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Old Man Snezka?[edit]

Isn't there some myth about an old man who lives at the top? Can anyone fill me in on this? - TheMightyQuill 23:53, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about Sněžka in particular, but the whole Krkonoše mountain range has an old man guardian spirit, Krakonoš, and since Sněžka is the highest mountain of the range, I suppose it would feature in the lore. He's definitely not named after the mountain, though. :-) 18:53, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps Rubezahl is the figure in discussion here?--Agrofe 14:05, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Or maybe the Polish version Liczyrzepa? Rübezahl (talk) 15:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Requested move to name of German origin[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was an overwhelming Oppose to the requested move. I'm closing it as per WP:SNOW (and in case that doesn't fly, per WP:IAR itself – the proposed move bears no benefit and would be inherently divisive). Yes, talk page sections are to be closed, per the very existence of the templates, and as evidenced by this example. Administrators are not leaders, they are people with additional powers. Non-administrators can close if they wish. Example here, which incidentally is a vote I started and I bear no ill will. I hope this addresses your concerns Matthead, and don't take this personally. And by the way, you didn't follow WP:RM. :) +Hexagon1 (t) 06:49, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Sněžka-Śnieżka is a rather odd name in English, actually not in English, but both in Czech and Polish, two Slavic languages which only since 1945 are spoken by locals there, after the expulsion of the Germans living on both sides, in Sudetenland and Silesia. On the other hand, Schneekoppe is established in international use for centuries, as e.g. proven by John Quincy Adams in his 1804 report.

Schneekoppe is anything but forgotten in modern day English use: In post-1990 Google books in English (requiring "mountain"), one yields these hits:

Between the wars, with the new state of Czechoslovakia just having gained access to the Western side, but Poland still being far away, the hits are as follows:

So, it is safe to say that in literature, Schneekoppe was almost exclusive common English use before 1945, and it is still the most common name (and by far the easiest to spell, I dare to say).

In general Google internet search, the clumsy double naming yields under "Sněžka-Śnieżka" +mountain -wiki -wikipedia under 300 hits Outside Wikipedia, while the three languages (with or without diacritics) are roughly tied in the 10,000 - 20,000 range.-- Matthead  DisOuß   09:10, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose-guidelines use local names if available. Furthermore this isn't a German wikipedia Matthead. Besides english also Uses Snezka far more then Germanised version[1]246 results. The above results by Matthead are manipulated-if you click them you will see he used the combination of certain words with the names, which limited the results and missed several without the combination--Molobo (talk) 09:55, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Dear Molobo, do I detect bad faith here? I did not manipulate, I quite openly stated that I limited my searches to post-1990 books which include "mountain" to enforce English. Regarding the "Germanised version" (do clocks run backwards where you come from?), your link to Polish yields 793 dotyczących schneekoppe compared to 247 dotyczących snezka for Czech and 409 dotyczących sniezka or 465 dotyczących Śnieżka in Polish - including "autorstwa Marianna Śnieżka". Polish books using a German name rather than the local Czech one or the brandnew Polish one is quite funny, isn't it? Molobo, if you read WP:NCGN, you may find that "we recommend Encyclopedia Britannica, Columbia Encyclopedia, Encarta, ... Consult Google Scholar and Google Book". Now, EB: Snezka (in Sudeten, Giant Mountains, Relief) and sniezka in Geography Columbia Encyclopedia: Snĕžka (Ger. Schneekoppe, Pol. Śnieźka) in Krkonoše, MS Encarta Sněžka (in Sudety and Czech Republic) while Śnieżka is unknown. Arccording to these three, the double naming must be dropped in favour of the Czech naming. Google Scholar does not make much difference in regard to diacritics (same or similar results), and yields Sněžka 108, Śnieżka 200, Schneekoppe 393 in total, and in English Sněžka +peak 28, Śnieżka +peak 32, Schneekoppe +peak 50. Thus, among scholars, the neutral Schneekoppe equals or betters both local names combined. Ceterum censo: Śnieżka has to get removed from the English naming. -- Matthead  DisOuß   13:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh yes I found it quite amusing myself also. However let's focus on facts shall we ? The searches by Matthead are for combination of the words he used with other words. This gives false results as for instance it misses Snezka peak, Snezka alone and so on and on. Furthermore we know that best known version of local name should be used.--Molobo (talk) 10:14, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
See below, common English, not local hieroyglyphs. Besides, Snezka peak 31 vs. 278 Schneekoppe peak, you are digging yourself a hole.-- Matthead  DisOuß   13:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Nice try Matthead. However, this is not German Wikipedia; this is not a historical issue. We know Snezka lie in historical Sudetenland, or geographically in the Sudetes but nowadays it lies between the sovereign nations of Poland and the Czech Republic. In geographical issues WP strongly stands behind local naming, if it is not a strong use of other name in English. So I oppose per current local names, although I think Schneekoppe is damn sexy name :). Hey Matthead, how about moving Liberec to Reichenberg? - Darwinek (talk) 10:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
You can leave the city in place, but in Google Books, since 1990 and in connection with "+city" (yup, English use, and no authors), Reichenberg beats Liberec about 250 to 150, with some having both. And no, I doubt other de:Reichenberg (Begriffsklärung) places are nearly as well-known, or considered a city. Any other suggestions, while we are at it? Many of the Slavic namings made up after wars lose out to older ones established in English(!) use. Damn stubborn, those Anglo-Saxons. Many Germans though, politically overcorrect, echo anything foreign, of course. They adopted verbal cannibalism, eating "Hamburger". -- Matthead  DisOuß   13:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Good for 1911 Britannica edition, but now it's almost 100 years later. Local names should prevail, not historical ones. Just a rough assessment: Sněžka and Śnieżka searched in English, both separately, give 40000 Ghits in total, from which about 25000 for Sněžka as opposed to 6800 to Schneekoppe and I'm not counting versions without diacritics. MarkBA t/c/@ 16:06, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
It is the common English name that needs to prevail in English Wikipedia, not "local names" in foreign languages. Else, we would call other mountains on international borders 乔戈里峰-کے ٹو and Cervino-ds'Horu-Mont Cervin-Matterhorn. Schneekoppe was established in English much longer ago than the names of these two mountains. Okay, so you want to use plain Google in English rather than Google Books, getting (diacritics don't make much of a difference here) Sněžka 27k, Śnieżka 17k, Schneekoppe 7k. How about enforcing English, and excluding the wiki-mirrors with "+peak -wiki -wikipedia", and the native domains with ""? This reduces the results to: Sněžka 887, Śnieżka 1,070, Schneekoppe 261. Among those hits are probably still many local travel agencies using sites. The surprising result is that the presumed extinct "Schneekoppe" still has that many hits. Quite interesting is that the local Czech skilift website "German" version uses Sneekoppe /Sněžka. The Polish Observatorium knows quite well German history, but uses ahistoric Polish naming in English -- Matthead  DisOuß   13:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Dear Mr. no brainer, how about renaming the two year old commons:Category:Sniezka first? And Piotrus, it seems you missed that one somehow, surely you don't want to neglect the Czech part of "the consensus here"? -- Matthead  DisOuß   13:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. - TheMightyQuill (talk) 23:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, whilst I'd prefer a Czech name for this, the mountain being far more significant to Czechs then Poles, I am very satisfied with the current Czech-Polish compromise. German doesn't even enter the equation here. Policy states that a COMMON English name takes precedence, however Schwepps or whatever it was is not common, nor English. So a local language is used. And in case policy disagrees I invoke WP:IAR, this vote has no possible benefit. +Hexagon1 (t) 08:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
    PS: How about the French Sniejka/La neigeuse? Or Esperanto Neĝulo? I'm sure with clever Google manipulation we could get them to become the most common English term too! (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist) +Hexagon1 (t) 15:26, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Many editors found their way here who seem to never have edited the article before, and started to vote, always oppose BTW. Hexagon1 even tried to close the discussion as if it were a poll, and as if he was an admin, stating [2] an overwhelming Oppose to the requested move. I'm closing it as per WP:SNOW (and in case that doesn't fly, per WP:IAR itself – the proposed move bears no benefit and would be inherently divisive). I doubt that talk page sections are supposed to be closed, and remove the poll top/bottom templates. Regarding "no benefit and would be inherently divisive", I've provided evidence for alternative naming and recent common use in English when adding this section. -- Matthead  DisOuß   16:26, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was I am closing this as another WP:SNOW, consensus in the past has shown that there is strong opposition to a move and this compromise is adequate to nearly everyone. The Dominator (talk) 05:04, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

There is little doubt in my mind but that the current name for this mountain errs on the side of compromise. WP:NCGN is quite clear on a case like this:

There are cases in which the local authority recognizes equally two or more names from different languages, but English discussion of the place is so limited that none of the above tests indicate which of them is widely used in English; so there is no single local name, and English usage is hard to determine.
Experience shows that the straightforward solution of a double or triple name is often unsatisfactory; there are all too many complaints that one or the other name should be first. We also deprecate any discussion of which name the place ought to have.
We recommend choosing a single name, by some objective criterion, even a somewhat arbitrary one. Simple Google tests are acceptable to settle the matter, despite their problems.

The above archived move proposal tried to move in this direction. In my mind, and that of the majority of respondents, opting for a German name — no matter it's historical legacy — was rightly labeled as having a "snowball's chance in hell" of succeeding. After all, WP:NCGN also states:that the modern name should take precedence, except when the article or section is clearly referencing an historical period. Examples given include the preference for Gdansk over Danzig (in the main article about the city) and Volgograd vs Stalingrad (the former is preferred when talking about the city today; the latter for talking about the Battle of Stalingrad).

Clearly, Schneekoppe is the Stalingrad or Danzig of this discussion. But if not that, what single name should we choose?

In the first place, remembering that this is English Wikipedia, we should follow English language convention when giving the name of the mountain. Sometimes, truly mammoth mountains that go by their name alone — but this is almost always for logical cause. For instance Anapurna isn't a single mountain, but the name of a small series of peaks. And "Mount Nanga Parbat" or "Mount Dhaulagiri" would in fact be redundant. because the word "mountain" is inherent in the non-English word that has passed into English. Thus you find the usage, "Mount something" to be predominant for single-peak mountains in English in locations around the globe. Hence: Mount Fuji, Mount Mitchell, Mount Ararat, Mount Kilimanjaro. Even the world's most famous mountain, Mount Everest, follows this convention. A cursory glance at a list of mountains in the English-dominated sections of the world will reveal the predominance of this naming convention, with other varations like "<possessive adjective> Mountain" and "<possessive adjective> Peak" being the only other formulations that even weakly approach the "Mount something" paradigm. It's interesting to note, too, that every single mountain on the moon, as named by English speakers, follows this convention (albeit in Latin). This suggests to me that, given a blank slate, English speakers will naturally reach for "Mount something" just by reflex.

Encyclopedia Britannica, a resource which WP:NCGN sees as helpful in settling questions like this, agrees. It returns hits for both Mount Śnieżka and Mount Sněžka.

It would thus seem logical to me that this article should be entitled Mount something. But what should that something be?

Well, look, as WP:NCGN suggests, at these simple Google tests:

It's pretty clear that the Polish variant handily wins all contests. It's also revealing to me that Britannica hits for Sněžka are only in another article about Czech geography, while the Polish variant is used in an article about Polish geography. The lack of a specific article about the mountain itself confirms that this is a subject well below the radar of all but a few English speakers. Thus, WP:NCGN's recommendation for arbitrary decision clearly applies here. The fact that these simple Google tests all point heavily in favor of the Polish variant serves as the effective tiebreaker. At the end of the day, there are just more Poles in the world than Czechs, so their usage is more likely to dominate. The only real question left open is whether to use diacritics or not. Yes, the most "popular" of all the "Mount something" searches is the unaccented Mount Sniezka, but Britannica includes the diacritics.

Therefore, I propose that this article's name be changed to Mount Śnieżka. Or Mount Sniezka. CzechOut | 18:22, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

These Google results badly need filtering to make sure we're looking at English-language results. My comments on the inappropriateness of the results as concern diacritics are below. Knepflerle (talk) 17:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose'''. If in support, also indicate whether you prefer the accented or unaccented version. Then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • I am OK with both versions, i.e. it doesn't matter for me if the article will bear Czech or Polish name. One thing is for sure, it should be with proper diacritics as per precedential naming conventions. - Darwinek (talk) 12:18, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Completely disagree that a priori the name should be Mount XXX. For names we use what English-language texts use - we do not try to second-guess usage by inventing rules based on vague general patterns. Most lakes are called "Lake XXX" in English, but IJsselmeer is called IJsselmeer in English, Chiemsee is Chiemsee and Windermere (which is in an English-speaking country!) is just Windermere. And Ben Nevis certainly isn't Mount Ben Nevis either...
Couple of points, here. If we should use what English language texts use, what do you make of the fact that Britannica is employing the Mount prefix? As for your Lake analogy, the examples you give aren't particularly strong ones. Windermere means "Vinandr's lake"; a second "lake" would be redundant. Chiemsee means "Bavarian Sea"; adding Lake would be counter-intuitive. And as for Ijsselmeer, what does meer mean? Yep, you got it: lake. Therefore sometimes the English translation is Lake Ijssel, while other English-speakers are happy to leave it alone. And you find this sort of thing with a ton of non-English mountain names too. Where "mount", "mountain", "peak", "hill", etc. is already implied in the literal translation, the English name will generally avoid redundancy. And that applies to Ben Nevis, too, where Ben is an anglicization of the Gaelic Beinn, meaning "mountain". CzechOut | 16:37, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm fully aware of the etymologies. The thing is, most English speakers are not aware and get the usage right! It doesn't matter why Ben Nevis doesn't have Mount in front - English speakers just know that it doesn't, purely because they've never seen it or heard it that way and specifically not because they have rationalised the name through a knowledge of Gaelic, Dutch, German, whatever. And English speakers wouldn't expect to see the non-English here either. We can't and shouldn't invent usage here to fit some model which would be more consistent. We can't create something more "English" than what English speakersactually speak by removing inconsistency or by adding English words in non-native ways. We merely follow usage with all it's inconsistencies. Knepflerle (talk) 16:54, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I certainly agree that the average person doesn't know the etymology. But both in the United States and England, while there may not be general English language Academies, there are governmental agencies in charge of cartographic naming conventions. The people that sit on these boards do look into the etymologies and choose names that the rest of us use that make sense. Thus, English speakers not local to the area in question get it right by virtue of others' knowledge. And this proposal isn't about the wholesale invention of usage; it's more about pointing out the rationale for what already exists. "Mount Sniezka" isn't something I came up with. It's one of the possibilities based on current usage. CzechOut | 17:16, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Second point - Google's search engine is incompetent at parsing diacritics and should not be used for making decisions as to their use here - ż may parse as z, ź, ž or something you may not even have thought of (e.g. ū often parses as o, and ł as t). This means that there's massive cross-contamination of results - click on your results for unaccented Snezka and actually look at the first few pages. For me the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th all have diacritics. Sometimes this happens even when the extract in the result on the Google page has none! If you want to use Google to check for diacritic usage, use Google Books and Google Scholar and click on, check and count each result by hand. Laborious but the only way to get a half accurate picture.
I do however dislike the current title - one thing is for sure, the predominant name for the mountain is probably one of the two alternatives, and not both at once. Find out which is the most common in quality English texts and use just that, making sure redirects care for any other possibilities that arise. Knepflerle (talk) 12:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I would love to be able to do this. But when Britannica actually uses both, separately, and other texts (see the former debate, above), are no less clear, we gotta just go to WP:NCGN's advice and arbitrarily pick one. CzechOut | 16:37, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Sure I agree it's difficult - but I want to pick one of the two alternatives English actually uses, than one of the two you proposed which they use far less often. Britannica's usage seems a little exceptional from what I've read, and it wouldn't be decisive either way. Britannica uses one, Encarta uses Sněžka; no reason there to pick one over the other.
The most important point is that if a fairly even split of sources use Śnieżka and Sněžka, then whichever one we pick the same number of people will arrive at this page and be vaguely surprised by the name, and with redirects and explanation of various names their reading experience will not be impaired. Whichever we pick the same number of people will read the article and not be inconvenienced - so it makes absolutely no difference overall which of the two is used. Spending ages pointlessly dithering between the two will however affect the reader's experience by diverting time off the editing they would actually benefit from. Knepflerle (talk) 17:06, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I am good with the current name. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 13:00, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I understand your motivation, CzechOut, and obviously the current name isn't ideal, but it seems to be the best solution. As Knepflerle says, the "mount" is hardly necessary. More importantly, I don't think there's a clear favourite in the English language. The fact that there are more polish entries is likely the result of the difference in population size between the two countries: 38million to 10million. If we allowed that kind of population difference to decide naming/spelling, all wikipedia articles would use american spelling. - TheMightyQuill (talk) 13:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. That's the arbitrary decision maker. Polish wins simply by virtue of the number of Poles. Therefore there's more source material in Polish, therefore it has the greatest influence on the English language. It sucks to have to do it that way, but sometimes life ain't fair. CzechOut | 16:37, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
There's no "fairness" about it. It doesn't matter why one is predominant in English - there are many complicated reasons for preferences of various words when adopted into English usage, but generally words are not adopted to prefer one country over another - certainly not in this case, anyway. Even if it were somehow unfair we would still use what English does - if English used, say, a Hungarian name predominantly for this mountain(!) then we'd use that. Knepflerle (talk) 17:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, strong disagreement with the name Mount, this mountain is not commonly referred to that way at all and generally no foreign language mountains (other than the very well known) are referred to as Mount. As for Google search, that is completely irrelevant, Polish websites will use the Polish name, Czech websites the Czech name and English websites will just use whatever name their source uses. There is no logic here, the mountain is obviously more significant to the Czechs as our highest peak, but is obviously in Poland as well. Normally a name like the current one is rather clumsy, but in this case I'm adequately satisfied with it. No need to add another layer to these nationalistic Wikiwars. The Dominator (talk) 13:24, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the mountain is referred to as "Mount <one of the two>" by a wide range of English speakers. Click on the Google phrase searches linked below in the Discussion section. You'll find native English speakers posting their vacation pics online using Mount. A Polish university site's official English-translated page on scientific study of the mountain range using Mount. Non-Polish/Czech travel agents using Mount. Polish/Czech travel agents using Mount. Computer wallpaper designers using Mount. There's just a wide range of people who use "Mount" when speaking about the mountain in English. Despite all this talk about the unreliability of Google, some of which may be justified, doing a search for the phrase "Mount (pick one)" does reveal a ton of hits showing that "Mount whatever" is in English language use. While I appreciate that it doesn't sound right to a non-native English speaker, to my mind, the Mount prefix is the least controversial part of this proposal. It's completely natural in English. CzechOut | 17:04, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It is one English usage of several; it does not seem to be the predominant one however. Knepflerle (talk) 17:09, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so what does, and what's your method for arriving at that conclusion? CzechOut | 17:51, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Note that "HIV virus" scores half a million Google hits. People often add an explanatory noun to the name of something, without causing that noun to become part of its (encyclopedic) name. --Kotniski (talk) 17:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
    • I wouldn't fear a wikiwar in this case. Czech and Polish editors generally have good relations here on WP and stuck together in the past when one user tried to move it to Schneekoppe. - Darwinek (talk) 15:58, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Mount version, would support just Śnieżka.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:09, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose adding Mount (I don't believe it's the norm in modern English to add Mount before mountain names which don't have it established by past usage). Oppose removing diacritics (goes against general WP policy, and destroys information - it's easy to imagine what a word looks like without diacritics, without having to see it, but not vice versa). Not too fussed whether the current title is kept or reduced to just one form (Czech because of the greater significance for that nation; Polish because of wider use).--Kotniski (talk) 17:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The form "Mount something" appears to refer to this mountain less frequently than the names without "Mount". Tankred (talk) 02:59, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. It has been established there is no common English version, and as such this is a great compromise not likely to be conflict-prone. Also, nice, I direct you to an article in mock of the naming disputes and the first thing you start a new one. +Hexagon1 (t) 04:05, 1 April 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • More data from Google. This is the result of phrase search rather than a work search.
The prase Mount something
but a better question I think is what what do the people at the base of the mountain call it. --DRoll (talk) 09:29, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • More facts: The search results for "Mount Sniezka" is a subset of the search results for "Mount Śnieżka" as the search using the accented form returns accented and unaccented results. For some strange googley reason the searches for "Mount Sněžka" and "Mount Snezka" return identical results, that is the same pages. --DRoll (talk) 09:56, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed - see my comment above. Using Google to assess diacritic usage is pointless, unless you are willing to examine and count the results by hand, assuming that the parsing was even good enough to pull up all the relevant results. Knepflerle (talk) 12:53, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. But WP:NCGN says that "simple Google tests are acceptable" in this particular case. And we've now done three different tests, two word tests and one phrase test, and on every one of them the Polish version comes out on top (allowing for the fact that something funky is making the unaccented Czech test to return results that are obviously too high. I wish I'd though to do this phrase search, because it's the clearest indication of English language preference. When combining an English word with the Polish or Czech word, the accented, unambiguously Polish word wins by a margin of better than 2:1. Hence, in English it's the real deal. CzechOut | 16:45, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Look; it doesn't matter if the guideline says you may use Google results - the results for diacritic use do not make sense due to technical limitations! What's the point of using results completely inappropriate for a given conclusion just because we are allowed to?
All we know from the above is that in there is a fraction of English usage that uses Mount+*, and that of those the sum of the Polish ones with diacritics and without diacritics is greater than the sum of the Czech ones with diacritics and without diacritics (and that's assuming Google takes all the relevant results and parses them to Snezka or Sněžka (in the Czech case) and not to any other combination because it gets confused... see [3] and [4] where Düsseldorf goes to DOsseldorf and DGsseldorf rather than Düsseldorf or Dusseldorf for example... how do we know if ž isn't being read as something crazy, and is missing from our results?)
If Google worked properly in these cases, it would be a useful thing to use. In these cases where we have no idea how it processing the diacritics it's just not up to the job, and we nned to look elsewhere. Knepflerle (talk) 17:33, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I guess I'm not understanding how it's completely inappropriate. I get that it's prone to error; WP:NCGN says that it's prone to error, but use it anyway. I'm just a guy trying to get a better name for a really horribly-named article, here.  :) And the only thing that makes sense to me is to follow the guideline. You're saying Google gives awful results here, but every one of these hits that I'm looking at shows English usage of some variation of the name Mount Sniezka, and they're from a wide variety of different sources, academic, business and personal, native and non-native speakers alike. It may not be perfect, but it's far from useless. If this isn't the way to go, what is? You agree with me at least in principal that we've got to go to a different, more singular name for the article. How would you propose we come up with a fair settlement, if not by the method laid down by the guideline? CzechOut | 17:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it is completely inappropriate because Poland's population is thrice that of the Czech Republic. The Dominator (talk) 22:08, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Not to mention I am angry about you starting a vote on an article I directed you to in the very mocking of how sad nomenclature disputes get, but this is just ridiculous. Not only have you failed to grasp what a consensus is - nothing to do with sheer numbers, but you're starting more disputes on comfortably settled articles between Czechs and Poles in exactly the way my current proposal hopes to avoid on articles that are actually undergoing a serious dispute. Per WP:SNOW alone this vote is moot. +Hexagon1 (t) 04:12, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

What about...?[edit]

A mobe to Śnieżka? We don't practice double naming in articles (per WP:NC) and it was shown above that the Polish spelling is more popular (although we should run test only on English language website, as we should control for bias due to Poland being bigger than its southern neighbors, and Polish language net being bigger then Czech or Slovakian). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:05, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not strongly against a move, but if you think about it, not even tests in English are fool-proof, since Poland's population is so much bigger, they have much more English speakers than the Czech Republic. Normally a double naming isn't good, but in this case the title reflects that the mountain is considered a part of both nations and I kind of like it this way. The Dominator (talk) 22:38, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
No, the relative size argument is a complete red-herring as I stated above. What we care about is how many sources use each - simple - because that's what most English-speakers are most likely to encounter most often. Doesn't matter whether that arises from one country being bigger than another, or one language being more akin to English, or for political reasons, or for typographical reasons, or for "neutrality".... If more English-language sources use the Polish form so be it - that means we are best serving the maximum number of readers.
Yes, I agree the article should be moved to the Czech name or the Polish name to avoid this double naming that no-one uses. Interestingly, I have predominantly seen the Czech version - mainly in the context of it being the Czech Republic's highest point (it not being the highest point of Poland). I am still not sure how this compares with other people's experiences. Knepflerle (talk) 23:10, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Still, it should certainly not be decided by a Google search. The double-naming is not used, but it still remains that both of the names are commonly used in English. The Dominator (talk) 00:04, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
While I still maintain that "Mount Śnieżka" is actually the best English name, given its usage even by a wide range of English sources (English-speaking tourists posting their vacation pics, tourist sites trying to attract visitors, and Polish academicians that translate their work into English) I'm perfectly happy to move to just Śnieżka, so long as there's a redirect from Mount Śnieżka, Mount Sněžka. Sněžka and even that German name previously proposed, with notations in the lead that all of these have been used extensively in English. I still don't get the opposition to a Google search. It's recommended by the guidelines and it actually is returning hits that are right on topic. Adding "Mount" to the search shows is, in fact, an effective filter for English usage in this case. I'd ask you to put aside your preconceptions about Google searches and actually look at the results in this particular case. There's no question but that the Polish variant, when combined with Mt., Mountain and peak all suggest the Polish name dominates in English. CzechOut | 03:55, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I should point out as well that my original RM was based on the move to a different name to be decided below template, rather than the straight-up-or-down vote of the simple move template. Thus, in the light of this most recent section of discussion, which obviously flows from the original debate, I would ask the editor who closed the debate above to revert that decision and move for a second round of voting on the newly-proposed name of Śnieżka. After all, those who have responded so far to this latest round are, at worst, "not strongly opposed" to a move toward a single name. CzechOut | 05:33, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
This is ridiculous, it is apparent by these debates and their inevitable failures THERE IS NO COMMON NAME IN ENGLISH. This is the best compromise and is more than sufficient, redirects can easily guide anyone here and anything else would only serve to harm rather than improve the article. +Hexagon1 (t) 05:48, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Trying to take something useful from all this...=[edit]

Talk page - 47kB. Article - 3.6kB. Need I say more? Well, yes actually. I hate to be repetitive, but I think this got a bit lost earlier:

The most important point is that if a fairly even split of sources use Śnieżka and Sněžka, then whichever one we pick the same number of people will arrive at this page and be vaguely surprised by the name, and with redirects and explanation of various names their reading experience will not be impaired. Whichever we pick the same number of people will read the article and not be inconvenienced - so it makes absolutely no difference overall which of the two is used. Spending ages pointlessly dithering between the two will however affect the reader's experience by diverting time off the editing they would actually benefit from.

That Mount Śnieżka and Mount Sněžka were redlinks until two minutes ago tells us two things:

  • that although they're used in English, they're not used enough that anyone thought to do redirects previously.
  • that it's a lot easier to spend time arguing here than do the 30 bytes of editing that actually make a tiny bit of difference.

So seeing as taking any particular choice for the name (or indeed not choosing a different name at all!) is not going to change the experience for our readers at all (assuming all redirects are in place) what can we take away from this 47kB waffle? Let's get some general points that we can take into editing and RM's all across the Wikipedia:

  1. If there's two roughly equally most-common names, it's not going to make a difference which one you pick - each will cause the same number of people to be slightly surprised.
    1. Corollary: If there's two roughly equally most-common names, it's going to make even less difference to the reader spending time arguing about it.
    2. Corollary: The only useful bit of editing you can do in this case is explain all the names thoroughly in the text and make sure all possible redirects exist.

If a similar RM comes up elsewhere again, it shouldn't be closed according to WP:SNOW. It should instead be closed as pointless according to WP:Śnieżka/WP:Sněžka/WP:Sněžka-Śnieżka. It means practically the same thing anyway in more ways than one ;) Knepflerle (talk) 12:17, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Very well spoken. We are writing this encyclopedia for the reader and they're not going to care what it says at the top of the page as long as a) a search will get them to this page and b) the information is here. The Dominator (talk) 13:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree almost entirely with this attempt to end the debate in a manner completely contrary to WP:NCGN. The guideline says pick a name that appears most in English. As was said before, it doesn't matter why that name is used more; population size of the relevant language groups is a perfectly adequate rationale. We aren't here to negotiate a Slavic truce. I keep growing the talk page because of one, simple argument made in good faith, whatever the most common English usage is, it certainly isn't Sněžka-Śnieżka.
Closing the discussion on Mount whatever on the basis of a WP:SNOW in a mere 36 hours — when there's clear evidence of modern, widespread English usage of the phrase — is evidence enough that this particular article simply hasn't had serious scrutiny of genuine English usage. There's much more interest in maintaining a political compromise than in uncovering a linguistic reality.
And it's not that I don't understand that. If the reverse were happening — say, I were on Wikipedia/cz and people were trying to lop off the "Mount" in "Mount Mitchell" — I'd probably argue pretty strongly against that. Until I was actually shown some evidence that, really, that's how it's done in Czech.
We are writing this encyclopedia it for the English-speaking reader. It's not the "fault" of the English-speaker that one language's version of the name is indeed used more in English. It's just the way it is. Suggesting that there's a "balance" amongst all English-language use simply isn't true. With such lopsided searches for the Polish variant over the Czech, you don't have to sit there and count every single one of them to get a reasonable indication of usage. Even in the relatively "closer" match-ups, it's at the very least a 2:1 margin.
In many ways, this is a small issue. As was well-said before, it's diverting all of the participants from editing on article pages instead of talk pages. But it's not an unimportant one. At the end of the day, choosing an actual name for this thing does matter to English-speakers. Because if the research is done correctly, what it says is that there is a reasonable case in English to choose one name over the other, leaving the article to explain what that cause is. And that's more valuable to the English reader than the current "solution". The compromise name just ducks the issue, which doesn't help the English reader who's reading about the mountain for the first time. The compromise suggests a controversy that isn't there. As far as I know, there's no controversy whatsoever. Czechs call it one thing, Poles call it the other, and it's not like one side is trying to make the other see things a different way. CzechOut | 03:28, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Exactly Czechs call it one thing and Poles another, and this does help the reader because there is a whole section in the article that explains the naming stuff. Do you realize that we are arguing over what appears at the top of an article, over one insignificant word? The Dominator (talk) 03:35, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


OK, everybody just stop the Prussian Silesian hut reverting nonsense, and let's discuss like civilised people. The Dominator (talk) 19:41, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Well. Here is a detail of a old German walking map, published in 1938 and approved by the "Riesengebirgsverein" (the mountaineering club of that time):
As you can see, there was a Prussian hut (Preuß. Koppenbaude) and a Bohemian hut (Böhm. Koppenbaude). Calling this hut "Silesian" made no sense since there already were two other Silesian huts in other parts of the Giant mountains.
AFAIK this Prussian (later Polish) hut was destroyed after 1960 and the hotel mentioned in the article was built on its ground. The article currently claims (The mountaintop today) that the old Prussian/Polish hut still exists, which I think is wrong. Karasek (talk) 08:05, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that any German map from that period (specifically 1932-1945) can be claimed as relevant, mainly in the questions of the territorial ownership. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 09:36, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
There was no question of territorial ownership on this side of the border until 1945, and the Nazis didn't rename nearly as much huts and geographical names as the new owners afterwards. Wonder how valid sources from that time are... But anyway: (source: Richters Wanderbücher, Dritter Band, Richters Reisebücher- Verlag, Hamburg 1914)
And a new Czech source: (page 12, part "STAVBY NA SNĚŽCE") Karasek (talk) 11:24, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I often try to not get involved emotionally with anything on Wikipedia. Let's just say that using Nazi Germany's publications as source for Polish and Czech history is very disturbing and it was just a non-intentional error.--Molobo (talk) 22:18, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, sorry for that. I didn't know that the disputed fact was Polish or Czech history. Silly me. But now I understand why it's perfectly OK to use Communist Polish sources for the same historical region. Thank you. Karasek (talk) 09:21, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
You comparision of socialists Poland with the genocidal Nazi Reich which sought to exterminate whole nations is also not helpful. If I may I would like to ask you to concentrate on the article, stop using Nazi resources and stop comparing Nazi Reich to other countries.--Molobo (talk) 11:10, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
We are talking about the name of a hut and/or a geographical location. This has nothing to do with Nazi- atrocities but with the fact that the Nazis rewrote history if the history of a location wasn't German enough. Think about "Litzmannstadt". Because of this Tulkolahtens complaint was important and correct. The Nazis changed some names in the Giant mountains. Thats the reason why the map wasn't trustworthy. But the simple fact is that the new Polish and, to a lesser extend, Czech authorities after the war did the same, and the reason was the same. The Nazis erased the Slavic, the Communists erased the German history. Both had ideological reasons. Why should a Communist publication about the history of a place like the Sněžka-Śnieżka, about Wroclaw or Silesia therefore be more trustworthy?
PS: The Czechs actually kept some German names in the Giant mountains (where mount Sněžka-Śnieżka is located), the Poles removed them all. Karasek (talk) 12:39, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed the Poles were it seems more precise in regards to removing traces of Germanisation of the region. I don't know any "communist publications about Śnieżka". --Molobo (talk) 14:11, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thank you, this speaks for itself. If you want referenced communist Polish publications check the Wroclaw article. Karasek (talk) 09:27, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any communist publications there.--Molobo (talk) 15:50, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

History of names[edit]

The section beginning "While known as Śnieżka in Polish..." implies that the Polish name was always Śnieżka, while the Czechs tried out various names before finally adopting the Czechified version of the Polish name. Seems very surprising (particularly since the area was not Polish at the time). Does anyone have any sources for this? If not, I'd rewrite it.--Kotniski (talk) 07:31, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

It's not uncommon that the Czechs used different names at different times, the same happended in the German language. Usually the Polish name in this region is the youngest and follows either the Czech name or translates the German name. Karasek (talk) 09:43, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
The section had a "citation needed" tag, but somebody felt the need to remove it after they took out the word "always". The DominatorTalkEdits 13:12, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
According to this site: (very well referenced!) Śnieżka wasn't "always" the Polish name. Earlier this mountain was called "Góra Olbrzymia", which probably is a translation of the old German (and/or Czech?) name, but the site doesn't mention a year. Karasek (talk) 14:55, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Since the area was originaly part of Slavic states long before German states arrived it is more likely Germanic colonists germanised the original name. However sources are needed.--Molobo (talk) 15:49, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not concerned here about which (German or Slavic) name was older, I would just like to know since when the Polish name has been Śnieżka (did the Poles take it from the Czechs, or vice versa?) In the absence of other sources, for now I'm going to take the old Polish name from the site Karasek mentions.--Kotniski (talk) 12:22, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
With dates for each of the names we could probably answer your question. But it's hard to find a date for "Pahrbek Sněžný" (btw: what does "Pahrbek" mean?) and "Śnieżka", while its almost impossible to find anything about "Góra Olbrzymia". Karasek (talk) 08:04, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Czech word pahrbek means knoll (small hill). It sounds like Czech from early modern period (i.e. 17th/18th century) but I don't know exact epoch this term was used... I will try to find out something more about it. --Iaroslavvs (talk) 18:10, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

There is a proposal to rename this page and other similar ones. Please see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names)/Archives/2008/November#Undoubling and discuss there.--Kotniski (talk) 17:49, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Góra Olbrzymia ?[edit]

Góra Olbrzymia is a Polish translation of German Riesengebirge, which means the whole Krkonose chain. Is such name for Sněžka documented? A German source can be erroneous, because of poor knowledge of Slavic languages in Germany.Xx236 (talk) 12:33, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

The mountain had several German names, among them Riesenberg (= giant mountain). Karasek (talk) 08:45, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Its Snieżka not Sněžka![edit]

This is very wrong title! Snieżka belongs to polish culture and its situated in Polish land. My suggestion is that title should be in Polish for the first place, not Czech in the first. Snieżka didnt had nothing to do with Czech land and culture, until borders were canceled in 2007 while two of the countries, Poland and Czech republic, are in EU. Some viewers may think of it as Czech mountain when somebody writes Sněžka. In my opinion its a big nomenclature error. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lapsia (talkcontribs) 17:44, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

  • See in this talk page voting above and please read arguments.--Yopie (talk) 20:32, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Yopie, now I know why people keep saying bad things about wikipedia, editors and knowledge which we can find in some of the articles. I can easily say that there are few big, I mean big, nomenclature errors in just this one article. For example, If there is a reference about Samotnia which is in Polish side of Karkonosze, you just cant write frivolously that Samotnia is in "Krkonose"! Thats silly So decide. is there some order or not. This is silly. Another simple example Zgorzelec and Görlitz are one city in poland-germany border. If somebody would have wrote in Wikipedia that Zgorzelec (germany) and Görlitz (poland), it would be one big silly misunderstanding for skilled viewer. Sadly, you practice this all the way. Polish Samotnia in Krkonose, well, yeah yeah, go and see this talk page voting above and please read arguments. Yeah :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lapsia (talkcontribs) 20:27, 4 February 2014 (UTC)