Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Vietnamese)/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Other options

I appreciate User:Kauffner's proposal to bring order to this issue and codify the status quo. The ensuing discussion above is very interesting and it is clear there could be a a variety of approaches to the use of diacritics in titles in Vietnam-related articles while still adhering to Wikipedia policy. I'm just curious where users fall when given more restrictive guideline options. For example, what do you feel about the following positions? —  AjaxSmack  17:34, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Please weigh in with support, oppose, or other quips if you care:

1) Little or no diacritic use at all except in cases when a preponderance of all types of sources use them (i.e., following usage similar to that of newspapers)

2) Diacritic use on an ad hoc basis but consistency across categories (e.g., use diacritics for Vietnamese foods and terms but not for places in Vietnam)

3) Status quo — diacritic use on an ad hoc basis decided on a case-by-case basis with different weight given to different types of sources

4) Diacritic use on most articles unless name has been nativised (e.g. Viet Cong, Ho Chi Minh City)

Survey Other Options

  • support option 4 this is the one I would support as a default. We'd have to establish wide use of a name w/o diacritics to make the case for stripping them. There are a number of obvious ones (like you've listed above), but the bulk of other VN articles that I've looked at, I was not familiar with and googling doesn't find a lot of usage.--KarlB (talk) 17:39, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support option 4 - We have the techology, so let's use it! As has been pointed out, Vietnamese is a tonal language and the correct use of diacritics is vital for those who understand Vietnamese. Use of diacritics will also help ensure that IPA pronunciations are correct for those that understand that system. For the rest of us (me included), we'll just read the words sans diacritics. Words commonly Latinized should be housed at non-diacritic titles. Appropriate redirects should be provided in all cases. Mjroots (talk) 22:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 4 more or less, though it's not really much different from 3 or the status quo. The problem is just in reaching agreement on which names have been "nativized"; otherwise there would be no basis for dropping diacritics, would there? Some editors have a different approach to it than others do, which is why it seems rather ad hoc. Dicklyon (talk) 23:01, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Probably support 4 - same as for Czech, Maltese, Turkish I still haven't really made my mind up, what little time is available for this has been spent looking at the the most ridiculous anglicizations in the category:Vietnamese words and phrases category and diverted by the shenanigans surrounding the Can Tho RM. But it's been brought to my attention (by Karl B) that the initial Chicago math professor Ngo Bao Chau RM was deeply flawed, given that his own Chicago website, New Scientist and math papers use diacritics. The Vo Chi Cong RM similarly missed his English obituary using accents. The Dang Huu Phuc RM there's not much to go but naturally his CD covers. And to be honest that RM was messed around a bit by the "license" given by Jimbo's comment, which is awkward when J and W are "diacritics" in the Vietnamese alphabet, and yet vi.wp doesn't have "Đim-bo Ưêirs", Jimbo could easily have picked a Czech, Maltese, Turkish example - and would we then have 1000+ page moves for Czech, Maltese, Turkish? It's on that question that Joy (Shallot)'s frequent complaint about anglicisation of names being xenophobic sticks. Why single out Vietnamese? I think the thing I really notice is that Vietnamese English-publication sources are beginning to use the accents - like Vietweek, Baomoi, scholarly western books - at exactly the same time en.wp has been pulled in the opposite direction. And then there's Grenouille vert's point about ambiguity which I already agreed with. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:16, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • None of the above. How many more years does WP want to lose editors and waste time on an issue that splits the community right down the middle? A few lines of code can solve this for good, see my suggestions below. Or do editors and admins prefer to continue to argue and block or ban? MakeSense64 (talk) 06:37, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support option 4 exactly per In ictu oculi's rationale. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 09:07, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support option 4 Removing the diacritics causes LOSS of information, keeping them (and adding redirects when necessary) not only informs, but loses none. Also, we'd be avoiding systemic bias in favor of the latin alphabet.... Zaldax (talk) 19:16, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Option 4, please. All part of educational, informative, interesting, useful, comprehensive. And see my comment up in the survey. (and opposed to the further silly options, below.) Br'er Rabbit (talk) 01:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Definitely Option 4, per In ictu oculi, without diacritics sometimes hard to identify the native spellings. ༆ (talk) 21:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Opinion 4. Due to heavy reliance on diacritcs, without diacritcs Vietnamese is a nonsense group of characters. Михаил Александрович Шолохов (talk) 12:12, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Comment Other Options

Various Vietnam-based news sites have opened in recent years and a few use diacritics. I would not think of it in terms of a trend toward greater use. If we are to consult the usage of a Vietnam-based site, surely it should be the most comprehensive and authoritative such site, which is Viet Nam News. Perhaps not everyone is aware of Jimbo's thoughts on the issue of Dang Huu Phuc vs. Đặng Hữu Phúc, so I will link to them. Does this proposal imply that even if a subject is given in Britannica and other encyclopedias without diacritics, we might still use a spelling given only in Vietnamese-language sources? This is quite far the idea the should, you know, "use English" and all that. The editors of National Geographic say that Vietnamese diacritics are too "distracting" to include, and they can be considered the authorities on the subject of how to deal the scripts of various languages. I don't worry about whether the marks are distracting or not. To me, the issue is that the title should provide accurate information: It should tell the reader what this subject is called in real-world English, and it follow the usage of the best available sources. Kauffner (talk) 05:08, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

As you know, wikipedia does *not* have a bias towards online sources. In this case, your example of Viet Nam news is excellent; as you know, they *do* use diacritics in their print version. Here is a recent example, from 2010: No diacritics in online article; Diacritics in print article. To me, this establishes that their non-use of diacritics in the online version may have more to do with technology, staffing, costs, or perhaps user interface issues. That they have no fear of using diacritics in the English-language printed version, to me supports that Wikipedia should do the same. Now, they also use Việt Nam and Hà Nội, which I don't think we should use since those terms are sufficiently anglicized. Someone who lives in VN should stop by their offices and ask them why they have chosen to not use diacritics in the online version - their answer may be illuminating. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:59, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure that these questions relate to the RfC, but I'll do my best to answer them. If you have been reviewing my old posts, you know that at one time I considered the print edition of VNN to be more official than the Web site. But I do not think this way anymore. To anyone outside of Vietnam, there is only the Web site. As the VNN site has to compete with other similar sites, it must provide news in the form that English speakers want to read it, and that includes stripping off diacritics. As a printed English-language paper, VNN has no significant competition. So the print edition is stuck in a communist-era time warp, full of headlines and unreadable articles like, "Prime Minister visits Đồng Nai province" and "Inflation lower than expected again this month." In short, they treat the readers like mushrooms, keep them in the dark, and feed them diacritics. (I hope nobody tells Trinh Thanh Thuy I said that. I don't need any trouble with VNN.) Check out VietnamPlus, VNA's most recent creation. As you can see, the new Vietnam is not demanding that English-speakers learn the Vietnamese alphabet. Kauffner (talk) 12:54, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Provisional discussion for those in favour of Vietnamese spelling

As Zaldax says, we need to move on. The below is Provisional discussion for those in favour of full Vietnamese spelling. Those who do not agree with diacriticis for Vietnamese are in the minority of those who have responded and have also indicated disagreement with how en.wp treats French or Czech. I realise the strength of feelings against diacritics en toto among this group, but I'm going to request to keep discussion on the general principle of diacritics above this "let's make a start line". I personally will not be responding to any comments about Spanish, Japanese or Czech, below this line. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:00, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Let's make a start

Okay we have broad consensus for treating Vietnamese as en.wp treats French or Czech:

The options should be editing styles used by real world publishers, like Britannica/Columbia style, New York Times style, or AP style. Asking whether en.wp should treat Vietnamese the same as French or Czech just gives you an answer that you're looking for. Kauffner (talk) 13:33, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Is there actually any need for a Vietnamese naming convention? There is no French naming convention, and the Czech one has been labeled "historic" since 2006 : Category:Wikipedia naming conventions. Article titles for these languages are handled just fine by our general WP:AT policy, and the article title section under discussion here looks rather redundant to me. Geographic names are already handled well by WP:PLACE, which doesn't leave all that much Vietnamese titles that WP:AT cannot deal with. MakeSense64 (talk) 14:26, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but this is ridiculous. "Broad concensus" is something quite different from a "majority" among the handful of editors that have somehow appeared on this little watched naming convention page. First you have been wearing down editors who disagree with you, with endless repetitions of the same arguments and questions. When enough of them have left in disgust, then you declare "broad concensus" and start a new section that tries to limit the discussion to "for those in favour of Vietnames spelling". Is this how concensus-building works those days? If starting sections with titles "discussion for those who are in favour of .." is not POV-pushing, then what is?
Here is the problem: "those who favour ...." are not based in NPOV. Wikipedia doesn't "favour" anything, it is neither for nor against diacritics, as is clearly expressed in our current policies.
When we try to write or rewrite a naming convention, then it is not about holding a local poll who favours diacritics or not. It is about applying our existing policies to the specific case on the table (in this case: article titles for Vietnamese names and words). What we add or change here, should be in line with our general naming policies, otherwise we would be introducing a policy conflict. Titles for Vietnamese names should simply depend on English-language usage, just like we do for other languages. A broad RfC on a proposal to retain diacritics for all names, was not accepted last year. And we shouldn't use a rejected proposal as the basis for changing the Vietnamese naming convention. Our existing policies should be the starting point, not the personal opinions of editors like you and me. Concensus-building means we try together to make sense of the question on the basis of our existing policy (even if we may not personally agree with some of these policies). That's what is not happening here, and that's why the discussion has not progressed.
MakeSense64 (talk) 07:29, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • MakeSense64: I agree with you 100%, and welcome back. Don't give in to intimidation, and continue to think first of making Wikipedia accessible and useful to the majority of its users. Wikipedia is not about using difficult technical words without explanation, or using complex diacritics or Chinese / Japanese / Korean characters without explanation, in order to show one's superiority and so tell the majority of Wikipedia users "you guys are ignorant twits, go away!" Wikipedia is not about totally eliminating all highly technical words, complex diacritics or Chinese / Japanese / Korean characters either. Wikipedia is about accessibility, welcoming users, and treating them gently and with kindness and patience, using highly technical words or unfamiliar foreign words only in moderation and with adequate explanation, not ramming stuff down users' throats, and not trying to impose international conformity where such conformity doesn't exist.
  • IIO recently said on his own talk page that "(for) any Swedish or Czech article too, (as well as certain Vietnamese names) full-spelling (i.e. with diacritics) will always be in the minority". So he is willfully ignoring what he knows is widely-accepted English usage in order to cram Wikipedia with diacritics, his own POV.
  • A fairer census question than the above, if I may suggest one, would be something like, "Have you stopped beating your wife, answer only Yes or No". LittleBen (talk) 07:47, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • What we really need to do is take a good look from the perspective of our main naming criteria WP:CRITERIA, which is a policy. For example one of them is (quoting): "Naturalness – Titles are those that readers are likely to look for or search with as well as those that editors naturally use to link from other articles. Such titles usually convey what the subject is actually called in English."
Is anybody going to make the case that these Vietnamese diacritics are "natural" for an English-language reader? Will English readers "search" for the anglicized or the native spelling of Vietnamese terms? This really tells us we should prefer the anglicized version of Vietnames names and words, if there is one. The native spelling(s) of a word or name is always given in the lede anyway, so every type of wp reader is being "served". MakeSense64 (talk) 08:21, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

@Ben and MakeSense64: I see now. I have to admit that your points is quite reasonable, and quite strong. But to me, using disambig page/methods for different Latinized names is really not right, and it will certainly happen when we delete the diacritcs in Vietnamese names. Making disambig pages for the two name Đan Chu and Dân Chủ ? That thing is totally nonsense, but it will certainly happen with the policy of abandon the diacritcs. Ah, one more thing, I have a very bad idea that all of you, both side, are debating so intensely that you all are beginning to attack and insult each others. Everybody, please keep calm. With respects. Михаил Александрович Шолохов (talk) 08:42, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

@Sholokhov. That's a common misunderstanding. We do not have any policy of delete or abandon the diacritics. Just like we do not have any policy that asks us to add diacritics (when there are none). WP just reflects what English-language sources do. Broadly speaking: if for a given name/word most English-language sources retain diacritics, then wp retains them too... if for another name/word most sources remove the diacritics, then wp uses that rendering.
So, it will vary from case to case. Other common renderings that are not retained as the title will always get redirects, and disambiguation pages are created as needed. That is long standing wp practice. The only problem is that we seem to have editors who basically refuse to stick to that policy.
We all know very well that Vietnamese diacritics are not natural for an English-language reader. So, then why all this effort to push more such diacritics in en.wp? What purpose is being served by that? That question is apparently never being answered. We are not here to serve the Vietnamese audience, do we?
MakeSense64 (talk) 11:02, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The next time iio claims he knows Vietnamese, I'm certainly going have to bring up the ao-dai-means-long-shirt blooper. (Why put any translation in a guideline?) Guidelines are supposed to reflect usage in the articles. The ao dai article doesn't have diacritics in the title, and this follows the usage Oxford and other dictionaries. Kauffner (talk) 11:15, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Question for those opposed to use of Vietnamese script. Can someone please show on en.wp a non-Vietnamese Latin alphabet language article title (not an exonym) which has diacritics removed. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:12, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Why not read you own comment at the start of this section? You said you won't comment anymore about Spanish, Czech and so on... Now, less than 10 hours later you are already asking for examples from other languages again. Can you please stop wasting other editors' time? We are here to look into Vietnamese. And we are supposed to do it on the basis of our existing policies. MakeSense64 (talk) 14:21, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
As you can see, that isn't all I said, what I said was this:

As Zaldax says, we need to move on. The below is Provisional discussion for those in favour of full Vietnamese spelling. Those who do not agree with diacriticis for Vietnamese are in the minority of those who have responded and have also indicated disagreement with how en.wp treats French or Czech. I realise the strength of feelings against diacritics en toto among this group, but I'm going to request to keep discussion on the general principle of diacritics above this "let's make a start line". I personally will not be responding to any comments about Spanish, Japanese or Czech, below this line. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:00, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

And what I was hoping for was that the anti-French, Czech name group, or those who can't distinguish Japanese from Latin alphabet, would have the good grace to let the majority of those who responded discuss without drowning it out. But that's not going to happen because we've now got 5 editors who do not accept the consensus of en.wp on French, Czech etc. and don't have any common ground with the majority of respondents to this RfC.
So if you're going to take over this section of the Talk page as well then I ask the same question as always: Question for those opposed to use of Vietnamese script. Can someone please show on en.wp a non-Vietnamese Latin alphabet language article title (not an exonym) which has diacritics removed. Simple question. Answer that and then we'll talk. Good bye. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:09, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Quote: "we've now got 5 editors who do not accept the consensus of en.wp on French, Czech etc. and don't have any common ground with the majority of respondents to this RfC".
  • I don't see that as the main problem. Maybe the main problem is that you don't seem to have any common ground with the majority of Wikipedia users and supporters. Maybe trying to intimidate and overwhelm them—and make Wikipedia much less user-friendly and accessible—satisfies your own ego, but is not good for Wikipedia? LittleBen (talk) 15:21, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
LittleBenW, no, that's not it. Please see wikt:majority and do some math. Then please answer the question in pink. Regards. And goodbye. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:34, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I get these questions every day and I certainly don't answer them. Where's my "goodbye"? Kauffner (talk) 17:58, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Enough with the personal attacks. On both sides. I am rapidly losing patience, as are others here I'm sure. How can we possibly expect to get anywhere if we're going to stoop to that level. Please, keep your cool and address the arguments, not the editors. Zaldax (talk) 01:21, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Let's make another provisional start..

Okay - those who formed part of the majority - we have broad consensus for treating Vietnamese as en.wp treats French or Czech:

@ Zaldax, DJSasso, those among the majority favouring Vietnamese diacritics it seems to make sense to start where agreement is easiest in Category:Vietnamese words and phrases. How do you feel about this initial edit this diff (note the discuss tag)? In ictu oculi (talk) 13:12, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with it. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 01:21, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Good, thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:41, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Census - Finer definition of scale for diacritics view

Preference User
(A) Use Diacritics in Vietnamese titles and text

Treat as West European, Scandinavian,
East-European and Turkish BLP and geo titles
(e.g. use Viet Nam News English print edition MOS)
except English exonyms for Saigon and
Hanoi (also Schwenkel Bloomington MOS)

Title: Trương Tấn Sang
Lede: Trương Tấn Sang
Body: Trương Tấn Sang

  • AjaxSmack 17:34, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In ictu oculi 22 July (UTC)
  • P.T. Aufrette (talk) 06:24, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Br'er Rabbit (talk) 00:57, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Itsmejudith (talk) 16:35, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Colonies Chris (talk) 21:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Dicklyon (talk) 15:34, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Grenouille vert (talk) 17:02, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Obiwankenobi / KarlB (talk) 20:46, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Mjroots (talk) 22:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 09:07, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Zaldax (talk) 19:16, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
  • ༆ (Tibetan caret mark) 5 August 2012
  • Agathoclea (talk) 16:02, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
  • DJSasso 16:45, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Kusma 19:11, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • GFHandel 23:03, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Ogress smash!
  • μηδείς (talk) 04:27, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Михаил Александрович Шолохов (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • (talk)‎ 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Minh Tâm-T41-BCA (talk) 04:47, 15 August 2012 (UTC)--
The following expressed support with Kauffner's proposal,
  • Kauffner (talk) 19:08, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Yopienso (talk) 16:47, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Shrigley (talk) 20:51, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
  • User:Benlisquare
  • Colipon+(Talk) 18:46, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • MakeSense64
  • Formerip (talk) 14:12, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Fifelfoo
  • Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:13, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • NULL ‹talk› ‹edits› 22:50, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • BritishWatcher (talk) 13:55, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Fyunck(click) (talk) 07:21, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • LittleBen (talk) 11:36, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
(B) Do not use diacritics in Vietnamese titles and text body

Treat Vietnamese differently from Czech, all other Latin-alphabet
languages (e.g. use National Geographic MOS)

Title = Truong Tan Sang
Lede = Truong Tan Sang (Vietnamese Trương Tấn Sang)
Body = Truong Tan Sang

  • [Name here please]
(C) Do not use diacritics in Vietnamese titles and text body

Use only French, German, Spanish, accents (e.g. use NY Times, Economist MOS)

Title = Truong Tan Sang
Lede = Truong Tan Sang (Vietnamese Trương Tấn Sang)
Body = Truong Tan Sang

  • Yopienso (talk) 16:47, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
  • [Name here please]
(D) Do not use diacritics in Vietnamese titles and text body

Never use accents (e.g. use USA Today, Daily Express MOS)

Title = Truong Tan Sang
Lede = Truong Tan Sang (Vietnamese Trương Tấn Sang)
Body = Truong Tan Sang

  • NULL ‹talk› ‹edits› 22:50, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • BritishWatcher (talk) 13:55, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • [Name here please]
  • [Name here please]
(E) Other
  • Quis separabit? 16:04, 24 July 2012 (UTC) [not titles, yes text]
  • LittleBen 17 August 2012 [NOT titles, YES in body if properly explained with Template:CJKV or Wiktionary link as appropriate]

I've tried to prepare this table in good faith, to take on board all suggestions, but it's still my table - just as Kauffner's RM phrasing is his phrasing, and I take responsibility for the contents. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:52, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Comments on census

Please do no more than add signature in (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) above, to prevent table distortion. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:28, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

User:Prolog/Diacritical marks may be helpful explanation of what is meant by "Economist MOS" etc. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:43, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

I believe it's way off-topic to bring in all these other languages; the question is about Vietnamese diacritical markings in the English Wikipedia. (I also responded on my talk page.) That said, using diacritics for the subject of a biography is far more acceptable than littering a whole article with diacritics. In other words, if they are used for only one name in an article and maybe a few other phrases, eyes accustomed to English don't strain like they do in the article to which I initially responded. This sentence is over the top, imo: "Diệm attempted to travel to Huế to dissuade Bảo Đại from joining Hồ, but was arrested by the Việt Minh along the way and exiled to a highland village near the border."
Real-life example: I married a Hispanic and took his surname. When I'm speaking in Spanish, I pronounce the name with its proper Spanish accent. When I'm speaking in English, I anglicize it to avoid the awkwardness of introducing a foreign pronunciation. He does likewise. That's what I'm asking for here, but in visual form, not aural. Yopienso (talk) 04:46, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Well no one is forcing anyone to have a view. But others think Spanish etc. are relevant, since Vietnamese isn't the only Latin-alphabet language on en.wp. Maybe now is a good time to form an opinion on the current 100% use of Spanish names for Spanish people on en.wp? Or not have a view. Either way. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:35, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
You've misunderstood me. I never thought or said anyone is forcing me to have a view. I'm not saying anything about forming an opinion of using Spanish on en.wp. All I was doing was using an example in order to illustrate a broad principle. I'll try again.
Let's pretend I am bilingual in Vietnamese and in English. When a Vietnamese asks me (in Vietnamese) which is my first language, I'm going to say "tiếng Anh," not "English." If an Australian asks me what language I speak other than English, I'm going to say, "Vietnamese," not "tiếng Việt." (The only reason I would say "tiếng Việt" to an English-speaker would be to be cute or to show off. An encyclopedia isn't cute and doesn't show off.) Get it? You don't have to agree with the application of my logic, but I'd like the satisfaction of knowing you understand my logic. Yopienso (talk) 07:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Apologies, I'm slightly lost. But that's okay, thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:55, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

A unanimous vote in favor of IIO's position. This is a joke, right? For most of these "options", who can even figure out what they mean? Kauffner (talk) 15:42, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

We'll see, the table isn't filled in yet. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:22, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Kauffner, I see you collapsed the gallery, I have restored it. It is there for a reason, even if you do not like it. Some of us want to know why Vietnamese articles, particularly BLPs, hence the singers, have been singled out - by you - for removal of diacritics, when 100% of other Latin-alphabet BLPs have them. You have already boasted of how you moved 1000s of articles, you have done so using a combination of methods ranging from dubious to serious, now should accept the subject being reviewed without you running or setting the agenda or deciding what other users see or don't see. Please understand this. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:32, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Have to say, I couldn't figure out what they mean. But then, IIO can't figure out what I mean, either. Guess we have a language problem. :-) Yopienso (talk) 16:37, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi Yopienso, I suppose that the census boxes assume too much familiarity with the wider issue of diacritic usage on en.wp. I have now linked in User:Prolog/Diacritical marks for background. Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:42, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Kauffner, the vote in favor of IIO's position wouldn't be unanimous if you and other editors who disagree would simply add your name to the census under the position you support. No other editor can, or indeed should, do that for you if you are unwilling to do so yourself. Granted, this census isn't binding, but if you have no right to object on the grounds that the near-unanimous "vote" is misleading if you or any other objecting editors have not bothered to vote. Zaldax (talk) 14:54, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The above census box deleted by Wolbo, and restored. Wolbo, please don't do that again. None of those who expressed opposition to Vietnamese diacritics is in any way obliged to put their opposition into the wider context of en.wp usage, but at least the option exists to do so. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:23, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Why was the census box deleted again, Wolbo? You were explicitly asked not to delete the table again, and yet you did so. A simple straw poll relating to various proposals is not a violation of WP:NOTVOTE, but instead a way of gauging support for the various options which may become the new naming conventions if a consensus is reached. I have restored the census below; please see my comments further down the page (section: Other) before you revert another editor's comments on this talk page. Doing so is not only rude, but it opens you up to accusations of violating WP:GAME. So please, let's all continue discussing this clearly contentious issue in a civil, rational manner, and stop suppressing the discussion by altering other editors comments on a talk page! Seriously folks, it's getting ridiculous. Please, let's just relax and not make this unfortunate lapse in etiquette more of an issue than it already is, okay? Zaldax (talk) 14:54, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

To "In ictu oculi": Why did you just add "in titles and text" to the "Census" above? Isn't it fraudulent to change things after the fact like that? Surely what is being discussed is only whether it's appropriate to use diacritics in article titles. It has already been agreed that the foreign-language equivalent of romanized words in the article title should (where possible) appear in the first sentence of the body copy, like in most articles with romanized Chinese and Japanese names in the title. LittleBen (talk) 13:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
LittleBenW - no, the edit is not "fraudulent" (you have the opportunity to apologise for that, unless you are randomly warring), the edit was for clarity, following the distinction made on titles and texts. Please re-read the conversation above and below before making any more posts of this nature. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:10, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The RfC proposal by Kauffner above is quite clear in proposing only that article titles use accepted English-language practice—i.e. usually no diacritics—not that diacritics be totally eliminated from both title and text. Quote: "I want to emphasize that even when a title is anglicized, the Vietnamese name of the subject is still displayed prominently. The subject's "full name", including diacritics, is given boldfaced in the opening, per WP:FULLNAME. This format combines the advantages of both systems. Monolingual readers aren't put off by the title, and those who are interested in diacritics, tones, and local spellings can get this information from the opening".
  • For you to modify your "survey" after the fact to suggest otherwise is surely grossly dishonest if not fraudulent. LittleBen (talk) 13:38, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I am losing humour quickly with your personal attacks. Read the context. That clarification was put in for those like yourself who are not reading. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:54, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

How a person spells his own name

One of the most obvious things to remove/replace in the article titles section is this passage (quoting):
"When the article refers to a person who spells their own name without diacritics, write it in this form. When the article refers to a person who spells their own name in Vietnamese with diacritics, use the Vietnamese name."
Wikipedia doesn't care how people spell their own name. What we look into is how their name is spelled in reliable sources. Figuring out how people spell their own name is not something that can be done easily and objectively anyway. Some people may use more than one rendering of their own name depending on the circumstances. MakeSense64 (talk) 14:34, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Agree, it's unpractical, possibly original research, and disregards the fundamental importance of reliable sourcing. That sentence should never have made it into the convention, at least not without a clear qualification that it needs to be based on reliable sourcing.--Wolbo (talk) 14:40, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree. For sporting figures anyway, the romanized names cited most frequently by international tournament organizers will surely be the names that the players themselves have agreed to use. Tournament organizers are not going to invent names for players, and players are not going to insist that only Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese versions of their names be used in international sporting events either. LittleBen (talk) 15:10, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Strongly disagree. That passage is being taken out of context, and used to imply something that isn't the case. Besides, why shouldn't Wikipedia care how someone spells their own name? "Reliable sources" aren't always reliable. Just because they do something poorly, doesn't mean we can't improve upon it. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 01:24, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

The reason is that WP prefers "independent" sources. And what independent sources do with the spelling of foreign names varies from language to language. For example, go tell the Latvians or the Czech that they should stick to how the person spells his own name and they will just laugh: lv:Stīvs Džobss and cs:Angela Merkelová.
Some languages retain the native spelling of most names from other languages, and other languages are fairly quick to change them. English is rather quick to anglicize names. It is what it is. WP generally avoids the position of "improving on our sources" :.MakeSense64 (talk) 06:02, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
That is untrue. English today is retaining the original names unlike the old days where a Battenberg became a Mountbatten. The Czech example mentioned above is equal to the English Mrs Angela Merkel as the ová indicates the female identity. In English you would not write Frau Angela Merkel either. Anglicising would be to call her Angie, something that happened to Andrew Sachs. Agathoclea (talk) 08:17, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
So, you agree that we base our article titles not on how a person spells his own name, but on how our reliable sources spell his (or her) name? If it is a recent name and English sources retain the native spelling, then that will become the title of our article. If it is an older name and reliable English sources used to change it, then that becomes the title we use. Usage decides, not how the person spells (or spelled) his own name. MakeSense64 (talk) 12:14, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

  • MakeSense64, I agree that the rule should be changed to "adopt the spelling used by reputable English sources". But you really need to justify your opinion with examples of why "how a person spells his own name (in his own language)" is a stupid rule. Here are some such examples: The name "Edison Arantes do Nascimento" would not be recognized, and so would be a stupid article title in English Wikipedia, however the name Pelé (for the same person) is recognizable to virtually everybody. Likewise, the name "Manuel Sánchez Montemayor" (an article title in Spanish Wikipedia) would probably not be recognized in English. To use just "Manuel Sánchez" on Spanish Wikipedia would be ambiguous if not insulting, because there are many people called "Manuel Sánchez", so it is probably also insulting to use the abbreviated Spanish name on English Wikipedia. This tennis player is known as "Manuel Sanchez" in English, so the best article title would surely be "Manuel Sanchez (tennis)" (without diacritics). Likewise, Japanese custom is to use family name (surname) first and then "first name", but in English Wikipedia you should use the customary English "first name" "surname" order.
  • Summary: International sporting figures are usually known by "first" and "last" names (usually English) in English newspaper, radio and TV reports. Where necessary, such names (used in article titles) should be followed by the name of the sport in brackets, so that there is no ambiguity. (Manuel Sanchez is a common name). LittleBen (talk) 03:00, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
No, because we still use Mountbatten and not Battenberg. Usage changes over time, and the modern trend is towards keeping the original name. It's a part of globalization. Zaldax (talk) 18:33, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
And everybody missed the Battenberg point. His name actually changed. As Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha bacame Winsor at the same time. Iwas explaining anglicising which is not removing diacritics but translating one way or another ie Dai/David Wilhelm/William Ernst/Earnest Hiob/Job ect pp Agathoclea (talk) 20:40, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Oooooh. I'm dumb, my bad. Gotcha. Well, you're still right. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 00:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Czech, as well as several other languages, changes the endings of all nouns, depending on gender and case. English does not. If you're going to say something like "For example, go tell the Latvians or the Czech that they should stick to how the person spells his own name and they will just laugh: lv:Stīvs Džobss and cs:Angela Merkelová." to dismiss my point, actually learn something about the language first. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 18:31, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Yep, including the names of persons. Places, too. Any and all nouns can be changed (some are not, but it depends entirely on spelling) in Czech depending on the gender and grammatical case. At some point, someone perhaps could create an English-language MoS for those countries/languages, but it isn't really an issue now. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 16:49, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I have added a reply to MakeSense64 under his post above. LittleBen (talk) 03:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Truong Tan Sang

Despite being Vietnam's top leader, Truong Tan Sang remains a most obscure figure who has gotten virtually no international media attention. The government here is quite secretive about these things and few Vietnamese know anything about Sang beyond the fact that he is the president. So I was surprised to discover that IIO has added his name as an example in numerous places above, perhaps in preparation for an RM. I don't think anyone else has expressed a preference regarding Sang specifically. The article is mainly my work, and it has always had an ASCII title. Did anyone think that this campaign was ever about anything other than knife twisting? Kauffner (talk) 17:44, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

  • This RfC has served its purpose. I don't quite know how, given the way it was canvassed but surprisingly there were a largish majority in favour of the way en.wp was - with full Vietnamese titles for Vietnamese people and places. It would be good to have some clarity on the spectrum among the opposes. And that's why I prepared that census form, to aid understanding, that's all. Like all tables like that it was rough and ready when started and has been improved by input. The choice of Vietnam's leader relates to a natural choice as when there were RfCs 18 months ago on Lech Wałęsa, Gerhard Schröder and François Mitterrand. It's fairly simple. As to "sticking in a knife" that's a silly comment. There's no need to stick in a knife, other users have already expressed plentiful disagreement with Kauffner's moves. Anyway, this RfC has served it's purpose, it has indicated a largish majority in favour of the way en.wp was. Someone who wishes to count up can please count up. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:38, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • IIO, are you saying, "I have personally made sure that virtually every single one of the European articles has diacritics in the article title, even though I am well aware that for some European languages it is not common practice to use diacritics in English media. So this Wikipedia usage justifies diacritics usage as right in every situation, including Vietnamese. I was hoping to fix Vietnamese as well"? LittleBen (talk) 03:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
      • No what I said was this:

This RfC has served its purpose. I don't quite know how, given the way it was canvassed but surprisingly there were a largish majority in favour of the way en.wp was - with full Vietnamese titles for Vietnamese people and places. It would be good to have some clarity on the spectrum among the opposes. And that's why I prepared that census form, to aid understanding, that's all. Like all tables like that it was rough and ready when started and has been improved by input.

In ictu oculi (talk) 04:17, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
But the purpose of a RfC is not to find "majority", it is to find "consensus". Quite a different thing. And to find consensus needs dialogue and addressing relevant questions... which hasn't happened here.
Looking at the "article titles" section, sentence by sentence:
* first sentence with examples of exonyms: is redundant, because naming of places is already covered much better by WP:PLACE
* 2nd sentence says that editors need to find consensus. That is as good as saying nothing at all, because we always need consensus.
* 3rd sentence is striked out
* 4rd and 5th sentence are worthless, because basing titles on how the person spells their own name is not backed by any of our policies.
* 6th sentence is also redundant, because it just repeats the common practice of making redirects for significant alternative names.
Conclusion: we can do away with this entire section because it doesn't say anything that is not already covered by our general AT policy. Per WP:CREEP. MakeSense64 (talk) 05:52, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Yep, we should not need that WP:CREEP, but we do because there are some people who think they can find loopholes to dumb down wikipedia. Agathoclea (talk) 06:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

But it are always the little watched guideline pages (like this one) that are used to serve "loopholes", not the main policy pages (which are much more widely watched). A proposal to use native spelling for all titles in languages that use latin script (which includes Vietnamese), was rejected in a broad RfC last year. So, putting that in the guideline here would go against broader community consensus. That's simply a non-starter. Current policy is that titles depend on usage in English language sources, so that's what should be done with Vietnamese too. The WP:AT policies are sufficient to cover Vietnamese titles, and the article title section we have here is redundant. MakeSense64 (talk) 06:49, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
If you are referring to this RfC, Vietnamese was specifically excluded from the proposed list of languages for which diacritics would be used. Kauffner (talk) 07:34, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction. But if there was not even a consensus to mandate the use of diacritics in all names from languages which have relatively few diacritics (compared to Vietnamese), then the logical implication is that there is probably even less support for mandating diacritics in all Vietnamese names. Vietnamese diacritics are a lot more "unnatural" for the general English-language audience than for example French diacritics. And naturalness is one of the main criteria we consider for article titles.
This is how consensus building is supposed to work: look into our existing policies and relevant recent RfC and use common sense to see what they mean for the topic in question. This cannot be replaced by trying to outnumber each other, and then declare a "majority". People who don't understand this are welcome to (re)read WP:VOTE. MakeSense64 (talk) 07:59, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

No one here is trying to circumvent consensus, except possibly those of you who keep pointing to other discussions to justify your own points. Consensus can change. This RFC has been listed on the Village pump before, there has been a fair bit of canvassing, and even still those who support the use of diacritics have formed a rough consensus. Frankly, your dismissal of this RFC as hopeless and meaningless suggests that the only result you'll accept is your position, and that's insulting to all of us who have spent days discussing and debating these proposals. Rather than resorting to these sorts of tactics, try new arguments; those you've put forward have thus far been rejected. Try again, or accept the consensus and help draw up the new policy. Right now, this reeks of stalling. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 12:52, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

The purpose of the Vietnamese naming conventions guideline is to describe how long-established guidelines and policies like WP:UE, WP:EN, and WP:DIACRITICS apply to Vietnamese. This RfC should not be used to create policy. In any case, I don't think that there was a clear majority for any particular proposal, even for "Option 4". Option 4 was, "Diacritic use on most articles unless name has been nativised". Does someone want to add that to the guideline? Frankly, this doesn't sound very "guidelineish", and I have to wonder if the editors who voted for this option actually expected this language to be added. Kauffner (talk) 14:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
So then why did you bother starting this RFC in the first place? This RFC is to determine how we will handle Vietnamese names, etc with respect to diacritics. Simple as that. With regards to "No clear majority", see the Straw poll posted later down the page, under the "Census" section. Even though you and a couple of other editors have not added your stance, there is still a pretty large majority in favor of "A" (aka "Option 4"). Furthermore, Option 4 was not "this is the exact wording", it was an indication of support. No one expected that to be the exact wording, because it was clear that it wouldn't be. I'm trying to AGF, but at this point I'm really having a hard time not seeing comments like yours as an attempt to deflect attention and delay progress. The next step in the RFC, as I've said before, is to draw up the exact wording; contributions on this would be appreciated (Specifically, what is the threshold for determining if a name has an exonym in common use sans diacritics, i.e. Hanoi, Saigon, etc.) Let's keep this productive, and try to move forward. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 16:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
@Zaldax. You may have noted that I hardly participated in the earlier discussion, until somebody announced a new start section. So, to blame me for the failure to reach a consensus is quite a stretch. It's not as if a consensus was being found while I kept away from the discussion. As others already pointed out, most people are sick of these diacritics discussions, and earlier broad RfC have typically resulted in a 50-50 split. This one is no exception. And as WP:VOTE points out, more polls may actually make it worse. Polls tend to live up to their name: they poll-arize.
Consensus building means that we have to try to find some agreement, not just within those that already have a given opinion, but also with those who have a different take. That means discussion and debate is required. I have brought a lot of different questions and policy based arguments that you could pick up on if you are interested in finding consensus. Nobody picked up on the "naturalness" point, or on what our current policies actually state, or on what earlier RfC has brought. When consensus is not found easily, then sometimes it is taken sentence by sentence, cutting it up in smaller steps. I tried to do that as well. You have not picked up on it either. There is only that much questions or new arguments I can bring. If nobody wants to discuss them, then it is hard to make the case that they are trying to engage in consensus-building. So be it. Sometimes a new consensus is not found, and then things just fall back on the existing policies.
Let's also not forget that the current consensus: let titles be decided mainly on the basis of English-language usage, is already a compromise solution. It doesn't satisfy everybody, but it probably satisfies the largest possible number of editors. MakeSense64 (talk) 07:33, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The census is a thoroughly dishonest piece of work. Everyone who wrote anything favorable about diacritics is counted as Option A. Some these "votes" weren't even in the RfC, but taken from IIO's talk page and other places. All the people who voted for Option 4 got listed under Option A, although the two proposals are significantly different. There are at least ten other editors who participated in the RfC, myself included, who for whatever reason don't appear in the chart at all. Kauffner (talk) 01:48, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, from what I heard recently, that's now all "part of how it goes" on wp. MakeSense64 (talk) 08:19, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Unassigned oppose diacritics voices in further definition census table

  • "The census is a thoroughly dishonest piece of work." - the census as it stands is an incomplete piece of work. The purpose was to put opposition to Vietnamese diacritic titles into context with the rest of en.wp.
  • "There are at least ten other editors who participated in the RfC, myself included, who for whatever reason don't appear in the chart at all." - in your case Kauffner, only you know why you don't appear. You have been repeatedly invited to indicate your view.
  • "Everyone who wrote anything favorable about diacritics is counted as Option A." - who specifically in A. do you feel has been misreprented?
  • "Some these "votes" weren't even in the RfC, but taken from IIO's talk page and other places." - I assume you mean Ogress, because I contacted Ogress as I read she didn't support, but she replied she did. This is 1 "vote" I tried to exclude, I tried to undercount rather than overcount.
I've inserted all the "oppose" voices into an over-box before the stratification regarding the overall context of en.wp. I count 23 vs 16 overall, which isn't a large majority, even allowing that the 16 are disproportionately those directly WP:CANVASSed. It would still be really helpful to understand how the view of the 16 fits in context, and it could actually be the one useful thing from the badly worded/loaded/canvassed RfC. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:42, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I see "Diacritics-neutral per current WP:AT and WP:UE policy" MakeSense64 (UTC), whatever. Leave it in census table. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:18, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It just shows what is explained very well in WP:VOTE, putting people in boxes not rarely puts consensus further out of reach. Editors get pushed into a "support" vs "oppose" camp, while in reality there is a spectrum of opinions and interpretations. MakeSense64 (talk) 05:25, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
@IIO. Reverted your coloring and adding of my name. There was a question there to better phrase the 2nd box, so I have taken up on it. Also bolded the main principle, like was done with the other options. Please, stop all this kind of disruptions. MakeSense64 (talk) 05:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
No, way, I prepared that census table in good faith, I have made several edits to it to try and reflect the input of yourself, but if you want your comment in the table then your signature goes next to it. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:49, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It was pointed out that your census is a dishonest piece of work. A question was there (by you) to clarify the position of the 2nd group in that table (where I found my name). Why do I need to see my name below an expression that unfairly represents my position?
If you insist on being the only one who can edit "your" census, then are you ready to add a phrasing that the editors in that group propose? My suggestion is : "Diacritics-neutral per current WP:AT and WP:UE policy". If none of the editors in that part of your census objects or brings a better idea, then are you going to add it? If not, then we will have to seriously question your "good faith" effort. MakeSense64 (talk) 06:15, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
MakeSense64, there comes a point when even responding to personal attacks and charges of "dishonesty" (sic) is not worth the effort. The census is in good faith, good faith editors can answer. I'm off to the gym. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:38, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Once again not answering fair questions... Duly noted. As long as you refuse to add a more neutral phrasing that the editors you put in that group can agree to, so long we have no other choice but see it as a dishonest piece of work. It's all up to you. Pointing out clear flaws in a piece of work is not a personal attack, it is criticism of the work itself. When mistake upon mistake is being made, and an editor refuses to correct them, then WP:COMPETENCE starts coming into the picture. Enjoy your workout. MakeSense64 (talk) 06:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no WP:COMPETENCE issue involved in being able to count, that 23 is more than 16, especially given that most who opposed Vietnamese were directly canvassed on the basis that they had already opposed Vietnamese to clarify their view. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:16, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Ao dai edit reverted, please discuss civily before deleting

reverted. I don't believe this essay will ever be appropriate to be a guideline because it is basically the work of a sole contributor with a minority (16 to 23 is a largish minority true) view. However reverting on the basis that the article cannot use the same word as many dictionaries, or wiktionary wikt:áo (actually shirt isn't there but "jacket, tunic" is) is disruptive. Obviously a man's shirt, the áo sơ mi or "áo chemise" means a man's shirt or chemise. But wikt:áo is till wikt:áo. This is a red herring to distract from wanting to enforce the minority 16 view against the majority 23 view of the RfC. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:16, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Áo dài is a single Vietnamese word and refers to a type of dress. There is no need to translate áo and dài separately, nor is there any straightforward way to translate them. Wikt? If you want to do translation, at least get a bilingual dictionary. Kauffner (talk) 08:45, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

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

RfC on spelling

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closing as no consensus given the discussion is too much of a mess to do anything else, and I don't think it is healthy to the project to just leave the discussion open. If people wish to continue I suggest a better question is formed at mediation and then the discussion is held in a more organised fashion. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:48, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Should the spelling of Vietnamese names follow the general usage of English-language reliable sources? Kauffner (talk) 16:11, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

I wish to propose that the following language be added to WP:Naming conventions (Vietnamese):

The spelling of Vietnamese names should follow the general usage of English-language reliable sources, for example Ngo Dinh Diem, Ho Chi Minh, and Saigon, not Ngô Đình Diệm, Hồ Chí Minh, and Sài Gòn. Consult Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Columbia, and Encarta.

This language is adapted from WP:NCGN#Widely_accepted_name, and the selection of references is copied from there. Columbia doesn't have enough material on Vietnam to be useful to the project, and the reference to Encarta looks odd, since it hasn't been published in years. I'd prefer to replace them with specialist works such as The History of Vietnam (2008) by Justin Corbin.

A provision of this kind may appear unnecessary and obvious, but there has recently been a series of RMs to move various titles to Vietnamese spellings. So a reaffirmation of the “use English" principle by the community may be useful at this point.

I want to emphasize that even when a title is anglicized, the Vietnamese name of the subject is still displayed prominently. The subject's "full name", including diacritics, is given boldfaced in the opening, per WP:FULLNAME. This format combines the advantages of both systems. Monolingual readers aren't put off by the title, and those who are interested in diacritics, tones, and local spellings can get this information from the opening. Kauffner (talk) 16:52, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Note: This RfC is related to "RFC: Names with diacritics and other non-ASCII letters: Should we permit, require, or prohibit ASCIIfied_versions?" at WT:MOS/Bio, and this ANI. LittleBen (talk) 02:51, 7 September 2012 (UTC)


  • Kauffner, it is incredibly disingenuous to say "there has recently been a series of RMs to move various titles to Vietnamese spellings". In fact, there has been a flood in the past few months, by *you*, to move hundreds of articles to spellings without diacritics, in many cases for articles that had diacritics for several years; and often with the rather drole comment: "Remove diacritics as is usual for Vietnamese biographies" (the only thing that makes this usual is your efforts to create facts on the ground).
  • In addition, after making these unilateral moves, you then edited the redirects, preventing editors from undoing the moves, leaving the only choice to be an RM. I am rather sure that this editing of the redirects was done with an explicit understanding that this would prevent a revert of your moves. Thus, I'm afraid this RfC is fatally flawed because you are actively pushing an agenda, and the above statement is not worded in a neutral fashion.
  • To wit, I oppose the addition of the language above. Instead, I would propose language such as the following:

Use of diacritics in Vietnamese names should follow the usage of context-appropriate sources, per WP:IRS. Thus, sources which never, as a rule, use *any* Vietnamese diacritics, should not be used as a reference for spelling of Vietnamese names. Instead, high-quality sources that are capable and willing to use Vietnamese diacritics should be used.

  • This is a specialty rule, that does not necessarily mirror that used in other naming conventions, because Vietnamese diacritics are often ignored even by major publishers (which do, on the other hand, publish using european diacritics). Wikipedia has no such limitations and we have access to VN volunteers (as pointed out in another conversation) that can help, so there's no reason to not use the proper spelling. This is not to say we should use them in words which have a well-established english spelling, such as Saigon or Hanoi, but for words which are more rare, high quality sources (and not just encyclopedias which have never used VN diacritics) should be used to determine proper spelling.--KarlB (talk) 17:45, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
So Britannica is a low-quality source because it doesn't use Vietnamese diacritics? If "high quality source" means only that it says what you want it say, that's the same as making it up as you go along. Who are these "high quality sources"? Give me some names — and hopefully not more "quality source" food articles from Thanh Nien News. WP:EN recommends "other encyclopedias and reference works, scholarly journals, and major news sources". Other encyclopedias and major media never use Vietnamese diacritics. They're not exactly common even in scholarly journals, although you can certainly find examples. I note that this proposal does not restrict the use of Vietnamese in any way, but simply reaffirms that we, "follow the general usage of English-language reliable sources." This is something that WP:DIACRITICS already stipulates. Kauffner (talk) 19:08, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say that Brittanica was a low-quality source. My claim is that since they have chosen to eschew VN diacritics, they are not a good source for VN diacritics. Please read WP:IRS more carefully.
The problem with your proposal is it is equivalent to saying remove diacritics from everything, because if Brittanica never uses VN diacritics, then the result will be always remove VN diacritics, which I don't think is desirable. Since Brittanica *does* use european accents, they are a good source for checking spelling and usage of names which have European accents in the original (for example, Brittanica would be a good source for Étienne Marcel vs Etienne Marcel or Copenhagen vs København. However, since they seem to have made an editorial decision to eschew VN diacritics, it does not mean Wikipedia should - no such decision has been made here. The best test is whether a source that *does* use VN diacritics declines to use them for a particular word; for example, I'm sure we could find books that use diacritics for Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu province, but that don't use them for Vietnam or Saigon. This is especially the case where a common english language usage has not been established; and if we look at the literally hundreds of page moves you have personally enacted, without broad consensus, over the past year, I'm sure there are many in there for which there is *not* a c"ommon english version, in which case they should all be moved back per Wikipedia:NCGN ("use the modern English name (or local name, if there is no established English name)"). This blog entry explains for example why the Economist doesn't use VN diacritics - bottom line it is a staffing issue.; Wikipedia has no such issues. --KarlB (talk) 20:46, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Malformed proposal question - It is meaningless to pose "Should the spelling of Vietnamese names follow the general usage of English-language reliable sources?" if "reliable" hasn't been defined. The WP:IRS "definition of reliable sources" states:
The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made and is the best such source for that context. In general, the more people engaged in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication. Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article, and should be appropriate to the claims made. If no reliable sources can be found on a topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.
(i) If WP:IRS is not taken onboard then this the same old issue that a sports website reliable for one statement being made (a hockey or tennis match result) is not reliable for spelling a Czech name. This proposal should start with an acceptance that en.wp spells European names fully both in title, lede, and text. Even with fairly strong resistance from a small group of editors who take the view that sports websites with no Czech accents are a reliable. A series of RMs - i.e. with community consensus - has pulled the "stick out" 100 or so tennis/hockey BLPs into line with the 100,000s of other Euro BLPs.
(ii) Then having started with that acceptance, a case should be made for why Latin-alphabet Asian languages should be treated differently?
These seem to be the two main issues. Otherwise this is a pointless rehash of ground already well-covered, if not covered to death. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:26, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
  • My proposal states that the Vietnamese name should appear boldface in the opening of the article. So the objection that it would "always remove VN diacritics" is overheated. Of course a consistent titling style is desirable. "No established usage" is not even one of the top five WP:NAMINGCRITERIA, so it should not override the need for consistency, English-language titling, recognizability, etc, etc. If it was some sort of super criteria, we would have Chinese villages at Chinese character titles. If a publication doesn't have the staff, of course they can't put the diacritics in. But this is not the only reason they are not used. BBC has a Vietnamese edition, so they obviously have the necessary technical capability and staff. For Vietnam-based sites like VNA, VietnamNet, or Thanh Nien, the original story is typically in written in Vietnamese and the diacritics are stripped off by a translator. In other words, it is actually more trouble for them to publish without diacritics than with. Thanh Nien`s English edition uses diacritics for food-related items, but not for other subjects. The paper has persumably made a policy decision to follow this unusual style. In general, we have no way of knowing why a source uses a particular spelling, nor is there any need for us to know. If the English-language sources don't use diacritics, we shouldn't use them, end of story. Putting them in anyway misrepresents usage to the reader.
In response to IIO, this proposal doesn't create a standard that treats Vietnamese names differently than some other language. The language about "the general usage of English-language reliable sources" is taken from WP:DIACRITICS and the list of references is from WP:NCGN. Of course, we do need a Vietnam-specific reference as well. I'd be happy to add Thanh Nien if you like. Using diacritics for European languages but not for Vietnamese is the style of Britannica and Columbia, both of which are already cited prominently in our guidelines. The encyclopedias adopted this style back in the 1970s because Vietnamese diacritics were considered intense and distracting. My project to standardize the spelling and format for Vietnamese titles arose from the last year's diacritics RfC. As far as the actual proposal went, the vote was sharply split. But those wanted to rewrite the guideline cited primarily Britannica and National Geographic, neither of which use Vietnamese diacritics. Kauffner (talk) 06:30, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
If you aren't going to recognise that en.wp uses French, German, Czech, Polish, Turkish etc. names, what is there to discuss?
In ictu oculi (talk) 07:00, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't what to make of this list. You plan to liberate these peoples from under my oppressive thumb? For most of these, I don't recall any edits or posts that could be considered remotely controversial. Kauffner (talk) 13:07, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
"liberate these peoples from under my oppressive thumb?"
No, I'm asking if you agree with the community consensus built by 1,000s of article-contributing editors that have produced en.wp's 3.9 million articles with French, German, Czech, Polish, Turkish etc. names being used. Because if your issue is with foreign names/words per se rather than just Vietnamese ones then we should be having an RfC here on French etc.
Do you recognise that en.wp uses French, German, Czech, Polish, Turkish etc. names?
It's a completely fair and straight question. Are you against French, German, Czech, Polish, Turkish too, or just Vietnamese diacritics? Please let us know what the starting point of your proposal is?
Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I think the issue is that *you* (and some others) consider VN diacritics to be ugly or off-putting (or as you say, intense or distracting) (although, I note from earlier discussions that you've changed your mind on this; a few years ago you seemed to be defending such diacritics) I think the bottom line is, the reason that some entities have chosen to not use VN diacritics has more to do with a combination of staffing, technical competency of the editors, cost, and audience factors, and less to do with correctness, which should be our focus as an encyclopedia. Also, they are still latin letters, and the slippery slope that ends in Chinese characters is a false argument; as is Jimmy's assertion that he doesn't know how to pronounce a VN name (nor do I, but I'm sure if I read a few articles it would go a long way to helping, and the diacritics/tone marks of course help). In addition, we have seen that in some sources which do use VN diacritics, they remove them for certain well known terms, which have become anglicized. So I think that is the metric we should use. Just as you wouldn't use a black and white book to determine which shades of blue were used by Picasso, we should not use sources that ignore VN diacritics as a rule to determine whether diacritics should be added. There are a number of *other* sources, which can be found in the diacritics essay, that *do* propose use of diacritics, including VN ones. A good example of this is pho; which I think has now passed into the english language, and I'm sure you could find sources that use VN diacritics but that decline to use it for pho since it has become basically so common. Finally as to your point that you are keeping the diacritics in the lead; yes that's very good, and we should always do so as a matter of course; but do note that much interaction of wikipedia comes through search engines, and the article title is quite important in that regard; for example a search for Nguyen Ngoc Ngan shows prominently in google his name w/o diacritics, including in the mini-profile-box now used by google; I just don't see any good reason to willfully misname people just to save readers some theoretical angst in encountering foreign diacritics.--KarlB (talk) 13:59, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
The "good reason" is that the pros, the published encyclopedias, the top history and travel books, and the Vietnamese English-language media, all take the diacritics off. Do we want to be in the same category as Britannica and Columbia, or would we rather be together with Yellowdawn, the self-published work cited to support the banh bo RM? The anglicized name of the subject should appear somewhere in the article, since that's the version the reader is most likely to be familiar with. The title is most logical place, since that makes searching and linking easier. When Google results pop up, it allows the reader to distinguish which results are English and which are Vietnamese at a glance. Of course, we are not supposed to consider technical issues. Our role is to follow the established convention, not reinvent the wheel. Kauffner (talk) 15:25, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose heavy use of Vietnamese diacritical marks in English WP on the principle of least astonishment. English readers, particularly those who read no other language, are accustomed to some French and Spanish diacritical marks through long proximity. French contributed a great deal to English after the Battle of Hastings, and when the British Empire was spreading the language around the globe, French was the language of diplomacy. Spanish is a strong influence in the United States. Vietnamese is far more peripheral to the typical native English reader. Yopienso (talk) 16:47, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I'll count this as a support for the proposal (to use Britannica spelling), unless you object. Kauffner (talk) 17:18, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Yes, please. Yopienso (talk) 00:16, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
        • Yopienso, Hi, out of interest, simply because, I don't recognise the name as contributing to Vietnam articles, where did you find out about Kauffner's proposal? But question - given that en.wp uses diacritical marks for Czech, Icelandic and Maltese which can be even stronger than Vietnamese, how does your argument above apply? In ictu oculi (talk) 22:52, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I contributed to Talk:Ngo Dinh Diem 4 times between April 9-11; here's the earliest diff. Since then it's been on my watchlist. Please read my comments there to more fully appreciate my reasons against the markings. Also, I forgot to say earlier today that, despite the arguments of an editor there, the diacritical markings are not generally considered part of the Latin alphabet in which the English Wikipedia is written. Even the Vietnamese article omits the markings. Kauffner alerted me to the RfC this morning after I'd already noticed it on my watchlist. Wrt to Czech, etc., I haven't happened to run across that. The Czechoslovakia article--which is as far as I took the time to look--is free of distracting diacritical marks. But, how does it apply? WP:OSE, I guess, though I'm no great fan of that essay. Regards, Yopienso (talk) 00:16, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support following usage of Britannica, Columbia, and Encarta, which is to say, use the diacritic-free English alphabet to title Vietnamese subjects. This convention seems to be used universally among English-language sources: even by English-language publications in Vietnam! Titles should be easy to read, not astonishing, and not misleading as to normative usage. The Vietnamese-language name can be included, separately, in the article. We lose no accuracy with Kauffner's proposal, but properly distinguish ourselves as a mainstream English-language, and not a faux Vietnamese-language, resource. This debate has already been settled on our most-scrutinized articles: for example, Ngo Dinh Diem is the title of the Wikipedia article, not Ngô Đình Diệm. It's time to codify this best practice in the naming convention. Shrigley (talk) 20:51, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Apart from the malformed proposal...' Kauffner, can we please see a list of those you have invited to your RfC? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:40, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: I never learned how to type those squiggly diacritics, and do not know how to do so. I'd expect many people to be in the same boat as myself. When looking for an article on, say, a Vietnamese person, I think it is reasonable that I should be able to reach my destination by typing in standard Latin letters (the 26 ones I learnt in kindergarten) whilst on the English Wikipedia. Sure, we could make redirects for every single Vietnamese-titled article, but why bother with such a painful mess? We don't have Korean biography articles with their titles written in Hangul, and don't have Chinese biography articles written in Chinese, so why do we use Vietnamese diacritics for articles on EN Wiki? I'm certain that most people reading EN Wiki don't even know how to read those diacritics - whether a squiggly line makes this tone or that tone; I for one can't. Having those diacritics means that it's not an English article title, and this is problematic since readers of the English Wikipedia are supposed to be literate in English, and not Quoc Ngu. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 11:43, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Note: Redirects are largely sufficient here to deal with your squiggly issues, and I have yet to find *any* such articles where redirects from non-diacritics versions do not already exist. This whole typing argument can thus be avoided. Besides, you probably don't know how to type french or german or icelandic or maltese accents either, so why not go after those as well? There is no reason to single out Vietnamese in wikipedia. --KarlB (talk) 16:45, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Let me warp your words a little bit. Why don't we move today's main page featured article, pi, to π? A redirect is sufficient enough to remedy typing issues, and most English speakers (and speakers of other languages) recognise that Greek letter, since they would have learned it in Grade 7 mathematics. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 05:09, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, that is warping my words, and I would not suggest such a thing, and it's a rather silly comparison. Again, we have diacritics for dozens of languages. Why should we all of a sudden remove diacritics from Vietnamese for specious typing reasons, when those reasons are not sufficient to remove diacritics from any other language? This is not western wikipedia, this is english wikipedia, and FWIW there are probably more english speakers in Asia than there are anywhere else in the world.--KarlB (talk) 12:26, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
And in the English Wikipedia we use English. Diacritics from, say, French (in addition to other languages) are commonly understood by English speakers due to the proximity of England and France, and the sharing of vocabulary between the two which familiarises readers with such diacritics (café, coup d'état, résumé, jalapeño, naïve). Though French/Spanish/whatever in origin, words such as café and jalapeño are also in English dictionaries, and are also English words of foreign origin. This is not the same situation as Vietnamese. Vietnam is much more distant, and the connections between English and Vietnamese are not as apparent. Being written with a modified Latin alphabet does not make Vietnamese text become English; Vietnamese writing is as unique to the Vietnamese language as Chinese characters are unique to the Chinese language, where English speakers are unable to read neither Vietnamese text nor Chinese text, and we do not have the Mao Zedong article located at 毛泽东. By the same logic, both Chinese and Japanese use Han characters, however the Japanese Wikipedia article for Mao Zedong is located at ja:毛沢東, and not 毛泽东 as it would be written in Chinese. "东" is not a valid character in the Japanese language, and is only used in Chinese. Both languages, albeit using the same writing system, have different methods of writing, and this is the same case with English and Vietnamese: we do not use those squiggly lines in the English language. There are similar cases for languages that use the Arabic and Cyrillic writing systems as well. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 13:42, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
To summarise: Japanese readers do not recognise "东", and cannot read "毛泽东" even though it is the native written form in Chinese, and so write it in a form which is legible to them; Russian readers do not read the "i"s in Ukrainian and the "j"s in Serbian, and Russify Ukrainian and Serbian proper nouns with their own vowels and consonants; native English readers do not understand those squiggly diacritics used in Vietnamese, and hence often drop them. "东" is not Japanese, "j" is not Russian, and "Ngô Đình Diệm" is not English. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 13:56, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
This has really nothing to do with japanese/chinese, and the proximity argument doesn't hold either; you may recall that the US fought a war with Vietnam, there are over a million Vietnamese living in the US (Vietnamese are the second-largest SE asian minority in the US (after Filipinos)); and the Vietnamese soup Pho was recently voted one of the top 50 foods in the world. I certainly feel a lot closer to Vietnam than to Malta or Iceland. Again, I still don't understand why Maltese or Icelandic or Serbian diacritics are considered ok, but Vietnamese are not? There are plenty of sources which use VN diacritics in the English language. There are lots of exceptions that should be made, for VN terms that have been widely anglicized, but when no-such anglicization has occurred stripping the diacritics is silly. Again, I'm not opposed to individual discussions about appropriate use of diacritics, and if someone proposed moving Hanoi to a version with diacritics (the strawman Kauffner put above) I would oppose such a move; however, for more obscure subjects that haven't received much coverage in English-language media, we should default to the correct spelling. If Kauffner has his way, the result would be to remove diacritics from every single Vietnamese article in the wikipedia, since the sources he propose *never* use VN diacritics as a matter of course; he has already been attempting to do so, by unilaterally moving hundreds of articles over the past 6 months in an attempt to create facts on the ground, but he now knows he cannot continue to do so uncontested so is trying to change the rules of the game.--KarlB (talk) 14:16, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I feel that generally, we should make our encyclopedia as easy to edit as it is to read, and in the case of Vietnamese, it would be incredibly cumbersome if we had this inconsistency of whether or not having diacritics is 'proper' or not. An editor who edits an article with diacritics but without access (or knowledge) to Vietnamese typing tools can find this bothersome. I would say that we can retain diacritics for infoboxes only, but for the most part I am in favour of abolishing Vietnamese diacritics altogether from the article body. Colipon+(Talk) 18:46, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Thanks; however, I don't see why this is an issue; if you don't have access to (or don't want to use) diacritics, it's not a problem; someone else who is so inclined can come fix it later, just as has been already done in thousands of articles. Having the correct diacritics in the title does not prevent users from typing the name without diacritics, because of redirects, etc. Again, I'm not sure why we feel like we should exclude Vietnamese but accept accents for almost all other latin-based languages? --KarlB (talk) 18:52, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • comment Note: see usage guides here, from other sources: User:Prolog/Diacritical_marks#External_guides; most journals and academic publications about Vietnam use diacritics for example.--KarlB (talk) 19:06, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a general purpose digital encyclopedia, not an academic journal. Yopienso (talk) 22:59, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
The only mention of Vietnamese on the linked page is a quote from the National Geographic style Manual: "Although Vietnamese is written in the Latin alphabet, the number of accent marks can be distracting and may therefore be omitted." Kauffner (talk) 17:14, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Our WP:AT policy states among other things: "The choice of article titles should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists." We do exactly the opposite when we go too far in changing anglicized names to native spelling that is often hard to read and edit for our English language audience. There will always be "spelling puritans" and "spelling liberals", but if WP is any neutral then it should either serve both of them, or side with neither of them. WP should not become used as a tool to push more foreign spelling into English language usage, it should go along with what IS used in English language. Our current policies state that when there is mixed usage in English language sources, then we go with the anglicized version rather than the native version, see WP:ON and WP:IMOS and WP:CYR for examples. I see no reason do it any different for Vietnamese names: if there is an anglicized version then use it. If there is no anglicized version appearing in English language sources, then we have no choice but use the native spelling. Using native spelling should be the exception, not the rule.
People sometimes contend that there is no harm in using more diacritics in article titles, nothing is lost because there is always a redirect from the non-diacritics spelling. I disagree. What you lose is editors as an unintended consequence. Some editors (including me) refuse to type in weird characters that are not on their keyboard all the time, and that is their good right since they volunteer their time to wp or not. Some of them will say "thank you very much" when they see a name full with strange diacritics in the title. The result is a net loss for wp, because the article is not developed/maintained as well as it would be if it were kept at the more common anglicized name. The slogan of WP used to be: "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but for English WP we should now change that to: "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, if they know how to type in 20+ languages". Somebody can drop me a note when this place has become the "English" wikipedia again. MakeSense64 (talk) 09:31, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Without diacritics, some Vietnamese words would look the same while they are totally different (and thus have totally different meaning). For example, Nguyễn is the most popular family name in Vietnam while Nguyên can be full, a Vietnamese first name, or the Vietnamese name for Yuan Dynasty. Without diacritics, Nguyễn and Nguyên are simply the indistinguishable Nguyen. While I choose this example? Because I found one passage in Cecil B. Currey (2005), Victory at Any Cost: The Genius of Vietnam's Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, Potomac Books, Inc., page 7: "There are a few family names in the land,... Giap's middle name, Nguyen, is one of them, but, as in his case, is not always a family name. Perhaps he bore this name to remind him of some distant lineage with the Nguyen rulers of the land.". The author, who is a respected military historian, made an unbelievable error (in regards of any Vietnamese reader) of mistaking Võ Nguyên Giáp's middle name, which is Nguyên, with the family name Nguyễn. For the sake of Vietnamese words' meaning, please take your argument of Vietnamese words with diacritics is not understandable for English speakers aside, since without them (diacritics), even Vietnamese speakers cannot understand the words! For the popular Vietnamese names (without diacritics) in the English speaking world (like pho - although in Vietnamese, pho with diacritics will become phở - the English pho, phố - a street, phò - derogatory term for ... prostitute, or simply pho - a volume), I have no objection of let them exist here without diacritics, but for the less known words, please keep the diacritics intact and don't just cite Britannica for killing them (diacritics), since you will kill the meaning accompagning the words as well. Thank you for your understanding. (and to Mr. Kauffner, removing diacritics from every single article about Vietnam that I tried my best to create here without noticing me or discussing with me is really not nice, not nice at all.) With best regards. Grenouille vert (talk) 15:03, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
    And again, I'm not talking about "right/wrong", I just hope that Wikipedia readers can avoid the unnecessary misunderstanding of Vietnamese words without diacritics, removing those diacritics from Vietnamese words (which are, by any mean, written using a Latin alphabet) doesn't make a Wikipedia article clearer or proper, only in reverse. There are only a few popular Vietnamese names without diacritics in the English speaking world like "pho", "Saigon", "Hanoi", so please don't take them as norm or think that I try to change them into "phở", "Sài Gòn", "Hà Nội", I'm only talking about less well-known articles like Ngô Sĩ Liên, xẩm or these guys. Thank you. Grenouille vert (talk) 02:56, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Grenouille vert, agree but actually Vietnam Saigon and Hanoi are the only 3 English exonyms for Vietnam. phở is not an exonym and is usually written phở in English menus. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:10, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
The official view of this matter is quite different, you know. Vietnam promotes English-language usage of "Viet Nam" and "Ha Noi".[1] But diacritics, not to any significant degree. Kauffner (talk) 11:31, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
With all due respect, I do not talk about changing very popular in the English speaking world Vietnamese names like Hanoi, Vietnam into the with-diacritic-form, I care more about the less well-known Vietnamese words/names which have been moved (without any discussion with the creator) into the non-diacritic form, so please try to kindly understand my reasons and to move "Hanoi", "Saigon" and "Vietnam" out of your arguments here. Thank you. Grenouille vert (talk) 17:02, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – this RFC is biased by calling the issue "spelling". The examples used are cases where we already use no diacritics, because the names are long familiar in almost all English sources that way. When many English sources still use the diacritics, there is no reason for WP not to as well, so we do; as pointed out, redirects take care of any possible disadvantage that people have mentioned. Let's leave it that way. And thanks to KarlB for remembering that I care about this issue, since Kauffner seems to have forgotten. Dicklyon (talk) 15:34, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
The purpose of this proposal is to allow the Vietnamese articles to remain where they are, at predominently non-diacritic titles. It is a response to IIO's proposals to move virtually all titles to diacritic spellings, including such well known names and terms as Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, and pho. Kauffner (talk) 11:31, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I think that is more likely to be consistent, although we should defer to WP:AT. Of note I was asked (neutrally) to join this discussion by KarlB. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:13, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Skipping the diacritics would be failing in our duty as an modern online encyclopaedia, with Unicode at our disposal, to represent facts accurately, even if they are difficult. Readers not familiar with Vietnamese diacritics (a group I fall into) are perfectly capable of mentally stripping them off - when opponents of diacritics say that they don't like those funny squiggles, they demonstrate exactly that capability. And as User:grenouille vert says, the diacritics affect the meaning - a good example is the emperor Duc Duc, where stripping off the diacritics, as has been done, obscures the fact that the two parts of the name are completely different (Dục Đức). And I cannot believe that any editor would be put off editing an article by the diacritics - if they have a real interest in Vietnamese matters, they'll want to learn how to type the diacritics, and if not, everyone can cut and paste. Colonies Chris (talk) 21:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, on the basis that it is not Wikipedia's objective to represent The Truth, but to reflect the corpus of scholarly and reliable English language sources. The vast majority of our stylistic choices are driven by widespread practice, and our rendering of foreign script and diacritics are no exception to this standard. The rendering of text in the majority of reliable English sources is without diacritics, which is how titles and in-prose usage should be rendered here. NULL talk
    22:50, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Where diacritics are commonly used in the English spelling of Vietnamese words, and where the Vietnamese word itself is used in the literature exclusively, either as the English texts loan the Vietnamese word, or as the only or predominant literature is in Vietnamese, then we should spell the Vietnamese word in the Vietnamese way. Where English has loaned a word, such as Nguyen or pho, and the English loan word is the common useage in English texts, and where the word is substantively discussed in English texts, we should use the English language form of the word. We are writing an English encyclopaedia. Where English has a significant impact in the sources, or where the object is known with an English word, we use the English word (pho). Where the subject is primarily discussed in Vietnamese, and the object is not known or not widely known in English using an English loan word, we use the Vietnamese. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:19, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose'. We stick with current practice, which is to apply the general MoS on diacritics. Use diacritics unless the word has entered English without them. Entered English does not mean being used sporadically. No diacritics on Hanoi, Saigon. Most other place names should have them. Always redirect for article titles. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:35, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
    • MOS:FOREIGN says, "For foreign names, phrases, and words generally, adopt the spellings most commonly used in English-language references for the article." That would normally be without diacritics, unless someone is gaming the references. Kauffner (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Oppose as per Users Karl B. and In ictu oculi; I believe the article names should be without diacritics, but the articles themselves should have them as needed. In the event the support side prevails, I am curious as to how we will retrofit all the articles concerning Vietnam and containing diacritics to make them uniform, and then make the playing ground level with regard to other languages with diacritics, some of which (such as Serbian, Croatian, Welsh, Irish, Polish, etc.) will likely provoke pitched battles, and to avoid being unduly selective or hypocritical. Quis separabit? 16:04, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
BTW: In re Kauffner's earlier query: "Do we want to be in the same category as Britannica and Columbia, or would we rather be together with Yellowdawn, the self-published work cited to support the banh bo RM?", I think Wikipedia is sui generis. I don't think Britannica and Columbia would accept the comparison, and they would be right given that Wikipedia is distinguished, not only by its open-editing, but also by the ancillary services it provides. Respectfully submitted. Quis separabit? 17:33, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It is not normal for English language sources to use Vietnamese diacritics. English WP is an English language source. I don't think the current situation makes very much more sense than having an article titled Київ or عمر الشريف. Formerip (talk) 14:12, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Use of diacritics is educational, which is one of our goals. The practise of Anglicising things is a relic of the last millennium, and it time to bury it. (looking at option #4, below.) Br'er Rabbit (talk) 00:57, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I believe wikipedia should try to use the English commonname , if there are sources that do not use the diacritics, then nor should wikipedia. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:55, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We are an encyclopedia. Our goal is to educate. We should have the proper names as the title. Redirects can take care of those who do not wish to type them. Add to that many of the arguments I have made in the past when this gets brought up over and over again. I am too tired of having to re-argue it to list them yet again. -DJSasso (talk) 16:45, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • You do realize that no published English-language encyclopedia uses Vietnamese diacritics? I guess they really do let anyone edit around here. Kauffner (talk) 03:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose unnecessary removal of information. And what Itsmejudith said. —Kusma (t·c) 19:11, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I've always seen this issue as stylistic—something WP has the right to decide in-house. The diacriticals: add information, do not detract sufficiently from the underlying characters, are handled by redirects (in titles), educate readers, and may even spark an interest in their effect. I believe that removing diacritical markings (on some) words, phrases, and even languages smacks of dumbing-down WP, and therefore I will always support placing the markings on characters based on Latin-derived alphabets. GFHandel   23:03, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems like a no-brainer for Vietnamese names to follow the general usage of English-language reliable sources. That's what we do here... follow the English sources and use what we find. That way we don't have to rely on someone's POV. Fyunck(click) (talk) 07:21, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It is easy to find out which rendering of a word or name is more common in English-language book usage with Ngram Viewer.
  • It is also easy to find which rendering of a word or name is most searched for, by using Google Insights for Search like this (note: sports category) or like this. Since articles are unlikely to be read if people don't find them when they search, this is surely one of the strongest WP:COMMONSENSE reasons for generally not using diacritics in article titles. The example of Pelé illustrates both the problem and the solution. Maybe you cannot use his real name in the article title, because almost nobody would recognize it, much less remember it (it's so long), and the article would probably not be found in a Google search. Although it makes sense to avoid accents where possible, and people are going to search for Pele without the accent (Google Insights for Search data for searches for Pele just in Brazil is very informative), maybe it's unavoidable to use the diacritic in this case—because the name looks stupid, even unrecognizable, without it. So people are forced to research the COMMONNAME, and use COMMONSENSE ;-) How dreadful that there can't be one rule that can be forced on everyone ;-)
  • For Spanish names and the like, as well as researching the COMMONNAME in English, it is surely important to look at the corresponding foreign-language Wikipedia. In the above example, Manuel Sánchez (tennis) is NOT the title in Spanish Wikipedia. The reason is surely that an abbreviated English version of his name is acceptable in international tennis, because there is no confusion, but an abbreviated version of his name in Spanish is NOT ACCEPTABLE in Spanish Wikipedia because it is not unique and/or it is disrespectful. Already there are several "Manuel Sánchez <lastname>" articles in English Wikipedia that use formal full names—but it's easiest to find the correct Manuel Sánchez if the title is the abbreviated English COMMONNAME plus the context (tennis). If Manuel Sánchez were a really famous tennis player then he would probably get an abbreviated nickname that might not resemble his real name, as in the Pelé example. Otherwise the abbreviated English name—and not an abbreviated Spanish version with diacritics—has surely got to be the COMMONNAME in English.
  • There is also good reason to use the most common name WP:COMMONNAME, because doing otherwise means that a lot of page searches are sent through a redirect, which eats more server capacity (so WP becomes slower and it costs more).
  • But let's play devil's advocate, and take the opposing arguments to their logical conclusions:
  • "use of diacritics in article titles is educational" ( → if ramming a foreign language down the throat of a user who is not familiar with it is "educational", then why not Chinese and Japanese titles too?)
  • "we have the technology" ( → we have the technology to display Japanese and Chinese too)
  • "forget about properly researching the COMMONNAME, forget about COMMONSENSE, let's have "one standard" for all Latin alphabets. This sounds lazy, sloppy, and unprofessional to me. Obviously the COMMONNAME of a sportsman like Pelé is going to change at various stages of his career, so Wikipedia must allow the article title to reflect current usage rather than applying rigid rules regardless of real-world usage, context, and nationality. LittleBen (talk) 11:36, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose a rule against the use of native diacritics. This is an encyclopedia, not a work for the lowest common denominator. μηδείς (talk) 04:27, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unless the "name with no diacritic" is VERY COMMON, these names should be written with full diacritics. Reason: this is an encyclopedia for the whole world, not only for the English-speaking countries. We still have redirect pages for non-diacritic writings. Anyone support the abandon of diacritics please remember the example of GV about the "Nguyên" and "Nguyễn". There are many words in Vietnamese without diacritics look exactly the same, and that can cause many misinformations during the process of identifying the Vietnamese name, both people's name and geographic name. Михаил Александрович Шолохов (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. without diacritics, a lot of names will look the same and then we have to make disambiguation titles. ༆ (talk) 21:39, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Vietnamese is the language of character manifestation of sound. --Minh Tâm-T41-BCA (talk) 04:47, 15 August 2012 (UTC)--
  • Oppose omission of diacritics from personal names. Neutral on place names. --BDD (talk) 18:00, 10 October 2012 (UTC)


  • Improper canvassing by Kauffner: Note, per notes such as this: [[2]], Kauffner is not notifying in a neutral fashion. Note the wording of the notice, and the examples given (like Saigon), which are not under dispute.--KarlB (talk) 16:45, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I used a template; the notification itself was neutral. --KarlB (talk) 17:28, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Templates have nothing to do it. You notified somebody selectively because you expect him to vote a certain way. Kauffner (talk) 17:46, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • That really takes the proverbial biscuit. Kauffner, on what basis did you select those you invited and leave it to KarlB to invite AjaxSmax? You know full well that AjaxSmax has been one of the main advocates of treating Vietnamese names like French and Czech names for as long as you have been moving Vietnam articles. How could you possibly select a list of invitees and not include AjaxSmax and all the various WP:Vietnam editors who have objected to your moves? And then get smart with KarlB for doing the blindingly obvious - which you should have done. In any case this is a charade, since selective invites aside, the question you have asked is immaterial, the issue is not sources/typographic limits (which is the same issue for every Latin-alphabet language), yet en.wp articles Irish, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Icelandic, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Bosnian, Serb, Croat, Maltese and Turkish names, even Hawaiian, are giving full spelling but not Vietnamese? Why single out Vietnamese? In ictu oculi (talk) 01:43, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • When I went over to AjaxSmax's talk page to notify him, I noticed KarlB had already done it. Kauffner (talk) 06:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Note: I've notified a number of other editors, who participated in past vietnam RMs. I noticed that in some cases, those participants in a discussion who voted for a move away from diacritics were notified by Kauffner, while several who voted against were not notified. I've tried to rectify this, and have notified all participants I could find in past VN diacritic rename discussions (regardless of which side they were on.)--KarlB (talk) 14:05, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Well done Karl, but as Dicklyon notes above the terms of the question are ridiculously put. I would think it impossible to get a sensible discussion out of this - even without the selective invites - perhaps Dicklyon has an idea for a better question. I do note and agree with Grenouille vert's comment - some of these article titles are absolutely ambiguous with the diacritics stripped off. My Vietnamese isn't what it was 20 years ago but I can still read it, and I haven't a clue what a lot of these "Britannia"ised titles are. Bloody unhelpful, much worse than looking at Czech with the accents stripped. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:43, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I initiated a debate on this subject a couple of years ago - favouring diacritics - but I didn't find out about this RFC until KarlB invited me just today. I certainly would have expected to be notified by the initiator of the RFC. Colonies Chris (talk) 21:14, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Page titles should not use diacritics in the English wiki because people can't type them in (although obviously redirects should exist using them), but the article should employ diacritics. Vietnamese is a roman alphabet. What's our wikistandard for Czech? It's a similar - if less diacritical-intense - issue. The issue isn't dissimilar to the problem of Arabic (and Mandarin) romanisation, where actual speakers get confused when the romanised diacritics are not visible (of the sort "which Shanxi" or "which Nasir?) Ogress smash!
Ogress, our Wikistandard for Czech is 100% use of diacritics in titles. In fact that's our wikistandard for all Latin-alphabet titles and until last year included Vietnamese too. The issue is not the same as Arabic and Chinese which are not Latin alphabets. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:45, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
One hundred percent use of diacritics? Trời ơi! So we could actually end up with articles that explain how the Battle of Sài Gòn unfolded during the Tết Offensive; how Hà Nội supplied the Việt cộng via the Hồ Chí Minh trail; or assess Võ Nguyên Giáp's generalship during the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ. Kauffner (talk) 14:31, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I think your right to score points is on hold at the moment isn't it.
I won't insult the intelligence of the others here to address the other examples but Võ Nguyên Giáp is a relevant example. Yes and it is a Vietnamese bio which wasn't moved by you and was moved by two other editors after a discussion on the Talk page. There will always be exceptions.
But as I say, your right to score points is on hold. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:06, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
You mean that SPI stuff is still going on? I thought it was all over except the laughing. Kauffner (talk) 17:39, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

(Personal attack removed)

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