Talk:Ivory Coast/Archive 5

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Gordian Knot

The discussion on the name of this article and similar heated discussions about other articles (Danzig, Burma etc.) are premised on a monothetic approach. Is there perhaps a third solution, one in which neither heading is given priority? In such a solution, I would get a *slightly* different article (with an appropriate caveat) depending on whethe I searched for IC or CdI.Kdammers (talk) 09:03, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

We already have this. It's called interwiki. People who like their article titles in French can go there. Kauffner (talk) 09:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
You're continuing to make the same errors: Cote d'Ivoire is it's English name, it happens to be from French. Kind of like creme brule...and words like transportation, communication, naive. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 12:02, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
There seems to have been some confusion. fr.wikipedia is for people who want article content written in French. However, people who want accurate and neutral titles, or who want articles about foreign subjects, should be able to get them on any wikipedia, including this one.
This may be an English language encyclopædia, but it covers foreign subjects too. Sometimes those foreign subjects have names which look foreign to some anglophones. If anybody is offended by that, they have my sympathy, but I can't fathom why they keep on returning to an article about a foreign country. bobrayner (talk) 12:12, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Alors mes amis! Enjoy continental titles, even though Le français est difficile? The solution to this problem is obvious, n'est pas? Wikipedia Poseur. It's where the fromage hits the croissant. Kauffner (talk) 15:04, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I find this discussion a bit confusing, because I can't see why so much energy is devoted to this question, which I don't see as nearly important enough to warrant this level of controversy. What's really going on, here? Has it become personal? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:18, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
We've tried such solutions; if anybody wants the move discussion as to which one comes first, we can do it again. See the entry on Bolzano/Bozen in WP:LAME. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:10, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

The primary argument of those wishing to retain "Côte d'Ivoire" as the main title header seems to be that the Ivory Coast's leaders, past and present, have declared that the country's French-language name is also its English-language name. This yearning to retain the French appellation across languages is obviously not shared by the leaders of Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea since they have not (so far) announced that the English-language names of their respective states are République centrafricaine, République démocratique du Congo, République du Congo and Guinée équatoriale, all of which are main title headers in the French Wikipedia. Furthermore, this declaration regarding the primacy of the Ivory Coast's French-language name apparently extends only to the English language and has been accepted only by the English Wikipedia since the Ivory Coast's name in the German Wikipedia is Elfenbeinküste, Swedish Wikipedia: Elfenbenskusten, Italian Wikipedia: Costa d'Avorio, Spanish Wikipedia: Costa de Marfil, Portuguese Wikipedia: Costa do Marfim, Polish Wikipedia: Wybrzeże Kości Słoniowej, Dutch Wikipedia: Ivoorkust, Estonian Wikipedia: Elevandiluurannik...well, we must have gotten the point a long time ago, but everyone is welcome to add more examples. In the English Wikipedia, which name shall it be, the English or the French? So far the French Wikipedia has prevailed with its Côte d'Ivoire. Participants in this vote are invited to sample as few or as many of the Ivory Coast's 154 interwiki links to determine which language, other than French, English and Simple English, is using "Côte d'Ivoire" (to quote Simple English: "It used to be called the Ivory Coast. Some people in the USA still call it this, but it is not the official name."). Every language has its own generally accepted names for geographical designations and only the English Wikipedia has insisted on retaining this minority-supported French designation.—Roman Spinner (talk) 05:04, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't see why we should try to follow other languages' Wikis. I'd prefer we lead, or at least move independently. I would also challenge the implication that every other Wiki always uses their own language for all geographical places. Shall I look for exceptions to that, or may we agree that they must exist? -GTBacchus(talk) 05:18, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
As an aside, has "Côte d'Ivoire" been officially declared as the name of the country in, say, German? Interesting thing to check up on. Anyway, what other African countries do has no relevance to this country. Basically this is a repeat of some of the arguments above, that "Côte d'Ivoire" is not English. No doubt someone can respond it is English. C'est la vie. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 08:34, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
And it is not clear that the present rulers agree, having just replaced Gbagbo, the self-declared Renaissance Man who made the decision official. In the further past, the official name was Ivory Coast. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:48, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
The English Wikipedia does lead — with 3,675,034 articles and 471,721,051 edits (as of this moment) and the present distribution of world population and access to the internet, no other language (Chinese?) has any realistic hopes of gaining. We also move independently — in most other-language Wikipedias, lead paragraphs of biographical entries append places of birth and death next to the vital dates, but we have consensus to limit lead paragraphs to key points of notability. On this point, however, our leadership and independence, such as they are, are misguided. A glance at List of sovereign states, shows this to be a unique situation (not at all similar to such relatively-frequent disputes as the Danzig/Gdańsk historical/current city name controversy). Of the 195 entries on that list, only one (Ivory Coast) has a well known, commonly used English-language name and yet becomes a redirect to a "circumflexed" French-language appellation. The fact that of the 154-language Wikipedias which have an entry for Ivory Coast, only the English Wikipedia has held to this (temporary?) deeply-disputed, minority-supported main title header which also exists only on the French Wikipedia, demonstrates the resistance to this quixotic leadership.—Roman Spinner (talk) 17:26, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Nice use of "quixotic", I guess. I still get absolutely zero (0) from comparisons to other Wikis. Those mean absolutely nothing to me. We make our decisions based on a consensus understanding of how to apply our foundational policies. All of those Wikis can be wrong, or they can all be right. We still have to make our own decisions. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:04, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Hmm. In relation to above, it seems from this UN source that Côte d'Ivoire has been declared as the official name in English, French, and Spanish (the UN languages using the Latin Alphabet). It appears the UN names are the ones used by the Russian and Chinese wikis (not sure about Arabic), however relevant that is. So looking at the Latin wikipedias, the Spanish wiki does not follow the official name, the English does, and the French I assume is irrelevant. In regards to internal english wiki consistency, Côte d'Ivoire is comparable to East Timor, which has ended up at that name instead of its official Timor-Leste. There have been move requests and various discussions there too, so at either name obviously there will be an issue. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 20:32, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

See WP:ARBMAC2#Naming Conventions for ArbCom's endorsement of policy: we don't follow any official source, but what anglophones will recognize. What the UN calls this country has less relevance than with the Republic of Macedonia; the political pressure for Côte d'Ivoire has passed with the dictator who preferec it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:40, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Pma, what does the evidence look like for that last claim? I'm not disputing, just asking, and if it's buried in the above discussion in six places, I apologize for asking you for a seventh. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:44, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Ask Kauffner; he claimed it. But what I have seen seems to support it; for example, of the English sources in the Lib. of Congress guide to the Ivory Coast, which I link to, only Gbagbo's is titled using Cote d'Ivoire. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:36, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Here's a good question: IIRC, this article appeared in a printed version of Wikipedia. What has changed since then to change the title - it sure would look odd not appearing the same way in a later printed version unless something drastic had changed to the country title. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:19, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Well, I have encyclopaedias at home which always note mistakes corrected in the newest version. Again, this is hardly an argument for keeping a title that might not be serving Wiki rules at the best possible rate. I really do, however, fail to see the purpose in continuing the current support/oppose move proposal. Everything seems already mentioned and weighed out (in terms of statistical data). RFC? We might as well do a straw poll while at it. --Laveol T 11:05, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The simple (and obvious) fact is that "Ivory Coast" is a region, that now includes most of Cote d'Ivoire and some other countries. Yes, there should be an article called Ivory Coast to discuss that (similar to Gold Coast). I see no valid policy-based arguments to change this - a lot of WP:IDONTLIKEIT, and other poor arguments (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:43, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Involved admin closed previous discussion - please re-open

In the ANI it has been noted that the admin closing the most recent discussion, User:billinghurst is not unbiased as is shown in a July 2010 comment in which he states about the "Ivory Coast vs. Cote d'Ivoire" issue, admitting, "the debate has made me form an opinion" [1]. Another admin closing the discussion recently, User:GTBacchus, has also admitted having participated in a previous discussion (which he forgot about).

The discussion should be re-opened so that a truly uninvolved admin can take a look at it. Would someone please re-open it? --Born2cycle (talk) 21:12, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Of course billinghurst has an opinion. It is unrealistic to expect him not to have one. That doesn't make him involved. His closings on this page have been disputed before, and this last one was certainly disputed. Once one of his decisions are disputed, the admin is considered involved in that topic, according to WP:INVOLVED. What's more, it can't possibly be coincidence that the same admin closes three times in a row. He must be gaming the system somehow, although don't know if there is a directly relevant guideline for that. Kauffner (talk) 13:53, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
What's the difference between reopening the discussion and just starting an RfC? We need wider input. Why not call it an RfC? Is there a reason not to have an RfC? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:55, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
To clarify: Re-opening the discussion has no real meaning. Anyone can move the page if they think there's a consensus to move it. Wikipedia does not run "by the book". Just say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done. Be alert at all times regarding consensus, and you won't go wrong. Forget all this red tape.

If the article should be moved, then first a stronger consensus should be demonstrated. How do we demonstrate it? We get wider community input, and we clarify the arguments on both sides for maximum effectiveness. I suggest a sub-page to outline the case for each side. I would make that suggestion just the same in an RM discussion as I would in an RfC. Why not just do that, instead of opening and closing formalities? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:59, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Fine. I believe there is a consensus of valid arguments to move it. The name used by the UN is not valid or relevant; we have policy on that, endorsed by ArbCom decision in the case of the Republic of Macedonia; neither is the preference of a former government of the Ivory Coast - since, even if it were valid, it cuts both ways. Let whoso disagrees say so now. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:34, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Often there are good reasons for formalities. The community has agreed that the way we determine consensus regarding page moves is via RM discussions closed by uninvolved admins. Involved admins such as yourself - as demonstrated by your belief that stronger consensus has to be demonstrated "if the article should be moved" (not to mention your previous direct involvement in these discussions) - have not allowed this to happen. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:37, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't care where the article is, Born2cycle. My only reason for opposing the move is that there's no sense bouncing it back-and-forth any number of times before there's a clear picture of what the community decides. Moves between two controversial titles are discouraged. If you move the page, we'll just keep having this conversation over at Talk:Ivory Coast, and there will be more Requests, until there's actually a clear answer.

What I'm suggesting is that we get to that answer, whatever it ends up being. If the consensus is for "Ivory Coast", then I'm behind it 100%. Now it's not clear; it's muddy. Let's make it clear. If we do that, then we can stop having that conversation once and for all. Clarifying what the community wants is worth doing, and whether we do it in an RM discussion or an RfC doesn't matter very much. Do you understand what I'm saying?

By the way, the process at RM is not, and never has been required for moves. At Requested moves, we offer one way to do it. There are many others, and RM as a formality has never been required here.

We determine consensus however we happen to determine it, and that is a major strength of the wiki. You never "need" a formal move request. Just do the right thing, and make sure you did your homework. Be smart about not surprising people, and describe what you're doing as you do it. It'll be fine; you're free here. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:32, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree that bouncing between A and B is, and should be, discouraged. What I disagree with is treating A and B equal when the article has been at A for a long time, has never been at B (or hasn't for a long time), and there have been multiple attempts by many people to move it to B. In many such cases the argument for B is stronger, but only slightly stronger than for A, which is why it keeps getting seen as "no consensus". However, if the case is truly stronger for B, then once it moves it is likely to stay there. I believe it's likely that that is the case here, and you can never know for sure until the article is moved. So while bouncing is and should be discouraged, in a case like this moving it once to the alternative just to see how that goes, in case it does garner significant consensus support once moved, should be encouraged. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:06, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that, if you're right, an RfC would cement your point and make you "win". There is no reason for you to come out against an RfC, because all it can do is help you. You want another weak, low-weight RM decision, when instead you could get a significant, strong, well-supported RfC decision. Why you're opting for the lesser form of support is completely beyond me. You seem to want to prolong this for more months than it deserves. Let's just do it right, and get it done with. Why on Earth not? -GTBacchus(talk) 04:59, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

There have been dozens of comments since it was closed about the closure, and an ANI. I've re-opened it accordingly, for the reasons stated above. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:42, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Since you like formalities, an RfC would be a more appropriate one at this point. It's clearly a big-deal case that will probably set lots of precedents. Is there any reason not to "escalate" to an RfC, to get a broader base to whatever we decide? -GTBacchus(talk) 23:34, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
GTB, in controversial cases, as this title obviously is (and was before the latest discussion started given its history) the RM process is required, as required as anything can be in Wikipedia: "This [RM discussion] process is only necessary if there is any reason to believe a requested move would be contested. ... If there has been any past debate about the best title for the page, or if anyone could reasonably disagree with the move, then treat it as controversial. " And for good reason I might add.

Until an uninvolved admin closes this discussion, I see no point in even contemplating an RFC. Once that occurs, if it's closed as no consensus, then I could see a reason to go to an RFC. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:53, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Born2cycle, quoting rules to me is a terrible idea. It's not going to lead to a discussion that you want to be a part of. I'm serious about this. An RM request is NEVER REQUIRED. Read our policy on ignoring all rules, and believe it. Treating a move as controversial DOES NOT MEAN that a specific bureaucratic hoop has to be jumped through. It means that we should be very careful. RM is one way to do that, but in this case, I'd say RFC is a better way. Don't start telling me how RM works, because half of the procedures on that page were developed by... hmmm, guess whom? How many thousand move requests have you closed, Born2cycle? Quoting rules to me that I developed is very unlikely to advance your position in a discussion with me. Get it?

You're being bureaucratic, and you should stop, forever. Being bureaucratic on Wikipedia is a Very Bad Idea. This case deserves an RfC, and you're arguing to deny that level of attention to this case. I might as well ask whom you're trying to hide it from. RfC is a Very, Very Good Idea in this case, and the only arguments against it are bureaucratic nonsense.

I'd say in general that any move request that goes to RM for a third time is already overdue an RfC. Maybe we should add that to the RM page. Then you could quote it later to someone else, as a "rule". God, I don't understand why people love "rules" so much... -GTBacchus(talk) 04:59, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

With all due respect, simultaneously arguing for an RFC and against bureaucracy is hilarious. In any case, until and unless an uninvolved admin closes this discussion as "no discussion", I see no point in even contemplating the additional bureaucracy of an RFC.. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
No. I'm not suggesting it because I think there's a rule to be satisfied. I'm thinking about the very pragmatic aim of attracting maximum participation. Arguing to apply one process when another is suggested by the bureaucracy is not bureaucratic, it's called cutting red tape, and using the system in ways it wasn't meant to be used. That's like anti-bureaucracy. I can not (nor would I) dismantle the structures we've created, so I'm suggesting we use them with an eye to their effects, and not with an eye to how well they satisfy some formal procedure.

If I knew a feasible way to drag this issue before a larger audience than an RfC would attract, I'd suggest that instead. Skywriting is expensive these days, so you understand we're working with limitations... Anyway, whether you see a point in contemplating an RfC won't stop anyone else from setting one up.

Also, as long as we're entertaining each other, I find it funny that you're actually arguing against advertising this discussion to a wider audience. What negative effect of an RfC do you fear? What's there to oppose? -GTBacchus(talk) 05:31, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I never argued against an RFC. I argued against starting a new discussion (via RFC or any other mechanism) instead of re-opening the active/ongoing RM discussion that was prematurely closed by one biased admin (you), re-opened (me), then improperly closed again by another biased admin. All that is moot since it was re-opened. We don't reach consensus by closing discussions. As I stated at the ANI, I have no objection to adding an rfc tag to this discussion. --Born2cycle (talk) 14:10, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, and my whole point has been that IT DOESN'T MATTER if the above discussion is closed or open. Everyone can still read it, and people can continue to discuss the issues raised there. It doesn't matter which section of this talk page the discussion occurs in. Since you were very adamant that it happen in a section labeled "Move request", that's happening. Good work getting your way. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:35, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Whether the discussion is closed or open may not matter, but if it's closed as "no consensus" when there really is consensus, that does matter. As long as only admins obviously biased against the proposal are declaring "no consensus" - that's meaningless, and that matters too. At any rate the discussion is now an RFC - good work getting your way. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:55, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh, tee hee. Shall we continue to snipe at each other? That sounds fun! Take it easy, Born2cycle, we're all okay here. The wiki abides, and everything will end up in the right place. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:42, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Just having another look at this I can't believe that this is article is still called "Cote d'Ivoire", that's a joke, should we rename Germany, France, Italy, Spain, etc because that's not what the locals call them? I've never heard anyone refer to Cote d'Ivoire in discussion, or news broadcasts, or in print, it's is always without exception Ivory Coast. Was this done by someone with an anti-English language agenda? MattUK (talk) 10:35, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Ironic that your entire argument is WP:IDONTLIKEIT LOL (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:40, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

My argument is about using the COMMON NAME, not I don't like it, the two just happen to coincide. MattUK (talk) 13:14, 17 September 2011 (UTC)


One might assume that the name derives from the historic importance of the ivory trade. Is this assumption correct? The article does not appear to say anything about it one way or the other; there is no mention of the country or region trading in ivory. Certainly I'm no expert. For all I know, ivory was never produced in the region at all.

If anyone working on the article does know one way or the other (and can find sources) I would encourage adding the information to the article, as it seems like a natural question. If by any chance the name does not come from the ivory trade, then it would also be interesting to find out how it does derive. --Trovatore (talk) 20:24, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, "The Ivory Coast" referred to a region that included Cote d'Ivoire ... I'm trying to properly reference that for an article as well, but keep getting distracted (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 08:59, 30 October 2011 (UTC)


Do we really need subheaders for a paragraph on english media usage and another subheader for a paragraph on official usage? The whole section is about the size of a decent subsection, dividing it up is a crude and unnecessary expansion of the TOC. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:29, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree and have removed the headers. One-graph headers are unncessary. 06:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I would like to know why the article is called Côte d'Ivoire and not Ivory Coast. If we are calling it Côte d'Ivoire then why isn't the article on Spain called España or the article on Germany called Deutschland? We're not giving them special treatment so why is Ivory Coast differant? Furthermore the article on East Timor isn't called Timor-Leste however the Timor-Leste is mentioned in the article. I propose that the name of the article is changed to Ivory Coast but, like East Timor, the name Côte d'Ivoire be used in the article. Stevie fae Scotland (talk) 10:55, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

At the very top of the page there's a link to the dozens of past discussions on the same question (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 11:08, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, the conclusion, after much discussion of the this issue in the past, seems to be that both Côte d'Ivoire and Ivory Coast are commonly used in English-language sources. So for instance the BBC will most often refer to the country as Ivory Coast, while The Economist will most often refer to it as Côte d'Ivoire. We have not been able to establish in any decisive way which of the names is most commonly used by reliable English-language sources. We are therefore staying with the current name, at least until decisive evidence can be shown that it is not the most commonly used name, as changing the name of this article would mean having to change the name of many other article to keep internal consistency within Wikipedia.TheFreeloader (talk) 11:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

How can you not know which is used more in English? Ivory Coast, the English name for the country, or Côte d'Ivoire, the French name for it. To me it seems silly but if it's not changing, it's not changing. Stevie fae Scotland (talk) 14:08, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

"Ivory Coast" is an unofficial English translation of the country name. Just like if you chose to call me "Brett" because in your language it's a translation of "Brad", it does not make it my name (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 14:23, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Then you're right back at the "Spain should be España" part of the argument. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

"Ivory Coast"?

What's that? [2]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:28, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

And now, let's start another loop... Ericd (talk) 21:41, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not, but I noted that USAToday was consistent in their usage of "Ivory Coast". This "Cote d'Ivoire" stuff is pretentious nonsense. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:10, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Pretty much every major news source uses "Ivory Coast". See BBC or New York Times. Kauffner (talk) 12:22, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
This seems to be one of those cases where the rules about reliable sourcing get overridden by some inexplicable emotional thing. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:40, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
There is an open RM at Talk:East_Timor#Requested_move where the same official vs. news service name issue is being debated. But apparently a Portuguese name can't compete with a French name when it comes to getting support from Wiki editors. Kauffner (talk) 23:13, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeh, looks like the same argument over again. Apparently "reliable sources" don't matter anymore. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:47, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
The Francophiles have been active here as well, using the same partisan-admin-closes-multiple-times tactic. Getting back to Ivory Coast, this Ngram makes it clear that "Ivory Coast" is far more common than "Cote d'Ivoire" on Google Books. Virtually no English-language reader is typing in "Cote D'Ivoire" as a search term, as you can see here. Kauffner (talk) 05:36, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I see Kauffner got tired of fighting over removing the capitalization of wine region names (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:21, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
And I see that your reading skills haven't improved: " Every major dictionary and reference says to capitalize "Champagne" when it refers to the region, lower case it for the wine." That's the opening sentence of my proposal. Kauffner (talk) 13:05, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
After following the numerous arguments over the name I have to say that I do now understand that Côte d'Ivoire isn't just the "French" name but just an alternative name in English for the country, just like we don't call have the Spanish name of Los Angeles (and not The Angels etc.) but the difference with those sort of names is that I have seen that Ivory Coast is in far more common usage (especially here in the UK) and I would NEVER hear anyone over a conversation talk about "Côte d'Ivoire" and always "Ivory Coast". Regardless if it's a French or English or Swahili name for all I care, the common usage is "Ivory Coast". The government's attempts for us to use Côte d'Ivoire should be considered but overruled as otherwise we should also change United States to The United States of America or change Burma to Myanmar, where the government there also is trying to increase usage of the new name. I think we should seriously consider moving it to Ivory Coast, and I bet there will be fewer arguments over the talk page over moving it back to Côte d'Ivoire. Bezuidenhout (talk) 11:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, I agree, with Cote d'Ivoire of course being a redirect. And when or if the common usage in English eventually becomes Cote d'Ivoire someday, then it should be moved back. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:25, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

This is an encyclopaedia article, supposedly.

The above error in assumptions should prove a warning to all. When an "etymology" section in the encyclopaedia, such as Côte d'Ivoire#Etymology, has grown up clearly to bolster an interminable editing dispute rather than to inform the reader, it won't inform the reader. "Côte d'Ivoire" isn't a new name, contrary to the impression that reading our article gives. It didn't originate with the recent government, which simply pushed for its use, or even in the 20th century. It can be seen as far back as the 18th century. Joseph Vaissète explained something about the name, and the alternative name Côte de Dents ("proprement dite") in his Géographie historique, ecclésiastique et civile, published in 1755. (No, he didn't hyphenate either one.)

We have an article full of thinly disguised editorial argument about what the right English name should be, rather than an encyclopaedia article that lists the several names used for this geographic area, in English, French, and Portuguese at the very least, and explains them. There's historical context and knowledge to be reported here, that apparently no-one in this eight-year-long dispute has bothered with, because content comes second to a requested move dispute. Even the French Wikipedia does better than us, mentioning the Portuguese. We don't even manage to explain why these names are what they are, because we're so stuck on making lists in the article itself of who backs which side of the editing dispute. If editors were more interested in writing an encyclopaedia to be an encyclopaedia, rather than writing to win an editing dispute, we'd probably have an article from which readers could actually learn.

Uncle G (talk) 14:04, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Hey! Stop making sense like this, you'll spoil all the "fun". — Coren (talk) 14:40, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
  • hear hear. thanks for the above. --KarlB (talk) 15:26, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I trimmed the section, moving most of the media usage stuff to a footnote. WE should add additional information about the origin of the name Ivory coast, and how its borders came to be defined in that way - Uncle G your help is welcome, especially with adding some of the old and real etymological material. --KarlB (talk) 17:36, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Something to start you off, ending where the second paragraph of the current section starts and with a suggestion for a better section heading, is now above. Uncle G (talk) 21:06, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
        • Wow. that was fast. And good stuff. Much better than what was there previously. I actually learned something - vs reading about whether chinese media outlets used a given name... I'm all for it if you want to make those changes please go for it. cheers! --KarlB (talk) 21:41, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
          • Not so sure about the string of sources in each paragraph, but a massive improvement. CMD (talk) 12:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Requested Move: Côte d'Ivoire → Ivory Coast

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Côte d'IvoireIvory Coast – All the major English-language news organizations use "Ivory Coast", including BBC, New York Times, AP, The Guardian, and CNN. This ngram shows that "Ivory Coast" is far more common than "Côte d'Ivoire" on Google Books. For every U.S. reader who types in "Cote d'Ivoire" as a search term, 35 type in "Ivory Coast", according to Insights. The numbers for Britain and Australia are similar. New timestamp so this doesn't start in the backlog. Jenks24 (talk) 11:50, 27 June 2012 (UTC) Kauffner (talk) 04:03, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Supporting material

The numbers in parenthesis are for the past year. This is an arbitrary restriction I added to reduce ghosting because in some cases the raw numbers are implausibly high. (The New York Times site obviously doesn't have anywhere near 15,000 stories on this subject.)

Organization Côte d'Ivoire Ivory Coast URLs
ABC News (Australia) 116 (3) 22,300 (243) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
BBC 107 (26) 4,370 (1,990) "Côte d'Ivoire" site:
"Ivory Coast" site:
The Telegraph 91 (6) 966 (84) "Côte d'Ivoire" site:
"Ivory Coast" site:
The Times (London) 2 (0) 188 (0) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
The Economist 4,450 (518) 4,050 (73) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
CNN 172 (2) 2,390 (93) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
Fox News 81 (4) 1,110 (110) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
New York Times 151 (7) 15,300 (249) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
Wall Street Journal 267 (28) 1,360 (146) "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
SABC News (South Africa) 38 503 "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
iafrica (South Africa) 59 507 "Côte d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
PBS (US) 78 587 "Cote d'Ivoire"
"Ivory Coast"
The Guardian (UK) 8 3,242
Daily Mail (UK) 23 2363
The Sun (UK) 0 1453
Highbeam 8,971 (1,269) 36,075 (3,049)

  • NPR has 333 results for "Ivory Coast", but only 49 for "Côte d'Ivoire". Even if the searches are restricted to just the last year, Ivory Coast is still nearly twice as common as Côte d'Ivoire, 30 to 16. --Taivo (talk) 01:47, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Merriam-Webster, recommended by the Chicago Manual of Style as the source "for the spelling of names of places" (§8.43) , uses "Ivory Coast". Kauffner (talk) 16:15, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Previous move discussions

Note: this includes all of the somewhat centralized, formal discussions. There have also been lots of other discussions about the name, outside the bounds of these particular proposals; see the talk page archives linked above for details.


This history reminds me of the history of Yoghurt, which went through seven "no consensus" RMs over eight years before a move to Yogurt finally succeeded, and stability and peace was finally established. That history is documented at Talk:Yogurt/yogurtspellinghistory. Do we really want to go through something similar with this article? --Born2cycle (talk) 15:52, 29 June 2012 (UTC)


Several editors contributed their views while I still working on the draft at User:Kauffner/RM_incubator Kauffner (talk) 07:23, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Support - Until or if the French name becomes the predominant name in English-language sources, we should follow Wikipedia rules and use the current common name in English. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:13, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Looks like that happened 20 years ago. TDL (talk) 02:08, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok Danlaycock, good idea, if we take your reference then let's also move Mumbai back to Bombay, Yangon back to Rangoon, Zimbabwe back to Rhodesia or even Moldova back to Moldavia?? That one source is a load of rubbish. Bezuidenhout (talk) 09:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Please recheck your inputs. I get a beautiful graph showing the change in usage shorty after Zimbabwe changed its name 1979. As for the others, these are hardly surprising. Bombay and Rangoon are both still widely used. TDL (talk) 21:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Ivorians may call it Cote D'Ivoire in the same way Germans call their country "Deutschland". The convention on Wikipedia is to use the English name of the country. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:45, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Correct, however unlike Deutschland, Cote d'Ivoire is also widely used in the English language (see Encyclopedia Britannica for example). The relevant question here is which is the WP:COMMONNAME. TDL (talk) 02:08, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
An argument that would require that we refer to Japan as Nippon.©Geni 20:32, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Which we should, IF it were the most commonly-used name for that country in English. But it ain't. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Follow most common usage in reliable English sources. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Addendum: Also, and perhaps more importantly, per the recognizability naming criterion. Any English speaker familiar with the country is going to recognize "Ivory Coast"; not all will recognize the French name. This is essentially the same reason we have Burma, East Timor and Taiwan, despite their commonly used official names which are less recognizable. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:16, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per common usage and Wikipedia's guideline on using English. "Ivory Coast" is routinely and usually used in English sources as the unqualified name for the country, i.e. without a parenthetical "Côte d'Ivoire" whereas "Côte d'Ivoire" often carries a parenthetical "Ivory Coast". Therefore, "Ivory Coast" is also preferable per the principle of least astonishment. As the nominee notes, educated readers who partake of multiple English news sources might be genuinely confused by seeing "Côte d'Ivoire" as a title. —  AjaxSmack  02:29, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME, and the fact that this is the English, Wikipedia and all. LHM 02:43, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia's naming policies (WP:COMMONNAME) aren't based on what words people use, they're based on "prevalence in reliable English-language sources". Dictionaries, Traditional Encyclopedias and Maps/Atlases are precisely the types of sources we should follow. TDL (talk) 03:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - if the country calls itself "Côte d'Ivoire" officially, that is the name the page should be at. This is a country, not an entertainer or a President; it behooves Wikipedia to be precisely accurate when it comes to country names. - The Bushranger One ping only 03:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    So you are discounting Mexico, Spain, Germany, Russia, Venuzeula as examples of articles using the unofficial English variant of the country names?--Education does not equal common sense. 我不在乎 03:09, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    Without looking into it, those might actually *be* the official names in English language. Just because "Côte d'Ivoire" originates from the French language doesn't mean it's not part of the English language too - nearly 30% of English word comes from French language. And of couse *it is* part of the English language since it's in all major dictionaries - Oxford Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary, etc. Laurent (talk) 03:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    And that's the problem, without looking into it you have no knowledge, and are just going with your gut. If you looked into it, you would find that none of these names are official, and English is not an official language in any of these countries, so there would be no reason to have official English names. --Education does not equal common sense. 我不在乎 03:29, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    But how about you, did you look into it? I didn't because I'm pretty sure that "Spain" and "Germany", just like "Côte d'Ivoire", are the correct names in English language. Just to give you an example - here's Côte d'Ivoire and Spain in the Oxford Dictionary. For España, they just wrote "Spanish name for Spain.". For "Ivory Coast" they wrote "Another name for Côte d'Ivoire". Note that they didn't write "English name for Côte d'Ivoire" because "Côte d'Ivoire" is the English name. Laurent (talk) 04:08, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    Neither "España" nor "Spain" is not the official name of the country in any language. The official name of "Spain" is: "Reino de España", which translates into English as "Kingdom of Spain", into French as "Royaume d'Espagne", etc. We are not concerned about the official name, as the common name is what is used. If "Ivory Coast" is another name for "Côte d'Ivoire" then it is also the English name for it. --Education does not equal common sense. 我不在乎 04:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    Below you wrote that "Ivory Coast" appears 191 million times in your custom Google search and 189 million for "Côte d'Ivoire". By these results, are you seriously arguing that "Côte d'Ivoire" is not a common name? I'd say both seem to be equally common. Now we just need to choose which one is correct according to authoritative sources like dictionaries, encyclopedia, international bodies, etc. and not just according to biased English news agencies. Laurent (talk) 04:49, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    Below, I was simply replying to/questioning on a comment. I did not argue any point. My reasoning for supporting "Ivory Coast" does not rest with only one "google search", or one Guideline, but a combination. You have to go deeper into the data. You have to look at the whole picture. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, are "published" on a very infrequent frequent basis relative to news reports, and other current sources, many are copied from previous versions or other documents of the same type. You also have to take into account the regional origin of the sources, as news outlets closer to the subject tend to use the local language's terminology instead of more common English terminology. For example, English media in Québec, will use french terms like cégep instead of using the more widely recognized term college, this will affect "google search" results. And this discussion seems to be turning into more of a circular argument than a discussion in my opinion.--Education does not equal common sense. 我不在乎 05:15, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    But per your own admission, per the dictionary results Côte d'Ivoire is also the English name for the country. Therefore the argument is going nowhere as both are English names for the country. Nil Einne (talk) 07:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yet another move request, and this one brings nothing new to the table because it is too biased to begin with. The nominator chose his favorite sources and compiled some statistic from that, but it means nothing since he ignored all the numerous sources that go against his preferred name. As outlined by TDL, all major encyclopedia and reference books use "Côte d'Ivoire". Likewise, all the international organizations - the UN, UN agencies, sport organizations, etc. also all use "Côte d'Ivoire". Of course, "Côte d'Ivoire" is also the name of the country, and it's not like it's written in Chinese or Arabic characters - even English-speakers can read that. As for the principle of least astonishment, well readers often go astonished when they read encyclopedia, that's called "learning something" and there's nothing wrong with learning the correct name of a country. The title "Ivory Coast" is in bold in the lead anyway so there's no possible confusion. Laurent (talk) 03:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Laurent. CIA factbook refers to it as "Cote d'Ivoire". As a note, google search rankings for "Ivory Coast" yield 118 million results, "Cote d'Ivoire" yields 135 million results, and "Côte d'Ivoire" yields 213 million results. Interestingly, that effect is almost reversed when the quotation marks are not included. (89.2 million, 36.5 million, and 56.5 million respectively) A similar search for English only sources yields 195 million, 151 million, and 201 million respectively when using quotations. I believe the searches highlight that "Côte d'Ivoire" is not only the official name, but is also the common name. Ryan Vesey Review me! 03:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    Did you exclude "Wikipedia" in your searches? That does affect the results, and shows 191 million for "Ivory Coast", slightly lower than 195, and only 189 million for "Côte d'Ivoire", quite a larger drop from 201 million. --Education does not equal common sense. 我不在乎 04:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    In any case, that would mean there is no common name at which point we get to choose. Without a common name, I prefer to use the official name used by the CIA and various government organisations. Ryan Vesey Review me! 05:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – the "evidence" is way too flaky. The n-gram demo by TDL seems to make it clear that the country's official French name is the name more commonly used in books in recent decades. One would need a better reason to change away from it. Dicklyon (talk) 04:08, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support As with those who voted on support for move, likewise some foreign countries like Burma and East Timor have kept their localized names. ApprenticeFan work 04:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - per Kauffner. Khazar2 (talk) 04:18, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Oppose - "Ivory Coast" has been a purely colloquial name for the country for years. Let's use the country's proper name, please. -Kudzu1 (talk) 05:03, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment changed to Oppose - I'm not sure how usual it is to have an unlisted pre-RM that doesn't show up on WP:AFRICA's alerts. I too was struck by the ngram per Dicklyon's comments. And frankly don't give a hoot what BBC says, there needs to be a WP essay WP:LOUSYSOURCES, that lists some of the weakness of news websites. I did a like-for-like search on both terms in Google Scholar with several key English hooks "+ africa" "+economy" "+trade" "+development" "+politics" and the results were:
Not particularly different. I don't care either way. But it would have to be an RM argument presented using better methodology than Fox News rather than Britannica. Britannica is far from perfect, but it's a hell of a lot more encyclopedic than Fox News. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
change to Oppose - go with Britannica. Changed to oppose. Why? Saw Pam's note on Guardian style book below "Ivory Coast.. but isn't THE Ivory Coast" In other words "President of Ivory Coast". Well in that case "President of Cote d'Ivoire" gets more GBhits.
That and the fact that WP:AFRICA's alerts don't seem to be working, so WP:AFRICA editors may be unaware that this RM is even happening. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Kauffner's nomination and my comments last year. This RM is probably a good case of why previous RM participants should not be notified of a new RM. The most recent one ended as "no consensus", so of course if you notify everyone who participated in that discussion it's a near certainty that the new discussion will also be no consensus. Jenks24 (talk) 05:26, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mewulwe, The Bushranger and Kudzu1. The official name should be used. MTC (talk) 05:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
We do not use "official names" in Wikipedia, else we would have "Republique du Francais", "Україна", etc. We use common English names. How do we determine common English names? Not just by looking up individual works such as Britannica, etc., but by looking at usage in media such as the New York Times, etc. So "Ivory Coast" appears in 20,300 results in the New York Times over the last year (the results seem way high, but I ran the search twice), but "Côte d'Ivoire" appears in only five results. In the Los Angeles Times "Ivory Coast" yields 37 results, while "Côte d'Ivoire" yields only four results. The Economist yielded four results for "Ivory Coast" over the past year and zero results for "Côte d'Ivoire" over the same period. It's not even a horse race when it comes to common usage in English, it is Ivory Coast. --Taivo (talk) 06:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Your first point ("Not just by looking up individual works") is the key point here. Obviously individual publications will prefer one form or the other. But the majority of books published in the English language in last 20 years use Cote d'Ivoire. How can that possibly be if Ivory Coast is the common name? TDL (talk) 08:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Like I've mentioned about Danlay, that source isn't too reliable as it still implies that we should us Stalingrad instead of Volgograd because it's "found more in books". What if in every book where Ivory Coast is written, they now also mention that an alternative name is (Côte d'Ivoire). Same for vice versa. Bezuidenhout (talk) 09:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
So then why did the usage of "Ivory Coast" drop at the same time as "Cote d'Ivoire" increased? Unless the world decided on mass to stop talking about the country at precisely the same time that it changed its name, this explanation makes no sense. Even if your explanation was true, the usage of "Cote d'Ivoire" is significantly higher (~33%) so there must be many books using that name alone. TDL (talk) 21:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Adding "-Ivory Coast" doesn't seem to make much difference to the GBook results. A lot of the books that use "Cote d'Ivoire" are UN and official publications with specialist readership. Titles like Cote d'Ivoire: key indicators, Côte D'Ivoire - Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix, and Source Book for the Inland Fishery Resources of Africa give you the flavor. They must have OCR'd the IMF library. Kauffner (talk) 10:17, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - In watching/reading the news it's almost always Ivory Coast... even just this month BBC, LA Times and NY Times had articles on Ivory Coast. Does anyone really use Cote-dIvoire on a regular basis other than maybe France? Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:07, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak support Oppose: my gut feeling goes with an oppose, but the Guardian style guide, in which I have great faith, says "Ivory Coast" (but stresses that it isn't "The Ivory Coast"). PamD 07:05, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
But since then, although I've heard the BBC News using "Ivory Coast", I've found that the British Government uses "Côte d'Ivoire" as does the International Olympic Committee (though they list it as "Ivory Coast" among the Cs in the A-Z order on at least one page!). Clearly both names are very commonly used, but "Côte d'Ivoire" seems the way to go. PamD 07:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP:USEENGLISH - We have two competing terms which are widely used in the English language. WP:IRS Wikipedia has continually improved to decide on content based on the reliablity of sources not on the shear number of them, a fact that WP:COMMONNAME also echos - Interesting in this connection is also WP:MODERNPLACENAME. The above numbercrunchings made by a few people show that the better sources actually favour the current title. The English language and with it the use of the terms we use for foreign countries and places is constantly evolving. We have to go with that flow and not try to stem the tide. Spain was mentioned as a counter example further above. The difference to Côte d'Ivoire is its respective age and importance in the English speaking world (remember the armada). My guess will be that if developments continue as now in 50 or so years Espania or even España will be at the stage Côte d'Ivoire is now. Somewhere along the line we will have that discussion again should we all live that long. Agathoclea (talk) 07:41, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - For the simple fact that everyone here in the UK uses Ivory Coast. Bezuidenhout (talk) 09:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Thank you Laurent for putting a note on the corresponding French article. I strongly oppose this move for one reason as stated above. The official name of this country is "Côte d'Ivoire" not "Ivory Coast", though called the Ivory Coast in English. Ivory Coast can be redirected to Côte d'Ivoire and in the article's lead, the name Ivory Coast is already in bold. If Côte d'Ivoire is the name the inhabitants wish to use to refer to their country, then who are us to change it?Tamsier (talk) 11:39, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not base naming decisions on either official names or the desires of the residents. Its only criterion is common English usage. Read WP:COMMONNAME. --Taivo (talk) 12:19, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry Tamsier but what a load of bulls**t, why don't you march on over to Burma and get that changed to Myanmar then? How about hop on over to South Africa and change that to Republic of South Africa (its official name). Could always change Bill Clinton to William Clinton, his official (birth) name?? I don't care about official names, this is about what WE call it, this is Wikipedia, not a foreign office. Bezuidenhout (talk) 12:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • And since when do you have the right to say what inhabitants call it? If you look below you see that the inhabitants themselves call it Ivory Coast, I can't even imagine a person on the streets saying "Oh yes, I was born in "Cote d'Ivoire", English keyboards don't even have "ô" to spell the name correctly. Hence why in the past we use English alternatives for names such as Munich, Cologne or Copenhagen. Bezuidenhout (talk) 12:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The evidence is clear. We call it what reliable English-language sources call it. And that's "Ivory Coast". We also aim to call it what a majority of readers would be expecting us to call it. And that's "Ivory Coast". Powers T 12:34, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose; there are no new arguments here. We already know media uses both, in ratios that are possibly varying by context, sometimes geographically, and at least occasionally out of politics; and that it's possible to cherry pick sets that show almost exclusive use of one or the other. Picking one for the article name needs to be done as neutrally as possible (given that there are POV overloads on both version); and defaulting to what the country's official name is – and the name official bodies call it &nash; is the most rational action. USEENGLISH is a red herring, here, and smacks of colonialism. — Coren (talk) 12:38, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Using the French name smacks of kissing up, which is something that wikipedia is not supposed to do. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:47, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Furthermore, it was the French who originally colonized it. So retaining its French name is what really "smacks of colonialism". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:23, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - but not overwhelmingly strongly. ALl the sources listed above in the box are news sources. News today is, in general, aimed at a comparatively illiterate audience. Even 30 years ago when I was in college (yes, I am that old) business periodicals were discussing that TV, including TV news, was more or less aimed at the average 14 year old - the same might apply to other media as well. I think perhaps a more reliable source for how the subject is discussed might be print books. I have only one right here in front of me, the first edition of the Appiah/Gates Africana encyclopedia, but it includes its article on this country under the name "Cote d'Ivoire." I do not see that the evidence provided above in the box necessarily helps decide how the subject is referred to in such sources, but I would consider those sources a better indicator, and the one I have here uses the Cote d'Ivoire name. Part of the reason for the print news not using the CI name is the "ô" in "Côte", which isn't really available on most English typewriters. If that is at least part of the reason, I would consider that to be a very weak basis or partial basis for changing an article name. John Carter (talk) 16:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Great to see Kauffner bringing one of his top-notch proposals to this topic. Burma and East Timor are the obvious examples. And the WP:COMMONNAME argument is unassailable; I doubt most English speakers can even pronounce "Côte d'Ivoire." --BDD (talk) 17:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It's the common, English name, as has been proven with reference to statistical data and individual, authoritative sources. Also, it's a lot easier and less surprising for readers to find and remember. Shrigley (talk) 17:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral. Something seemed fishy about the ngrams. How could Kauffner's ngram be so different from TDL's ngram? I tried running them both with and without the mark over the "o" to see if that made a difference. Eventually, I figured out that TDL's ngram was using a lowercase "L" instead of an uppercase "i" - so, "lvoire" instead of "Ivoire". For whatever OCR mixed-up reasons, that seems to make a huge difference in results. So I ran another ngram, with all the permutations of "Ivory Coast", "Cote d'Ivoire", and "Côte d'Ivoire" with lowercase "l"s and uppercase "I"s. And what does it show? That "Cote d'Ivoire" caught and surpassed "Ivory Coast" around 1993. The greatest disparity was around 1997, but the gap has narrowed since, so that the two are nearly identical. To me, that indicates that either title is probably acceptable under WP's guidelines, as readers are about equally likely to encounter either title. If "Ivory Coast" continues to close the gap and regain predominance (does anyone know if ngrams will ever reach past 2008?), then we can revisit. But for now, there's no compelling reason to change. Dohn joe (talk) 18:48, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    • COCA gives frequency numbers of 107 for "Ivory Coast" versus 6 for Cote d'Ivoire. So the above is a peculiarity of the Google Books database. Perhaps Googled OCR'd a shipment of UN-oriented material. Insights shows that vastly more readers are using "Ivory Coast" as a search term. Recognizability is Wiki's No. 1 titling criteria, per WP:NAMINGCRITERIA. Kauffner (talk) 19:29, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Nope, it's not just a Google peculiarity. Using the NGRAMS downloaded from the COCA and COHA corpora of American English gives a frequency for Cote d'Ivoire of 245 and 140 for Ivory Coast.
And when I use the COCA without any filters I get a frequency of 469 for Ivory Coast, 245 for Cote d'Ivoire and another 210 for Cte d'Ivoire (obviously an OCR reading error of the former.) TDL (talk) 21:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Mind-numbingly obvious support. I'm both astonished and disappointed that previous volunteer time has to be wasted discussing something so breathtakingly obvious.
  1. Côte d'Ivoire and Ivory Coast are both common names for the subject in various contexts.
  2. One of them is French, the other is English
  3. Since we're the English Wikipedia, the English translation is indicated.
This is exactly how the German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Hungarian, Danish, Polish, Norwegian and Czech Wikipediae deal with it, that's how we should deal with it. We definitely should not be pandering to nationalism, and it is ridiculous to politicise common sense with colonialist apologist nonsense, because that's all this should remain - common sense. WilliamH (talk) 20:25, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Côte d'Ivoire is as English as afternoon tea. Just ask the Oxford Dictionary. Other language wikis are a) not reliable sources and b) don't base their titles on common usage in the English language. If Elfenbenskysten is the common name in the Dutch language than that should be the title and not Cote d'Ivoire. But that has nothing to do with the question of whether Ivory Coast is the common name in the English language. TDL (talk)
Since the other wikis obviously do not base their titles on English language, and that I am not citing them as reliable sources but instead for the bucket-loads of common sense they exude, both of those points are irrelevant. There is a clear and established measure of use of the anglo-centric term, therefore that's what should inform the English Wikipedia. I notice that some opposition calls for the country to be called by its official name — when can I expect to see the proposal to move Germany to Bundesrepublik Deutschland? WilliamH (talk) 22:12, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
You are comparing apples and oranges, Germany is called "Germany" in all English dictionaries, encyclopedia and media. The day "Deutschland" becomes the entry for Germany in the Oxford dictionary and Encyclopedia Britannica, I'm sure there will be discussion to change the name on Wikipedia. Laurent (talk) 01:34, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a very long-discussed point of principle - that in WP:COMMONNAME we generally respect the right of a people to self-determination, as the UN does. This also hooks into the AmEng/BrEng issue as well (which always makes these discussions more fun) - using COCA as a source for a non-American subject is a surefire giveaway that the issue is being confused. It should remain at Côte d'Ivoire, until such time as the country changes its name. James F. (talk) 20:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Err they are free to run their country as they see fit (well they aren't but unless you are suggesting war with France I think thats a bit outside our remit). That does not extend to being able to dictate to the English language how it should work.©Geni 20:43, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree. As I said, we should not damage common sense with the irrelevant politicisation of language for its own sake. WilliamH (talk) 20:52, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per commonname and all the reasons mentioned in the last move discussion which failed to gain a consensus to move, nothing much changes in a a year, or is this an annual thing we have to keep discussing. MilborneOne (talk) 20:51, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose No other argument than the politicization of the wiki.-Ilhador- (talk) 04:12, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Kauffner. JonC 09:55, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Ok, this is enough. These regular RM's all across the project because WP:IDONTLIKEIT have now become disruptive to the project as a whole. The name of the country in English and French is Cote d'Ivoire. The well-used demonym "Ivorians" means very little: it is, after all, a "nickname" for all intents and purposes ... as is "Ivory Coast". Indeed, they do have the demonym "Ivoirian" as well. Once again, the term "Ivory Coast" itself is a region that expands beyond the borders of this country, and not a country itself. Yes it happens to be the direct translation of the actual name of the country. If you don't like the fact that the English Wikipedia happens to have names that appear to be French, I would invite you to stop using words in the project such as "transportation", and any other word that comes directly from French ... or indeed, those from other languages. (✉→BWilkins←✎) 11:34, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. "Ivory Coast" is likely to be more recognizable than "Côte d'Ivoire". mgeo talk 20:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support once more into the breach, dear friends, this is the common name, it is certainly what British television channels and most newspapers call its football team when it plays in the World Cup. PatGallacher (talk) 20:56, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - For the millionth time, Ivory Coast is supported by WP:AT and WP:ENGLISH, as it is Wikipedia policy to use English titles. It is more recognizable, and is what people will search for since it is easier to spell. The fact that the country calls itself that is completely irrelevant, as we don't call Germany Deutschland, etc. and it really makes no sense to keep it at Côte d'Ivoire any longer. P.S. I haven't been contributing to Wikipedia in a while, and I came to this page just to see of there was a move discussion so I could add my input once again. The fact that there just happens to be an open move discussion the 1st time I check is just sad. This issue is not going to go away, move the article already. --WikiDonn (talk) 22:48, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support WP:COMMONNAME Bhny (talk) 11:16, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose and salt; either name is common, so default to official name of country. This continues to come up, and every time it ends with no consensus to move. This should be salted for at least 2 years before another nom can be put up - it's a waste of time.--KarlB (talk) 15:00, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I know of no precedent (much less a policy or guideline) for defaulting to the "official name" in such cases. Did you just make that up? As far as I know, in a case like this -- where one name is clearly more recognizable (to English speakers) than the other -- we default to the more recognizable name. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:40, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Here is the relevant guideline: [[3]]; to wit: "If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local name."; there is a dispute about whether Cote D'ivoire or Ivory Coast is more widely accepted in English; thus, defaulting to the official/local name is a reasonable solution (and reading of the guideline). I point out simply that consensus has not been there for a move, and it's unlikely to be there this time. Why do people care so much? --KarlB (talk) 18:48, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
        • Well, sure, "If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English,...". But that's not relevant here since Ivory Coast is widely accepted in English; that's not in dispute. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:14, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
"Ivory Coast is widely accepted in English; that's not in dispute." - Seriously? Have you been following this RM? That is the entire point of this debate. The guideline defines "widely accepted" as "the name most often used for this entity". While "Ivory Coast" is certainly used quite often, there is plenty of evidence that it isn't the most commonly used. I don't see how anyone can conclude that it is indisputably the most often used name for the country. TDL (talk) 01:14, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose- Côte d'Ivoire is used in English and is the official name of the country. It is the best name and fine to use in an English encyclopedia. Bzweebl (talkcontribs) 19:31, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The French name is official and widely used. --LauraHale (talk) 22:50, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The French name is the common name as well (and arguments can be made for both that or the Ivory Coast), but combining this stalemate with the fact that the French name is the official name means we should go with that one. SilverserenC 01:13, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Just a couple of minutes ago BBC News had a report on child labour in that country, it called it "the Ivory Coast". The BBC is one of the most important news sources there is in the English-speaking world. I rest my case! PatGallacher (talk) 01:22, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
    • See an online version of the report here: [4] . PatGallacher (talk) 01:33, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
      • See my recently added number above in the supporting evidence section for NPR in the US--almost seven to one in favor of "Ivory Coast". --Taivo (talk) 01:49, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The people I know from this country say they're from "Ivory Coast", because that's the only chance they have of being understood. Regardless of what the govt wants, saying Côte d'Ivoire when speaking English is like pronouncing Paris "Paree". — kwami (talk) 02:23, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • No Consensus. Well there's a lot a material here and a lot to read. My personal experience is that it's always referred to as Côte d'Ivoire. Thirty-forty years ago that was not true. My big ol' atlas has Côte d'Ivoire. So does yours probably, again unless it's 30+ or so years old, since I would venture that few if any first-rate atlases use Ivory Coast. The nearby country of Sierra Leone is called that and not Lion Mountains, because that's what people call it. Same with Côte d'Ivoire, in my experience. Herostratus (talk) 04:14, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
    • You could spend less time with old atlases and take a look at news stories from the last week. Kauffner (talk) 10:48, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Though I can understand why some want this move request, I keep being amazed that you're the one who started it. You must be British to be so one-sided. Though not British enough to care about all the British dictionaries and encyclopedia, which all go against your preferred name. Laurent (talk) 16:44, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
        • Well, if it comes down to it, I'd rather go with National Geographic and Rand-McNally etc. than Reuters and the BBC etc. It's a matter of choice I guess, which is why I say there's no consensus, so we might as well stick with the current state. Herostratus (talk) 16:56, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
          • It's because here in the UK we always hear Ivory Coast in football and in the news but NEVER do we hear of "Cote d'Ivoire". I would be really shocked if someone came up to me and asked if I watched the "Cote d'Ivoire" game, if someone would ask me if I've ever visited "Myanmar" I would understand and respond in terms of Burma but with Ivory Coast the distinction is not the same. Yes the dictionaries and government use CI, but then again those dictionaries (I will keep using this point) use United States of America. Bezuidenhout (talk) 16:59, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Repeating your point about the USA doesn't make it true: [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. TDL (talk) 17:57, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
          • There's a political side to this discussion. Of course, British media, except the ones that *have* to be neutral if they want to be taken seriously (dictionary, encyclopedia - you know, like us), won't go for Côte d'Ivoire and will basically reject the wish of the Côte d'Ivoire government. Chinese media, on the other hand, who have lots of interest in Africa, won't reject the wish of the African governments and go with whatever name they want to use, in that case "Côte d'Ivoire". Laurent (talk) 16:46, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support This is the English Wikipedia and if users are getting to a page via redirect from English to another language, the other language title would not be appropriate per WP:COMMONNAME. CityOfSilver 16:37, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Except, as has been argued above (and I point out just below), Côte d'Ivoire is the common name in English sources. Or at least it's more or less equal with Ivory Coast. SilverserenC 20:00, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support It's about time this was changed. The "official"-based argument is absolute nonsense such as it is on the Derry article. In most media in the non-French Language it is known as the Ivory Coast, end of fucking story. People using the US-argument is a pathetic comparison from people who can't take everything as an individual case. --Τασουλα (talk) 18:33, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - how about a moratorium on the naming issue until the article reaches Featured (or at least Good) status? There's seems a rather disproportionate amount of effort put into worrying about whether A is a redirect to B or vice versa, when it ought be abundantly clear by now that either is acceptable and neither is demonstrably superior to the other to the satisfaction of a majority of interested Wikipedians. Rd232 talk 19:04, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Well I will go with whatever the outcome of this request move is and after this is finished (until the next RM) I will try and improve the article :) Bezuidenhout (talk) 19:57, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The usage in recent English news and academic sources is mixed with no overwhelming majority so there is no single common name to speak of. However, the current title is the official English name as sanctioned by ISO 3166. Since there is no single common name, it makes sense to go by what the internationally agreed upon English name is. (talk) 05:34, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak support. "Ivory Coast" is an established English name. Very many of the interwiki links point to articles named "ivory coast" in the respective language, rather than "Côte d'Ivoire". I vaguely remember some Côte d'Ivoire politician demanding that the name of the country should be "Côte d'Ivoire" in every language in the world, but it wasn't actually taken seriously. JIP | Talk 07:12, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
strong support English Wikipedia and commonname; Its not even controversial jsut a translation unlike Macedonia and myanmar. At any rate, the official nam will alwyas be in the infobox and first sentence with bold ext.Lihaas (talk) 15:14, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This has been debated on this page for years, and the arguments do not appear to have got stronger with time. The two names are more or less equally common in general English usage, which is what allows the debate to continue interminably; however, in such a case, it seems reasonable to go with what the expressed preference of the country, such as we can identify it. That provides a weak indicator for Côte d'Ivoire, but a weak indicator is all we're ever going to get here. Andrew Gray (talk) 14:49, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
    • The only claim of documented supported in this discussion for the use of the expressed preference of the country criterion is supposedly at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(geographic_names)#Use_English, but that says to use the "local name" only when "no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English", which is clearly not the case here. Many counter-examples from actual practice (search for "Taiwan" on this page) have been given above.

      Why should we follow a guideline that does not even apply when we can follow the recognizability criterion which obviously applies and is clearly laid out in policy? Ivory Coast is more recognizable to English users than is Côte d'Ivoire, which is borne out in the news reference stats from all over the English-speaking world, as provided in this proposal. Why do we have policy and guideline if we just ignore them? --Born2cycle (talk) 20:07, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

      • I am not sure I can agree with you that the "recognizability" argument automatically means using Ivory Coast - as a significant fraction of English-language uses refer to Côte d'Ivoire, it is presumably recognizable! The "use English" guideline is designed for cases where the local name and the English name are different; here, there are two widely used English names, one of which is the same as the local name. This is something of an edge case of the policy; we should be careful not to argue ourselves into an unhelpful result by reading it too closely. Andrew Gray (talk) 21:53, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
        • If you don't think "Ivory Coast" is significantly more recognizable than "Côte d'Ivoire" to most of our readers... we'll just have to agree to disagree. But surely "Ivory Coast" is more natural: "those that readers are likely to look for or search with as well as those that editors naturally use to link from other articles." Again this is criteria clearly stated in policy vs. a "use the official name" criterion that is not explicitly stated in any guideline, or implied by convention in practice. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:29, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
          • If I might butt in... I think the idea is that "Côte d'Ivoire" must be both recognizable and natural to an English speaker simply because a large number of English-language sources use it. If you encounter a term somewhere, then that term is how you recognize the subject. The question of recognizability is not "Which term sounds more English?", but "Which term is a speaker of English more likely to have encountered?" "Upper Volta" sounds much more English than "Burkina Faso". But sources now universally use the latter, so it is more recognizable and natural to use as the WP article title. Here, usage is quite split, as we've seen. But all that means is that recognizability and naturalness is a wash, and we have to look elsewhere to choose a title. Dohn joe (talk) 22:56, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
            • I think what we've seen is that references that favor official names, like certain encyclopedias do, tend to go with... the official name. But sources more frequently encountered on a daily basis - like major English papers, which is what both reflects and drives what is recognizable and natural - tend to go with Ivory Coast. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:53, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
"references that favor official names, like certain encyclopedias do" - Sorry, but that's just nonsense. I see plenty of examples of unofficial, common names being used by Britannica ([10], [11], [12], [13], [14]) and Columbia ([15], [16], [17]) encyclopedias. The article on Taiwan should be located at Taiwan (official or not) because that is its widely accepted English language name. However, in this case it's just not possible to look at all the evidence and conclude that Ivory Coast is the country's widely accepted English language name (ie the "name most often used for this entity"). Both names are often used in English with no convincing evidence that Ivory Coast is used any more frequently. TDL (talk) 02:06, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Support let's use English name where it's applied. ༆ (talk) 18:45, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
AllAfrica: Côte d'Ivoire to Get More Than $4 Billion of Its Debt Cancelled By the IMF and World Bank
Jerusalem Post: Cote D'Ivoire endorses repatriation of migrants
Mail & Guardian Online: Cote d'Ivoire recruits child soldiers from Liberia
Global Times: UN concerned over detention conditions in Cote d'Ivoire's prisons
United States Central Intelligence Agency: COTE D'IVOIRE
United States Department of State: Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast takes you to Cote d'Ivoire)
Come again? SilverserenC 22:57, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, current usage is mixed. When there is no clear reason to do anything else, use the official local name. —Kusma (t·c) 09:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose, The official name, as noted, is widely in use throughout the English press, by the U.S. State department, and is official at the UN. I don't understand Wikiluddites who have brought this issue up once again. Let's end this discussion and leave this article title alone. Charvex (talk) 18:18, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support move to 'Ivory Coast' per WP:Naming conventions (use English). --→gab 24dot grab←22:03, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
    You did read the last sentance of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)#Divided usage in English-language sources? Agathoclea (talk) 11:52, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
    Yes we did thanks, it says that if the usage of the name is mixed use the local. Well firstly locals of Ivory Coast introduce themselves to English-speakers as being from "the Ivory Coast", secondly (see above) usage in the media is overwhelmingly in favour of Ivory Coast anyway. Problem? Bezuidenhout (talk) 23:15, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought we had already pretty thoroughly debunked that idea that "the media is overwhelmingly in favour of Ivory Coast." Why is it being asserted again? Dicklyon (talk) 00:11, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Did you look at the chart in the nomination? On Highbeam, there are 43,582 hits for "Ivory Coast", 90 for "Cote d'Ivoire". Kauffner (talk) 07:23, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Of course you get nearly zero hits for "Cote d'Ivoire" when you don't use the search tool properly. Highbeam actually gives 8,971 versus 36,075 for "Ivory Coast". And it's rather disingenuous to cite an article from 1963 (before the name changed) which use "Ivory Coast". Limiting the search to the last two years gives 3,598 for "Cote d'Ivoire" and 7,376 for "Ivory Coast". TDL (talk) 19:55, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I stand corrected. English-language media usage for Ivory Coast in the last two years is "only" 67 percent of the total for Ivory Coast plus Cote d'Ivoire. What are the top two results for "Ivory Coast"? The Associated Press and the Christian Science Monitor. For "Cote d'Ivoire"? Press releases from the White House and the UN. I note that the usage rate for Ivory Coast is slightly higher (68 percent) in the last year. So if anyone is supporting the current title because they think there is a trend, they should think again. Kauffner (talk) 00:45, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support If we're going to use a colonial language we may as well use the one we're all speaking. Either use Dioula or use English. ♥ «Charles A. L.» (talk) 16:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Note I requested closure of this at ANI. --KarlB (talk) 16:58, 7 July 2012 (UTC)


A few points of clarification:
  • The use of the CNN link to support Coat d'Ivory is laughable. Every article linked from that page uses the English "Ivory Coast". —  AjaxSmack  02:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, you're right! Cote d'Ivoire is more common! After this request move, can we move the article from Côte d'Ivoire to Cote d'Ivoire. I can't believe how silly we have been, you have clearly pointed out that without the "ô" is more common!!! LET'S HAVE ANOTHER REQUESTED MOVE.
Google Maps also used Ireland for Republic of Ireland, Myanmar for Burma and in Africa used "Congo" for the Republic of Congo. Bezuidenhout (talk) 13:47, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I realize this is original research but, in professional dealings with individual 10-20 Ivorians (although they were not UN/NGOcrats) over several years, I have only had one person introduce himself as from "Côte d'Ivoire". The remainder have simply stated they were from "Ivory Coast". So using the English name is clearly not a huge issue of contention or offense in this regard. —  AjaxSmack  02:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
2000-2004 2005-2009 2010-2012
Ivory Coast 142 53 107
Cote Ivoire 17 8 6
Kauffner (talk) 09:33, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The numbers I posted comes from the raw NGRAMS data I downloaded from the COCA and COHA corpora of American English and gives a frequency for Cote d'Ivoire of 245 and 140 for Ivory Coast. Using your source (and taking into account OCR errors) gives:
2000-2004 2005-2009 2010-2012 Total
Ivory Coast 142 53 107 469
Cote d'Ivoire 17 8 6 245
Cte d'Ivoire 26 126 45 210
Other minor corruptions I found where Cote d'lvoire (15) and Cte d'lvoire (8) (Totals). So again, there is no evidence that Ivory Coast is more commonly used. TDL (talk) 21:07, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
You are counting the OCR variants for "Cote d'Ivoire," but not for "Ivory Coast." This is hardly an honest effort. Even by the above numbers, "Ivory Coast" is still ahead. If you take the numbers as COCA gives them, "Ivory Coast" has almost twice the frequency of "Cote d'Ivoire". The usage rate for "Cote d'Ivoire" was 53 percent for 1995-1999, 10.6 percent for 2000-2004, 13 percent for 2005-2009, and 5.3 percent for 2010-2012. Perhaps usage is dropping rapidly, but more likely there is some problem with the earlier numbers. Kauffner (talk) 22:07, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
And it's equally plausible that there's a problem with the more recent data that you're using to support the move. You're using circular reasoning to dismiss any data that disputes your position as a "peculiarity" or a "problem" while justifying the move using data from the exact same sources that supports your position.
I looked for OCR variants of "Ivory Coast" as well and was unable to find any with significance usage. You are of course more than welcome to look for yourself and post your results. As it stands, the variants of "Cote d'Ivoire" outnumber those of "Ivory Coast". The claim that "Ivory Coast" is the common name just isn't supported by the evidence. TDL (talk) 23:09, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
If you want go by COCA data, please explain how 455 outnumbers 469. You are accusing me of committing circular reasoning by relying on COCA? The RM is based on the usage by news organizations, and doesn't even mention COCA. Kauffner (talk) 01:41, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
My apologies, I'll go slower this time. Adding up the "Cote d'Ivoire" variants we get: 245+210+15+8=478 > 469.
Your RM claimed Google NGRAM frequency data proved that Ivory Coast was the common name. When I demonstrated that in fact it actually showed the opposite, you dismissed it as a "peculiarity of the Google Books database" and argued that the COCA frequency data proved that Ivory Coast was the common name. Now that I've demonstrated that the COCA data doesn't show what you thought it did either, you dismissed it as a "problem with the earlier numbers" but continued to argue that the data proved your point. Every time the metric you choose ends up supporting Cote d'Ivoire you cherry pick the data that supports your position and dismiss any that disputes it as flawed. TDL (talk) 03:43, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
For 1990 to 1994, COCA gives a frequency of 140 (59 percent) for "Cote d'Ivoire." GNews suggests that there was near-zero English-language usage at this time. I knew about the problems with the COCA data before I posted my proposal, which is why I didn't include it. In my reply in Dohn joe, I pointed out that COCA shows a very different pattern of usage than Google Ngram does, and it does not appear that you are disputing this claim. Kauffner (talk) 05:10, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • My search of the Economist also shows that the above claim about that publication is false. What the style guides to media say is irrelevant. What the journalists actually use is relevant. During the last year, four articles have used "Ivory Coast", zero have used "Côte d'Ivoire". Style guide be damned :p --Taivo (talk) 10:40, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps your search failed; I see hundreds with cote d'Ivoire at in the past year. Dicklyon (talk) 21:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
No, Dicklyon, I used the Economist's actual web site search. I don't trust Google searches of a web site. --Taivo (talk) 03:37, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I get roughly 377 for Cote d'Ivoire using the Economist's website versus 39 for Ivory Coast. TDL (talk) 03:43, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok guys, that's great to see that some American places are using the Coat d'Ivour, but not all English speakers are American, and in British English and South African English (since South Africa is on the same continent as Ivory Coast) they almost exclusively use "Ivory Coast" and these nations are the ones with the most relevance to the country as they are closer and have more historical ties! Bezuidenhout (talk) 07:21, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Isn't The Economist a famously British rag? Anyway, both names are common in all English variants. Dicklyon (talk) 04:00, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes it is. I was interested in the discrepancy, because such a difference could be relevant for the presentation of ghits in future. I think I can explain some of the difference. I went to the 10th page returned by Dicklyon's search and chose the phrase "Côte d'Ivoire capital" added the word "capital" to Dicklyon's search and re-ran it. It returns about 295 pages. What seems to have happened is that the Economist has internal links on 294 pages to the same one article. An internal Economist search returns just one page. That probably accounts for the difference. Looking at TDL's returns, it is not set to just the last year like Dicklyon's was. It is not clear to me how to set the Economist's search to just the last year. But one thing of note is that the Economist also lists where on its site the the article was originally published. But one should not rely on hits alone for example see the last paragraph of this Baobab (correspondent's blog) article "Côte d'Ivoire's UN peacekeepers: A cross-border attack" (June 10 2012) by S.A., it is a correction and includes the statement "Also a reference to the country as the Ivory Coast was left it when it should have been changed to Côte d'Ivoire." Which is a good example of why counting search returns without looking at them can be misleading. -- PBS (talk) 10:39, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I've opposed the move, but I'll add my latest research: the online Oxford English Dictionary defines "Ivorian" as "Of or pertaining to the Ivory Coast." or "A native or inhabitant of the Ivory Coast.". Not what I was hoping to find - but how often do they update the terminology used in their definitions, as opposed to the actual headwords of the dictionary, I wonder? Anyway, there it is. But please, let's just toss a coin and decide one way or the other and get back to improving the encyclopedia. This is so finely balanced that 49% of editors are going to be unhappy whichever way it goes. Just provide redirects from all imaginable heading, including all the lousy spellings which non-francophone readers might try, and get on with it. PamD 11:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I won't be unhappy. It will simply provide more ammunition for the ongoing battle to prevent the English wikipedia from becoming the French wikipedia. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:17, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • And another bit of research, this time on UK use: searching Hansard, the verbatim account of speech in the House of Commons, for exact phrases, finds 335 uses of "cote d'ivoire" and 713 of "ivory coast". Certainly not "almost exclusively", but a broad majority of use for the "Ivory Coast" version. PamD 11:08, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Let's be honest here, how many people on wikipedia really type in "Côte d'Ivoire", there's so many places where you can make a spelling or grammatical mistake that I bet the majority of people on this wiki just type in Ivory Coast and wait to see if it redirects or not. I still have no idea how to get a "ô" using my keyboard, and I really doubt that people who aren't used to typing with funny accents and umlauts know how to either. So it seems that Côte d'Ivoire will almost always be found via a redirect. Bezuidenhout (talk) 11:35, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
You're right. Although I use a bilingual keyboard, I'm a lazy fucker and simply type Cote d'Ivoire ... so what? (✉→BWilkins←✎) 11:46, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
That is the purpose of redirects. They redirect from alternate names or common spellings. 99% of the people who use Côte d'Ivoire will type Cote d'Ivoire because it is easier to type and they know it will get them to the same page, not because they believe Côte d'Ivoire should be replaced with Cote d'Ivoire. Personally, I type Ivory Coast to get to Côte d'Ivoire. It isn't the correct title, but it is easier for me to type. What was the argument in your statement anyways? Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:57, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
The most important quality of a title is recognizability, according to WP:TITLE. In other the words, when the reader glances at the title, he should be thinking, "Yeah, this the article I'm looking for" not, "I wonder if I got misdirected to French Wikipedia." Kauffner (talk) 14:13, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
My point is some media really so use "Cote d'Ivoire", so all these sources claiming IV and CI are the same frequency is somewhat misleading as the later includes both spellings. Bezuidenhout (talk) 14:32, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I think it is also worth checking some print media, as I said before. If anyone wanted to check The Statesman's Yearbook 2012, which I think is an extremly highly regarded reference source, it lists the country under the name Cote d'Ivoire. Other than Timor-Leste, one of the other listings, I think it is one of the few if only listings in that source in other than English. On that basis, I think that there probably is sound basis for saying that in several works, the English translation of the name of the country is, for whatever reason, unusually not used in this case, and, maybe, Timor-Leste. But I do think that book, and the fact that this is one of the few countries whose name is not presented in English translation in this book, is further evidence that the CI name perhaps should be used here. John Carter (talk) 17:40, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: This talk page is now over 100 kilobytes in size, and only consists of discussion about the name of the country. I'd bet there is no other country in the world whose Wikipedia article has caused such a thing. JIP | Talk 04:45, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia's Burma and Taiwan are pretty similar beasts. Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


Let's look at what the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) guideline has to say:

-"Consult English-language encyclopedias (we recommend Encyclopedia Britannica, Columbia Encyclopedia, Encarta, each as published after 1993). If the articles in these agree on using a single name in discussing the period, it is the widely accepted English name."
-In our case, Encyclopedia Britannica, Columbia Encyclopedia and Encarta all use "Côte d’Ivoire". This is pretty strong evidence that it is the widely accepted English language name.
-"When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it. This often will be a local name, or one of them; but not always. If the place does not exist anymore, or the article deals only with a place in a period when it held a different name, the widely accepted historical English name should be used. If neither of these English names exist, the modern official name, in articles dealing with the present, or the modern local historical name, in articles dealing with a specific period, should be used."
-At the very least, the evidence clearly shows that usage is divided. The guideline states that we should use the official name (Côte d’Ivoire) in the absence of a widely accepted name.
-"If a native name is more often used in English sources than a corresponding traditional English name, then use the native name."
-"If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local name."
-This is in direct opposition to those who have argued that we should favour "Ivory Coast" because in their view it's real English. In fact, the guideline suggests that we should favour the local name (Côte d’Ivoire) in the absence of a widely accepted common name.
- "When there is evenly divided usage and other guidelines do not apply, leave the article name at the latest stable version."
-Again, usage is clearly divided and the guideline suggests that we should keep the article at the stable version. TDL (talk) 04:09, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
      • The average reader has probably only ever heard of Ivory Coast, if that even. Meanwhile, since you can't type the name with a normal keyboard, some redirects will be needed. "Coat Diver", for example. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:49, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
The redirects are already effective for anyone who prefers to type Ivory Coast, whether they know how to use their keyboards to type accented letters or not. Dicklyon (talk) 04:54, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
So, you have no objections to my creating the Coat Diver redirect? Because I don't speak French, so I can't remember its French name. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:01, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry but this is getting ridiculous all those points you've mentioned above can be used for the same argument for moving Burma to Myanmar. Same goes for moving Republic of Ireland to Ireland. In terms of official names then lets move Derry to Londonderry (the official name is Londonderry but Derry is more common). And regarding the media, it is overwhelmingly for Ivory Coast so there is no "fine line" there. Can we also consider a move from United States to United States of America? Since the later is both the official name, but not really used as much in the media (such as in the case of IC/CI) Bezuidenhout (talk) 08:00, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
That's in WP:NCGN too: "Consult major news sources, either individually, or by using Lexis-Nexis, if accessible. If they agree in using a given name, it is widely accepted." And then there is this rule as well: "If a name is used in translating or explaining the official name, especially in texts addressed to an English-speaking audience, it is probably widely accepted." Here is Encarta: "Côte d’Ivoire (French for “Ivory Coast”)". We obviously can't follow all the NCGN rules. These rules don't exist just for their own sake anyway. They are tools to help us find the title that is recognizable to the most readers. Kauffner (talk) 00:20, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Post-closure discussion

Sorry for not posting before but i would just like to say for the record i fully support the proposed move. It is very clear Ivory Coast is the name used in english language media more so wikipedia should reflect that. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:19, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

That assertion has been pretty well refuted, or at least disputed. Dicklyon (talk) 22:29, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
This IDIDNTHEARIT stuff again? "Cote d'Ivoire" is the usage of the Economist and SABC, whereas "Ivory Coast" is used by CNN, AP, PBS, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Los Angeles Times, BBC, The Times of London, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and anyone else who wants to make sure that an English-speaking reader can figure out which country it is that they are talking about. Kauffner (talk) 23:10, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Now that the article has been correctly changed to the primary name of the country in English, what happens with the content. Should the french version of the name be changed to English in all of the content? for example.. " Côte d'Ivoire's first national census in 1975 counted 6.7 million inhabitants.". should that now read Ivory Coast? And if it does all need changing is someone going to volunteer to make all the changes sometime to avoid a large number of edit conflicts?BritishWatcher (talk) 23:22, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I do believe that normally that is what would be done. we had the same issue at moose some time back, with "elk" and "moose" being used interchangeably. We decided to explain that it is also called an elk by Europeans and then changed all instances of it to moose for consistency. Maybe one of our MOS experts out there can say whether there is an actual rule for that or not. (this comment is not to be construed as part of the close, the actual article content is outside the scope of that discussion, so just take it for what its worth) Beeblebrox (talk) 23:38, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Beeblebrox, will avoid making any changes then to see what people think. Also along with the use of the names within this article at some point associated articles will have to be considered, it would seem to make sense to try to bring them into line with this. So maybe in the next few days a Request move could be started on a page like History of Côte d'Ivoire to see if that can be changed too. BritishWatcher (talk) 23:56, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
This move sets a dangerous precedent and evokes European colonialism, with no respect for African self determination/identification. Strong, but that is my opinion. The closing admin (User:Beeblebrox) state in their summary (above) : "...many of the sources that use Côte d'Ivoire are not journalistic sources but rather governments or NGOs. It would be impolitic of them to use Ivory Coast, but we do not need to worry about that." In that case then we have a lot to learn about respecting other cultures especially African culture in English Wikipedia. But since consensus appears to have been reached, there is no point dwelling on it. English Wikipedia has voiced its opinion through its editors and we just have to deal with it.Tamsier (talk) 00:30, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Far from evoking colonialism (Côte-d'Ivoire was the name of the French colony, not Ivory Coast), this decision shows that English Wikipedia is not beholden to bureaucrats in Geneva or aging kleptocrats to determine English usage. —  AjaxSmack  02:34, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not surprised the people who wanted this article moved finally succeeded. They've been trying to do this fairly regularly for years. For the record a new process at WP:Move review to discuss if this was a proper close or not, and may attract some fresh eyes to see if the close was keeping in line with policy. AniMate 00:53, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

  • I have significant issues with the supervote closure above, the supervote part of which is clearly exhibited by the "majority of people" bullet, as it is the closer's opinion on the subject and very much doesn't seem to be shown in the arguments in the actual discussion. I would have expected the closer to stick specifically to arguments actually represented in the discussion, considering the controversialness of it, and avoid having any personal opinion on the subject interfere in their closure. Unfortunately, the closer in this case has not done this and their personal opinion is very evident in their closure. SilverserenC 00:55, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
just because some dislike the decision which addresses a problem that has existed with this article for years, it is no excuse for claims of european colonialism or questioning the closer of the request move. If people want someone to blame i suggest they blame the numerous media organisations who continue to use the English language version of this county, Ivory Coast. BritishWatcher (talk) 01:03, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
There are just as many English language sources that use Cote d'Ivoire. This was already clearly pointed out multiple times in the discussion, yet the closer makes an argument in the bullet I point out above that is not made to any extent in the discussion. In fact, many of the supporters ignored the actual usage in the media and just commented that they hear of Ivory Coast more often or that they like that better. SilverserenC 01:07, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Ivory Coast is the english language name of this country used by numerous english language sources. A country cannot dictate what is the commonname used for a country in a foreign language. The only thing close to "colonalism" on this subject that i have seen since the first time i entered this debate before is the attempt to impose a french language word on the English language. Cote d'Ivoire is just not the common English language name for this country. Im sorry. BritishWatcher (talk) 01:10, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that was not a very convincing close decision. The admin appears to have made his decision purely on what users might type in the Wikipedia search box. Not only this argument hasn't been made by any of the support votes, but I'm not sure that this fact alone is enough to rename an article. Has a move review been opened yet (someone mentioned it above but couldn't find it)? Laurent (talk) 07:27, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Well now that the RM is over, can we start work on the article now?? :) Bezuidenhout (talk) 07:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
There was never anything stopping anyone from working on the article and a move discussion certainly doesn't mean editing must stop. I'm a little upset that I'm agreeing with SilverSeren, but this does look like a super vote. Arbitrarily deciding no consensus isn't viable isn't a good rationale for a close when clearly there was no consensus. I'm not terribly active these days but would be more than willing to participate if someone were to open a WP:Move review. AniMate 08:01, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
It is a shame that people can not accept a lengthy procedure has been gone through to get to this point and simply want to try and overturn the solution. This has come up many times in the past and been excessively debated because ivory coast is clearly the english language name used by most sources. In the past it ended with no consensus, over and over again, this time a very strong case was put by those who took part, with the case being looked at and accepted, rather than being swayed just by numbers. I fail to see how the closer has not followed the guidelines. BritishWatcher (talk) 08:48, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

First, bravo! to a brave and well-reasoned closing. I was dreading yet another pathetic "no consensus" decision, like those that plagued Talk:Yogurt for nine years over at least eight RM proposals, until finally the article was properly moved. So, kudos to Beeblebrox, and thank you for explaining your reasoning so clearly.

Also, for the record, I must take issue with the claim above about the "majority of the people" paragraph that it represents "the closer's opinion on the subject and very much doesn't seem to be shown in the arguments in the actual discussion". The closer's paragraph is based on the argument that people "are more likely to be familiar with the term 'Ivory Coast.'" I made that essential point in my comments during the discussion when I wrote, "Any English speaker familiar with the country is going to recognize "Ivory Coast"; not all will recognize the French name.". It's essentially the same point (and others made it, or at least alluded to it, too), and no one took issue with it in the discussion, so it's perfectly reasonable for it to be influential on the closing decision. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:06, 9 July 2012 (UTC)