we aren't beholden to the Government. Actually the IC government's demand with its 'or else' threat is pretty much unprecedented. Governments never normally demand that only one version of their name be used. The Republic of Ireland may hate being called the Irish Republic but it wouldn't dream of threatening repercussions if that format was used. And Scotland wouldn't dare threaten anyone for calling the United Kingdom that they are part of England! That is why most of the world simply ignores the IC demand. The US, as a superpower with interests in the region, plays along to some extent, and the hardcopy US encyclopædias, for their own self interest, do so too. We aren't in the same boat had so can be independent and judge purely on English language usage, which, as the evidence shows, is overwhelmingly IC, not C d'I. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 05:50, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    Is that why you removed mention that all other encyclopedia use Côte d'Ivoire in the article? And that a google test favours Côte d'Ivoire?- Xed 05:54, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    I didn't. I added in links to show what was used where and added in one more line clarifying a line that was misleading. You tried to delete it and put in a POV edit saying that google searches showed more sites use C d'I. Firstly WP doesn't include google searches in articles because of their unrelability. Secondly the search added in French references and English references together to give a misleading impression of actual usage. My edit was carefully NPOV and merely tidying up other edits by people. Yours blanket deleted all information except for one misleading google-search pushing the 'world uses Cote d'Ivoire' myth.FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 06:10, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  4. Strong oppose per Brian and my own experience. To say that style guides "usually support Ivory Coast" isn't borne out even by the sources cited here in the article (one recommends IC, the other C d'I, the third either one). It's going to take more than an even split to sway me away from the govt's official name, I think. Does anyone have an AP or NY Times guide? I really don't think this is an issue of us caving into the diplomatic pressure of the Ivorian government--I think this is really the most common usage these days. --Dvyost 23:12, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. The governments of Australia and Canada also officially refer to the country as Côte d'Ivoire. Since that country has requested that their name not be translated, I see no reason not to honour their request. —Steggall 02:09, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    They also refer to the United Republic of Tanzania, the United Kingdom as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France as the French Republic and Germany as the Federal Republic of Germany. Wikipedia, like other sourcebooks never uses diplomatic names except in infoboxes. English WP's explicit mandatory policy is to use the common name used by English speakers, not the theoretical name used by diplomats. You obviously are unaware of WP rules on naming countries!!! FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 02:28, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  6. Strong oppose per Brian and Dvyost.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 08:25, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  7. Oppose per Brian and Dvyost. — mark 09:25, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  8. Oppose per Dvyost. Wizzy 09:34, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  9. Oppose In the long run this "Ivory cost" will sound old-fashioned... Let's be modern :-). Ericd 22:22, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  10. Oppose per soapboxing on wikien-l. Alphax τεχ 05:18, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  11. Oppose. Firstly, this is its English name. Secondly, I haven't heard the term Ivory Coast in use (except informally) since I was a child; I suspect its continued use may be largely an American thing. Thirdly, since when do we decide how to name something based on American newspapers? Talk about systemic bias. Ambi 05:56, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    em . . . you got that completely the wrong way round. It is the US almost alone in the English-speaking world that uses Cote d'Ivoire. Searches worldwide showed it was rarely if ever used anywhere else. One user claimed the US always used the French name. The searches showed that even in the US, where the French name is sometimes used, the English name is actually used far more widely. And this is BTW English language Wikipedia. If English speakers (as they clearly do) use the English name, then under Naming Conventions and the Manual of Style it is supposed to be used here. It is a black and white case under the mandatory naming rules on WP. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 06:17, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  12. Oppose. This is exactly analogous to Burma/Myanmar - the country has mandated that the name not be translated in English, and English sources are slowly complying. The two terms are of roughly equal usage, and I see no reason not to go with the more correct usage. (Another instance of this, much older, is Persia/Iran. Before 1935, "Iran" was always the name used in the country; Persia was just the English name. In 1935, they proclaimed "Iran" to be the English name as well. Usage followed. We're not as far along the path with Cote d'Ivoire as we are with Iran. On the other hand, "Cote d'Ivoire" is considerably less controversial than Myanmar, since there's no opposition political groups that oppose use of "Cote d'Ivoire." If we use Myanmar (and, for that matter, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai), I see no reason why we shouldn't use the much easier to parse Cote d'Ivoire. john k 06:48, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  13. Oppose as per above. — Knowledge Seeker 07:08, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  14. Strongly opposed. I am generally of the opinion (in generally direct conflict with the Wikipedia MoS) that (firstly) we should defer to names and spellings in the official language or natural tongue of the area. I for one think Germany should be at Deutschland, that Moscow should be at Moskva, etc. Obviously that isn't the way it is, that's just my personal opinion. In lieu of that I think we should place the article at the title which most English-speaking nations use to refer to the nation/place in a diplomatic sense. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 08:06, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  15. Oppose: I think of this as Côte d'Ivoire. It's not an easy name for many anglophones to recognise when spoken. But this is not a spoken broadcast. Charles Matthews 09:23, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  16. Oppose --Francis Schonken 09:49, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  17. Oppose. Google tests seem popular on Wikipedia. [4] beats [5]. - Xed 10:45, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  18. OpposeIf we have Myanmar at that name, not at Burma - a much more politically contentious naming than this one - then we should certainly retain this. John Kenney's summary above is excellent, but just to add, it never occur to me to use "Ivory Coast" in my writing instead of Côte d'Ivoire. It's the correct name, which some people prefer to use the older form of; many people were still using Persia in the forties, are still using Burma now - and, in some cases, will even still use Yugoslavia - so this is perfectly natural. But no need to move the name; we have a redirect and it works. Shimgray | talk | 12:37, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    • I am neutral on Côte d'Ivoire, but Myanmar should be moved to Burma. So I am tempted to change my vote to support this move if anyone else usese Myanmar to explain why this one should not change --PBS 08:21, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  19. In my experience, the French is far more common than the English. By the way, m:Voting is evil. Probably a necessary evil in a binary situation like this, though. [[Sam Korn]] 14:50, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  20. Oppose. Both names are today quite widespread, so we might as well go with the official one. - SimonP 21:19, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    • The evidence actually suggests that in English both are not widespead. Côte d'Ivoire is little used in English. The country that uses the French name most in English seems to be the US, and even there usage is in the ratio 75:25 IC:C d'I. In many places usage is actually 100:0 IC:C d'I. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:33, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
    I see from your massive responses to oppose votes that you don't respect the one sentence comments; I see no such lengthy responses to the support votes. Eclecticology 22:23, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  21. Oppose The official name needs to take precedence over the forces of herd ignorance. Eclecticology 22:14, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  22. Oppose (neutral for now) Oppose for good this time. I will vote for what I you prefer. I might be willing to compromise if we were seeking consensus, but if its a vote, I really do prefer Côte d'Ivoire.Smmurphy 01:33, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
    Note that the Cote d'Ivoire (without diacritic) is what the CIA factbook calls it, so it can be anglicized in different ways. Also, (US President's office page) preferse C d'I 21 [6] to I C 10 [7], and so does (UK PM's office page) 6 [8] to 3 [9], and neighboring Ghana's prefers it 409 [10] to 29 [11]. Smmurphy 00:06, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    *sigh* That is what it is called in diplomatic usage. If we were writing a diplomatic briefing document for diplomats that is what we would call it. But we are writing an encyclopædia for ordinary readers. What the CIA, Bush or Blair formally call it in diplomatic language is 100% irrelevant here. Diplomatic usage features at the top of the infobox in articles. It does not become the name of the article, as Wikipedia's own rules make clear. Wikipedia uses the version of the name used generally in the English language. That is Ivory Coast. That is not Côte d'Ivoire. It is perfectly simple. We go by the MoS and the relevant NCs, not Bush, Blair or the CIA. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 01:24, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    Granted, however, the way people in high levels of government and in neighboring countries name a country holds more weight with me than news services, dictionaries, and the street (all of which are divided anyway). Which form are we teaching in the schools? I would think that secondary and university students would be very likely to use a page like this. Smmurphy 01:38, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    Ivory Coast is in textbooks in school. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 02:28, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    I saw this, thought it seemed unlikely, and lo! I was proved right. All the geography texts in my school library published in the last ten years use Côte d'Ivoire. [[Sam Korn]] 17:09, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
    I tried to find some references at homeschool sites or at Ministries of Education type sites, but I really didn't feel convinced this is true. But searching amazon, childrens books mostly still use Ivory Coast.Smmurphy
    Talked to a U.S. middle school geography teacher (now retired), who says that books would introduce it as IC, but some teachers would use both, most teachers didn't talk about it at all. So even young students in the U.S. use both. I think that this is an exception that proves the (MoS) rule. Smmurphy 05:50, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  23. Oppose. Geographical and political names change over time; it's reasonably clear that this is just one more such transition, and Ivory Coast is falling out of favour. Wikipedia would do well to be with or ahead of the curve, rather than lagging behind it. Given the time it can take to have such changes percolate down to all the contexts in which it might be mentioned, it's hardly surprising that a large number of sources continue to use "Ivory Coast"; the usage-count comparisions are not of themselves conclusive either way, nor can they be— no mechanism is going to systematically expunge all occurrences of formerly-used expressions from on- or offline publishing. So it would seem eminently sensible to go with a more contemporary, and not an increasingly obsolete, usage. From the (depressingly few) instances in which events associated with that country make it into the English media (in these parts, at least), "Côte d'Ivoire" is increasingly and unproblematically used, a trend which shows no signs of abating; nor is there reason to suppose this will stop. That this also accords with international "formal" usage, then so much the better.--cjllw | TALK 08:45, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  24. Oppose. Analogous to Burma/Myanmar or Persia/Iran or Ceylon/Sri Lanka. In every case I prefer the former name but each country's government changed it anyway, it's too bad, but this is not the place to campaign to change them back. --Marlow4 10:43, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  25. Oppose. English news agencies and Usenet still mostly uses Ivory coast. I called it Côte d'Ivoire when speaking to English language friends of my visit; Britannica and the English web usage agrees. — Jeandré, 2005-11-14t11:14z
  26. Very, very, very strong oppose. The country explicitly wants to be referred to as "Côte d'Ivoire" in English, the UNO lists it as "Côte d'Ivoire", and so on. Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン 11:41, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
    What the country wishes is, frankly, not important. What does matter is common usage for users of the en wikipedia. The vote is about that. There are many English speakers (myself included) who believe that Ivory Coast is dated, and Côte d'Ivoire is increasingly common. Wizzy 12:17, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  27. Oppose. When in doubt, go with the official term. - BanyanTree 14:58, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  28. Oppose. It's a tricky question, but on balance I prefer Côte d'Ivoire. --Stemonitis 18:51, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia Manual of Style does not allow names of countries to be decided by preference but by common usage. User talk:Jtdirl 17:18, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  29. Oppose. Côte d'Ivoire is the English name for the country as used in official circles. Physchim62 [[User_talk:Physchim62|(talk)]] 09:33, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Irrelevant. The MoS standard is common usage, not official usage. Otherwise Germany would be at Federal Republic of Germany and France would be at French Republic. Please see the Manual of Style for the rules on how names are used on WP. User talk:Jtdirl 17:18, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Jtdirl, I understand that you mean well with these rebuttals, but I hope you can see how rebutting each individual oppose vote comes across as a bit hectoring. You've made your case quite ably in the Discussion section below, as have several other support and oppose votes--I don't think it's really necessary for every vote to write a three paragraph defense here. --Dvyost 19:24, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  30. Oppose. I have lived in Cote d'Ivoire for five years (1999-2004) as well as 1984-1988 during the change in the name. English-speakers in neighboring Liberia, Sierra-Leone and Ghana call it "Cote d'Ivoire", even in casual speech. Most Ivoirians, including many official government documents, write it without the circonflex. Since it is an official name the accent is optional as it is an "invariant phrase". Alan J Shea 00:42, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  31. Strongly oppose. I see this as no different from Myanmar vs. Burma, Sri Lanka vs. Ceylon, Burkina Faso vs. Upper Volta, etc. Rcharman 08:12, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  32. Oppose. Many media (The Economist, etc) call it Côte d'Ivoire, and if the English speakers with the most direct interest in the matter (Côte d'Ivoire's English-speaking neighbors) call it that too, it's hard to argue that Côte d'Ivoire is not the English name for the country. -- Curps 08:06, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Actually the number is 1 major publication. All other major ones surveyed, don't. And worldwide Cote d'Ivoire is internationally used by around 15%, Ivory Coast by in the region of 85%. User talk:Jtdirl 08:17, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  33. Oppose. Last time I heard it called "Ivory Coast" was when my 7th-grade class was memorizing the names and locations of the world's countries. (And for the record, I'm in a linguistically-conservative portion of the United States.) --Carnildo 18:53, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  34. Oppose. Yes, "Ivory Coast" is the primary name in the English language, but "in English" - that is, in the useage by people who natively speak English - "Côte d'Ivoire" is very very common, more so (in my experience) than than the English-language form(s). We use the native term for things when appropriate (this has been part of the MoS for years), and this, I feel, is one of them. James F. [[User_talk:Jdforrester|(talk)]] 13:37, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
  35. Oppose. It creeps me out a bit that the main reasons for changing to Ivory Coast are "THEY CAN'T TELL US WHAT TO DO" and "THIS IS AMERICA DAMMIT." This isn't Wikiland USA, it's English Wikipedia. And English-speakers in Canada, at least, say Cote d'Ivoire. Plus... they asked nicely, for Pete's sake. Is common civility so lacking statewise that if "Jerry" in the office says "My name is actually Jerome," you'll call him Jerry because he can't "tell you what to do?" Crazy. Shep. 20:00, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
  36. I echo Shep's comment immediately above; I'm a Canadian who was educated in English language schools and has never worked in a diplomatic context, and it literally wouldn't ever occur to me in a million years to say "Ivory Coast". Côte d'Ivoire is the name I know and use, and it's the name every single person in my life who's ever had anything to say about the country knows and uses. And, for the record, I also have to stress that the only adjectival form I've ever known for the country is Ivoirian. In the English language as I've learned it, "Ivory Coast" and "Ivorian" simply don't exist in the language spoken by anybody I actually encounter in my day-to-day life -- in English as I know it, this literally makes about as much sense as moving Namibia to "South West Africa" would. YMMV, I suppose. Bearcat 04:13, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Removed non-vote remark by (talk · contribs), diff


See also higher up the page much of the other sections are on this subject --PBS 08:57, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

In the early '90s the country officially changed its name in English to Cote d'Ivoire. Ivory Coast is no longer the name of the country, just as Burkina Faso is no longer Upper Volta. Danny

I've checked this out myself, because this is so counterintuitive. "Côte d'Ivoire" has always been the recognized French name and this has never changed. "Ivory Coast" has always been the usual and ordinary English translation of the name. Even in an English Wikipedia we can be trumped by politicians who have decreed that a French name shall also serve as the English form of the name. Other countries such as Equatorial Guinea and Dominican Republic use the translated form for English applications.
The Upper Volta situation was a simple and outright change of name. Its former French name was "Haute Volta". --Eclecticology

Some further confirmation - on the official (English) United Nations (see member list) the name is Cote d'Ivoire, not Ivory Coast. Manning Bartlett, Monday, June 17, 2002

I saw that too, but I would be very cautious about this. How many readers would think of looking under the letter "U" for "Unified Republic of Tanzania"?

It's Côte d'Ivoire, not Cote d'Ivoire. Côte is coast, côt&eacute is side, and cote I'm not sure of (rib?). As to Burkina Faso, they had to change all the Upper Voltaic piles to Burkinabé batteries :) -phma

They were clearly a big electric pain in the ass. Just kidding, of course!
cote [kɔt] nf -1. [marque de classement] classification mark; [marque numérale] serial number. -2. FIN quotation. -3. [popularité] rating. -4. [niveau] level; ~ d'alerte [de cours d'eau] danger level; fig crisis point. --Larousse de poche
The United Nations is not an objective source, any more than the United States Congress is an objective source. America's Congress serves the interests of the American (US) people, or to be more precise, the senators and representatives are accountable to the citizens who elect them - many politicians have self-serving agendas and/or cater to special interests.
The UN General Assembly is no different and is probably worse. Its representatives are NOT elected, but are each appointed by the goverments of the 200-odd member nations. Each nation typically seeks its own "national interests". Voting blocs declare or un-declare things like "Zionism is racism", and the IPCC's position on global warming is not based on science but on votes.
What diplomats choose to do, in their narrow, tiny community is their business. We have an encyclopedia to run. We make our own policy, and it is to use the most common English words for the page titles of topics. "Ivory Coast" is still the most commonly used name in English for Cote d'Ivoire. So move the page to Ivory Coast and include a note clarifying that we are not saying that the correct English name is Ivory Coast. Uncle Ed 15:13, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Most commonly used is Côte d'Ivoire. - see [12] vs [13] - Xed 23:29, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Firstly google searches are usually worthless (one even proves that the Prince of Wales possesses a name he does not have, and gives the wrong first name for a British PM!). Secondly the french version of the name only shows up as more popular when all language options are checked, because that includes french references. One limited to English pages shows Ivory Coast to be more popular. It is also used by a far wider list of English language sources. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 00:24, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

(Purely out of curiosity, which PM? Proteus (Talk) 00:44, 12 November 2005 (UTC))

There was a disagreement over Gladstone on WP (a naming thing *yawn*) and google was used to prove that his middle name was not called Herbert. It also got information about Spencer Percival wrong, and proved (to the hilarity of the Prince of Wales's office when I told him) that Charles was definitely surnamed Windsor which actually he has not been since the 1960s when he was renamed Mountbatten-Windsor. It also got information about Nancy Reagan wrong, information of JFK wrong, details about Ireland's first president wrong. I even featured on some sites when I worked for the Government and a google search proved I was three years older than I am, was born a hundred miles away from where I was born, was married, had a degree in marketing (I don't), know George H. and George W. Bush (it is actually Bill Clinton) Zeech! FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 06:54, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Gladstone's middle name was Ewart, not Herbert... john [[User_talk:John Kenney|k]] 01:58, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Bottom line, it's an international request, and every single such international request from every other state has always been honoured. We use the spelling Myanmar, not Burma as of 1989. Exact same thing. We use Beijing instead of Peking. We use Thailand instead of Siam. In each of these cases, the nation in question asked not to be called the former name. Why should Cote d'Ivoire be any different, just because a noisy minority of hardliners like Ed and Jtdirl are obstinate to change. Codex Sinaiticus 00:36, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Completely incorrect. Myanmar is a new name. The Chinese capital's name was not changed. Beijing is produced because the manner in which Chinese is translated into English changed decades ago. It was our translation, not their city's name, that changed! Peking is simply the older translation, not a new name. Thailand is the name used internationally. International requests are worthless. We are not in the pay of Ivory Coast's government. They have no right to tell the world what name to use. They can request that in diplomatic discourse a name is used, and that is followed by diplomats. But Ivory Coast is the name used worldwide by original English speakers. Côte d'Ivoire is not a new name like Myanmar. It is simply a translation of the previous name and no government is legally entitled to request that other languages use their preferred language in their own languages. That does not happen. Germany doesn't call itself Germany in German. But it would burst out laughing if we tried to use the German name that few recognised, in place of the English name everyone uses. If the world still used Siam, and the government called itself the Kingdom of Thailand, the article would be at Siam, just as we have the Republic of Ireland, not Poblacht na hÉireann, even though the official language of Ireland is Irish, not English. Your argument is based on fundamental misunderstandings of how language is used internationally, fundamental misunderstandings of the difference between general and registered state names and a complete misunderstanding of basic Wikipedia rules as followed in articles on 100s of states. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 00:55, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  • No, you're completely wrong on all counts. Myanmar is NOT a "new name". It's a different spelling of the same old name, it's just the spelling the military junta asked the world to use in 1989, and the world has mostly complied. Please read Explanation of the names of Burma/Myanmar. If you as an English speaker wish to continue to use "Ivory Coast", speak for yourself, but the MAJORITY of English speakers now use Cote d'Ivoire, and so far you don't have anywhere near enough votes to justify a page move, no matter how strong-ly you support it as an individual voter. Codex Sinaiticus 01:10, 12 November 2005 (UTC) What you wrote about Beijing isn't quite right either... It's called Beijing (Peking is the older pronunciation) because of the fact that the PRC changed the actual name in 1949, otherwise we'd still be calling it Peiping... Codex Sinaiticus 01:18, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Again. Wrong. The claim that a majority of English speakers use the french version of the name is patiently untrue. The beggars belief that anyone acquainted with the topic to even the smallest extent could actually make such a claim. Do not presume that the US State Department usage = the world. It is such a ridiculously illinformed claim as to be laughable. Even google searches show that when focused on English speakers.
   * 3,060,000 English pages for "Cote d Ivoire".
     * I get 31.900.000 hits for "Côte d'Ivoire" (English-language pages of all domains; excluding "wikipedia" from the search) --Francis Schonken 09:41, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
   * 4,490,000 English pages for "Ivory Coast".
     * I get 19.700.000 hits for "Ivory Coast" (also only English-language pages, all domains, & excluding "wikipedia") --Francis Schonken 09:41, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
   * CIA - The World Factbook -- Cote d'Ivoire
   * BBC News - 1,124 results for "Ivory Coast", 72 results for "Cote d'Ivoire"
   * (news aggregator) - Cote d'Ivoire
   * 154 from Google for "Ivory Coast".
   * 96 from Google for "Cote d'Ivoire"

FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 01:18, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

So, no, the basics for Jtdirl/FearÉIREANN's reasoning appear to be wrong - BTW, how did you get the 3,060,000/4,490,000 results? Please state the parameters of your Google test (I mean, explicitly enough so that others could produce the same result)! --Francis Schonken 09:41, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
So you're not going to count the hits with the circumflex in with the total?? Codex Sinaiticus 01:31, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment. Just wanted to put in here that this seems to be getting needlessly heated here. From all this talk about matter of principle and not being dictated to by other nations, it sounds like Cote d'Ivoire's poised to invade at any moment if only they get their way on the name thing... Anyway, I don't think either side is ill-informed or laughable here; the best thing to do would be to work together to figure out what the consensus is in recent publications. I don't think either answer is going to be a crisis... --Dvyost 01:47, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
    • The problem is twofold. This article is under an name that is unused and indeed would be unrecognisable in most of the English-speaking world. Second WP rules are explicit in making clear it should not be here. People have been pointing out for months that it is wrong for this article to be following different naming conventions to those followed throughout WP for all other countries. It also makes no logical sense to say that we refuse to follow our own mandatory rules on naming. Users who have been involved in creating articles under WP rules have been grumbling for months about the ludicrousness of having one article different to two hundred others. If the inguistic rules being advocated here for this page were followed elsewhere Wikipedia would be an unreadable mess. For example, King Henry I of England would have to be at Henri I because the language of the English court (and his language) was Norman French. Pope John Paul II would have to be at Johannes Paulus II because that was the pope's official name in the official language of his state. Mary Robinson would have to be at Maire Mhic Róbin because that was her name in her country's official language. Rome would be at Roma. Dublin would be at Baile Atha Cliath. Navan would be at An Uaimh. The issue is simple. Either all articles must follow the same MoS and NC rules, or none must. This article right now is stuck down a lingiustic cul de sac. It makes compiling an professional encyclopædia when one group of people on one page insist that the rules followed by rest of Wikipedia in over 800,000 articles can't apply to it. It reduces WP to the level of an unprofessional joke. WP deserves better than such amateurishness.FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 02:45, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
The entire strength of your argument rests on your insistence on the claim that "Ivory Coast" is currently the more prevalent term. As you can see, this claim is disputed, the people disputing it are English speakers, and all evidence so far, including the required consensus vote, would seem to point to "Cote d'Ivoire" (with or without circumflex) being the more widely used term in English. When it comes down to it, the only evidence seen so far that Ivory Coast is more widely prevalent among English speakers around the whole world (and not just in one small burgh), is your repeated say-so. Codex Sinaiticus 02:52, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Have to agree with Codex here. Are you really going to say that the Economist and the Guardian are "amateurish," "ludricous," "unprofessional jokes," or any of the other silly name-calling that's showing up on this page? Or the encylopedias (including Britannica) that Amcaja named? Where the consensus lies is, I think, uncertain based on what's been presented here so far, but what is abundantly clear is that there's professional, intelligent sources that go either way on this; I don't think it's fair to summarize either position here as "ludicrous." When in doubt, I say, fall back on WP:CITE: let's see how many more sources we can find on this and try to find a consensus. Fair enough? --Dvyost 03:07, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Er, sorry, just realized I've been misreading that sentence about the Guardian in the last five comments; maybe I am ludicrous after all. Nonetheless, I'm still not persuaded that the Economist staff are a bunch of amateurish idiots. --Dvyost 06:41, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Actually the Economist is famed for using terms that it adopts but no-one else does. It likes to say (it says it a lot) that it is ahead of everyone and everyone will follow, but they rarely do. lol. (It is known to some in the media business and "Economist cul-de-sacing". It announces "and now we will do it this way. Everyone will copy. You'll see" and then quitely (on an average of after 18 months) pulls 9 out of 10 of its 'innovations' and hopes no-one notices. We in the media always do and slag it unmercifully over it.) A more broadbased source is the BBC, which broadcasts in English to every continent. If a majority of English speakers used the french name the BBC would. It is very strict on following international not British usage. (Their critics accuse them of PC overload sometimes.) The fact that an organisation that broadcasts stations in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and has broadcasts to Australasia uses Ivory Coast in all its English broadcasts is clear evidence on English usage.

As to Codex's increasing flailing around trying to prove the point, the fact that he uses as evidence a handful of people here on the basis that they are English speakers, speaks volumes. And yes, to insist contrary to evidence from worldwide sources like the BBC who are ultra careful with language, contrary to relevant google searches on English pages, contrary to established Wikipedia policy in 800,000+ articles that WP should use a name not generally used by English speakers, but use a name reserved almost exclusively for diplomatic usage, when we don't use the diplomatic name as the article name but use the generally used name, is ludicrous. Reading people's comments I get the impression that few people participating in the debate have read the MoS or the NCs. It might help if people like Codex actually knew how WP names articles on countries, because there is no evidence of it from his comments. It makes an ass of WP to have 200 articles on countries following one criteria, and thousands of editors using MoS rules, but for one article to do the exact opposite to what the rules instruct us to do. Right now this article is down a cul-de-sac, with a name few use or would recognise in English. If people want to leave it as a dead article down a cul-de-sac that is their right though at some stage when it comes to pulling WP together for the hardcopy version, my guess is that the editors brought in will take on look at this page, mutter "what the f*** is it doing at that name?" and rename it without a vote, given that it breaks a mandatory WP rule on name usage. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 07:15, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, I guess I'll just mention one more time that I think what's called for here is not an argument about who knows MoS better, but rather some more citations investigating the issue. 3 million Google hits suggests to me that Cote d'Ivoire is not used only by a diplomatic and academic elite--rather, it seems to me to be coming into the more common usage.
What I'd be interested to do would be to consult as many current journalistic manuals of style as well as academic journals as we can; maybe books also, but that seems that it would be much harder to do. I agree absolutely and whole-heartedly that we should use the most common English language name, in keeping with the MoS; however, I don't agree that we can rely on the BBC as the ultimate arbiter of the most common English language terms (it's a great start, but I'm not willing to accept it alone). I also mistrust Google rankings for the same reasons you cite above on this page. So let's just find some other sources, instead of worrying about each other's wikihistory, ok? --Dvyost 08:00, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
As far as citations goes, google scholar gives 19,000 results [14] for Ivory Coast and only 3,040 results [15] for Cote d'Ivoire.Smmurphy 09:06, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
the fact that he uses as evidence a handful of people here on the basis that they are English speakers, speaks volumes. Well, let me re-iterate that I support Codex, and that I am one of a handful of people here, and I am an English speaker, and I have travelled through the region. Wizzy 08:38, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

According to searches

  • The BBC website shows
    • 1,281 for IC,
    • 78 for Côte d'Ivoire/Cote d'Ivoire (many of which go straight to IC).
  • Reuters showed some references to IC, none for C'dI.
  • ABC News (US) shows
    • 75 references to Ivory Coast, most of them actual ABC references.
    • C'dI got 45 references, most in French, the others an African news agency or Wikipedia.
  • NBC News shows
    • 369 references to Ivory Coast
    • Côte d'Ivoire gets 4.
    • Cote d'Ivoire also gets 4.
  • Sky News had
    • 11 references to IC,
    • Cote d'Ivoire has 0.
  • South African television uses more IC that Cote 'd'Ivore. A search of the latter throws up articles that use either both or just Ivory Coast.
  • The British and Foreign Office lists the country profile name as Ivory Coast. In the article, as Wikipedia does, it gives the official name as used by that state.
    • 54 links on its site link to Ivory Coast.
    • 52 link to Cote d'Ivoire; most of whom use Ivory Coast either first, with the French translation second or in brackets or as the headline. 54 use IC, all as the primary name.
  • Time magazine shows
    • 259 links to Ivory Coast.
    • 2 links for Cote d'Ivoire, one of whom used Ivory Coast in the headline.
  • The New York Times shows
    • 6341 links to Ivory Coast.
    • 16 to Cote d'Ivoire and variants.
  • The Times of London shows
    • 349 for Ivory Coast.
    • 3 for variants of Cote d'Ivoire.
  • The US Department of State lists
    • 1000 references to Ivory Coast, many of them documents from the 2000s. For example

To achieve safety for refugee interviews, we had to move two major refugee populations from their camps in Africa Somali Bantu in Dadaab to Kakuma in Kenya, and Liberians in Danane to Abidjan in Ivory Coast. That came from a speech delivered by Arthur E. Dewey, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration to the 2004 Annual Conference of State Coordinators of Refugee Resettlement (SCORR).

    • 1000 references to Cote d'Ivoire.

The quote above from an Under Secretary of State shows that the claim that the US State Department uses only Cote d'Ivoire is wrong. It uses both, with Cote d'Ivoire featuring primarily in formal diplomatic documentation, and Ivory Coast used frequently when talking generally about the country. The identical number in the searches for both names suggests that they have programmed their search to automatically throw up either name when just one is used in the search.

The list of English speaking sources that either use Ivory Coast enclusively, primarily or in tandem with Cote d'Ivoire could go on. No English source could be found that never uses Ivory Coast. Many however never use Cote d'Ivoire. If has has been claimed here English users overwhelmingly use Cote d'Ivoire then that would be reflected in media usage, given that the media have to use a term their readers understand. The fact that they either exclusively, principally or primarily use Ivory Coast, and that many never use Cote d'Ivoire, speaks volumes about what name, contrary to myth, English speakers do use.

The evidence is overwhelming. The world's biggest broadcaster (the BBC), two of the world's most famed magazines (Newsweek and Time), American news stations like ABC and NBC, international broadcasters like Sky News, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the British Foreign Office all use Ivory Coast either much more than Cote d'Ivoire or exclusively. Even the US Department of State, contrary to claims made by people here, uses Ivory Coast widely. The suggestion therefore that Cote d'Ivoire is "being the more widely used term in English" is demonstably untrue and false. The media organisations who communicate with English speakers worldwide demonstrate it to be a claim without foundation. In having the page at Cote d'Ivoire Wikipedia is clearly wrong in fact. Indeed in some cases only pages showing up using that form were Wikipedia pages. That is not a situation Wikipedia should be in, especially when this page is not just in a tiny minority in terms of English usage it is in a tiny minority on WP pages throughout our site, for our mandatory policy is to use the common name as article name unless it is unambiguously wrong (eg, calling the United Kingdom England), and use formal diplomatic name at the top of the infobox in the article. Ivory Coast is not wrong. Unlike England vis-a-vis the United Kingdom (which is wrong because England as a separate kingdom ceased to exist in 1707 when it merged with Scotland to form the Great Britain, which itself merged in 1801 with Ireland to form the United Kingdom), Ivory Coast is merely a translation of the French name the native state uses. Cote d'Ivoire is only used by a minority of English speaking sources and a minority of English speakers. Ivory Coast is the name used by the vast majority of English speakers and English sources on the planet. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:01, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Encyclopedic usage

I always think it's worthwhile to see what the common usage of encyclopedias is. If all the other online encyclopedias stick with one usage, I see no reason why we should differ. Britannica, Encarta, and Columbia all use "Côte d'Ivoire." That's really quite good enough for me. john k 15:56, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I mentioned that all encyclopedias use Côte d'Ivoire in the article, but it was removed by the same person who is campaigning for Ivory Coast. - Xed 15:59, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Please stop telling lies. Users (not me, though you keep claiming it was me) put in a section explaining usage. You deleted it and plonked in a misleading summary. I returned it to the original accurate version, with links which you had deleted. Firstly Wikipedia does not put google searches into articles. Secondly putting one that doesn't distinguish between French pages that correcting use the French version of the name and English pages most of whom clearly don't, produces a misleading results. Putting it in like that is POV propagandisation of the article.

As to encyclopædias, you are wrong. American encylopædias do for their own reasons. You may not have noticed it but Wikipedia is not American and does not slavishly follow American usage. Nor am I campaigning for Ivory Coast. I am applying the MoS and NC rules as is the standard way articles are written on WP. You however want to ignore how all other articles are written on WP, ignore mandatory rules on naming and as you did with the edit, tried to replace a carefully NPOV section with a blatently POV, bordering on propagandising edit while also went against WP in including google searches in the text as 'evidence', and a misleading search at that. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:28, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

The fact that all encyclopedias use Côte d'Ivoire is still absent from the article after you removed it, so I think it's obvious where the "propaganda" is coming from. - Xed 21:45, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Have you actually checked all encyclopædias or are you just presuming as usual with americocentrism that whatever American publications do the rest of the world must be doing too? FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 04:56, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Tell me when you find one that doesn't. Until then, perhaps you can re-insert the fact that all encyclopedias use Côte d'Ivoire, which you had previously removed. - Xed 05:03, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
The two recent print reference works I have to hand are Whitaker's Almanack and Pears Cyclopedia; both use Côte d'Ivoire preferentially. Whitaker's doesn't even have a "See X" entry under Ivory Coast in the country lists or index, and as far as I can tell uses the term nowhere at all! Pears has a "see X" in its gazeteer, and bizzarely, the map plates use Ivory Coast whilst the text demotes that to an alternate name. Both of these publications are very much not American, and both are - whilst not encyclopedias per se - highly respectable reference sources of encyclopedic quality. Shimgray | talk | 18:39, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Jtd - all reference works which have been cited so far use Côte d'Ivoire. It is up to you to find some that use Ivory Coast if you want to discredit this line of argument. It is not up to Xed to prove that all encyclopedias use the French name. john [[User_talk:John Kenney|k]] 19:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Politics of name change

Who says the government issued its "no translation" edict to prevent "disorder" that might come if people continued to use the old "Ivory Coast" name? Uncle Ed 19:48, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Interwiki links

If you look at the interwiki links you'll see that other Wikipedias call this country everything from "Wybrzeże Kości Słoniowej" to "Fílabeinsströndin". Just sayin' :)

And can we try to calm down a bit here? :) There are good arguments for having the article at Côte d'Ivoire and good arguments for moving it to Ivory Coast. It's not a catastrophe either way. - Haukur Þorgeirsson 19:45, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I expect they will slowly change to Côte d'Ivoire. For instance, see [16]
In the English Wikipedia, you can see from what links to Ivory Coast compared to what links to Côte d'Ivoire, that Côte d'Ivoire has the upper hand in the english Wikipedia now.
- Xed 02:07, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Mistakes like that can be fixed, however. :) Not that it's particularly relevant, since redirects will handle it automatically. Bypassing disambiguation pages is important but I rarely bother bypassing redirects. Bryan 05:39, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
"I expect they will slowly change to Côte d'Ivoire. For instance, see [17]" - Not a good example; the result of the first German discussion was to rename the article from Côte d'Ivoire to Elfenbeinküste and there is no visible trend to rename the article again - quite the contrary; there is currently a survey "Einheitliche Ländernamen" which asks for opinions on a authoritative list of country names for the German Wikipedia, containing "Elfenbeinküste", with overwhelming support. However, this doesn't mean a lot for the English Wikipedia - most well-known German-language encyclopedias like Brockhaus and media use "Elfenbeinküste" which is easy to verify, quite different from the situation in the English language where "Côte d'Ivoire" seems to be very widely-used. I think the decision here should be made solely based upon ascertaining what is most commonly used in the English language, particularly in English-language encyclopedias, big newspapers and TV stations. Neither on what the country officially demands nor upon solutions valid only for other languages. Gestumblindi 21:50, 15 November 2005 (UTC)


Yes, our naming conventions tell us to use the most common name. But this useful convention is not followed naively or mechanically. Wikipedia:Naming_conventions itself says:

It is important to note that these are conventions, not rules written in stone.

And Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(common_names) says:

[W]e need to temper common usage when the commonly used term is unreasonably misleading or commonly regarded as offensive to one or more groups of people

There are thousands of Wikipedia articles which don't use the most common English name for their subject because Wikipedians have decided that in those particular instances other concerns are more important. In practice we pay a lot of attention to native names, official names, precise names, neutral names etc. And that's fine.

As to what should be the most important concern in this instance I really don't know. But it seems clear to me that people can rationally disagree about this - within our rules. Wikipedia only has five solid rules and this isn't covered by any of them. - Haukur Þorgeirsson 16:28, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Laffo, talk about formatting problems--Hello'from'SPACE 00:39, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, I did find somewhat of an explanation at Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#HTML_Tidy_temporarily_disabled but right now pages everywhere are a mess, and it's going to take a while to clean up all the sloppy sigs that are acting up as a result... Codex Sinaiticus 00:47, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Princess Royal

I used to be an officer in Her Royal Highness's service. I know for a fact that she used to use the term Ivory Coast but changed to Cote d'Ivoire on the request of the Cote d'Ivoire's embassy in London. When she hosted a dinner party for the Ambassador and his wife, she used the French name in invitations and special dinner plates specially created for the event. ((unsigned))

of course it would be. That is diplomatic usage. But that is irrelevant to the issue here. Pages aren't named by diplomatic usage (if it was we'd have Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Denmark, Commonwealth of Australia Ireland (for the 26 counties as well as the island), etc., not Germany, Denmark, Australia, Republic of Ireland etc.) Pages are named after most common usage. The most common usage for this state in English (and each WP uses the most common usage in their language, not the name translated into their language) is Ivory Coast by a mile. So under MoS rules the page should be there. The diplomatic name is used in the article. User talk:Jtdirl 02:08, 15 November 2005 (UTC)


Since we've got sixty vote here now, but far less at the Timor-Leste talk page, I'd ask all of you to also consider the very similar case of East Timor/Timor-Leste and vote on its talk page. Thank you. Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン 10:25, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

They are not similar cases. The argument to keep Cote d'Ivoire is not based solely on the wishes of the country (as seemed to be the case with East Timor). I (and others) argue that Cote d'Ivoire is now common usage. Wizzy 10:34, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • shrugs* Call them "vaguely related", if you don't like "similar". I just think that there should be a larger number of votes on the East Timor/Timor-Leste issue, since a margin of two of twenty hardly seems decisive to me. Just trying to get people to vote at all, not for a specific outcome. Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン 11:31, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
The cases are similar. An official designation as against Manual of Style requirements. Both East Timor and Ivory Coast are overwhelmingly used in English, so under MoS mandatory requirements they are the obliged name to use. User talk:Jtdirl 17:21, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Ivory Coast is not overwhelmingly used. You are making it up. All encyclopedias use Côte d'Ivoire - you removed this fact from the article. Searching Google (ENGLISH PAGES ONLY) for Côte d'Ivoire (or Cote d'Ivoire) gives 32 million results. Searching (ENGLISH PAGES ONLY) for Ivory Coast gives less than 20 million. - Xed 17:54, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
As I have requested several times on the mailing list, please don't state things in bald black and white. Clearly enough people disagree with your enterpretation of the situation to necessitate this vote. Kindly have enough respect for their opinions to moderate your language in recognition of this fact. [[Sam Korn]] 19:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Policy vs. move

There is confusion here. English Wikipedia policy, established by consensus, is that country articles go at the most commonly used English name of the country.

Ivory Coast's government, confusingly, says that the French name cannot be translated into English. So it's their law vs. our policy.

Is the vote to move the page back to Ivory Coast - in accordance with our policy, or is it to keep it at Cote d'Ivoire, which the government demands?

I think our encyclopedia is based in Florida, and therefore not with the jurisdiction of Ivory Coast. So let's just follow our own policy.

If the vote above indicates a consensus for making an exception to our policy, then I'll have to go along with it. But I wish people would stop moving the page from the accepted-policy title of Ivory Coast until this issue is decided. Uncle Ed 02:37, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Ed, I'd ask you to reconsider this move and protection. The entire reason Jtdirl put this up for a vote was to reach consensus before making this move; while the voting could still shift, there is now and has consistently been a majority for leaving the page at Côte d'Ivoire, its original home. Reading the above vote should show you that there is not yet a consensus that Ivory Coast is the most commonly used English name, and I don't feel the reasons you're giving here (Ivory Coast's jurisdiction?) are sufficient to explain why you've defied the clear, current majority and locked the page behind you. Again, I'd ask you very strongly to reconsider. --Dvyost 02:59, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Seconded. Everyone keeps raising the straw man that the reason for naming the page Cote d'Ivoire is because the country wishes it so. No, the reason we want it there is because it is the common name in English. Wizzy 05:48, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Codex has just brought up another major problem with this move, Ed--now everybody who normally follows the Côte d'Ivoire article will no longer see this debate appear on their watchlists. I think it would be best to move the article back to its usual home at Cote d'Ivoire, especially considering that the vote is clearly leaning that way anyway. --Dvyost 03:16, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I second these concerns, and request that Ed to find someone else to protect this page, as he has been deeply involved in the recent move warring over this page. - SimonP 03:19, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

What on earth is going on here? This move was completely inappropriate - there is and has been throughout the voting a majority in favor of leaving it in place. I am going to move it back to Côte d'Ivoire. john k 06:48, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Ed, please explain why you moved the page to Ivory Coast and then protected it, when more votes are in favor of Côte d'Ivoire. Please also note that Wikipedia:Protection policy states "Admins must not protect pages they are engaged in editing, except in the case of simple vandalism." — Jeandré, 2005-11-17t21:00z
I am disappointed in Ed Poor's behavior here, which I consider an abuse of administrative power, and have left him a message on his talk page. Thank you for unprotecting and moving the page back, John Kenney. — Knowledge Seeker 08:31, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
John, please explain why you have moved a page to title which violates policy. There is no consensus to make a policy exception here. 34 to 24 is only 58%, which is a "no consensus" vote for an exception to policy. You should change policy, then apply it.
KS, enough with the Wikipedia:personal remarks, okay? I've been tolerant so far, but if you keep applying phrases like "disappointed in ... behavior" I'm going to have to ask someone to stop you. Uncle Ed 17:03, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the discussion of Ed's actions is much better carried out on his talk page; this debate's messy enough already in and of itself. In defense of John's move, however, it seems correct to me according to the guidelines laid out at Wikipedia:Requested moves. As I read it, once a request for move is made, the page remains where it is until 60% of the voters agree to move it to a new location (so far the votes in favor of the move seem to be wavering between 35 and 45%). --Dvyost 18:08, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that my comment above is out of place, and do not object to anyone removing it and/or the replies, including this one. I would prefer not remove it myself, in order to avoid breaking the conversation and to avoid the appearance of suppressing criticism of me. I will leave further replies at Ed Poor's talk page. — Knowledge Seeker 23:45, 18 November 2005 (UTC)


It would seem to me that the major external interest in the country occurs every 4 years when the World Cup is taking place:

  • about 343,000 English pages for "Ivory Coast" "World Cup" -wikipedia
  • about 69,400 English pages for "Cote d'Ivoire" "World Cup" -Côte -wikipedia
  • about 29,900 English pages for "Côte d'Ivoire" "World Cup" -Cote -wikipedia.

--PBS 17:52, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

When does this vote close?

I think it may be time to put a cap on this vote. The debate's becoming increasingly ugly, while the voting percentages appear to have held relatively steady over the past few days. If I understandWikipedia:Requested moves correctly, a 60% (consensus) vote is required to move the page; the support seems to be about 41% at the moment, and unlikely to climb dramatically. Please understand that if people think valuable discussion is happening here, or that these numbers are likely to change, I'm happy to keep this open for as long as necessary. However, some of the discussion below is starting to sound much more appropriate for the talk page of the MoS rather than hashing things out here (whether the MoS is mandatory with a capital M, whether the "most common English name" rule is the highest priority guideline within the MoS, and how that "most common English name" can be fairly determined). Obviously there are some different opinions on this, and I think they're both worth elaborating on further; still, I think for that discussion to continue, it should happen more broadly than this specific vote.

So how are we going to wrap this one up? Does another 48 hours seem fair? Or are we waiting for the vote to hit a specific number? --Dvyost 19:21, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

At WP:RM this vote was moved under the "Old discussions" heading, since the usual 5 day voting time is over. Since WP:RM is under backlog tag again this means any wikipedian can now end the vote now, by:
  1. Typing a sentence in this sense:

    It was requested that this article be moved to Ivory Coast, for which 60 people voted: 24 supporting the move; 2 neutral; 34 opposing the move. This means 24 + 2 people = 26 people = 43% would not oppose the move. This is less than 60%, so no move was operated --Francis Schonken 19:44, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

  2. Remove the "move" tag on top of this page, I'll do that too;
  3. Remove the listing of this vote from WP:RM, I'll do that too. --Francis Schonken 19:44, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Background to Ed's move and renaming debate

The problem here is a clash between the normal rules for moving pages and the mandatory requirements of MoS, and the fact that it isn't explicitly spelt out which takes priority, even though it is implicit in the MoS that as the definitionary code for naming articles it does.

The original move here to the Cote d'Ivoire, from what I can see, is not based on some objective analysis of which name fulfilled the most common name criteria in the MoS but on personal hunches ("I think this is more widely used" or "I (in my experience) only see this version used") rather than any objective analysis of sources being applied. Ed, on seeing what objective analysis of a range of sources shows (Ivory Coast is more widely used in general and more used worldwide, whereas Cote d'Ivoire is less widely used worldwide and more specific to regions and certain countries) applied the MoS rules and moved the page to whichever matched the MoS criteria, in effect saying that a formal decision to break with MoS needs to be made, with the onus being on those who wish to depart from MoS criteria to justify such a move, rather than being on those who wish to place the page back at the location that fulfils the MoS criteria.

Both arguments, Ed's move to apply MoS, and his critics complaint that the action involved a participant in the page's debate and in effect threw the vote into chaos, have validity. The problem is that WP simply doesn't seem to know whether the move page or MoS criteria take priority. This is a fundamental MoS issue. It is there that a decision needs to made as to whether MoS or the move command gets priority. In encyclopædias (I've worked in the past for a major encyclopædia and I know their MoS practically off by heart) the house style or manual of style is invariably a combination of its bible and its constitution. Nothing can be done which conflicts with it. WP has grown to such a size that it is now finds itself, quite simply, as no longer being a novelty or a 'pretend' encyclopædia but a real one (very good in parts, appalling in others). Its rules and procedures have failed to keep up with that development. It is caught between some people who want it to be a form of democratically controlled site, and those who want it to be an encyclopædia and to put standards and co-ordination above all else.

Until WP gets its head around the fact that it now is a real encyclopædia and starts acting like one, including taking its MoS as gospel and not something that each page like an independent republic can opt in or opt out of, this problem is not a once-off but will occur across hundreds of pages. For their are hundreds of pages whose locations explicitly break the MoS's requirements on naming.

We need three things:

  • to assert the primacy of the MoS as the Wikibible in deciding the rules that co-ordinate the location, structure, language and content of all pages;
  • to decide are there 'opt out' (not 'opt in') options in some pages.
  • to make decisions based solely on MoS criteria and not make our own POV ones up on each page;
  • to have independent procedures to establish how to verify the application of MoS requirements (eg, what does 'most common name' actually mean? What does it include an exclude? How is MCN established? What methodologies are applied and in what way to establish the MCN.)

Frankly this whole debate on the move here has been an object lesson in how far off encyclopædic standards we are in co-ordination, verification, decision-making and naming techniques.

Right now, WP has had an easy ride in terms of media coverage because it is a novelty. All new things get that. (What is sometimes called the 'upright walking dog syndrome' — people are so amazed the dog can walk on two paws that they don't access how well it was walking.) But once the novelty wears off and WP is accepted as real encyclopædia and not a novelty, then people will not be awed by its existence, but will focus on content. Right now content is the major weakness. It goes from very good to absolute shite. Page naming is also going to be a major issue. Unless there is total co-ordination of standards, which means strict absolute adherence to the MoS of the sort every other major credible encyclopædia takes as automatic, then WP will earn for itself a reputation as being an unreliable, unco-ordinated, amateurish site and not an encyclopædia worth using, or at least an encyclopædia where every fact, every issue, every name, has to be cross-verified at a real location. [[user_talk:Jtdirl]] 16:25, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Full support: Took the words right out of my mouth, and turned my stubby thoughts into an eloquent defense of this project. Uncle Ed 16:53, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
You proposed the vote on the move. You (for good reasons) support the move. It seems now that it will probably stay in place (at Cote d'Ivoire). Now you are saying that the vote was a bad idea - MoS is mandatory (it's not, and neither do I think that the Oppose position necessarily breaks MoS). There is a translation of the French name into English, that many English-speaking people use. We agree. You dispute that the French name has any popularity amongst English speakers. We disagree. That is why we are voting. Your arguments are plain to see, and do not need re-iterating. Nor do mine. Wizzy 16:49, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I thought I'd elaborate on Wizzy's "neither do I think that the Oppose position necessarily breaks MoS." Besides the ArbCom, which does not generally involve itself in content disputes, and certainly would not involve itself in an issue like this, there is no ultimate authority to determine how we interpret rules. In this case, the argument is over how we determine what the most common English name is. Jtdirl, and others, have argued that this is clearly Ivory Coast, and have cited fairly good sources to back this up, especially in terms of mainstream media usage. However, this is not the only way to determine common usage. For example, I prefer that we determine what common usage in reference sources is. In that case, it is Cote d'Ivoire. This, I will add, is not some arcane idea of how to interpret common usage which we've never used in any other instance. It is, in fact, the argument which Jtdirl himself has used in other instances, with, I think, less justification. When we were discussing how to name monarchical consorts, Jtdirl came out very strongly for using the maiden name, saying that this was the only encyclopedic way, and even if the late Queen Mother is only occasionally referred to as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the second to last empress of Russia is rarely called Dagmar of Denmark, this is where those articles should go because anything else would make wikipedia a laughingstock as an encyclopedia. Demonstrations that other encyclopedias did not, in fact, use this kind of titling were unavailing. But now, in an instance where other encyclopedias do all use one form, Jtdirl is advocating the other form on precisely the grounds that he objected to in the former case.
At any rate, the point is that the Manual of Style (or the Naming Conventions, or whatever) is not something which is transparently clear. It is something which has to be interpreted. What people who have voted against the move have been doing is trying to weigh out what the best name for the article is, based on the principles laid out in the MoS. In my opinion, and in that of others, both names are in fairly common use, the usage of Cote d'Ivoire is increasing and is the one used by English-speakers in the region, and, as it is also the official name, it makes sense as the name of the article. This is a perfectly legitimate interpretation of the conventions, and I find it rather insulting to be constantly told that Jtdirl and Ed Poor are the guardians of what wikipedia policy means, and that this disputed understanding of the MoS/Naming Conventions should take precedence over an undisputed understanding that the move guidelines do not allow this kind of thing. john k 18:57, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

A mispresentation. As you well know, John, you naming is much more complicated than country names. For a start, every county with a king refers to The King. There is only one Ivory Coast/Cote d'Ivoire. There are many royals called Elizabeth, many called Mary, etc. Royal Naming is subject to internationally used strict standards, one of which is pre-marital name for deceased royal consorts. Apart from places like Macedonia, there few countries claim the same name. The only issue therefore with country names is what version is internationally recognised by readers. I'm disappointed that you would deliberately construct a misleading impression.

The bottom line in both is professional objective naming. Royal naming and country naming follows two different sets of rules. You know that well. Claiming otherwise is mischevious and dishonest. I expected better of you. [[user_talk:Jtdirl]] 20:13, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

A brief point to expound further on my last sentence: Ed Poor's understanding of the Manual of Style (or the Naming Conventions, or whatever) is under dispute. Many of us do not believe that naming conventions or the MoS require that the article be at Ivory Coast, which is why we voted against the move. The move guidelines, on the other hand, are not under dispute - they specifically disallow what Ed has done. It seems clear to me that we should be following the rule that nobody disputes, rather than the rule which is the precise issue under discussion. john k 19:00, 18 November 2005 (UTC)


How does Jtdirl understand Manual of Style (MoS)? I understand it as "the policies & guidelines in Category:Wikipedia style guidelines" - a subset of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines.

Article naming is however not the central topic of MoS in that sense: article naming is the central topic of another subset of wikipedia policies & guidelines, the ones contained in Category:Wikipedia naming conventions. Of these,

  • Wikipedia:Naming conventions is official policy, containing this sentence in the intro:

    Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

    Note that the central principle is "most easily recognise", and not "most commonly used" - I think every wikipedian understanding enough English to contribute to en:wikipedia can decide for himself what he thinks most recognisable as a country's name, so there's no reason to cast doubt on the validity of a vote in this case.
  • Wikipedia:Naming conflict is probably the most central guideline for guidance on this difficult topic. Contrary to Jtdirl's assertions this guideline (partly) takes self-identification and official name into account in article naming decisions, see the table in Wikipedia:Naming conflict#Proper nouns - it weighs these principles in together with common name and use English principles.
  • Wikipedia:Requested moves of course applies too, regarding the voting procedure. Despite Jtdirl's very detailed explanations, I can't see any reasons why the regular WP:RM rules wouldn't apply in this case (as in any other WP:RM vote).

Thanking Jtdirl for the compliment of calling MoS Wikipedia's "bible" - I wrote some of it. But it is a treacherous compliment, while it minimises the fact that in Wikipedia the rules are agreed upon by consensus, which means that the rules change, if the consensus changes. Now I'm indifferent to the fact whether other wikipedians think "flexible" or "chiseled in stone" better, I can only say that Wikipedia guidelines have more flexibility than bible texts.

So, if a vote turns out this or that, and none of the major principles ("official policy") are in danger, it might be time to adjust some of the guidelines.

Now, would such adjustment of guidelines be necessary here? Maybe I would change the following sentence in wikipedia:naming conflict:

Where a choice exists between native and common English versions of names (e.g. Deutsch/German), always use the common English version of the name.


Where a choice exists between native and common English versions of names (e.g. Deutsch/German), the common English version of the name is usually preferred.

Further, FYI, someone started yesterday a new naming conventions guideline proposal: wikipedia:naming conventions (countries) - I have no idea whether this proposal will effectively make it to guideline, but it might, summing up what we learnt from this (and other recent) votes.

Further, I think Jtdirl's emotional "if we don't have stricter rules wikipedia will die" reasoning too subjective, too emotional, to have any scientific value.

Further, I agree with Wizzy's comments above. --Francis Schonken 17:55, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Moved back and unprotected

I have moved the article back to its previous location and unprotected. The protection was completely unwarranted - the dispute had not proceeded beyond a lengthy vote on the talk page. The move was completely inappropriate - there has been throughout the voting a majority in favor of leaving the page at the French name. Using administrator powers to advance a position which you prefer, and which is clearly in the minority, is highly inappropriate. I am sorry that I have done the same thing, but I only did so in response to Ed's highly inappropriate actions. john k 06:54, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

I rewrote the voting header accordingly, since apparently that's how this move got started and locked in the first place. Since the concerns with MoS are both disputed and detailed in tremendous length in all the entries below, I simply removed that from the header to avoid any editorializing. Seem fair? --Dvyost 06:59, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Sounds about right. I really should have done that last night, but not only was I not thinking straight it might not have looked very good... apologies for kicking the move off again. Shimgray | talk | 12:10, 17 November 2005 (UTC)


Can someone verify that the motto is correct? It seems fishy to me. 00:52, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This PDF seems to confirm that the motto is Union-Discipline-Travail which means "Unity" (or "Union"), "Discipline", "Labour" (or "work"). Chameleon 09:13, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I seriously wish I knew what that was in Spanish...


I don't think it's a good idea to to consider people from the north of Côte d'Ivoire as "Muslim". It's a fact that Alassane Ouattara and the rebellion leaders are Muslim. However, what I notice first is that they are of Burkinabé origins. To be accurate they are Mossis. Even if I have no statitistics the Mossis are well divided in Christian (mostly catholic but there's a significative protestan minority) and Muslim. There's no evidence of a conflict between religious communities in Burkina Faso. As of today it seems that there is a majority of people originating from Burkina Faso in northern Côte d'Ivoire and the majority of them are Mossis. I think they are many Christians among the supporters of the Rebels. IMO religion is not the key. The clash is between "Real Ivorian" vs "immigrants" and between very different political cultures. Burkina Faso balanced between Socialism/Marxism and occidental democracy while Houphouët-Boigny ruled Côte d'Ivoire with an iron hand and relying heavily on traditional chieftains. Even if Houphouët-Boigny was known in the West as the "Sage of Africa" it was perceveived as archaïc by most Burkinabé and people of Burkinabé origins. Ericd 11:08, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Statoids and the CIA seem to think the 19 regions are the top-level administrative divisions; the page we have here claims the 58 departments are the top level ones. Which is it? --Golbez 07:16, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

Régions are the top-level administrative division; each Région is composed of one to seven Départements. In reality the Départements tend to have more of an impact on daily life. The Régions are groupings of Départements for administrative convenience. This information from personal experience (five years in Bouaké) and from a map I purchased at the Librarie de France in Abidjan, published by "Saint-Paul France S.A." (1999), ISBN 2-85049-813-0. Alan J Shea 01:40, 8 September 2005 (UTC)