Talk:Li (surname meaning "profit")

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WikiProject China workgroup[edit]

There is an inactive workgroup in WikiProject China dealing with surnames. Can I suggest that the workgroup be revived and all discussions be taken through it rather than dealt with in relation to just one or a few surnames. There some general questions here:

  • What to do when different surnames have the same transliteration (with or without tone diacritics)?
  • What to do about Korean and Vietnamese surnames: are they the same surname as the Chinese one that takes the same character?
  • What to include about the different surnames, does there have to be an article on each?

Perhaps more.

Anyway, these questions aren't unsurmountable. With a bit of WP:AGF we can get some working guidelines and see in practice how they serve us over the next year or so.

What do you all say? Itsmejudith (talk) 12:44, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

It certainly seems reasonable - the issue here seems to have grown much larger than the original move request. Although, as with all Wikiprojects, you do run the risk of a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS without the participation of the Wikicommunity at large. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't be against an RfC at this stage. And it would be good to alert WikiProject China because that could bring in many more editors with an interest in this area. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I've thought for a while that we need some more eyes on this. And RfC is fine by me. If we seek input from Wikiproject China, we should also seek it from a project neutral to the subject (MoS maybe) in order to avoid any systemic bias. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:01, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree with more eyes, and RfC fine, and WP:LOCALCONSENSUS concern, also informing Wikipedia:WikiProject Disambiguation. Li is a mess (I marked for DAB cleanup), and the other articles lack references. This is poor work guys - without references (for notability and basis of an article) we are fiddling while Rome burns. Widefox; talk 15:08, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
User:Widefox it is "poor work" yes but DK and myself have worked as far as able - adding sources, cleaning up, within the limits imposed by some of those on this RM. My concern is it will remain "poor work" if a poor-work limit is imposed on these articles. Which will guarantee editors who know about the subject will be less likely to work on them. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:12, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
If topics/articles aren't notable (by having no WP:RS), then they are merged or deleted. That makes all the above moot, and disruptive IMHO. Widefox; talk 12:23, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Large scale mergers and moves by User:Robsinden[edit]

I would like to see some evidence for pre-discussed agreement and consensus for the recent burst of moves / mergers. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:25, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Are you talking about the mergers of the non-notable stubs Li Surname (郦) and Li Surname (莉) to Li (surname)? Can easily be dealt with there, until a breakout article is needed, and we avoid the usage of Chinese characters as agreed above. There is very little information there at these articles at present (barely a salvageable sentence on each). Would also suggest centralising any future discussion at Talk:Li (surname). --Rob Sinden (talk) 09:36, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Robsinden, you misunderstand; I am not asking if you think your merges and moves are right. I am asking for a link to a discussion that shows you have first obtained a clear consensus from other editors. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:41, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
The discussion above draws the conclusion that we look for other solutions than using Chinese characters. These articles are recently created stubs written in poor English by a now-blocked user, whose creation of these articles was deemed disruptive editing, and there is little salvageable material. I'm just restoring the status quo. --Rob Sinden (talk) 09:46, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Okay, depending on your next steps it may be that this needs to go to ANI to request a temporary block.
You understand that in the discussion above there was no consensus for the moves and merges you have just made, correct?
There's also been discussion above of your own competence to decide what is an what isn't notable in regards to Chinese names, correct?
So where in the above do you see a mandate for just ploughing ahead without an RfC or further discussion? In ictu oculi (talk) 09:51, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
(ec) You have not shown that the above discussion has come to a conclusion that there is community consensus to make such moves. There were differing suggestions made during the discussion by various people on how the issue could be handled, but no definite answer that was largely agreed on. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 09:52, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Consider it WP:BRD then. I was also following User:underbar_dk's initiative. But there is evidence above that we cannot use Chinese characters, and the recently created stubs were considered disruptive. I'll ask the closing admin of the discussion to comment here. --Rob Sinden (talk) 09:56, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and "large scale"? That's overdramatising somewhat don't you think? And enough with the WP:COMPETENCE claims. That really doesn't apply here - these seem to be just your attempts to discredit me. --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:03, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
In short; No, no and no. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:09, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
For the record I don't consider concern about your undiscussed merges and moves "petty squabbling" (normally the person making undiscussed merges and moves isn't the one who decides whether objections are "petty" or not) Obviously you think they are, but normally when an editor goes Lone Ranger in the middle of discussion and counter the majority of consensus that editor is pulled back. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:55, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Petty squabbling, as in trying to discredit me by questioning my competence. Not once have I levelled that kind of criticism to editors who can't seem to follow a core policy. And I didn't go "Lone Ranger". I followed another's lead, and merging the non-notable stubs, the creation of which were deemed disruptive editing seemed like a no-brainer. Let's face it, you're never going to agree to any of the compromises that use English. --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:01, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
The closing admin stated: "The result of the move request was: no consensus to no move. ", but you moved them anyway and left a comment saying per discussion, in which there were none supporting your move, this is disruptive. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 18:10, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
No consensus to move to a title with a Chinese character, but strong arguments not to use them... --Rob Sinden (talk) 18:14, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm also very disappointed with Rob Sinden's undiscussed moves of the various surnames, especially after I explained in detail the reasons why this approach does not work in response to the "temporary solution" he proposed above. He acknowledged my points, but still went on to make the undiscussed moves. Not only that, his move of Lí (黎) to Lí (surname meaning "dawn") betrays his WP:Incompetence in the subject, which had been brought up by other editors in prior discussions. The meaning he chose for the name is completely wrong, as 黎 means dark (which is very obscure as the character is mostly used in names), and only the compound word 黎明 (literally dark brightness) means dawn. I really don't understand why he chooses to be so involved in a topic that he barely understands. -Zanhe (talk) 02:07, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
You guys should really read WP:COMPETENCE again. I appreciate the nuances cause non-ideal translations, and apologies if I made a mistake (I was following the translation quoted in the article which you have now changed), but ANYTHING is better than a Chinese character. There's a level of incompetence in not understanding a core policy where we do not use Chinese characters. These arguments only serve to show that maybe option 5 below is the only workable solution. --Rob Sinden (talk) 05:26, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
"ANYTHING is better than a Chinese character"? That comment alone shows your strong personal bias and lack of understanding of core WP policies. One of the five pillars of Wikipedia states: "Wikipedia does not have firm rules: Wikipedia has policies and guidelines, but they are not carved in stone... Sometimes improving Wikipedia requires making an exception". You've been repeatedly shown why using Chinese character is necessary to disambiguate the Chinese surnames, yet you've been deaf to all the reasoning because of your personal ideology that "ANYTHING is better than a Chinese character". -Zanhe (talk) 01:06, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, the WP:IAR argument! Have you not read all the reasons why Chinese characters are not acceptable?. And why the usage of them doesn't improve Wikipedia? Seriously! Talk about not understanding core policies.... --Rob Sinden (talk) 01:16, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and now I see you've moved Lí (surname meaning "dawn") to Lí (surname). Disambiguation by diacritic alone is NOT sufficient. I'm not going to get into a move war pending the below discussion, but why the hell didn't you change it to your corrected translation Lí (surname meaning "dark") above? And you question my competence! --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:06, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Geez, you're further showing your complete lack of cultural understanding necessary to discuss the issue. Just because a character means something does not mean that the surname has anything to do with that meaning. Imagine if someone proposed an article title like John (name meaning toilet) or Sandy (name meaning full of sand). While both are superficially correct, anyone who has the cultural background in the English language would instantly see the ludicrousness of such proposals. By the way, disambiguation by diacritic IS sufficient in this case, because 黎 is the only common Chinese surname that has the second tone. -Zanhe (talk) 15:31, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Umm, no - per WP:DPAGE: "Terms which differ only in capitalization, punctuation and diacritic marks. For example, the terms Oe, Ōe, OE and O.E. are disambiguated on a single page" --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:43, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Looks like not only your understanding of Chinese culture and language is nearly nonexistent, but your comprehension of the English language is also questionable. WP:DPAGE is about disambiguation pages, not about disambiguation in article titles. -Zanhe (talk) 01:16, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, there's a better guideline as to why diacritics are not disambiguation enough, but I can't remember which it is. I think WP:PRECISION has some points to make, but remember, it's all about the spirit of the guidelines. And also remember that diacritics cannot be reached on an English keyboard. --Rob Sinden (talk) 01:21, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Ah yes, WP:TITLESPECIALCHARACTERS. Policy. --Rob Sinden (talk) 01:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
You seem to have a habit of citing policies without really understanding them. Here's a quote from WP:TITLESPECIALCHARACTERS you just cited: "Sometimes the most appropriate title contains diacritics (accent marks), dashes, or other letters and characters not found on most English-language keyboards... In such cases, provide redirects from versions of the title that use only standard keyboard characters." Since you seem to really dislike the use of diacritics in addition to Chinese characters, you have your work cut out for you: just try to convince people to rename pretty much all Vietnam-related articles, such as Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư. There's also German names like Münster and Romanian names like Nicolae Ceaușescu. -Zanhe (talk) 02:06, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
No, I didn't say that we should rename all articles, what I'm saying is that disambiguation by diacritic alone isn't sufficient. Take your example of Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư. Say there existed something else which was called / spelled Dai Viet su ky toan thu. These would then need additional disambiguators to differentiate them. --Rob Sinden (talk) 07:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
They are already sufficiently disambiguated with dab pages and hatnotes. The Münster article is a good example of how this works, a title that is identical to Munster except for the diacritic mark. In any case, trying to reason with you seems to be futile. Your refusal to listen to other people's arguments and tendency to act against consensus have caused too much disruption to the discussion already. If you do not change your behaviour I think the only option left for the rest of us is to file an WP:ANI complaint, which had already been brought up by User:In ictu oculi above. -Zanhe (talk) 12:14, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You know what, take it to WP:ANI. I'd like to see the opinions of some experienced administrators. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:29, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Robin, if you don't know Chinese, can you don't act like you have any idea what you are doing? What you did is a simply disruptive and unreasonable act in the eyes of anyone who know Chinese AND is actually pretty offensive to people with these surnames. Especially your actions have no consensus at all. You should go back and undo all your moves. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 09:16, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Summary of the dilemma[edit]

Let's try to kill this surname beast once and for all. Since the notability of topics is established by potential reliable sources and not the current article state. We are going to end up with many Chinese surname articles and run into this issue again sooner or later. Why not deal with the issue now so we can get back to editing? If this issue is not solved satisfactorily, we will actually be hindering potential editors from contributing in this topic. So please, forgive me for writing all this:

We have several articles about different surnames that are transcribed the same way in Hanyu Pinyin, the official method to transcribe Chinese into Latin characters. The purpose of this reading supplement is to make sure that all interested parties are aware of the complexities of the issue, and to facilitate discussion without having everyone repeat things they've said ad infinitum. The present discussion concerns the surnames that are "Li" in pinyin, but the results of this discussion can easily affect how we handle all Chinese surname articles, both existing ones and future ones. Please keep the big picture in mind.

The Lis in question:

Surname Character meaning Rank in Hundred Family Surnames Hanyu Pinyin Notes
"plum" 4 Lǐ (3rd tone) Most common Li, very common surname globally. Surname of Tang emperors.
"dark" 262 Lí (2nd tone) Common surname. The meaning of the character is often confused to mean "dawn". This confusion comes from the fact that 黎 is commonly used in 黎明, meaning "dawn", when the meaning was derived from "dark" (黎) + "illuminate" (明), thus "illuminating the dark" (黎明) for "dawn".
"profit" 364 Lì (4th tone)
厲/厉 "whetstone" 247 Lì (4th tone) The original meaning of 厲 as "whetstone" is relatively obscure. 厉 in Simplified Chinese
"chestnut" 249 Lì (4th tone)
酈/郦  ? 303 Lì (4th tone) Historically relevant surname that's rare today. Named after the ancient state of Li, the character's concise etymology is unknown. 郦 in Simplified Chinese
"reason" N/A Lǐ (3rd tone) A rare, originally non-Han surname that's not found in the HFS
"jasmine" N/A Lì (4th tone) A surname of the Hui people in Yunnan province. Likely a phonetic translation of a Muslim name. Not found in the HFS

This is not all of the surnames that can be written as "Li" in English, merely those that are on Wikipedia at the moment.

The core of the debate is captured by Wikipedia's policy on article titles, the relevant part quoted below:

"Names not originally in a Latin alphabet, such as Greek, Chinese, or Russian names, must be transliterated. Established systematic transliterations, such as Hanyu Pinyin, are preferred. [...] In deciding whether and how to translate a foreign name into English, follow English-language usage. If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader."


1. Disambiguation by tone[edit]

  • Helpful as a pronunciation guide
  • Diacritics are not English, no established use in English documents even in China
  • Insufficient disambiguation by itself as there may be several surnames with the same romanization and tone (see example).
  • Merging all surnames by tone is illogical in Chinese and unhelpful in English due to the presence of the diacritic
Efforts needed if selected as primary disambiguation method
  • Combine with another disambiguation method

2. Disambiguation by Hundred Family Surnames[edit]

The Hundred Family Surname (here abbreviated as HFS) is a document from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that attempts to compile all the notable surnames of that time. Apart from the first few lines, the author was chiefly concerned with arranging the surnames in rhyming couplets, and thus the ranking is not significant. The HFS is well-known in the Chinese-speaking world, even though the exact ranks of the surnames are not common knowledge.

  • One-to-one relation for most notable surnames (504 of them)
  • Partial precedent for ranking Chinese characters on English Wikipedia is found in the treatment of Kangxi radicals, eg. Radical 1, Radical 15, etc.
  • Does not include all notable surnames, especially non-Han surnames after the Song dynasty. eg. Kuang (surname) 鄺 is not included
  • Ranks are obscure to everyone except Chinese surname specialists
Efforts needed if selected as primary disambiguation method
  • Put numbers in the Hundred Family Surnames article to ease navigation
  • Decide on alternate disambiguation for surnames not represented in the HFS

Variations on the disambiguation wording, such as Li (surname No. 4) for 李, can be considered

3. Disambiguation by character meaning[edit]

Translate the surnames' characters into English by their most common meaning.

  • Reasonably accessible to English and Chinese readers alike
  • Surnames are just surnames, they rarely mean anything in the context of names.
  • Some surnames may have modern meaning that are offensive outside the context of names. (eg. Jī (surname) 姬, meaning "concubine")
  • Some surnames are named after places, resulting in article names that are essentially tautologies (eg. would become Qin (surname named after the state of Qin)). The etymologies of such names may be too obscure, obsolete, or even unknown - making them unsuitable and impractical to be used as disambiguation.
  • Other translation issues stemming from original research in addition to the above.
Efforts needed if selected as primary disambiguation method
  • Epic translator battles for every surname that needs disambiguation

4. Disambiguation by Chinese character[edit]

As the topic of the surname articles are essentially the characters themselves, it makes sense to use the characters themselves as disambiguation.

  • Exact one-to-one relation
  • De facto use since 2006, with Jimbo Wales's implicit approval
  • Violates English Wikipedia policy, guidelines, and manual of style.
  • Inaccessible to English Wikipedia's primary audience
  • Some Chinese characters are blacklisted as article titles
  • Further confusion in regards to traditional Chinese vs simplified Chinese
Efforts needed if selected as primary disambiguation method
  • Invoke WP:IAR, brace for impact
  • Request admin assistance in moving pages to blacklisted titles, impact inevitable

5. No disambiguation[edit]

  • Simplest solution
  • article size issues arise from a page containing all surnames of the same romanization
  • One article containing separate topics, violating Wikipedia:Disambiguation guideline.
  • interwiki unworkable
  • ignores different romanizations leading to the same Chinese surname
Efforts needed if selected as primary disambiguation method
  • Merge everything and hope the issue never comes back

6. Other solutions[edit]

The above options are by no means the only options we have. Please bring up any alternative ideas for discussion if you think they are suitable.


As the optimal solution will probably be a combination of the above instead of just one. It is better for people to rank their preferences of the above options and specify which ones you would rule out when discussing. This would make your position clear and we'd get a better sense on who's standing where. _dk (talk) 17:39, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Prefer options 2 > 3, indifferent on 1 and 4, rule out 5 At the risk of making myself look like a fickle flip-flopper, the Hundred Family Surname option actually seems the most concise and least problematic, now that I've compared the options. That we have precedents in the Kangxi radicals convinces me that this would mostly work. Again, I am of the opinion that if the "set index" article is clear about which surname is on which page, then the fact that we have rank numbers as page titles doesn't matter much. If a surname isn't in HFS, then we can go to the character's meaning, failing that, find alternative disambiguations case by case. _dk (talk) 17:56, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
User talk:Underbar dk, this apparently contradicts your own statement above "the optimal solution will probably be a combination of the above instead of just one." Do you mean 2+3?
By "combination" I mean we should have another method in place if the primary disambiguation fails. With HFS, there wouldn't be a need for further disambiguation if the surname is listed in there. So I do mean 2 > 3. Li (surname No. 4 in the Hundred Family Surnames meaning "plum") is pretty overkill eh. And on enwp we have Radical 200 for the radical 麻, not Radical 200, 麻 'hemp' or the like. But like all things on Wikipedia, we need consensus and I would not object against a 4+3 if that's what consensus decides. _dk (talk) 01:36, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
We cannot have 4+3, as it uses Chinese characters. --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:11, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Who are you, the King of England? You seem to have nothing else to add apart from "we can't do this" and "we can't do that" and "muh rules". Why should all of us genuflect to your every command? Same goes for your "the use of Chinese characters is prohibited per every single guideline as already established. These should not even be on the table" remark below. There is a reason why we are having a discussion; stop with all this rule-Nazi business. The reason why these options are available "on the table" is so that we have a complete discussion that covers all options, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I find your constant repetition of "b-b-but muh policies" really annoying. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 14:51, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Look at the closing admin's comments for the requested move above. Look at all the arguments against using Chinese symbols in article titles. Look at the relevant policies. They should have been ruled out by now. We should be trying to find a compromise that does not use these symbols in order to move forward. I'm getting the impression that there are 2-3 editors who will not accept any option that does not disambiguate by Chinese character which is preventing this from reaching a conclusion. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:54, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Gee, I wonder why my !vote was a preferential numbered vote. If it's not something that you see everyday, let me explain: In the event that the first priority vote is unacceptable, the vote then falls back to the second preference, and so forth. If you believe that certain options are undesirable, why does it even bother you? If all you say holds true, wouldn't that mean that the first preference becomes null? What is there to get your feathers ruffled about? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:01, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
In order to move forward, we need to forget the Chinese symbols. All the time that they are still on the table, we're losing sight of an objective solution to the problem. The Chinese symbols have been effectively ruled about by the above move discussion, and should only be used as a last resort if no other solution can be found, not a first preference. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:05, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
And watch it on the WP:CIVIL front too. My tolerance is at its limit. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:00, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
And now we're up to "muh feelings". -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:02, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you trying to wind me up? I don't even know what is meant by "muh". --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:05, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Never mind. I'm just going to take a leave from this discussion before I get riled up even more. I'm just saying it like it is: I don't like the way you're doing things. But if you don't like my criticism, that's fine. I'll take a rest for the rest of today, and hope I never set foot on this page. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:07, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Prefer option 5, with 2 as a second choice and 3 as a reluctant third choice as per my comments above and at Talk:Li (surname)#Merger proposal.  — TORTOISEWRATH 18:44, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support "optimal solution" ='s proposals Li (surname, 李 'plum') which had the apparent consensus of the WP:CHINA editors in above discussion: this provides the maximum amount of help to both those interested in Chinese surnames and also to China-surname-phobics who will never read the articles on China surnames in the first place. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:47, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
This would be a 4+3. _dk (talk) 01:36, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Prefer, in order from best to worst: 4+3 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 5. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 04:22, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • 1 and 4 are not acceptable. Disambiguation by diacritic alone is not sufficient, and the use of Chinese characters is prohibited per every single guideline as already established. These should not even be on the table. --Rob Sinden (talk) 05:30, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
So my order of preference would be 5, then 2 (for recognisability, should disambiguation really be required), then 3. --Rob Sinden (talk) 05:34, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
And, incidentally, as we now have an umbrella article, discussion should really be centralised there, in case this page is deleted. --Rob Sinden (talk) 05:34, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
As you said, the discussion on the umbrella article is about merging three problematic stubs into the umbrella, and this discussion is about what should we do with 利, and by extension all Chinese surnames in general. Since we've got this discussion train running on this page, I think we should continue with it here. _dk (talk) 06:24, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
As the outcome of this will affect other articles, such as Feng (surname), I just think it should be somewhere more prominent. But no matter. --Rob Sinden (talk) 07:56, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: let me emphasize this one more time: Option 3 (Disambiguation by character meaning) is completely wrong and unacceptable. Most Chinese surnames originate from names of ancient states or places. Many of these names have no other meaning at all, whereas some others have over the millennia evolved to acquire new meanings unrelated to the surname. For example, Jī (surname) (姬), the royal surname of the Zhou Dynasty, was named after the Ji River, but in modern usage it means concubine. Zhu (surname) (朱) originated from the State of Zhu and was originally written as 邾, but the written form changed over the centuries and it is now identical with the originally unrelated character 朱 which means red. Using such meanings to disambiguate the surnames is simply wrong and sometimes offensive. Any similar proposal regarding familiar English names would be instantly met with disbelief and ridicule: just imagine article titles like John (name meaning toilet), Randy (name meaning lustful), or Sandy (name meaning full of sand). -Zanhe (talk) 01:49, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
This is not a good comparison. We wouldn't have different pages for the name "John", they would all be on the same page regardless of the etymologies. --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:37, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course these disambiguations are unnecessary on the English Wikipedia, but might be in other languages (to dab John with Jon, for example). All I'm saying is that disambiguating Ji (姬) as Ji (surname meaning "concubine") is equivalent to disambiguating John as John (name meaning "toilet"). This type of disambiguation simply does not work. -Zanhe (talk) 11:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Okay, fair enough that you don't like this method of disambiguation - if individual articles are necessary, maybe we should be looking disambiguate differently on a case-by-case basis, rather than uniformly? Whichever is most appropriate for the origin of each name. This could all be avoided if we merged them all though! --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
(your comment) "This could all be avoided if we merged them all though!" - it has been explained to you in several ways why that shouldn't happen. In order to demonstrate that you've been listening can you please state the reasons for not merging. Then we'll at least know that discussion is serving some purpose. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:30, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I've stated above in the original move discussion how I think Wikipedia would benefit from a merge, and others also share this view. However, I accept that this is not acceptable to some of you. In the spirit of compromise, I have moved on from fighting that corner, and am now happy to accept disambiguation for a select number of articles that could be considered stand-alone notable. This disambiguation must not include Chinese characters. Merging is still my first preference mind you, but it's not worth fighting for. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Can we do this in a more practical way of thinking? Having the Chinese characters in the title is obviously more practical, since people who will be looking for the meaning of the word will also have the character in hand, but may not know what meaning the word itself is. It is simply unreasonable to use titles like "X (as the meaning of Y)", simply because even Chinese users can't tell what you are talking about, and is completely non-user friendly, and will introduce more problems than solutions. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 09:26, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Agree, this is what the majority considers, and this is what we've done in the past. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:30, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The majority does not support the use of Chinese characters. Quite the opposite. Have a look at the original move discussion. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
In ictu oculi by "majority" do you mean consensus? I certainly don't agree there's consensus for non-latin characters, let alone one strong enough to go against policy as stated numerous times. I suggest taking that (individual) issue out of this discussion and taking it up at the appropriate place, as flogging the issue here is a WP:DEADHORSE / WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. Widefox; talk 14:11, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
By majority I mean the majority, which was in favour of multiple disambiguation including (as per Jimbo) the actual character. I was counting number not volume. And your interpretation "or Russian names, must be transliterated." is a policy (inside or outside brackets) is not an interpretation shared by everyone. In fact be aware that the (solely the claim of "policy") will take some persuasive argument (not yet seen), else may be seen as disruptive - see WP:DEADHORSE. In ictu oculi (talk) 22:07, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: Option 5 (no disambiguation) is unworkable. It ignores the fact that all these names have completely different origins and thousands of years of divergent history, and lumps them together just because they happen to share the same spelling in English. That would be an outright violation of the WP:Disambiguation guideline and would create a huge mess with interwiki. And for what gain? It solves no problem whatsoever, simply shifting it from the article title level to the section title level within the one big article. Ultimately the different names with the same spelling still have to be distinguished by their original Chinese characters. In summary, Option 5 would introduce a whole new slew of problems (with WP:DAB and Wikidata/interwiki) without fixing any existing ones. -Zanhe (talk) 13:12, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Compromise proposal[edit]

I personally think the cleanest way to solve the problem is to use the Chinese character to disambiguate different Chinese names that share the same spelling in English. However, as this is the English wikipedia and it's necessary to reduce the use of non-latin characters to the absolute minimum, I propose the following compromise solution:

  1. Surnames that have unique spellings are simply named X or X (surname). Examples: Zhuge, Qian (surname), Ye (surname), Zheng (surname), etc.
  2. For surnames that share the same spelling with others, if there is a name that is overwhelmingly the most common, it would be simply named X (surname), per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Examples: Li (李), Wang (王), Zhang (张), and Qian (surname). It's a disgrace that Li (李), one of the most common surnames on earth which is shared by 100 million people, currently sits at Li (surname meaning "plum").
  3. If there is a name that shares the same spelling with others but has a unique tone, it would be named X (surname), with tone mark for X. Examples: Lí (surname), Qiān (surname).
  4. For the remaining names that cannot be easily distinguished by other means, the Chinese character would be used as the last resort. Example: Li (surname meaning "whetstone") (which is wrong, BTW) would be moved to Li (surname 厉).

All articles on different surnames with the same spelling X would be disambiguated on the dab page X, which has been already done. Example: Li.

I believe this would satisfy the WP:UE guideline to the maximum practical extent without violating WP:Disambiguation, and covers ALL situations without any lingering ambiguity. Having taken a cursory look at the Hundred Family Surnames, I estimate that we can avoid using Chinese characters in the title for at least 90% of Chinese surnames. -Zanhe (talk) 14:05, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Absolutely unacceptable. How is this a compromise? It's what you wanted all along. It does not satisfy WP:UE even slightly, and WP:UE is policy, not a guideline. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:26, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The compromise is using diacritics to disambiguate when possible instead of Chinese characters. All along the ONLY thing you care about is WP:UE, even at the expense of other policies such as WP:DISAMBIGUATION. You merely keep arguing the same point over and over again, without providing any alternative that actually solves the problem. You really need to have a good read of Wikipedia:Five pillars: "Wikipedia does not have firm rules: Wikipedia has policies and guidelines, but they are not carved in stone... sometimes improving Wikipedia requires making an exception." -Zanhe (talk) 14:39, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
WP:UE is policy, WP:DAB is a guideline. WP:UE states that Chinese characters must be transliterated. Not "should". "Must". We have two or three possible options to disambiguate, but your cabal won't accept anything that does not include a Chinese character. An option that has pretty much been ruled out in the previous move discussion. And you have the nerve to call it a compromise. Move on and suggest something constructive, rather than disrupting any headway we can make by sticking to your guns. Time to alert the administrators soon I think. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:45, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Read the quote above again: WP:Five pillars does not care about the distinction between policies and guidelines, and says neither is set in stone. Besides, using Chinese characters as a last resort does NOT violate WP:UE, as the names are already transliterated into English, but the transliteration results in ambiguity that cannot be solved without using the original character merely as a disambiguator. Also, using Chinese characters to dab was NOT ruled out in the previous discussion, the result was "No consensus". By the way, calling the various unrelated people who disagree with you a "cabal" does not help your argument at all, and I'm sure it violates WP:No personal attacks, one of the core policies that you claim to care so much about. -Zanhe (talk) 14:55, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
There have already been plenty of personal attacks against me, so forgive my frustration. I'm surprised I held out that long, but of course it is unacceptable. The result of the move discussion was no consensus to move to an article with a Chinese character, with a strong recommendation from the closing admin that we do not use Chinese characters. We have other English options on the table - the compromise is to find a disambiguation in English that we are all most happy with. I'm not sure how you can say that using a Chinese character in an article title does not violate WP:UE when it is in black and white that Chinese characters must be transliterated. An article title includes disambiguation. Seriously, there seems no way that you are willing to compromise away from Chinese characters, so I think the only way forward now is for administrator intervention... --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Believe me, I'm just as frustrated as you are. The problem is that it's the very transliteration mandated by WP:UE that causes the problem, resulting in ambiguities that cannot be easily resolved when numerous different Chinese characters transliterate into the same English spelling. It's obvious that the WP:UE rules are not adequate here and blindly following them causes more harm than good. You've been insisting that we need to find a disambiguation in English only, but how? Take 黎, 郦, and 厉, for example, all three are named after ancient statelets whose names transliterate into English as "Li". How would you suggest we disambiguate them using English only?
I've written several hundred China-related articles, and have always tried my best to avoid using Chinese for disambiguation: e.g. Xiong Yan (elder) / Xiong Yan (younger) and Duke Xian of Qin (725–704 BC) / Duke Xian of Qin (424–362 BC). But in this case, I simply don't see any satisfactory method to disambiguate the surnames without using the original Chinese characters. -Zanhe (talk) 19:26, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
You've been the most vocally uncooperative here, and you have the nerve to cry cabal? Victim complex much? Zanhe's proposal is a large compromise, as instead of having Chinese characters in the titles of 100% of Chinese surname articles, we would have (on rough estimation) 10% or less of these articles with Chinese characters. This way, we can follow WP:UE as much as possible by minimising the extent of Chinese character usage in article titles, whilst not sacrificing precision in the cases where it is absolutely unavoidable. The most common surnames would not have Chinese characters (WP:PRIMARYTOPIC). Surnames with no ambiguity would not have Chinese characters (no need to disambiguate). That's already 90% of surnames. Only what's left, surnames which aren't the primary topic nor unambiguous, are disambiguated using Chinese characters, and the number of such articles would be extremely minimal. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:12, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Using the Chinese characters for 100% of the articles was never on the table. We've only ever been discussing disambiguation when necessary. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
And before you further the "cabal" argument, I'll have you know that I've personally had many disagreements with both Zanhe and In ictu oculi within the past years. We are not some kind of "super sekrit team guise, dun tell anywun", and there is no conspiracy here. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:17, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I have no intention of repeating that mistake. My frustration got the better of me. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
If you are worried about the kind of people that are participating in these discussions, allow me to explain how this is so. This article falls within the scope of Wikipedia:WikiProject China. WikiProject China has more than 300 members, and many of them are highly active. It is a huge WikiProject in comparison to many others. Of course you will find people who are familiar with the Chinese language in a discussion theater such as this. Meanwhile, Wikipedia:WikiProject Genealogy and Wikipedia:WikiProject Anthroponymy are pretty much dead: both have very few members, and not all of them are active at all. Other than people from these three groups, who else would bother coming to a place like this? Nobody else is interested in topics such as this, people aren't going to get out of their comfort zone just like that. There is no intentional formation of a one-sided common-interest argument group, even though it may appear like this is the case, and I can understand why someone might come to such a conclusion. It just happens to be that certain people who are familiar with the topic ended up here, at the roll of a dice. I ended up here by chance, not by recruitment, and I'm sure so was everyone else. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:38, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
This is not a Wikipedia:WikiProject China issue. What is being suggested goes against one of Wikipedia's core policies, and as such needs to be addressed on a far wider platform. WP:LOCALCONSENSUS will hold no water here. For the record, I came here from a post at WP:Wikiproject Disambiguation (I think - or somewhere similar). --Rob Sinden (talk) 21:40, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Robsinden - please list the exceptional characteristics of this case. In ictu oculi (talk) 22:14, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
There are no exceptional characteristics. This should follow the same guidelines as everything else on Wikipedia. --Rob Sinden (talk) 22:22, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Robsinden - please list what others have identified exceptional characteristics of this case. (the purpose of the request is to find a base for communication) In ictu oculi (talk) 23:12, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Newer discussion[edit]

See Talk:Li (surname) where a second discussion has been opened on this topic of names, articles, how many to have, how to organize them. -- (talk) 00:05, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

No - that discussion is regarding the merger of recently created non-notable unintelligible stubs. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:12, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Let's focus on changing the guidelines[edit]

I'd say we try to reach a consensus: here to see if the guideline can be changed or not. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 16:13, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

The guidelines governing naming of Chinese-related articles are at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese). It's obvious that this issue should have been addressed in the Naming Conventions a long time ago. To reach a broader audience and avoid potential problems with WP:Localconsensus, I will propose an addition to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) while notifying other related project pages. -Zanhe (talk) 19:42, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Changing the guideline at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) would be WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. This is a policy issue and needs to be addressed as such. It makes no difference what is decided at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) if it goes against policy. --Rob Sinden (talk) 21:43, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
As this discussion mainly concerns article names of Chinese surnames, I believe Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese) is the most appropriate venue for it. As I mentioned above, I will post notices on relevant talk pages such as WP:AT as well. But if you believe there's a more appropriate venue for the discussion, please name it. -Zanhe (talk) 22:02, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
No, this is a policy issue. It needs administrator intervention or WP:VILLAGEPUMP discussion. --Rob Sinden (talk) 22:24, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I've posted a thread on WP:Article titles summarizing the problem and requesting amendment of WP:UE policy, with notifications on Village Pump and WP:NC-ZH. -Zanhe (talk) 23:25, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Someone had already started something at Wikipedia talk:Article titles#Hope to introduce new guidelines on Chinese/Korean/Japanese surnames. Now we seem to be having the same conversation in many places. --Rob Sinden (talk) 06:23, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Rob, I think you misunderstand what the job of administrators are. Administrators are not the Wikipedia police, they are, in the words of Jimbo himself, glorified janitors. They are here to clean up messes, not to uphold policy; upholding policy is the job of the community. If you are concerned about a local consensus, consider starting a WP:RfC or something. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 05:51, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
And this is a mess that needs to be cleaned up. --Rob Sinden (talk) 06:23, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
No one is engaging in disruptive editing here. What we have is a content disagreement between editors. These things are solved with RfCs, because there is no correct answer, only differing opinions. It is not the job of an administrator to determine who is correct during an argument. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 06:28, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, someone threatened WP:ANI earlier. --Rob Sinden (talk) 06:45, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

The only possible way is using Chinese characters.--刻意(Kèyì) 12:52, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

RFC at Li (surname)[edit]

There is a Request for Comment concerning this article at Talk:Li_(surname)#RFC_regarding_multiple_Chinese_surnames_transliterated_to_the_same_surname_in_English. Please provide input there.--Wikimedes (talk) 03:38, 22 November 2013 (UTC)