Talk:Potsdamer Platz

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I think that the latest changes to the article are very good. Example that Wikipedia works. hhc2, 8 june 03, 16 h

Thanks. :-) djmutex 14:35 8 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I am thinking about an article "Berlin:Architecture" or such. I'd like to give an overview about some buildings I I find interesting. I'll make a list that I will submit to discussion. hhc2 9 june 03, after matrix reloaded

Thanks for going through the street names and making them look like they should in German. I was going to do this myself but you beat me to it!

Sourcing that Potsdam Square is the prevalent English name[edit]

User:Rex Germanus has moved this article from Potsdamer Platz to Potsdam Square citing that that is the prevalent name used in English. Initialy Google-testing, as flawed as it is, showed only 993 hits for Potsdam Square to 2 million hits for Potsdamer Platz. So can we get a source for this? 11:51, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I ran a search through Google Books and Google Scholar to see how the topic is referred to. I limited the Books search to publications since 1950 and included "Germany" within the search to cut down on German-language texts.

"Potsdam Square" is an accepted name for the square, but "Potsdamer Platz" is used overwhelmingly more frequently in English language publications. With WP:COMMONNAME in mind... Olessi 15:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I already reacted to the IP on my talkpage, but I'll do it again. I do not recall having used predominant, and I still stand by my move. Potsdam square is its English name, the fact that its German equivalent has more google hits is irrelevant, not because google isnt a valid source per se, but because this is the English wikipedia, and English names (if established) are prefered over foreign ones at all times. The English name is established and hence, in theory - if there weren't so many Germanophiles, this discussion ought to be closed.Rex 12:54, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Rex. Please read WP:COMMONNAME - or are you intentionally violating those naming conventions? (In related matters, as you seem so eager to purge all German names from this - as you said - English encyclopedia, why do you seem so hesitant when it comes to Dutch article names? Why do you not move Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal to "Dictionary of the Dutch language" or Zuid-Gelders to "South Guelderish", Stelling van Amsterdam to "Defense line of Amsterdam"? Those are established English names for those things. Why do you not add several dozend fact-tags to Dutch articles? (I know a few that could use better sourcing) Admitting your bias does not allow you to indulge it. And your anti-German bias is becoming rampart again.) 14:53, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
You seem to use some pretty awkward "logic" there. So basically you're saying the following: I'm not entitled to move article names, or even complain about them because, wikipedia has some articles with a Dutch title too? (Are you implying I'm respondsible for those articles?!) I don't care if you move Zuid-Gelders, Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, Stelling van Amsterdam. Go ahead, have fun. You see, I don't add cite-tags or move pages because I enjoy getting ridd of foreign article names or like to bugg people by asking to reference their claims, it's because it makes the English Wikipedia a better encyclopedia, to its target audience: English speakers. It might make perfect sense to you to write "Potsdamer Platz", but an English speaker doesn't know what platz is, and might just barely (if at all) figure out that potsdamer is the inflected form of Potsdam. So what do you think makes more sense to him/her? Potsdam squar or Potsdamer Platz? You need to learn to think in wikipedias best interests, rather than imaginary national/linguistic prestige for your own language.Rex 15:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
No Rex, I won't move those articles with dutch names, and do you know why? Because I figure they are better known in English under their original name than in their translated one. "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" vs "Serenade for strings in G major". The chances that both - random people on the street as well as the people that are closer to the subject - know the name of the former are much higher than that the know the latter. And that's the core of the issue: People are more likely, as shown by the various sources, to know that this place is called "Potsdamer Platz" than they would associate "Potsdam square" with it. And the naming guidelines explicitely say "What word would the average user of the Wikipedia put into the search engine". Would they type in "Potsdam square"? No, I don't think so, because that name is not very well known nor well-used. They'd type in "Potsdamer Platz". And thus this is where this article should be. 19:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Prove it then. All you do is assume, meanwhile I have logic on my side, and you have nothing.Rex 19:53, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
If you don't believe Google or Book Search (via Google), how about [ Lonely Planet]? 10000 mentions of "potsdamer platz" 41 mentions of "potsdam square". I seriously doubt that there is somewhere specific scientific report titeled "Potsdamer Platz vs. Potsdam Square. The name of a specific place in Germany and it use in the English language.", but it seems you are demanding to see this kind of thing. Also please prove that logic is your side here. I can only appeal to you to use common sense, otherwise I'd suggest a Request For Comment, if you are so certain that you are right and all the rest of us are wrong. 21:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Alright try to grasp the logic then. This is the English wikipedia, this article is written in English, there is a English name for the topic in this English article on English wikipedia. So use the English term on the English wikipedia.Rex 15:59, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I couldn't hear you cite any policy while trying to prove your logic. Please try again. Also you did offer nothing to prove that Potsdam Square is an accepted and widely used name for the place. In the meantime, how about this little gem from Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names): "Please remember that many local names, like Paris or Berlin, are widely accepted in English. Frequently, English usage does include the local diacritics, as with Besançon." and regarding widely accepted names criteria: "Consult Google Scholar and Google Books hits". So, let's think for a bit... if X is the widely/almost exclusively used name for an place in the English language and policy says "use the the widely accepted names" then we should... hmmm... I dunno, translate the name and use its rarely used translation? 17:12, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
The title: When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it. Clear to me. Rex 17:17, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
You keep repeating the same thing over and over again, Rex, without proving that the name you suggested is widely accepted (while demanding the proof from the other side), nor that it is - as the naming conventions suggest - the name the majority of people would consider looking the thing up. It is honestly, getting rather tedious. If you want to continue to press this issue, I (once more) suggest, we "request for comment" to sort this thing out. 22:18, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

You don't get it don't want to get it do you? It's already been proven that there is an established English name. A name, which has more value here than a foreign one.Rex 16:02, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm tired of this, let's see if a RfC brings resolution to this issue. 20:35, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

RfC below here (RfC closed)[edit]

Statement: There has been an ongoing dispute regarding the correct name for this article. Is Potsdamer Platz (following WP:COMMONNAME) or Potsdam Square (following WP:ENGLISH) the correct one? 20:33, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

(RfC closed) The RfC has resolved with wide general consensus being that "Potsdamer Platz" is the commonly used name for the location in question and thus should used following the naming conventions. (if anyone disagrees, he's free to reopen) 16:57, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

There is no contradiction in WP:NC and WP:UE about this name WP:UE states "If you are talking about a person, country, town, film, book, or video game, use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works." In this case the common English name is "Potsdamer Platz". Besides platz means place and in this context means a road junction and public space, but not all platz are square e.g. Mehringplatz. If we were to translate this one then what about all those other places that use the Italian, Spanish and French cognates (Piazza, Plaza, and Place)? --Philip Baird Shearer 11:53, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Clearly, there is no doubt, there is an accepted English form: Potsdam square. The fact that there are more google hits for "Potsdamer platz" is basically irrelevant. This is the Anglophone wikipedia, when an english term exists, we should use it. It does, so why the fussRex 21:40, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

As far as I could discover the primarly used name for this location, in the English language, is "Potsdamer Platz". Following the naming conventions I'd say that even if there is an rarely alternative name in the form of an English translation of the name, it would be counter-intuitive to use the rarely used name over the primarily used one, just because the former is English and the latter is not. I think that WP:COMMONNAME especially points that out. Otherwise we could simply argue Dora Maar au Chat is not English, let's rename the article to "Dora Maar with Cat", which would be silly. 22:06, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

So? "Dora Maar mit Katze" has 5,960 hits. In English there are 570. Enough for me. You see, google tells one very little. It simply says how many times a word is found on all the websites it searches trough. Somehow you link that as being equal to the times its spoken. Thats false and virtually uncheckable. Just because something is more numerous doesnt always mean its the common name, I mean you don't call a chicken a 鸡 just because on a world scale the words is most numerously spoken now do you? Rex 10:30, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
No, I call a chicken a chicken because the wide majority of English speaking people calls it a chicken. If for some reason the genus of Fowl in question would be commonly known as 鸡 to majority of English speakers I'd call it 鸡, even if there would exist a translation from 鸡 to the - in that universe and context - rarely English word "Chicken". 16:01, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Kip ik heb je. So now, suddenly, English does matter to you? The highest percentage of the worlds population calls it a 鸡. By the "logic" you have so far displayed this means that the Chicken article is to be renamed 鸡. Sure there is an English name for 鸡, but 鸡 is used much more than Chicken! So we'll use 鸡. Now watch: Sure there is an English name for Potsdamer Platz, but Potsdamer Platz is used much more than Potsdam Square! So we'll use Potsdamer Platz. Defeated by your own faulty 'logic'. Have a nice day. Rex 16:39, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Er, no. I said, the thing that matters is what the majority of English speakers call it. Most English speakers call "chicken" "chicken" and not "鸡", so we use "chicken". In a world where most English speakers call "chicken" "鸡" and not "chicken" we'd use"鸡" even if "chicken" would be the English word/translation. Most English speakers call "Potsdamer Platz" "Potsdamer Platz" and not "Potsdam Square", so we use "Potsdamer Platz". See the book references and e.g. Lonely Planet entries. 17:12, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
There's no way of proving that trough google. As I told you multiple times before, only establishment can be proven that way. Which proved BOTH. But thanks to OFFICIAL WIKIPEDIA POLICY the English name (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (USE ENGLISH!!!)), is the one to follow. Rex 17:15, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) explicitly mentions google schoolar and google books as references to consult for determining whether a name is in common use or not, and if those names are widely accepted. 17:36, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
That's not the matter at hand here We've already established that both terms are accepted. The only thing you need to prove here, is why the English wikipedia should prefer a German word over an English one. Good luck.Rex 20:56, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I'll go for "Potsdamer Platz". The "Use English" guideline is all about what's most common, i.e. most easily recognisable to the average English-speaking reader. Apparently, that happens to be the German name in this case. Fut.Perf. 21:11, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

And you base this on ...? "use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article". In this case it's even simpler as there is only one English name used: Potsdam Square. Rex 21:24, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
You've made that point numerous times. Given the current state of the discussion, I'm certainly not going to make an additional effort at convincing you. If anybody else thinks my opinion requires further explanation, feel free to ask. Fut.Perf. 21:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
"when an English term exists, we should use it" -- false. We've been through this so many times that I wonder Rex can keep up an interest in the argument. I certainly cannot. dab (𒁳) 22:05, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I would agree that "Potsdam Square" is not widely accepted, as evidenced by the lack of sources using that name for the place. Personally, I've heard of a place called "Potsdamer Platz" - until now I had no idea where or what it was. Had I been wondering, I would have typed "Potsdamer Platz" (or some misspelling of it) into the search box, because that's the name I've seen out in the world somewhere. It's what English speakers usually call it. If you want to argue that "Potsdam Square" is a widely accepted name for the place, you'll need evidence of that. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

It should be "Potsdamer Platz" since that's the widely used name in English. Likewise we have Unter den Linden not Under the Lime Trees and Place de la Concorde not Concord square. --Folantin 09:38, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Just another vote for "platz" here, it's the main version I've heard in the UK. One slight caveat is that use of "square" seems to be increasing a bit, just because "platz" has so many historical connotations and "square" is maybe perceived as an easy way to mark the reinvention of the place by Germans speaking English. I'm not saying that's a biggy, but we're maybe looking at 5-10% use of "square" when talking about the modern development rather than <1% for discussion of WWII/Cold War. Nonetheless, it should stay at Potsdamer Platz - the analogy with Place de la Concorde is a good one. FlagSteward 16:16, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

My personal perception is that "Potsdamer Platz" is the name commonly used in English, and the searches done in this talk page corroborate it — see also, with only 15 results for "Potsdam Square", and 3 more using "Potsdamer Platz (Potsdam Square)".

Our naming conventions don't require us to use English words, but to follow common English usage, i.e. to use the names most English speakers are familiar with.

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names): "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".

It clearly says "this often will be a local name". That is, "this often will be a German or French or Italian or Chinese name, which happens to be the one commonly used by English-speakers and English-language publications".

A reverse analogy would be Times Square, which is usually left "untranslated" in other languages ( instead of using Timesplatz, Place du Times, Piazza del Times or any other form). - Regards, Ev 00:16, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Europe's First Traffic Lights?[edit]

"...What is not refuted is that Europe's first traffic lights were erected here on 20 October 1924, in an attempt to control the sheer volume of traffic passing through."
I refute this.
See the Wikipedia article on traffic lights or this website. Clearly the first European traffic lights were in 1868 in London. They stood in front of the Houses of Parliament and were gas-powered, operated by hand by a policeman (until 1869 when it exploded - the traffic light that is, not the policeman). However, it is possible that the first automatic traffic lights in Europe were on Potsdamer Platz. Per1892 (talk) 12:26, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I've read the article on the traffic lights in London and it sounds fascinating. I've tried to visualise the contraption and how it was operated - though I wouldn't have liked to be the policeman caught up in the explosion. Perhaps the article should have specified that the first traffic lights in continental Europe were at Potsdamer Platz, installed there in 1924, although Stephansplatz in Hamburg also claims that honour with a 1922 contraption. Did Potsdamer Platz therefore have the first automated traffic lights (in 1926?) Until this obviously grey area is clarified (and I HATE grey areas!) I'll keep looking out for new info.


Tonythepixel Tonythepixel (talk) 15:28, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

"Only two buildings in the immediate vicinity of Potsdamer Platz did still stand - one complete, the other in a half-ruined fragmented form: the Weinhaus Huth's steel skeleton had enabled the building to withstand the pounding of World War II virtually undamaged, and it now stood out starkly amid a great levelled wasteland, although now occupied only by groups of squatters. A short distance away stood portions of the former Hotel Esplanade [...]"

In fact, they were three. The Voxhaus also had a steel skeleton and survived WW2 slighty damaged (you can see it in some postwar photographs and in Google Earth archive also). The building was repaired and, according to the Bundesrat website, it lasted until 1971. That year it was demolished. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The wording of the article is slightly ambiguous - I hold my hands up to that. A major demolition programme was carried out around the time that the Wall went up but for a few years afterwards it's possible to count up to six surviving buildings although most were in a ruinous state. Further down Potsdamer Strasse was the Bayernhof beer palace - this survived until c.1972 as did the Post Office in Link Strasse (very close to the Weinhaus Huth). And the Haus Vaterland was still there until 1976. I'll try to make the article clearer. Tonythepixel (talk) 20:47, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Potsdamer Platz/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

*Needs a good map showing its position in Berlin.
  • Needs pictures that show the place as a whole, preferably aerial.
  • Maybe a picture of the traffic light and the S-Bahn station.

Last edited at 17:43, 11 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 03:18, 30 April 2016 (UTC)