Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geography of Poland/Archive1

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Powiat naming convention[edit]

Currently there are two systems used for local administrative divisions here in the English wiki: the one that translates their names to English and the one that leaves them in their original version.

What do we do with powiats? Should the pages be created under Przasnysz County or Powiat przasnyski? Or perhaps Powiat of Przasnysz? Or perhaps we do not need the powiat pages at all and could simply place a table with powiat info and map at Przasnysz? Halibutt 11:37, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Without being exposed to a lot of the in depth considerations, my "gut" feeling is that "county" is wrong and some inclusion of "Powiat" is right. I doubt that someone would go searching for an article on a specific Powiat (or for a specific "county" either), but would stumble on these articles while searching a related term, so what words are in the title is probably not going to affect whether someone finds the article. I think putting "Powiat" in the title provides some disambiguation. While most English speakers won't know what a Powiat is, the map graphics will quickly clue them that the article deals with a small district of area. Since the borders changed several times in modern history while in Polish control, and a couple more times before that while in Prussian control (but called by the term "Kreis"), there could conceivable be a series of articles about the districts as they existed in earlier division schemes. Since these articles are about a specific period of time, the article should reflect that uniqueness and not be general. (I don't seem to be able to find the right words, hope my meaning is coming through anyway) Bwood 04:07, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Also, without researching it, I suspect I would feel the same about the Sweden articles, that using "counties" is wrong, unless there is no other term for the units. It sounds like they used "counties" when describing "Lans", and if so, then I totally disagree, for the same reasons as above. Bwood 04:14, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure I like your idea of splitting the history of certain lands onto several different, unrelated articles, especially that the borders of units of local administration in Poland are quite stable and in most cases were not changed much since the Middle Ages, even the occupying powers used to change the names and not the borders of powiats or gminas. But that is a completely different story. Anyway, I hope some others will speak out soon. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 19:10, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)
Well, I'm a systems programmer, used to envisioning worst case scenarios about how big a system will grow into, and how diverse the uses it will be put to. Also, I have a personal interest in certain niches that a general "one-size-fits-all" approach will not deal fairly with. You've coverered yourself somewhat by including the term "local" in your above statement, but the borders of Polands "counties" have changed ?four? times since the end of WWI. And in the 1800s, Prussia/Germany split most of the original Kreise in half. Trying to view a topic from all different angles, for various audiences, in a single article is unrealistic, especially when it was subject to different systems of organization through time. But, anyway, we can agree to disagree on general principles. Bwood 00:43, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
IMHO we should stay with ... for example Lubaczow_County not Lubaczów_County, and maybe put in article something like "Lubaczów County (in Polish powiat lubaczowski )" . Nie napisze wiecej po angielsku bo kalecze a po polsku ktos moze nie zrozumiec :). Fqsik 20:12, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
And why not use the only Polish diacryte that is supported by the English wiki? Especially that after changing it to Lubaczów (I thought of it today) the name would be 100% correct, there are no other diacrytes in the name. However, the main problem is not with the version of the name used. It is with the naming of the units of administrative division. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 21:22, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)


If anyone is advocating using any diacriticals in the article name, I believe that is strictly prohibited in WikiPedia. They can only be used within the article, AFAIK. 04:23, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No, diacritics is not forbidden on Wikipedia, it's simply that the English wiki does not support non-Western characters and that's why they should be avoided so far. However, there are lots of diacrytes that are supported and those should be used in most languages. See for instance façade, Île-de-France, Sütterlin or Málaga. The only such diacryte that is present in the Polish language is ó and I believe that it should be used like all the other diacrytes are. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 06:51, Oct 15, 2004 (UTC)
Are you talking in the article or in the title? Unless I'm reading this wrong.. "Also, for naming pages the restriction to ISO-8859-1 is strict, no characters that are not ISO-8859-1 may be used. See Wikipedia:Special characters for a list of non-ASCII characters that are allowed." (from: Wikipedia:Naming conventions). In the list of ISO-8859-1 characters provided in the links on that page, most Polish diacritals are not included. Further, the guidelines point out that special characters used in article titles require most users to know that the title uses them when they perform a search. Most English users don't know how to type non-ASCII characters on their keyboards. Usage inside the article is best, however, for accuracy and for education. Bwood 08:22, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well of course, the titles do not support non-western diacrytes, that's quite obvious. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 08:53, Oct 27, 2004 (UTC)
To make things clear - I've never seen anyone propose using [[Lech Wałęsa]] instead of [[Lech Walesa|Lech Wałęsa]] on the English wiki. IMO the English wiki should be updated to allow non-ISO-8859-1 characters, but so far all the articles are under non-diacritical names (except for the ó sign), so there's no problem. Also, I don't really get why did you start this topic. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 00:20, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)

Proposed scheme[edit]

All right then, since noone seems to be interested in the topic, I suggest the following translation scheme:
The reason behind leaving the word powiat instead of translating it to county is that the very term has got some historical connotations (not as clearly visible in the US, but still obvious in UK, for instance). The powiats had nothing to do with counts and today have slightly different competences than their British or Unitedstatesian counterparts. Any comments? Halibutt 18:12, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I humbly propose that a powiat be a district, and a województwo - a province. In particular, I'm against the use of the mediaeval term "voivodship" to describe the present-day unit of administrative division. See also MCiura 19:46, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Well, that is one of the options. I'd strongly oppose switching from Voivodship to Province since the mediaeval term is used in 21st century as well and I like it more. As to the district - it's definitely better than the county. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 21:22, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
I oppose the use of translated identifiers like "county" and "province" as they may conflict with other articles and/or are too general. I feel that the current Polish term should be used. (Example: article "Province of Poznan", which redirects to "Province of Posen" which is about the historical Prussian province ("Provinz"). Special care should be taken to make sure that there is a disambiguation page (and links to it from all pertinant pages) so that a reader can find the article that best addresses their interests. Bwood 04:23, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Back to the main topic: I hope some native English speaker could tell us whether the suffix -ship is ever used in English to mean: a territory ruled by a —. Does the -ship in voivodship suggest the domain or rather the office of a voivod?

Yes, I think that is fairly accurate, more so office, but also the territory that it carries with it. I can cite "township", which doesn't really follow the above, but still denotes a territory. Bwood 05:54, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Besides, province could be a good English equivalent of województwo, but I guess that palatinate would be a better one; palatinatus was the word used for województwo (and palatinus for wojewoda) in pre-partition documents written in Latin. Modern Polish naming of administrative units is clearly based on historical terminology, and this should be also reflected in English translations. Moreover, in pre-partition times, prowincja meant a very large portion of the whole country; basically, there were only three provinces - Greater Poland, Lesser Poland and Lithuania, each consisting of a number of palatinates/województwa.
The same goes for powiat which may be translated as district (though it's very ambiguous) or - from a historical POV - as prefecture.
-- Kpalion 22:29, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

If we want to use historical similarities, the starosta could be translated as sheriff... [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 08:02, Nov 3, 2004 (UTC)
But you're not serious here, are you? Anyway, I'm not talking about historical similarities but about Latin words that were once officially used in Poland. -- Kpalion 00:07, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've just found out that wojewoda is also called "waywode" in English (see Brainy Dictionary), and hence there also is a "waywodeship". -- Kpalion 15:00, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Gosh, I thought that this was some sort of a mistake or a very distant barbarisation, but apparently it's used by webster even... Anyway, let's make the things slightly more organised and working. Especially that there are some wikipedians working on Polish administrative division and the sooner we come up with something the better.
Below is a list of proposals so far, feel free to add your own proposals or correct it should I get something wrong. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 21:22, Nov 30, 2004 (UTC)
User\proposal Voivodship powiat gmina sołectwo, hutor, etc
[[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] Voivodship powiat commune  ?
MCiura province district municipality  ?
Kpalion palatinate / voivodship prefecture / district commune hamlet
Emax Voivodship Powiat Gmina none

Proponuje by uzywac roznych kolorow: Wojewodztwa brazowy Podlasie Voivodship, miasta szary przyklad Krakow, osiedla bezowy przyklad Centrum. Dla powiatow i gmin rowniez odmienne.

Na Podlasie Voivodship propozycja tabelki do wojewodztw i szablonik (z herbem) jak np na Lomza. Rowniez szablonik do osiedli (z flaga) jak na centrum. --Emax 22:47, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Could you please translate that to English? Bwood does not speak Polish and I suppose it would be a good idea to let the others take part in the project. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 23:50, Nov 30, 2004 (UTC)

Bot-generated articles[edit]

At pl, there's a project to use a bot to generate/update articles about Polish cities, counties and communes: pl:Wikipedia:Automatycznie generowane artykuły. Maybe the same data (when it's compiled) could be used to generate them at en:? Here are two examples of articles which will be used as templates for future bot-generated ones: Gostyn, Stary Gostyn. Any comments? Ausir 22:21, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Idea seems nice. The problem is that we already have articles (mostly stubs) on most of those towns, so such a bot-generated article would have to be added by hand as a new section. Or am I wrong? Halibutt June 30, 2005 14:17 (UTC)


Voivodship Example #CDAA7D
Powiat (County) Example #C1CDC1
Gmina (Commune) Example #9BCD9B

--Emax 20:00, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

More stub templates[edit]

Currently, we have only one: {{Poland-geo-stub}}. It is getting very large, with over 800 articles. See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Stub_sorting/Proposals/Archive13#Poland_geo-stub_split for proposal on splitting this category further. Division by voivodships seems like a good idea - if any voivodship would have 30+ articles (wikiproject minimum limit), we can create a relavant stub. A Poland-struct-stub seems more disputed, but I also think it would be useful. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:46, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Powiat and województwo[edit]

Having arrived belatedly to this discussion, but feeling strongly about the subject, I would like to add my voice to those who advocate using familiar English-language terms where feasible: hence, "county" for powiat, and "province" for województwo.

I suspect that this model could be applied satisfactorily to most countries; and that seems preferable to operating with dozens of equivalent terms. logologist 09:30, 24 November 2005 (UTC)


I would like to help making the usage of administrative terms consistent (I have started with Powiat of Chodzież and Powiat of Czarnków-Trzcianka). While looking over the various pre-existing county/powiat articles, the terminology used to describe the administrative district often varies:

  • communes, municipalities, or gminas
  • Municipal, city, town, or urban communes
  • rural or land communes
  • town-rural, city-land, or mixed communes.

The gmina names themselves vary often: Powiat of Białystok has "Gmina of Choroszcz", while Powiat of Gorzów Wielkopolski just has Lubiszyn instead of Gmina of Lubiszyn.

Shouldn't the categories be renamed (ala Category:Land counties of Greater Poland to Category:Powiats of Greater Poland)?

Finally, User:Logologist has suggested that Voivodships should be Provinces, while Halibutt and Balcer support Voivodships. I am neutral on the matter. Olessi 21:49, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

A few remarks about Polish województwo names as they appear in the English Wikipedia:
To begin with, the word "voivodship" is a bastardization: it is neither good Polish nor good English. Mercifully, it does not even appear in a quarter (4) of the English "voivodship" names (Lower Silesia, Lesser Poland, Warmia-Masuria, West Pomerania).
More to the point, the Polish województwo names are rendered into "English" in a totally chaotic way. I count about 5 different styles (some names are nondescript):
1. Polish noun: Łódź Voivodship, Lublin Voivodship, Opole Voivodship, Podlasie Voivodship.
2. Polish adjective: Lubuskie Voivodship, Świętokrzyskie Voivodship.
3. Polish and Latinized nouns: Warmia-Masuria.
4. Latinized adjectives: Masovian Voivodship, Pomeranian Voivodship, Silesian Voivodship, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship.
5. Anglicized and/or Latinized miscellany: Lower Silesia, Lesser Poland, Subcarpathian Voivodship, Greater Poland Voivodship, West Pomerania.
This hodgepodge could be rationalized, using the województwo's name in its Polish noun form, followed by "Province."
logologist 06:36, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
logologist 01:35, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
And by all means let's use "county" as the English equivalent for the Polish "powiat," in tune with the practice in most of the world. (Thus: powiat's name, followed by "County": e.g., "Puławy County.") logologist 02:50, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
This has been discussed endlessly, both here, at Voivodships of Poland, Voivodship, Wikipedia:Wikiproject Geography of Poland and perhaps even more places. So, instead of repeating all my arguments here, I'll simply make my stance.
  • no provinces. Province is a region composed of several voivodships in Poland. If we call voivodships provinces, then how would we call actual provinces?
  • county vs. powiat... I would not oppose any way, though I believe powiat is a neat solution, for the reasons stated elsewhere.
  • AFAIR Podlasie is called Podlachia.
  • Święty Krzyż Province or Święty Krzyż Voivodship seems the worst option possible. Hardly anyone in Poland knows that etymology, not to mention that barely anyone calls the voivodship by the name of the mountain of Święty Krzyż. Instead, it is called after the Holy Cross Mountains.
  • Mazury is Masuria in English. Why should we use the Polish name where there is a perfect English name available? Same for Pomerania, Masovia, Silesia, Lesser Poland and so on.
Halibutt 09:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

The word "province" is no longer used in Poland to designate an entity larger than the modern województwo; the old usage is now of purely historical interest. No one in Poland now speaks of the "prowincja" of Małopolska, Wielkopolska or Lithuania. Any potential confusion can be avoided by rendering the old concept of prowincja using its Polish spelling (prowincja).

In what language is Podlasie called Podlachia?

Do you really think that "Świętokrzyskie [adjective] Voivodship" is better in English than "Święty Krzyż" (noun)? English as a rule (offhand, I can't think of an exception) doesn't use adjectives, only nouns, as names. There is, for example, no "New-Yorkan State."

Why use Latinized names (Masuria, Pomerania, Masovia, Silesia) or anglicized names (Lesser Poland) when the Polish names are perfectly good? Do we "translate" most French geographical names into English?

A number of the Latinized names are associated in most non-Poles' minds with those areas' occupation (therefore, "ownership") by the powers that partitioned Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

logologist|Talk 11:44, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Prowincja can be a insulting term in the modern Poland for example "They are from the province" is used to portay people as inferior in social status. CIA World Factbook I think has a good solution: 16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie

After the simplified name we can give exact Polish sounding version. We also should split wojewodztwa from regions-right now it comes to absurdities like some administrative regions in Poland having German names given also because they are combined with entries of historic regions. --Molobo 20:09, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

The English adjective "provincial" has the same deprecatory potential as the Polish expression, "z prowincji."

Nevertheless, as the Wikipedia article on "Province" demonstrates, "province" is the usual English translation for the secondary level of government in most countries. (A few countries do use alternative terms — "state," "prefecture," "län," "region," "Land," "muhfazah.")

The 18th-century Polish "prowincyja," or its plural "prowincyje," referring to Wielkopolska, Małopolska or Lithuania, appears in the basic text of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 (available on Wikisource) a grand total of 8 times — 7 of them in the closing "Signers" section.

It would seem a shame, in this case, to break ranks with nearly all the rest of the world and abandon a universally recognizable term, "province," from a misguided loyalty to a usage that has long been obsolete in Poland and that was seldom really indispensable even before the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

logologist|Talk 04:56, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I prefer county to poviat. I think that we use Polish terms so often that many English speakers may have problems with understanding our articles without looking up every definition. I also like province, but I agree that Święty Krzyż sounds strange. Isn’t Świętokrzyskie sometimes used as a noun, e.g. when we say “w Świętokrzyskiem”? BTW Isn't it high time to vote and have something decided. Lack of decision is the worst decision. We only create more and more articles using inconsistent terminology.--SylwiaS | talk 10:45, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, świętokrzyskie was the only województwo I hesitated about. I toyed with "Holy Cross" Province — the name derives from that of the Holy Cross Mountains, Góry świętokrzyskie. But I was determined to avoid translation. Perhaps, indeed, it should be left "Świętokrzyskie." logologist|Talk 10:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I am for using voivodship and county. Perhaps we should have a vote? Also, those of you who have not read through Talk:Voivodships of Poland should do so - there are quite a few interesting arguments and statistics there.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:47, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I propose we begin with the perhaps somewhat less contentious "powiat"–"county" controversy, and leave "voivodship"–"province" for a second round. This will give people a chance to review the arguments in the second question, and perhaps debate it more definitively. logologist|Talk 03:52, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I still believe that your unilateral, single-handed move of voivodships to their Polish-English names was a step in the bad direction and would like to fix that as soon as possible. The geographical regions have their proper names in English and I doubt we should use their Polish equivalents where there is no need to. Mazovia is Mazovia in English and not Mazowsze. I have a feeling that the internationally-recognized geographical terms are much better than their Polish counterparts, as the latter tell the reader nothing. Halibutt 09:15, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

No doubt by "Mazovia" you mean "Masovia." Either way, I hate to break it to you, outside Poland and perhaps some parts of Europe, not too many people have heard of Mazovia, Masovia or Mazowsze. So I doubt that it makes much difference to 99% of humanity. Accordingly, using authentic Polish names for Polish places seems the appropriate thing, and — who knows — may spare foreign visitors some confusion. logologist|Talk 09:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

After reading the discussion here and at Talk:Voivodships of Poland, I support using the more specialized "Voivodship" instead of "Province". As a native English speaker, I personally prefer using English/Latin names like "Masovia" or "Masovian" instead of "Mazowsze" or "Mazowieckie". I have been trying to learn Polish pronunciation and the names are still difficult for me to read- it would be very difficult for someone with no background in Polish at all (the majority of Wiki-users) to try to read the words. I don't have an easy solution for "Województwo świętokrzyskie", however. I agree with Molobo that Lower Silesia and the current Dolny Śląsk Voivodship need to be differentiated the way that Masovia and Mazowsze Voivodship are (any others?). BTW, Podlachia is the Latin name for Podlasie (Podlasia is also used occasionally). I think this discussion could use more input by native English users, IMO. Olessi 07:04, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

As to what logologist wrote above, Mazovia is just another spelling for Masovia and seems a tad more popular in BrE (and as such is used by BE, for instance). And both are English names, contrary to Mazowsze. I believe the WP:Use English rules apply here, regardless of how many people have heard of the term. The fact that only a slight minority of people heard of the city of Warsaw does not mean that we should start referring to it with its Polish name on English wiki. Halibutt 12:04, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


Ok, let's vote on Powiat vs. County and Gmina vs. Commune for start. BTW If you think that this proposal should be expanded, please, feel free to do so.--SylwiaS | talk 01:56, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

By the way, we're going to generate articles about all powiats and gminas with a bot, like we dit at pl:, but we'll wait until this vote and the voivodship one are concluded. Ausir 09:24, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Vote Powiat vs. County[edit]

Powiat i.e. Powiat of Puławy[edit]

  1. Halibutt 00:12, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Gdarin | talk 09:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. Slawojarek 09:38, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  4. D T G 18:36, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  5. Dobromila 09:46, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Poviat i.e. Poviat of Puławy[edit]

County, i.e. Puławy County[edit]

  1. Support --SylwiaS | talk 01:56, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support - Calgacus 02:09, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. Supportlogologist|Talk 02:56, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support: Anatopism 21:27, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  5. SupportChris 73 | Talk 08:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support --Ghirla | talk 09:54, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support -- Szopen 12:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support -- Ausir 09:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support, though I'm fine with the original version, too. —Nightstallion (?) 20:15, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support, and agree with Nightstallion. Olessi 01:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  11. Sipport, I'm all for the translation English county - Polish powiat, both ways ;-) Taw 20:29, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  12. Support F. Antares 20:38, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  13. Support - I am assuming that the Polish term powiat will be prominently mentioned and linked to in the articles, and appropriate redirects from Powiat of ... will be created. Balcer 03:14, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
  14. Support --Lysytalk 01:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  15. Support Sonitus 02:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  16. Support. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

District, i.e. Puławy district[edit]

  1. Support MCiura 09:15, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support this is the only correct translation, "county" means nothing; powiat is also perfect Juro 02:54, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support District is very clear. No need to make a new English word powiat. Bejnar 04:35, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Gmina vs. Commune[edit]

Gmina of Choroszcz[edit]

  1. Gdarin | talk 09:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Slawojarek 09:38, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. D T G 18:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Choroszcz Gmina[edit]

Gmina Choroszcz[edit]

Choroszcz Commune[edit]

  1. Support--SylwiaS | talk 01:56, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support - Calgacus 02:10, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. Supportlogologist|Talk 02:56, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support: Anatopism 21:27, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  5. SupportChris 73 | Talk 08:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support --Ghirla | talk 09:54, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support -- Ausir 09:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support, though I'm fine with the original version, too. —Nightstallion (?) 20:15, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support, and agree with Nightstallion. Olessi 01:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support F. Antares 20:38, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  11. Support --Lysytalk 01:19, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  12. Dobromila 09:47, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
  13. Support. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Choroszcz municipality[edit]

  1. Support MCiura 09:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support , again the best translation, but gmina is also perfect Juro 02:54, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support , municipality is widely used in English. Commune is French and has other unrelated meanings in English. Bejnar 04:37, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

No article on [[gmina|commune]]s at all[edit]

  1. This could be better described in the articles on capital towns rather than split between three articles (one on town, one on commune which, in most cases includes little more than the town itself and one on the powiat. Halibutt 00:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support Halibutt, because 1) he did most of the work on those articles 2) I have never ever heard commune used in relation to gmina. Veto to communes!--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:58, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I checked the articles on pl Wiki, and they are short indeed. It might be a good idea to merge them with towns/villages. Still, we need to have one term to call them.--SylwiaS | talk 05:41, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Unlike some countries, where towns and communes are coterminous, the gmina and its seat are very much separate entities. Most Polish Wikipedia articles are short because the initial version was bot-generated. Ausir 22:43, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed gmina and its capital town are distinct entities. However, the basic levels of administration as small as gminas are completely non-notable and unencyclopedic. Note that in 99% of cases the commune consists of the town itself and.. little more than a village or two. Nothing that couldn't be fitted in the article on the capital town. Anyway, I believe the decision to start the voting was a tad premature, as most of the people cast their votes before all of the proposals were added to the list. Halibutt 08:02, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
A village or two? An average commune has 24 municipalities or 17 with sołectwo status (2478 communes, about 60,000 towns and villages in Poland, 42,000 sołectwos). Ausir 08:52, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Does it mean that every single village should have its article in Wikipedia? 60k articles saying that XXX is a village in Poland would add little to wikipedia except for the number of separate articles of sub-stub quality. Halibutt 14:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I believe that every village in the world is by definition notable enough to be in Wikipedia, even if it starts as a short stub. The stubs generated by a bot in Polish Wikipedia are being constantly expanded (not to mention it led to cleaning up the whole mess in our old village articles), although we only have the 42k sołectwos, not all 60k villages. An example of a good gmina article can be pl:Gmina Boronów. Polish and English Wikipedia will certainly eventually have articles about all Polish villages - it's only a matter of time. I doubt anyone would succesfully AfD a village article, anyway. Ausir 19:00, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Heh, last days at pl-wiki were described couple of villages in... Czech Republic (pl:Bocanovice, pl:Chotěbuz, pl:Mosty u Jablunkova, pl:Nýdek, pl:Ropice) :) So why do not describe Polish villages at enwiki? Even if there wouldn't be any bot-generating action, I will try to describe gminas in powiat cieszyński, only waiting for decision about naming standards... D T G 21:19, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Can't the bot run here? Invite him! :-) Tobias Conradi (Talk) 11:42, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Definitions of "District" and "Municipality"?[edit]

Since voting began above, "Puławy District" and "Choroszcz Municipality" have been added. What are the Polish originals of these terms, and what do they refer to? Definitions would be helpful, if we are to vote on them too. logologist|Talk 15:43, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Is "District" supposed to be a synonym for "County," and "Municipality" — for "Commune"? logologist|Talk 15:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
If I understand the intent correctly, I think "District" might perhaps be better reserved for a term such as "Ziemia." As for "Municipality," "Commune" has the advantage of requiring a third as many syllables and being equally applicable to non-city entities. logologist|Talk 17:04, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd reserve district for dystrykt, that is the historical units of administration introduced by the Nazis. Halibutt 02:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Fine — use "dystrykt" for the Nazi entities, and let's use the English "district" for Polish entities! logologist|Talk 04:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
So, we'd have Districts (gmina), Distrikts (voivodship-sized in fact) and Dystrykts (used to refer to non-Polish entities). A perfect solution I'd say. So unambiguous... But seriously, it's been discussed ad nauseam and I still fail to see why should we invent our own names when there's a perfectly fitting set of names. Halibutt 06:21, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Miasto na prawach powiatu, Gmina miejska etc.[edit]

How to translate things like gmina miejska, miasto na prawach powiatu etc. I don't feel it's right to translate them county/commune, even though i support calling normal powiats/gminas "county/commune". Taw 20:32, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

It would have to be researched how these expressions are used. "Gmina miejska" might, for example, be rendered as "city commune"; and "miasto na prawach powiatu," as "county city." But the best thing would be to determine how the expressions are used functionally, then find the best English functional equivalents. In some cases, it might not be necessary to translate the entire clumsy expression. Anatopism 21:54, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I gather that the term "commune" is used both for cities and for non-city entities, e.g. for rural areas; hence it seems that "commune" ("gmina") cannot be translated into English simply as "city." Anatopism 22:14, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Gmina miejska is urban commune, I think. Ausir 23:01, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Vote results[edit]

Ok, I think we can close the vote in favour of "Puławy County" and "Choroszcz Commune", and start renaming the articles. I find Balcer's point valid, so the terms "powiat" and "gmina" should be mentioned. Maybe simply it should take this form in the lead of the articles:

Puławy County (pl: powiat puławski)... --SylwiaS | talk 17:09, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Concur. logologist|Talk 15:47, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Or even Puławy County (pl: powiat puławski, other translations: Powiat of Puławy, Puławy District, Puławy Poviat)... Ausir 17:40, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


Here's an external link with analysis of this situation, citing two biggest and most popular Polish-English/English-Polish dictionaries and other sources:

Here's a summary (not all of the terms were given in the article, I also added some from the discussion above):

Polish Oxford-PWN Kosciuszko Foundation TEPIS Ministry of Interior website Other
powiat powiat/county district poviat powiat district/powiat  
gmina district commune gmina gmina gmina municipality
województwo province province voivodeship voivodeship voivodship/province
wójt borough leader   voit voigt
starosta starosta   staroste district governor county foreman
wojewoda provincial governor governor voivode voivod/voivodship governor

Based on this, I'd say county and leaving powiat in the Polish are probably just as legitimate. Using district is a pretty bad idea, as it is used as a translation of powiat by KF and as a translation of gmina by Oxford-PWN, not to mention rejon and dystrykt. County is the most popular choice among Polish translators. On the other hand, looks like "poviat" is recommended by Polish Society of Economic, Legal and Court Translators (TEPIS) [1].

As for gmina, if we are not to use the ambiguous district recommended by Oxford-PWN, I'd say commune is the best choice, as it is the recommended option for European countries in KF. Commune seems to be the most popular choice among Polish translators, although "gmina" is recommended by TEPIS.

As for województwo, it's even tougher - two major dictionaries support "province", while the voivodships themselves use different terms on the official websites:

Województwo Official website TEPIS
dolnośląskie Lower Silesia Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Lower Silesia Dolnośląskie Voivodeship
kujawsko-pomorskie Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Cuiavia and Pomerania Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship
lubelskie no English website The Voivodeship of Lublin Lubelskie Voivodeship
lubuskie Lubuskie Province The Voivodeship of Lubusz Lubuskie Voivodeship
łódzkie Lodz Voivodship The Voivodeship of Łódź Łódzkie Voivodeship
małopolskie Małopolska Region The Voivodeship of Lesser Poland Małopolskie Voivodeship
mazowieckie Mazowieckie Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Mazovia Mazowieckie Voivodeship
opolskie Opolskie Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Opole Opolskie Voivodeship
podkarpackie no English website The Voivodeship of Sub-Carpathia Podkarpackie Voivodeship
podlaskie no English website The Voivodeship of Podlassia Podlaskie Voivodeship
pomorskie Pomorskie Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Pomerania Pomorskie Voivodeship
śląskie Śląsk Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Silesia Śląskie Voivodeship
świętokrzyskie Świętokrzyskie Voivodship The Voivodeship of Kielce Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship
warmińsko-mazurskie no English website The Voivodeship of Varmia and Masuria Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship
wielkopolskie Wielkopolska Region The Voivodeship of Greater Poland Wielkopolskie Voivodeship
zachodniopomorskie Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship The Voivodeship of Western Pomerania Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship

As you can see, half of the official websites use "voivodeship", the term recommended by TEPIS. Only 2 use "voivodship", the term currently used in Wikipedia. Ausir 13:22, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Really surprising :) For me voivedship sound the same indifferently as voivodship, on the other hand I used to term voivodship here. Will be any voting about województwa? And when will be any sum up of voting about powiaty and gminy? D T G 20:51, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the charts, Ausir. I think we should have a voting about "województwa" soon, but maybe there are people who'd like to say something more about it before the voting starts. I wouldn't like to hear again that it was premature. So please, if someone thinks there is anything more to say about it, do it now, so that we could start the voting soon.--SylwiaS | talk 17:15, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I think we should first give people some time to present their proposals and only then start the vote. Ausir 17:25, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I proposed a week on Wikipedia talk:Polish Wikipedians' notice board, but if you or anyone else think that more time is needed I'm fine with it.--SylwiaS | talk 17:31, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
We could start the vote on the translation of the word "województwo" now, since the available options are fairly obvious, but it's trickier for names of the individual voivodeships. Whether it's voivodship, voivodeship or province is an entirely different issue than whether it's Voivodeship of Lower Silesia, Lower Silesian Voivodship, Województwo Dolnośląskie or Dolny Śląsk Province. For the latter, I think the first vote should be more general (as in, Polish names or Latin/English names) and after the general vote a more specific one should be held. Ausir 17:32, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Types of administrative districts[edit]

Some other terms where we need to choose a translation to be used in Wikipedia.

powiat ziemski[edit]

====county==== (Any county that is not a "city-county" — see below.)

  1. Anatopism 15:42, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. logologist|Talk 15:58, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. KonradWallenrod 20:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. SylwiaS | talk 19:46, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

land county[edit]

Used by the government.

  1. Ausir 19:27, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
    KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. D T G 11:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. Shaqspeare 07:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

rural county[edit]

  1. Sonitus 02:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    "Rural" is not a good idea to me since they also contain cities. Ausir 07:04, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
What exactly does "ziemski" denote here? logologist|Talk 08:09, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Ziemski literally means "land" - it denotes that it does not consist only of one city, as powiat grodzki does. Ausir 08:15, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

powiat grodzki[edit]

====city-county==== (e.g., Warsaw City-County — as in "City and County of San Francisco" and "City and County of Denver").

  1. Anatopism 15:42, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. logologist|Talk 15:58, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. KonradWallenrod 20:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. Ausir 19:27, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. SylwiaS | talk 19:47, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
  6. Shaqspeare 07:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  7. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

urban county[edit]

  1. Sonitus 02:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. D T G 11:30, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    SylwiaS | talk 15:25, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

municipal county[edit]

  1. Support, though I'm in favour of powiat actually. //Halibutt 18:52, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

independent city[edit]

city county[edit]

gmina wiejska[edit]

Any other proposals?

rural commune[edit]

  1. Ausir 19:27, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. tsca 19:44, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. Sonitus 02:54, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  6. D T G 11:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  7. --SylwiaS | talk 15:25, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  8. Anatopism 15:44, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  9. Shaqspeare 07:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  10. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

gmina miejska[edit]

urban commune[edit]

  1. tsca 19:44, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. Ausir 19:27, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. Sonitus 02:54, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  6. D T G 11:34, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  7. --SylwiaS | talk 15:25, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  8. Anatopism 15:44, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  9. Shaqspeare 07:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  10. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

municipal commune[edit]

gmina miejsko-wiejska[edit]

urban-rural commune[edit]

  1. tsca 19:44, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. Ausir 19:27, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. Sonitus 02:55, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  6. D T G 11:34, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  7. --SylwiaS | talk 15:26, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  8. Anatopism 15:44, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  9. 16:15, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  10. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

mixed commune[edit]

rural-municipial commune[edit]

Names of offices[edit]

Here, I believe votes for "wójt", "voit" and "vogt" should be counted together when counted against "commune chief". Same with "starosta", "staroste" and "starost" against "county chief" as it can be assumed that people who vote for one of them would prefer any of the other variants of the same word than a completely different one. Ausir 17:51, 9 March 2006 (UTC)


commune chief[edit]

  1. logologist|Talk 08:09, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. --SylwiaS | talk 15:27, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. Anatopism 15:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. 16:16, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  6. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)


# logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

  1. Ausir 08:16, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:43, 10 June 2006 (UTC)


  1. D T G 13:20, 7 March 2006 (UTC) (adviced by tepis, my votes were generally compatible with their choices)
  2. Halibutt 12:44, 17 March 2006 (UTC) though voigt seems also a fair choice


commune leader[edit]


county chief (see also: Halibutt's comment)[edit]

  1. logologist|Talk 08:09, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. --SylwiaS | talk 15:27, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. Anatopism 15:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)


# logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

  1. Ausir 00:01, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

staroste (see also: Logologist's comment)[edit]

  1. D T G 13:20, 7 March 2006 (UTC) (adviced by tepis, my votes were generally compatible with their choices)
  2. Halibutt 09:11, 8 March 2006 (UTC) though "starost" is also used at times


  1. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:45, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

county foreman[edit]

county governor[edit]

  1. tsca 19:45, 6 March 2006 (UTC)





  1. Ausir 19:24, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. Sonitus 02:55, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. D T G 13:20, 7 March 2006 (UTC) (and again cause of tepis, in addition it sound good comparing to my previous vote about voivodeships ;)
  4. Definitely. "Gubernator prowincji" is not "wojewoda".. Halibutt 09:12, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
  5. Appleseed (Talk) 16:13, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
  6. Dobromila 09:51, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
  7. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:44, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

voivodeship/province governor[edit]

  1. logologist|Talk 06:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC) "Province governor"
  2. KonradWallenrod 08:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. --SylwiaS | talk 15:28, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  4. Anatopism 15:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC). Per Logologist.
  5. Mattergy 07:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

New template[edit]

I just created a new template, Subdivision term Polish (based on a similar one for Spanish-speaking countries) and put it in some articles to see what it looks like. Please take a look and say how you like it. Of course, it may be updated according to the agreements reached on this talk page. Kpalion 14:06, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Eee, what is gromada? I have heard it first time... Maybe you can add to historical kasztelania? D T G 22:57, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
pl:Gromada (podział administracyjny). It's also historical, though. Ausir 07:49, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps all the fancy little hamlet names could be added as well? Sioło, hutor, przysiółek, osada... Halibutt 09:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

County chief?[edit]

Who invented that name? I never saw it in use anywhere and it seems like a joke. Reminds me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest... Halibutt 21:28, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it's closer to "police chief," "Joint Chiefs of Staff, "Chief Financial Officer," or "Chief Administrative Officer." logologist|Talk 08:32, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, but have you ever seen the word "chief" referred to the head of a Polish county or commune? I'd prefer to stick to options recommended by various existing sources. Ausir 08:42, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Some sources give bad advice. logologist|Talk 09:02, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm still opposed to inventing our own terms. Ausir 09:08, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I've never seen "county chief" and "commune chief" in use. Let's stick to the various options already in use rather than invent new ones (WP:NOR). Ausir 22:28, 8 March 2006 (UTC)


"Staroste" looks like something written by an English-speaker who can't spell in any language. It reflects badly on both the English-speakers and the Poles. If the Polish word "starosta" is retained, then by all means at least spell it correctly! logologist|Talk 16:32, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, it is recommended by the Polish Society of Economic, Legal and Court Translators (TEPIS). Ausir 16:40, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
You make my point exactly. logologist|Talk 17:20, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I believe the tepis that they know what are they doing... Have you ever heard the term foreman in meaning starosta? D T G 13:12, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
No. "Foreman" is used in the senses of "one that has charge of a group of workers, as at a factory," or "the chairman and spokesman for a jury." I have never seen "foreman" applied to the chief officer of a county in any country. logologist|Talk 18:59, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Have you seen chief used for that, then? Ausir 22:10, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Województwo, wojewoda[edit]

The commonest English name for a national second-level administrative unit, corresponding among others to the Polish "województwo," is "province."

The Polish version of this word ("prowincja") was used somewhat differently in the pre-Partition Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as a term designating each of the Commonwealth's three major constituent parts: Wielkopolska ("Greater Poland"), Małopolska ("Lesser Poland"), and Lithuania. Since Poland's resumption of independence at the end of World War I, however, "prowincja" has not been applied to any Polish political entity. Hence the English word "province" may be used, with no risk of confusion, for Poland's post-World War I województwa (the plural of "województwo").

Discussions of the pre-Partition Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth will apply the word "province" to Wielkopolska, Małopolska and Lithuania, and will use the Polish word "województwo" (preferably, in English-language texts, not the "Polish"-English hybrid word, "voivodship") to designate what today may in English be termed a "province."

During the Partitions period, "province" referred to certain "provinces" governed by the partitioning powers.

There is, in any case, no compelling reason to avoid using the English word "province" to designate Poland's present-day województwa.

A województwo ("province") is governed by a wojewoda, which may be rendered in English as "governor."

logologist|Talk 06:19, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe term "Province" was used for Little and Greater Poland and Lithuania in the past in the Poland Kingdom. However if the województwo where I live would be named with the usage of term Province... would reflect me horrible association - I will always oppose using term Province with Silesia according to what is now Województwo Śląskie... Regards, D T G 13:06, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Official English names used in Polish Government[edit]

On this document (PDF [2]) published by Commission for Standardisation of Geographical Names Outside Poland (official standardization body) there are official translation of names of Polish administrative units.
Województwo = Voivodship (or province)
powiat = county (land counties and urban counties)
gmina = commune (rural communes, urban-rular communes, urban communes)

See at official map of Poland [3]
Aotearoa from Poland 21:05, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Gush, have they ever been cooperating ? (TEPIS, CfSoGNOP) ;) And it seems to me quite freak county -> countries and cause of that I'll continue to support tepis voices - seem more professional :) D_T_G (PL) 21:24, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, they use "counties", Aotearoa made a mistake. Ausir 21:54, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


Whatever the outcome of the above votes, if we use Polish terms, let's use Polish grammatical rules for making plurals instead of creating some terrible hybrids (so powiaty, not powiats, gminy, not gminas). Kpalion 13:15, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Disagree.' They're not "terrible hybrids". That's what is done with a word when it's borrowed into another language - it's usually inflected like other words in that language. When English words are borrowed into Polish, they also get Polish inflectional affixes. Ausir 15:09, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
It may be true in Polish were awful hybrids like outsourcowanie are acceptable (at least by some), but is not necessarily true for English. Note that many common English words of foreign origin have retained their original plural forms (e.g. cacti, bacteria, plateaux, Inuit). Powiat or gmina are not even common English words borrowed from Polish, they're just Polish words which may be insterted into an English text. Therefore I believe Polish grammatical rules should apply for them. Kpalion 15:45, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Keeping original plurals happens sometimes (mostly with words borrowed from Latin), but it's still rather an exception than a rule. Well, "województwos" certainly looks a bit silly (but we're probably going to use voivod(e)ship), but "po(v/w)iats" and "gminas" don't feel too weird. Taw 13:25, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
May I point out that an accepted English plural of "zloty" is "zlotys", so there is precedent. Sonitus 02:58, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team cooperation[edit]

Hello. I'm a member of the Version 1.0 Editorial Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing articles using these criteria, and we are are asking for your help. As you are most aware of the issues surrounding your focus area, we are wondering if you could provide us with a list of the articles that fall within the scope of your WikiProject, and that are either featured, A-class, B-class, or Good articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Do you have any recommendations? If you do, please post your suggestions at the listing of all active Places WikiProjects, and if you have any questions, ask me in the Work Via WikiProjects talk page or directly in my talk page. Thanks a lot! Titoxd(?!? - help us) 18:37, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Expert opinion[edit]

I have received a commentary on the issues we are discussing here from Dr. Danuta Kierzkowska, President of Polish Society of Economic, Legal and Court Translators TEPIS (Polskie Towarzystwo Tłumaczy Przysięgłych i Specjalistycznych TEPIS[4]), as well as her perimission to post relevant parts of her email here. I will post the original Polish text here, and I'll translate it when I have more time (feel free to do so before me :>). I'd also like to thank Dr. Kierzkowska for her much needed expert contribution to our debate.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:49, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Temat dyskutowany w Wikipedii jest kontrowersyjny od wieków i nawet powołanie na poziomie międzyanarodowym lub narodowym, rządowym lub naukowym (PAN), specjalnej komisji, która podjęłaby decyzję na ten temat, nie rozwiązałoby problemu, bo ludzie i tak pozostaliby przy swoich poglądach, a decyzja mogłaby mieć przecież formę zaleceń, a nie przepisów prawa.

Cała sprawa jest o tyle mało ekscytująca dla tłumaczy, o ile zawsze było im wiadomo, że racje są jednakowo po obu stronach. Żadna decyzja nie zmieni faktu, że zapożyczenie jest jedną ze znanych i uznanych od wieków technik tłumaczeniowych, które jednak nie wyklucza i nigdy nie wykluczało stosowania w tłumaczeniu wersji przyjętych w języku docelowym. Jedna i druga technika ma swoje racje bytu, więc żadne tutaj rozstrzygnięcie nie będzie ostateczne.

Oczywiście dylemat ma specyficzny aspekt ambicjonalny natury międzynarodowej, ponieważ każe wybierać między "właścicielem" pojęcia w języku źródłowym a "właścicielem" języka docelowego, z których każdy chce być ważniejszy.

Jako więc "właściciele" języka polskiego, naśladując brytyjski imperalizm językowy, powinniśmy mówić o województwach i powiatach w Anglii, zaś uznając post-jałtańskich "właścicieli" byłych miast polskich (i bojąc się posądzenia o rewizjonizm), powinniśmy mówić o Lvivie i Vilniusie ... I tak dalej.

Skądinąd trend rządów (nie tylko) europejskich, aby "być sobą" i pozostawiać w oryginalnym brzmieniu Reichstag, Kneset, Dumę i Sejm wymownie wskazuje na tendencję w pewnym zakresie, i chociaż nie musi się to wszystkim podobać, to na ogół taką wolę się szanuje.

Natomiast co do propozycji głosowania to powiem tylko tyle, że na co dzień posługuję się zasadą: "Składu substancji chemicznej nie ustala się w drodze plebiscytu". A tam, gdzie nie do końca o czystą wiedzę chodzi, tylko o kolor lub styl - to trzeba po prostu coś wybrać i na coś się zdecydować.

Właściciel portalu (Wikipedia), jeżeli chce mieć u siebie porządek (a musi?), powinien przyjąć jedną z dwóch opcji i jej przestrzegać. Ponieważ wie, że zawsze w ten sposób narazi się którejś ze stron, to woli - być może całkiem świadomie - nie podejmować żadnej decyzji i pozostawić świat bez retuszu - pełen międzynarodowych dysonansów, które dają jednak prawdziwy obraz rzeczywistości. Albo ukuć jakąś formułę salomonową, która zadowoliłaby obie strony. Ale to jest ich problem.

Dr. Danuta Kierzkowska, President of Polskie Towarzystwo Tłumaczy Przysięgłych i Specjalistycznych TEPIS[5]

Dr. Kierzkowska's above remarks on translation highlight a valid point: There are many ways to skin a cat. The approach a translator takes may vary, depending on his understanding of the process and purpose.

There is an entire spectrum of approaches to translation. At one extreme, paradoxically, is non-translation. The Christian and Muslim worlds long disapproved of translating, respectively, the Latin Vulgate Bible and the Qur'an. William Tyndale, who had ventured to translate the Bible into English, was in 1536 strangled and burned at the stake. Muslims the world over, Arabic- and non-Arabic-speaking, to this day recite the sacred words of the Qur'an in the original Arabic.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is 100% translation, right down to proper names of persons and geographic entities.

As a practical matter, translators generally use target-language expressions where adequate equivalents exist, while — when necessary — importing source-language expressions into the target language, thereby creating target-language neologisms that are either loanwords or calques.

In the matter of translating Polish geographic terms into English, there are several schools of thought. One is to retain, wholly or partly unchanged, source-language generic expressions ("powiat," "voivodship") while "translating" proper names (as "Silesia," "Mazovia," "Greater Poland," etc.). The converse approach is to render Polish generic terms by English equivalents ("county," "province") while retaining Polish proper names in their original noun forms ("Śląsk," "Mazowsze," "Wielkopolska").

The latter approach is the one I favor. It is my premise that, in principle, proper names should be used in the form in which they are used by their originators, with due consideration to the structural characteristics of the target language.

If "województwo" is rendered as "province," then in English-language histories of the pre-Partition Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Polish term "prowincja" (referring severally to Wielkopolska, Małopolska and Lithuania) could, to avoid any confusion, be rendered by another English word, perhaps "palatinate." (In Polish-language histories, of course, this would continue to be no problem, since the original Polish words, "województwo" and "prowincja," would remain in use as they are now.)

logologist|Talk 09:20, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Considering that some texts actually refer to Polish voivodships as 'palatinates' this would only add to the confusion. I will stay with my preference for 'voivode/voivodship'. They already have a Wikipedia article - so we cannot 'lock them back' and pretend they didn't exist.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:32, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I gave "palatinate," as a potential English equivalent for the 18th-century Polish "prowincyja," merely as an example. Actually, a better word might be "region": the "regions" of Wielkopolska, Małopolska and Lithuania. And if "region" is for some reason unavailable, then maybe there's still another word.
The point is to free up "province" for use as the English equivalent for the Polish "województwo," so as not to have to use that ugly hybrid word, "voivod(e)ship." When even Polish governmental agencies often render "województwo" into English as "province," it seems a shame to needlessly hold the 21st century hostage to an obsolete Polish 18th-century usage ("prowincyja," which, by the way, was not all that often needed: it appears only once in the main text of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791). logologist|Talk 06:14, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

And again I happen to differ with my honourable colleague Logologist. We're not here to invent names, but we should also avoid confusion. If we are to translate Polish pre-partition province as palatinate and modern voivodship as province, then we're left with a complete mess. What's more is that there were also proper historical regions that could also be translated as provinces. Yet, Greater Poland and province of Greater Poland were different from each other and from Greater Poland voievodship.

So, in other words we could either follow the Polish way (which is pretty unambiguous as it calls these regions, provinces and voivodships, respectively) or invent some "English" way - for no apparent reason. If we were to apply your changes, the scheme would look like that:

Polish "Polish way" Logologist
województwo voivodeship province
prowincja province palatinate
region region  ?
palatynat palatinate  ?

Not the most logical way if you asked me. To add to the confusion, we also have other entities that could be translated as province if we wanted to translate all similar terms as such. Unitedstatesian states are also provinces, not to mention British counties, Russian oblasts and whatnot.

I also oppose the idea (pushed by my respected colleague) that the English names for the Polish historical regions (Greater Poland, Masovia, Lesser Poland and so on) are to be dropped and replaced with their Polish counterparts. I don't really see a reason behind that. Sure, such a solution might seem nice and pleasant-looking to a Pole, but I doubt any Briton looking for more info on the area around Poznań would look for "Wielkopolska", as this most surely means absolutely nothing to him. Greater Poland seems more logical. But of course, I'm not a native speaker and perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps most modern English speakers are perfectly familiar to Polish names of Polish regions. //Halibutt 00:48, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Esteemed colleague Halibutt, you may have noticed that I've given up on "palatinate" as a potential English equivalent for the 18th-century Polish "prowincyja."
Could you give some examples of the use of "region" in Polish political geography?
Regarding your closing question: Few English-speakers (Wikipedians, of course, excepted) are familiar with more than the name of the country, "Poland," and its capital, and perhaps the continent these are found on. logologist|Talk 03:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

"Expert" Opinion?[edit]

This is the ENGLISH-language Wikipedia. English-speakers have, throughout history, had their own interpretations and pronunciations of countries, cities, towns, provinces etc., (i.e: Rome, instead of Roma, Warsaw instead of Warszawa, Brussels instead of Bruxelles, etc). It is surely laughable to cite a Pole as "expert opinion" on the naming issues when they have the reputation they do as fanatical nationalists whose history books read quite differently to everyone elses. Independent opinions should be sought from English-speakers for the English-language Wikipedia. English predominates in the world today. 18:32, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

While the earlier statements are true (arrogant English speakers have developed their own), the latter sentiment is not -- English does not predominate. It is my understanding that there are far more Chinese speakers than English.