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Wikitravel talk:Naming conventions

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Previous discussions have been moved to Wikitravel_talk:Article naming conventions/Archive.

Accented characters discussion → Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions/Accented characters

Official names discussion → Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions/official names



Restaurant naming discussion moved to Wikitravel talk:Foreign-language_names#Establishment names.

Prefecture, provinces and other regional units[edit]

Most countries are administratively divided up into states, provinces, prefectures and such things. Should the naming convention for these be "X", "X province", "X (province)" or what? In eg. Thailand and Japan, it's very common to name the province after its biggest city, leading to a bit of a namespace conflict if only "X" is used...

My personal preference would be cities into "X" and province into "X province"; this allows at least reasonably sane linking, whereas "X (province)" can't be linked to in text without ugliness like [[X (province)|X province]]. Jpatokal 09:32, 22 Aug 2004 (EDT)

We haven't really had a big problem with this so far. Kansas, Northumbria, Bavaria, etc. all work out pretty well without an extra name at the end.
So, I don't think we need a special rule for it. If the province or prefecture is more often called "X province" than "X", then just use "X province" as the name. Some examples: County Donegal, Orange Free State.
If not, then use "X (city)" and "X (province)" (this is the first rule for disambiguation). If one or the other is sufficiently better known that the disambiguators are strange, use "X" for that one, and "X (disambiguator)" for the other.
Yes, writing disambiguators is a pain. There's not an easy way to get around it when there are two places with the same name, though. --Evan 14:25, 22 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Wikimedia automaticaly converts a space in title to "_" (ie,underscore) why not it also convert other charactres like ().'- to a single underscore. This will allow [[X (province)]] and [[X province]] link to same place. Also [[Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)|]] will be same as [[Sault Ste Marie (Ontario)|]]. Also URL will look better than and which is also easy to read out to somebody ~Bijee
I fail to see why URL's should be rendered in a readily human readable form. I do not see the issue as being a MediaWiki problem. URL's tell computers where to locate resources, such as web pages. The only reason underscore and %numbers are used by MediaWiki is because a URL cannot contain a space or special characters like ().' The fact that humans can read URL's is a side effect of the people who wrote the internet standards thinking it would be good if humans could write down and type URL's. While I agree that having nice names for URL's is a tidy way to go, it does not reflect the reality. Technically [[X (province)]] and [[X province]] are different pages so need to have different URL's. Similarly [[Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)|]] and [[Sault Ste Marie (Ontario)|]] are different because of the period, so should have different URL's. The reason for having naming conventions is so that everyone calls places by the same name and we do not have variations in spellings in the first place. - Huttite 07:02, 21 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Forget technicalities, I think Bijee's making some very good points here. I agree that the "X (province)" style is very clumsy and it would save a lot of redirects if "X province" would automatically resolve to the right page. Same with periods in place names. Jpatokal 09:34, 21 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Thanks Huttite, but please understand (sorry some technicalities) The fact that humans can read URL and HTML is NOT an accidental side effect it was the sole purpose of URL and HTML. I wonder know people remember those times, that is before URL there was better links facilities like OLE links in MS-Windows and other links facilities in other OS and DB Management Systems, pointers in programming languages etc. none were human readble, but much efficient for computer than URL. And for creating documents there was RTF format and other document formats far matured than HTML. Reason why founders of WWW choose/invented URL and HTML is to improve readability of the source text. But sadly tools like MS-Frontpage, DreamWeaver, MS-Office HTML Editor etc. start adding the fancy features and now web developers make a mess with HTML. Wikimedia site and wikitag are a big relief from those sh***. So I was only suggesting to improve URL in that way. I dont believe there is a chance of existence of two different palace one with name "X (province)" and other with "X province". If there is then we could always do "X (country)" for one of them. Please understand I am not asking to change title, I only want other to ask developers to modify software which generate nice URLs. Bijee 13:24, 21 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Georgia (state)| to Georgia (state)|Georgia[edit]

One of the advantage of writing in with wiki tag is, it is easy to read the source text. We could write [[Georgia (state)|]] to achieve [[Georgia (state)|Georgia]] which will be shown as Georgia. This saves typing, but sadly the wikimedia software automatically corrects [[Georgia (state)|]] to [[Georgia (state)|Georgia]] and this makes source less readable. It would have been better if we could turn off this automatic conversion of source text, but hide display of (state) automatically. ~Bijee

The correction is really a deliberate shorthand to save typing. The reason the MediaWiki software converts [[Georgia (state)|]] into [[Georgia (state)|Georgia]] is because the parentheses were used to enclose the disambiguation term for two or more pages that would otherwise have identical names. All wiki links have the form [[Page name|article text]] except when Page name is the same as article text, when [[Page name]] or [[page name]] is sufficient. -- Huttite 07:13, 21 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Thanks, but what is stopping us from creating one more new Wiki link standard of the form
[[Page name|<blank implied article text>]] -- Bijee 13:27, 21 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I would also prefer that this didn't happen at save time. I don't know how many times I've seen a link like [[Georgia (state)|Georgia]] and changed it to [[New York (state)|Georgia]] or some such. Bijee, it'd be nice if you could write this up as a feature request. --Evan 17:41, 21 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Rule 2 or 1[edit]

I find that rule 1 is more usefull as it shows the context, eg Georgia (USA) is more usefull than Georgia (state). My opinion is that the (<level>) notation should be used only when the lower level name refers to a location in the higher level, eg. New York (city). Just my two cents.

Foreign-language characters[edit]

So, I've severely abbreviated the section of foreign-language characters. It was contradicting, in part, the first section, which I think is the paramount rule (most common English name for a place). If the most common English name for a place has a non-ASCII accented character, we should of course use that name; it's not our job to make up names for places, just to fit in URLs. If there is no English name for a place (a very rare thing), we should use a romanized version of the local name.

I think there's a strong argument against using non-Latin chars in article names, but I think we were getting too caught up in accented character issues. Comments? Criticisms? --Evan 07:44, 18 Jan 2005 (EST)

I'm still thinking this through. I personally would like to have at least a native-language (and probably even native spelling) reference to the article. I'm still searching for reasons ;-)

One related question: what's with accented characters? Like "Baden-Württemberg", or "Fürth". Should there not at least be a redirect from the proper spelling? (I hate having to mangle my name to Juergen, so maybe I feel protective of those üs ;-) --Jae 09:14, 19 Jan 2005 (EST)
I believe the foreign language spelling should be a redirect to the English article. Indeed, I think every alternative name nentioned in the first line of the article probably should have a redirect. -- Huttite 04:18, 20 Jan 2005 (EST)
I'm with Huttite on this - The version with accents/diacritics could be used but there should be at least a redirect to/from the English alphabet version. Has a consensus on this been reached yet? The current conventions still don't look quite clear to me. Thanks. Rmx 11:34, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)

Consensus has been reached (after a long discussion which I can't find right now), and the policy seems fairly clear to me:

Use only Latin characters for all article names (not just place names). Latin characters are the letters A through Z, capitalized or not, with or without accents or diacritics.

This has been inconsistently applied though, and things get a bit hairy when trying to decide if the "most common" version of the name has accents or not. Jpatokal 21:43, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)

Foreign language characters in names[edit]

Swept in from Pub

There are a few of these about: Trollhättan, Copenhagen/Østerbro (Copenhagen/Osterboro redirects), Mexico City/Coyoacán, Wörthersee, Åre, Österlen, Åland. Should these all be moved to the closest English alphabet equivalent? Hypatia 17:14, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)

This has been debated before. My opinion — currently in the minority — continues to be that we should follow Wikipedia [1] and allow all characters in ISO-8859-1 (Latin1). Jpatokal 06:59, 19 Dec 2004 (EST)
why not unicode ? it's been around for a while already. Wojsyl 18:33, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)
Because some browsers (*cough* safari *cough*) molest some unicode characters when editing articles -- Colin 19:02, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)
I believe they should be move to the best anglicied version of the word for the page title. By all means show the unicode or whatever makes the characters look right in the text of the link but I think we should only use the characters A-Z for English articles. My logic is primarily that the sort order is disturbed as Å follows Z rather than A in unicode and hence English searches. If you provide both alternative spellings in the text then the name will turn up on a search even if the wrong character was used.
As an aside I notice that cafe is being misspelt without the accent - according to my dictionary - Any consensus on this? -- Huttite 19:43, 8 Jan 2005 (EST)
We Americans really do spell it without the accent. We're special that way. [2]-- Colin 22:38, 8 Jan 2005 (EST)
GOOD! - One benefit of an American spelling policy - no cafe with an accented e. I can agree with that practice. -- Huttite 03:19, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)
A cafe is a different beast from a Café. A cafe is a greasy-spoon fry cook kind of place where you can get bad food and bad coffee. A café is a place where you can get decent coffee and hang out and read or talk or whatever. If we're going to rely on wictionary I guess I'm going to have to change it there too. -- Mark 09:17, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)
Well we have a lot of greasy spoons in Wikitravel then. I put cafe -> café into the the spellingchecker list and it gives a couple of hundred pages. -- Huttite 09:23, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)
Don't do that, or you are going to wind up messing up the names of a bunch of places which call themselves "café". Seriously, if it says Café Kopi over the door it should be called that in Wikitravel too, but if it's called Kozy cafe on the sign then that's what we should call it too. -- Mark 09:29, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)

Shortest common form[edit]

I think this has been de facto policy on Wikitravel for some time, but based on the case of Santa Catalina I think it's good to record it as policy — so if there are multiple common forms, the shortest one should win. And in particular, this means leaving off trailing bits like "Island", "City" etc if they are not needed. Jpatokal 01:49, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

There is one major exception: U.S. Counties (the local unit of governement in most U.S. states) are always referred to in with the word county included, for instance Cook County. There may be a few exceptions, but I'm not aware of any. -- Mark
I'm going to take this out. No, the shortest one shouldn't win -- the most common one should win. That's why we have Prince Edward Island rather than "PEI", United Kingdom rather than "UK", and California rather than "Cali". Often, the shortest name is also the most common, but I don't think this works as a rule. All of the examples you gave are covered by most-common rather than shortest, anyways. --Evan 10:29, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
Interesting strawman you've constructed there, but I'm talking about shortest common forms, the assumption being that there are several common forms to choose from.
If there are several common forms, we choose the most common. I'm reverting your revert. --Evan 11:06, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
What I'm really interested in, though, is a policy on naming places like Tioman or Santa Catalina. Should it be Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman as in the original Malay, or just Tioman? I think the last, and I think Wikitravel tradition to date agrees, but it would be good to have a consistent policy on this. Jpatokal 10:40, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
Which is the most common English name? Use that one. --Evan 11:09, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
And when there is no most common English name? Yonaguni, Yonagunijima or Yonaguni Island? Even in Japanese both 与那国 Yonaguni and 与那国島 Yonagunijima (Yonaguni Island) are used. Jpatokal 11:47, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
Catalina is weird. In California, we usually use the San/Santa prefixes for Spanish-named places. Catalina is the only one I can think of where the Santa is routinely dropped. I'm unsure which form is the most common. I suspect without any actually facts to back me up that Santa Catalina is used more in print, and Catalina is used more verbally.
Hypothetically, however.... this brings up a number of interesting questions. If form1 of a name is used more often than form2 verbally but less often in print, what then? If form1 and form2 are pretty much equally used, what then?
Regarding JPatokal's proposed solution to the latter problem, I'd be fine with "use shortest form" as a tiebreaker. But it would need to be clear that this is only a tiebreaker policy and does not supercede existing rules; examples like "North Korea" vs. "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" are bogus since existing policy already favors the former form. "Langkawi Island" vs "Langkawi" is a good example since both are used. -- Colin 15:47, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

Revive discussion on using old, discontinued names vs new official names[edit]

Moved to Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions/official names by Evan

City and province[edit]

I moved the city and province example out of the disambiguation "rules" and into the examples. I think that the case derives logically from the disambig rules, so it's not necessary to make it a separate rule. The rules are complicated enough as it is, after all. I think, though, that it's a remarkably common example that's worth calling out. --Evan 09:34, 7 Dec 2005 (EST)

The Ukraine vs Ukraine[edit]

I reverted the edit of an anonymous user who apparently objects to The being used with Ukraine, on the grounds that Ukraine is free and no longer part of the former Soviet Union. To me, however, The Ukraine is a common enough expression for it to be a common English name for Ukraine. Besides, the example given is recommending to not use the in any case. -- Huttite 20:01, 23 Dec 2005 (EST)

so you're reverting to an unused name again? Taking a look at wikipedia [3] I confirmed what I stated in my explanation: The Ukraine is a deprecated nomination, using it would be like using Lutea instead of Paris. I agree both are similar enough to recognize it, but I see this as an update of the current situation.
the explanation also clearly states that normally start with "the". here it doesn't... nowhere. If you don't revert it (or react) I will. If you feel it should stay, please update all references to Ukraine as it's never used with the -- 16:43, 25 Dec 2005 (EST) (User:Twopeak that can't seem to get logged in for some odd reason)
While I would not use Wikipedia as a primary source for confirming English usage, what that article does say is: "The country is often referred to in English with the definite article, as the Ukraine." And the reason for this usage stems from the country previously being formally called The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in bygone times; with prefixing the definite article being necessary usage in English. This English article usage carried over into the abbreviated form of the Republic's name, which is now the country's name. This usage is still acceptable English - even according to the Wikipedia article - though many media organisations are now avoiding it for the sake of political correctness.
What Wikitravel's article naming conventions are saying about using the definite article is do not use The as a prefix to the article name about the country of Ukraine, because the place name is not always used with a the in front of it. I think it is already saying what you are trying to say, but for entirely different reasons. I would prefer to keep this example of the avoidance of including The in an article name for pragmatic reasons - because it is a common English construct for many place names - and in Ukraine's case also apparently Politically Incorrect and possibly inappropriate usage.
I am sorry if Ukraine's inclusion upsets you but I think it is The best example of when and why we do NOT prefix an article name with The, because many English speakers still say The Ukraine as if The were part of the country name. I think we both agree that Ukraine is better usage. -- Huttite 17:23, 25 Dec 2005 (EST)
PS: If you are switching between language versions you need to log on to each language version separately. -- Huttite 17:23, 25 Dec 2005 (EST)

Commas and Brackets[edit]

From what I understand, using a comma in Huntsville, Ontario and Huntsville, Alabama is not standard. But I think people in real life use the comma and not brackets to show states. However, if it is to show the difference with places with the same name [ie New York (City)/New York (State) or Salzburg (city)/Salzburg(state)] then a bracket would be suitable. Kingjeff 00:49, 30 Dec 2005 (EST)

Pretty much repeating what I said on Talk:Huntsville (Alabama) and Talk:Huntsville (Ontario). -- Huttite 02:44, 30 Dec 2005 (EST)
I disagree. People will typically type Huntsville. The Wikitravel:Article naming conventions say we use the simplest English names. If two names are the same ONLY then do we disambiguate, so we then use Huntsville (Alabama) and Huntsville (Ontario), together with a Huntsville disambiguation page. Remember, this is NOT Wikipedia. (And I also think the people at Wikipedia got it wrong. But it was too hard for them to explain how it should have been done.) We have different rules. The current instructions even explain why.
I also think it makes less sense to call an article about a place Huntsville, Alabama than Huntsville (Alabama) because if I want to call it Huntsville all I write is [[Huntsville (Alabama)|]] not [[Huntsville, Alabama|Huntsville]]. It is less work, surprisingly! Besides we only need the (Alabama), or whatever, if there are two or more Huntsvilles.
In probably 90% - 99% of cases there is only one place with the name that we want to write about and have a page for. That means most of the time if we enforced a name, state format we would do too much typing and we would have a lot of redirects from places called name to name, state when there was no need. We might even end up with two articles, one called name and one called name, state. Besides this is also too UnitedStatesOfAmericaO'Centrick, nobody else in the world wants to put their state name after their place name, just to get a unique name. Other countries just call it by the place name and make sure that there is a good national place name approval process so that not too many important places get a duplicate name. And if they are duplicates then they are on the other side of the world, not in the State next door.
Another thing, if I write [[Huntsville (Alabama)|]],[[Alabama]] then I get Huntsville, Alabama and two links for the price of one and a bit. Each name takes me to the article the name represents and one qualifies the other.
Finally, if you are going to make a change like this there are lots of other disambiguated names that this will need to be applied to. A change like this is severely major and will be resisted severely due to the high existing investment in the current convention. You will also lose wiki functionality associated with the disambiguation feature Same_name (disambiguator) in article titles. I would counsel against it - strongly. -- Huttite 02:44, 30 Dec 2005 (EST)

I don't think this way is complicated unless you make it complicated. You still have to write the word Alabama and Ontario irregardless of which form you use. Kingjeff 11:03, 30 Dec 2005 (EST)

Taipei County and RDF[edit]

So here's a weird case. There's a huge, districted city called Taipei, and around it is a "county" (really more of a state/province) called Taipei County, which contains lots of full-fledged cities and towns.

Now, standard Wikitravel policy is that the first would be "Taipei" and the second "Taipei (county)". However, if we use isIn to lay out the breadcrumbs, "Taipei/District" would look like this:

: Taiwan : Taipei : District

And a city which isIn "Taipei (county)" would look like this:

: Taiwan : Taipei : City

In other words, the path is identical, even though they're actually geographically in different regions. The obvious fix would be to keep "Taipei County" so the paths become:

: Taiwan : Taipei : District
: Taiwan : Taipei County : City

Is this is a problem? Jpatokal 05:12, 3 Jan 2006 (EST)

I think Taipei County is OK. I have used Greater Wellington for a similar situation in New Zealand. Also a lot of US towns have SuchAndSuch County. I think it is Ok not to use disambiguators in such cases, especially if County is a common (or official) name for the greater area. -- Huttite 05:39, 3 Jan 2006 (EST)
I think what you're saying is that two different breadcrumb lines on two different pages may have the same text but different links. I don't think that's really that big a deal. Also, shouldn't Taipei-the-city be in Taipei-the-county? --Evan 13:22, 3 Jan 2006 (EST)
No, in Taiwan the major city of the area is surrounded by a generally more rural county of (coincidentally) the same name. However, administratively they are totally different units, i.e. the head of the county is not the city of the same name. For example, in Taipei County, Banciao City is the administrative capital, not Taipei City. Anon. 4 Jan 06
Thanks. I learned something about Taiwan today! --Evan 23:41, 3 Jan 2006 (EST)

Mount X or Mount X National Park?[edit]

There's a tendency on Wikitravel to place national parks and such under X National Park, but I think usually this goes against the most-common-name policy: for example, people would generally climb Mount Fuji, not the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and go see the Grand Canyon, not the Grand Canyon National Park. Of course, life is occasionally made more difficult by the fact that eg. Mount Fuji is not the only attraction in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which thus also has an article (although it currently just redirects to Hakone). Could we come to some sort of consensus decision on this? I'll propose this for starters: Jpatokal 23:36, 28 February 2006 (EST)

Mountains and other destination-worthy natural wonders should use the most common name: Grand Canyon, not Grand Canyon National Park. Jpatokal 23:36, 28 February 2006 (EST)
I'm pretty sure you've just enunciated our existing policy. By contrast, Denali National Park is so named because people really do say the whole phrase rather than just the mountain name -- primarily because the mountain is just one attraction in the park. -- Colin 00:10, 1 March 2006 (EST)
However, if two or more names are popular (and a colloquial, locally used name may not show a high rating on Google), I suggest also using redirect(s) to incorporate the less common name(s). WindHorse 1 March 06
Yes, we do that too. Yosemite National Park. Grand Canyon National Park. Death Valley National Park. -- Colin 00:27, 1 March 2006 (EST)

So how's this: Jpatokal 01:24, 1 March 2006 (EST)

Mountains and other destination-worthy natural wonders should use the most common name: Grand Canyon, not Grand Canyon National Park. However, if there are multiple significant attractions within a national park, it's better to make a single national park article instead: Denali National Park, not Mount McKinley. In either cases, make a redirect from the other form.
My bad -- I liked your first phrasing best. Although the exception for stuff like Denali National Park will continue to exist, I think most people need to be steered towards using the "most common name" and your first version did that nicely. -- Colin 02:09, 1 March 2006 (EST)
If at some point the congressman from Nebraska(??) stops blocking the proper re-renaming of Mt. McKinley to Denali, then we can probably get rid of this exception too. -- Mark 07:21, 1 March 2006 (EST)
I'm guilty of using the "X National Park" naming. One issue that I see with using something like "Denali" is that "Denali" is the name of a mountain. Denali National Park is the name of the entire park area. Yes, people say they are "going to Denali" when they are going to the park area, but using "Denali National Park" as the article name with a redirect set up for "Denali" seems to make things clearer. I'm not sure that this same issue is there for cities, so the "most common" name seems to work there, but I think using the full name for parks is helpful.
For what it's worth, there are similar issues with Death Valley (the national park includes tons of land outside of the valley), the Everglades (the park doesn't include nearly all of the Everglades), Badlands National Park, etc. I may be in the minority, but it just seems to me that using the full name with appropriate redirects is clearer. -- Ryan 22:34, 1 March 2006 (EST)

Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore all use the long form, and I created redirects from the short forms. Now that I see that the naming policy supports doing it the other way around, I'd like to fix that. Would someone with admin privilege delete the redirects so I can move the articles to those names? - Todd VerBeek 12:54, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

Unless there is a consensus to do so can we hold off on making these moves? I feel very strongly that the article should have the least confusing name, which in these cases are all with the "National X" name. See the "Making article naming more consistent" discussion below. -- Ryan 13:04, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

Article naming convention for US counties[edit]

This is probably already confirmed somewhere, but... #Shortest_common_form: There is one major exception: U.S. Counties (the local unit of governement in most U.S. states) are always referred to in with the word county included, for instance Cook County. There may be a few exceptions, but I'm not aware of any. -- Mark - just checking - should all US county article names follow the "Cook County" format?


There are over 3000 counties in the USA. Not only will the overwhelming majority require disambiguation, but most will need to be disambiguated in conjunction with places on different levels of the geographical hierarchy. With the Long Haul Ahead in mind, it seems to me that it would be a good idea if all US county article names used the "Cook County" format.

If this has already been done to death elsewhere, then apologies for proposing this and for my dire searching skills.

Sorry, yeah, but this has been pretty much settled. All county names in the US read like Cook County with popular names, like Lake County being disambiguated. After all, nobody calls the counties just plain "Cook". -- Mark 16:26, 12 March 2006 (EST)
Thanks, much appreciated - I'll add mention of this to the guidelines.

Disambiguation question[edit]

Both of the following are in Delaware:

  1. New Castle County - a county in Delaware
  2. New Castle - a city in New Castle County

How should the two articles be named?

  1. New Castle County <- should all US county articles use this naming format? - see "US counties" question, above
  2. New Castle (New Castle County) <- correct according to the current guidelines?


  1. New Castle County
  2. New Castle (Delaware) <- not according to the current guidelines, plus it's semi-ambiguous - probably ought to be a disamb. page


  1. New Castle County
  2. New Castle (city,_Delaware) <- unambiguous, but still wrong according to the current guidelines

New Castle (city) isn't a feasible option as there's more than one.

Here is my guess;
1. New Castle County and New Castle (Delaware) use New Castle as disambig page.
2. New Castle (county, Delaware) and New Castle (city, Delaware), again list both as disambig on New Castle.
There may be other opinions, but I prefer (1.), I don't think there is a naming standard for counties, I try and leave off the "County" on the end, unless there is a disambig issue. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 16:16, 11 March 2006 (EST)

Articles that probably need to be renamed and/or disambiguated[edit]

I disagree with creating pages called Place (disambiguation). They serve no purpose unless the Place article is used by a page that should be disambiguated anyway. The purpose of a disambiguation page is that you find it if the article you wanted is disambiguated and you do not know that. How do you find Place (disambiguation) if you do not know that it is in the first place? Also I think that article names should be kept to their smallest common name, especially if that name is not used. Go back and read the article naming conventions. Remember: This is NOT Wikipedia. There are different rules here. -- Huttite 23:29, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
I would suggest we leave it as is, there are a number of towns with the same name in South Africa, so it will work better if we use Town (Province) to disambiguate them (example: Middelburg). I think Belfast (Mpumalanga) is the only Belfast in the country, but it's probably better to stick to a standards rather than use both Town (Country) and Town (Province) --NJR_ZA 01:48, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
Is this other Cedar Point a destination needing its own article? Just being a census-designated place on the map doesn't mean we need to create a separate article for it, and for a 2.4-sq-mi town of 929 residents, I suspect we don't. Even if we do, I think the amusement park is "so much more famous" (see Wikitravel:Article naming conventions#Disambiguation rule 4) that it should remain just Cedar Point. - Todd VerBeek 07:27, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
I think East Anglia is the usual English name and should be kept. Any Englishmen care to comment?
See Talk:East Anglia#Article Renamed From East England discussion ~ 04:11, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

Naming of disambiguation pages[edit]

Um, when and where was it decided to use "X (disambiguation)" as the preferred format in the first place? Why not just "X"? Jpatokal 02:32, 15 March 2006 (EST)

Bump. I'd really like to hear some opinions on this. Jpatokal 12:40, 15 March 2006 (EST)
Looking at Wikitravel:Article naming conventions#Disambiguation and Wikitravel:Disambiguation pages it doesn't appear to be explicitly spelled out what the name of a disambiguation page should be. The benefit I see of using "X (disambiguation)" is that in cases where the "most famous" rule applies we won't have a separate naming convention for disambiguation pages (see the current Paris and Paris (disambiguation) pages). In cases where the "most famous" rule doesn't apply then "X" could just be a redirect to the disambiguation page. The disadvantage of that approach is that we haven't been consistently using that format, so a lot of pages won't follow it. So opinion requested, opinion (albeit a mostly useless one) provided. -- Ryan 12:58, 15 March 2006 (EST)
I agree with your opinion. There's not much point to putting a disambiguator on the disambiguation page, unless the root name is already in use for the much-more-famous place (like Paris). --Evan 13:27, 15 March 2006 (EST)


  • Searching - see note here: User_talk:Wrh2#Redirection - helps a lot not only when working on disambiguations, but also when you're not necessarily thinking about disambiguations, and I suspect most importantly of all when you were previously not even aware that disambiguations exist. Instead of appearing to be "normal" articles, the "(disambiguation)" suffix provides - at a glance - the most valuable bit of information about the nature of what lies behind the link.
    • Why would a user care about disambiguations? They're looking for a specific place.
  • "what links here" - examples: [6] / [7] - direct links to "Someplace_(disambiguation)" are obviously intentional, links via a redirect page called simply "Someplace" are obviously unintentional and need attention; also by making it obvious that a link is from a disambiguation page (and thereby pointing out that such a page exists) - examples: [8] / [9]. Helps a lot when working on disambiguation issues and when cleaning up in general.
    • There should never be a link to a disambiguation page. Travelers don't want to go to someplace somewhere called Foo City, they want to go a particular Foo City.
  • If an article has a non-disambiguated name and it then becomes apparent that disambiguation is an issue but is not straightforward, a disambiguation page can be put in place without disturbing the original article, and the fate of the non-disambiguated article can be deliberated at will.
    • No changes should be done until a consensus is reached.
  • Likewise if an article is given a disambiguated name and it's then decided that the much-more-famous rule applies, it can be moved without disturbing the disambiguation page and any links to the disambiguation page won't require updating.
    • There should never be a link to a disambig page.
  • Potential for a single naming convention, and eventually for consistency for all disambiguation pages.
    • The naming convention is already clear enough, see below.
  • Potential to render the impossible-to-maintain Wikitravel:Disambiguation page index obsolete.
    • Template:Disamb already does.


  • Not found any yet.
    • The disadvantage is that it's butt-ugly and creates a lot of pointless redirects. See Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Page_naming_conventions and the associated Talk page, where this has already been hashed out in gruesome detail, and the consensus is as Evan suggests -- disambig pages should be called just "X", and only primary meaning exceptions like Paris should have Paris (disambiguation) for the chaff. Jpatokal 06:32, 16 March 2006 (EST)
The main advantage to putting disambiguation pages at the root name is that editors will make links like Ontario or Hamilton thinking that the link will go to the page for one or another place. Putting the disamb page there helps people fix the disambiguation problem. If we give all the places disambiguated names, and give the disambiguator a disambiguated name too, then there's nothing at the root name, and people will think quite wrongly that we don't have a page for that place, when in fact it exists but is in a different place. --Evan 10:23, 16 March 2006 (EST)
nothing at the root name - couldn't agree more, not a good idea - hence: Bolton / Brock / Caledon / Clarington / Georgia / Halton / King / Kingston / Nashua / Newmarket / Nome / Orange / Pickering / Richmond Hill / Uxbridge / Washington -- 17:21, 16 March 2006 (EST)
But why torture the user with something as ugly as this?
Bolton (disambiguation)
From Wikitravel
L (Redirected from Bolton)
when it could just say, drum roll, "Bolton". Jpatokal 23:44, 16 March 2006 (EST)
I think having Place (disambiguation) is pointless. The purpose of a disambiguation page is that it is the page you link to if you follow the naming convention but do not realise there is more than one place with the same name. That page then tells you where all the other places are with the same name. Consequently, you will allways link to Place, never Place (disambiguation). The only time I think Place (disambiguation) might be acceptable is when Place is well known or famous, but I think the usage then should be Place (less well known). I think Place (disambiguation) is a Wikipedia workaround that went out of control. We should not allow it here at Wikitravel. -- Huttite 23:20, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Double disambiguations considered harmful[edit]

Names like La Paz (department, Bolivia) have been popping up a bit too frequently lately, so I'd just like to state my personal opinion that these are evil and should be avoided at all costs. In particular, the current naming rules state that in the common 'city and state share name', the city usually gets precedence. So the city is La Paz (Bolivia) (not "La Paz (city, Bolivia)") and the department is La Paz (department). Jpatokal 20:55, 12 March 2006 (EST)

Personally I agree. If someone has the interest it would probably be very helpful to add a lot more examples to the article naming convention page, and they should be real examples. -- Ryan 20:57, 12 March 2006 (EST)
La Paz (Bolivia) is indeed La Paz (Bolivia) (and not "La Paz (city, Bolivia)")
I'll go back through recent edits and check for any questionable city disambiguations.
La Paz (department, Bolivia) appears to be unavoidable as it needs disambiguating from La Paz (department, El Salvador) and La Paz (department, Honduras)
Agree that more real-life examples would be a big help.
I have been guilty of double disambiguations once — see Union. But I guess that's only because I did not know that I am supposed to append "county" to Union. (Sigh.. and I've just created a load of county articles for New Jersey) — Ravikiran 22:11, 12 March 2006 (EST)
It's for a very good reason though: Nobody calls it just Union. Seriously for another example if you were to ask a Chicagoan if they are from "Cook" they will probably just stare at you, or maybe even say "no". If you ask them if they are from "Cook County" they'll say "of course". -- Mark 00:59, 13 March 2006 (EST)

I went back 30 days, and these are the new "city" pages that I found (of which I created two):

-- anon

I created Elk City, Ponca City, Boise City, Midwest City and Del City. For those cases, that is the actual name of the city. In other words, "City" is part of the name of the town. Looks like this applies to Plant City and Ellicott City also.-- Tom Holland (xltel) 08:08, 13 March 2006 (EST)
I think we have to include the word "city" in the name of a place if that's what people call it. I've long thought that New York (city) should in fact be New York City for exactly this reason: People almost always pronounce the name that way. This is also the reason for the US counties rule.
Second, I don't care at all if you log in, but would you be so kind as to sign your posts? It makes it easier to follow the conversations on talk pages. All you have to type is: -- ~~~~ to get something like this: -- Mark 00:56, 13 March 2006 (EST)

Special cases[edit]

I rolled back the US counties special case, as I'm not sure that US counties are in fact a special case. If a county is usually called "X County" (which most counties usually are), then that's good, but some other counties (the boroughs of New York City, for example) don't usually come with "County" attached. --Evan 01:24, 13 March 2006 (EST)

Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronks are just about the only exceptions I can think of (maybe just maybe you might count San Francisco too, in each case the bourough or city name and county name are co-terminous. Brooklyn on the other hand is King's County, and Staten Island is aka Richmond County, -- Mark 04:49, 13 March 2006 (EST)

Making article naming more consistent[edit]

Following up on the "Mount X or Mount X National Park" discussion above, as well as some thoughts I had while thinking about the naming discussion on Talk:Mendocino, I'm a bit uncomfortable with some of the arbitrariness of our naming conventions. For example, the article about the "Grand Canyon National Park" is titled "Grand Canyon", despite most national park articles having the "National Park/Monument/Lakeshore" name. There could be some question about whether the article for "Mendocino County" should be titled "Mendocino", despite the fact that almost all US county articles have "County" in the name. The problem here is that there isn't a clear guideline that everyone can agree upon about what is the "most common" name -- if you call a place "X" and I call it "Y" do we compare Google hits to choose the article name, wait for three other people who have been there to chime in, or use some other solution?

The argument against using the full name for something like "Grand Canyon National Park" is that it's not the "most common" name. However, I don't think it could be successfully argued that for an article about the park area (and the Grand Canyon as a region includes more than just what's in the park) that "Grand Canyon" is "much more famous" than "Grand Canyon National Park". Thus I think it might be worthwhile to modify the policy as follows:

In cases where a place is known by multiple names, if one name is significantly more common than another then it should be used as the article title. If there is no name that is significantly more common then the least ambiguous name should be used. In either case, the unused name should be set up as a redirect.

This rule would cover cases like "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" vs. "North Korea" since "North Korea" is significantly more common. In cases like "Mendocino County" / "Mendocino" or "Grand Canyon" / "Grand Canyon National Park" then the more specific (less ambiguous) name would get the article, while a redirect would be set up for the more ambiguous name. This eliminates confusion, and since a redirect is set up for the other name would not make things any more difficult for travelers using the site. Granted, this won't solve all ambiguous naming issues ("Chennai" vs. "Madras" being an obvious example) but it will clear up quite a few corner cases. Thoughts? -- Ryan 21:23, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Any objections? Some of the naming debates have been pretty heated, so I'll wait a couple more days for comment before making any updates on the policy page. -- Ryan 14:30, 1 April 2006 (EST)
Thanks, please don't. I'm not sure I 100% understand your proposal, so I want a little while to ruminate on it. A couple of things that come out first: how 'significant' does the difference have to be? Is 60%-40% OK? 40%-30%-30%?
What's "too close to call", so to speak? Also, most places have more than one name in different languages. Do any of those count? And does "least ambiguous" mean "has the least number of other entries in Wikitravel with the same name?" --Evan 15:13, 1 April 2006 (EST)
Is your concern simply an issue of wording? I'm not sure that the wording on the disambiguation rules is really any clearer ("if one place is so famous that the disambiguation is a hindrance rather than a help, it remains without a disambiguating") but we could use something similar, such as:
In cases where a place is known by multiple names, if one name is so famous that using any other name would be a hindrance rather than a help then it should be used as the article title. For example, the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is another name for "North Korea", but travelers will almost universally use "North Korea". If there is no name that is significantly more common then the least ambiguous name should be used. In either case, the unused name should be set up as a redirect.
The goal is just to try to come up with a way to determine an article naming guideline that can be applied consistently, rather than always having to open long and often inconclusive discussions about whether Grand Canyon / Grand Canyon National Park, Mendoncino County / Mendocino, etc is the correct article name. -- Ryan 16:02, 1 April 2006 (EST)
Regarding the "what does least ambiguous" mean, in the case of "Mendocino" vs. "Mendocino County" the "Mendocino County" title would be less ambiguous since it refers specifically to the county, leaving no question as to whether the article is about the town or the region. "Grand Canyon" vs. "Grand Canyon National Park" is a similar situation. In either case, a redirect or disambiguation page is then set up for the unused term - in the above examples "Grand Canyon" would end up as a redirect, and "Mendocino" would be a disambiguation page for "Mendocino County" and "Mendocino (California)" (the town). -- Ryan 16:12, 1 April 2006 (EST)
Umf. My issue with this is that I think "Grand Canyon" and "Mendocino" are both shorter and thus better names than "Grand Canyon National Park" and "Mendocino County", and it could well be argued that both are "significantly more common" than the long version. So the suggested policy doesn't really solve all that much...? Jpatokal 22:32, 1 April 2006 (EST)
As always, I'll bow to others on this one, but it seems very, very wrong that if I create an article about (for example) "Everglades National Park" that the thought process behind naming would have to go something like the following:
  1. A majority of people who aren't very familiar with the area simply use "Everglades" when referring to the park, so should the article be given the name used by that majority?
  2. Anyone familiar with the area would think of the "Everglades" as a region that includes the national park, Big Cyprus, and much of the area up to Lake Okeechobee, so "Everglades" would not be a name that the majority of people familiar with the area would necessarily use.
  3. Most of our national park articles use the "National Park" name, so perhaps it's more important to be consistent with other article names?
It honestly seems like there should be a clear set of rules to determine the article name in the majority of cases. If the rule is to always go with the shorter name then that would help clear this up, although I don't see why a shorter name is necessarily a benefit, so long as a redirect is set up for the name that isn't used as the article name. Is there an advantage to short names that I'm missing? The advantage I see to using a less-ambiguous name (in cases where there isn't a "most famous" name) is that we get rid of some ambiguity (is "Everglades" about the park or the region?) and we also have a clearer rule for determining an article name, instead of the "Google has 3 million hits for 'Everglades' but only 2.7 million for 'Everglades National Park'" rule that's currently applied. Is this not a problem that others have encountered? -- Ryan 23:38, 1 April 2006 (EST)

To answer your question: No, I don't see it as a problem. Consistency shouldn't overrule convenience or common sense. Granted, in some cases you need the full name or it doesn't make sense (e.g. Saguaro National Park). But if we need to distinguish between the Everglades as a region and Everglades National Park as a destination, we can do that the same way we distinguish between Townville and Townville County: by name. Toss an "otheruses" template on the less explicit one if needed, and an "IsIn" template if appropriate. In some cases (e.g. Isle Royale) the difference between the place and the park is totally trivial, and no one calls it by the long form except the NPS. In many cases, the park designation is just plain awkward (e.g. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore). But it seems that in most cases, the articles about Such-n-Such National Whatsit aren't really about the park in particular or even the feature for which they're named, but the area that includes them. So the simpler, shorter name is appropriate. For example, Grand Canyon covers not just the canyon for which the park was named, and not just the park, but the nearby places where visitors to the canyon/park will eat, drink, buy, and sleep. In that sense, calling it "Grand Canyon National Park" would be a misnomer. - Todd VerBeek 15:13, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

Ok, this is a weird case because I happen to have direct experience with all of the places mentioned. IMHO Mendicino is Mendicino, Mendicino County is Menicino County, Sequero National Park is just that, and Everglades National Park is The Everglades. The reasoning is simple: Call the article what you think sombody searching for the article is most likely to type into the search box. Even if you think the thing most likely to be typed into the search box is just plain wrong, use that! The idea is to make a useful travel guide; we let Wikipedia make an encyclopedia. OK? -- Mark 15:38, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Maybe this is where my disconnect is: as long as someone typing "Everglades" or "The Everglades" into the search box is taken to the article about "Everglades National Park" then I don't see how the site is any less useful. A redirect allows this behavior - search for "Denali" and the result takes you directly to the "Denali National Park" article. Is there something I'm missing? The major disadvantage I see to using "Everglades" as an article title (besides the fact that we then need to debate what is the "most common" name) is that it's not completely clear that "Everglades" is about just the park - it could be about the entire region. Similar for "Denali" - if we have an article titled "Denali" is it about the park, the mountain, or the state park? I really, really think that changing the naming policy to use the (second) suggested text above would be good - it eliminates abiguity over what the article covers, and in cases where there is a dispute over the name it gives us another guideline that is easier to apply than the current "most common" rule. I feel that I'm either not making my argument well or else missing a key point, so please let me know where I'm going wrong. -- Ryan 16:01, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Just an additional note since I missed Todd's comments, but anyone not familiar with "Isle Royale" won't know it's a national park. This is a minor advantage, but using "National X" in the name is an easy way to tell someone "Yeah, this is a place that the US thought was special for some reason". I know when I travel if see a sign for "Destination Y" I'm less likely to investigate then if I see a sign for "Destination Y State Park". If the argument is that this guide should be as useful as possible for travelers, my personal opinion (which may be wrong) is that providing an additional bit of information through articles names (provided this isn't a hindrance as in the North Korea example) is a good thing. -- Ryan 16:09, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
So, I think if I had to boil down the rule, it'd be: When you can, be accessible and natural. When you can't, be specific. Is that roughly it? I think it actually makes the most sense when we're using disambiguators, since it's so much nicer to say New York State and New York City rather than New York (state) and New York (city). Mendocino Town and Mendocino County work better than the parenthesized versions, too. (And I like "Mendocino Town" -- it sounds so hobbitish.) --Evan 16:21, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

Disambiguating Holland[edit]

Currently the Holland page is a redirect to the Netherlands. However, there are numerous places in the world named "Holland", including Holland (Michigan), so we should have a disambiguation page. Adding Template:otheruses to the Netherlands article would link to "Netherlands (disambiguation)", which isn't right, so the other possibility is to change "Holland" from being a redirect into being a disambiguation page. That would seem to violate the "most famous" rule, so I'm stuck. I'd vote for a disambiguation page for "Holland", but what do other people think? -- Ryan (04 April)

Forgot to sign my post yesterday, sorry. Anyhow, I'm thinking that Holland should be made into a redirection page since there really isn't any other way to create a disambiguation page for the less famous Hollands. Any objections? -- Ryan 10:18, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
Continued on Talk:Holland.


Question: What is the consensus for naming districts? The issue is with Munich/Ostbahnhof. User:Flip666 brought this up on the discussion page for the Ostbahnhof district article. The article name is not the name of the district as it is known by locals. The district is known as Haidhausen by locals, however, I used "Ostbahhnhof & Kaultfabrik" as the district name, because the train station - Ostbahnhof and the club neighborhood - Kultfabrik are more well known amongst travellers than Haidhausen is. Should the district name be changed to reflect the local name or left as is, which in my opinion would be more helpful for users, because they can easily identify the district as Ostbahnhof & Kultfabrik? Sapphire 08:31, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Unless you think that this issue challenges the conventions laid out on this page, let's take the discussion to Talk:Munich/Ostbahnhof. --Evan 09:25, 7 April 2006 (EDT)
It doesn't help at all that St. Petersburg has just become a real tourist destination in the last couple of years. -- Mark 15:44, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

"Much more famous" and defining an order of magnitude[edit]

So there's been talk over at Saint Petersburg about just what "much more famous" means. Evan quoth:

If I had to put a rough number on it, I'd say a place needed an order of magnitude more famosity over all other places with the same name combined for it to be reasonable to drop the disambiguator, and maybe two.

I think an order of magnitude is a pretty good rule of thumb, and I'd like to propose a way of measuring it: count the number of actual articles under "What links here". (User pages are OK, because they measure popularity, but talk pages aren't.) By this count, the one in Russia gets 23 and the one in Florida gets 6 -- so that's 5x more links. I think that's a pretty big difference, but where do we want to set the line? 10x is a little unrealistic because few pages on Wikitravel have less than 3 incoming links, while very few have more than 30, making this bar very high indeed. Jpatokal 07:08, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

I think there are other sources of data, e.g. Google page hits and ranking, Wikipedia page, etc. I think they can all inform our discussions, but I don't think I'd want to make editorial decisions based on just one number. After all, we are intelligent, rational human beings working towards the same goal, and I think we can make decisions together without handing them off to one or another algorithm. --Evan 09:32, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Sure. However, the number of incoming links has the unique advantage that it accurately reflects popularity on Wikitravel. Much of the Wikipedia discussion revolved around the fact that the Russian St. Pete is historically, culturally etc more important, which is undoubtedly true, but this doesn't necessarily reflect travel popularity. Jpatokal 10:55, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Nor does "What links here". Wikitravel is still a rather sparsely-populated database (e.g. my state, where tourism is our #2 industry, has only three or four articles that are more than outlines, and a bunch of popular travel destinations don't even have stubs). Using its contents as a measure of "famosity" would be very non-representative of how well-known a destination is. - Todd VerBeek 11:08, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Why so? Remember, the topic here is disambiguation, and the main reason disambiguators are a nuisance is that it makes it hard to get links from other articles right. Ergo, if article A has lots of incoming links but article B doesn't, A has a better claim on an undisambiguated name. Jpatokal 11:43, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
The topic isn't just link disambiguation; it's also ease of searching. A person might sit down at the main page of Wikitravel, and type "Paris" into the search box. We take them to Paris because it's a safe assumption that's where they want to go. But we can't make the same safe assumption about St. Petersburg, because there are two fairly famous instances of that name, and someone might very well be unaware that the other one exists. (Like I said, Americans are often embarrassingly ignorant about the rest of the world.)
"What links here" is a bad metric because Wikitravel is incomplete. Very incomplete. Parts of it have received a lot of attention already, and are full of well-developed articles.... but others are nearly empty. That doesn't mean that destinations in the latter regions aren't "famous", just that the articles that would link to them haven't been written yet. Keep in mind that the kinds of people who are most likely to get involved in Wikitravel (at least so far) are not a represenative sample of travelers in general. They tend to be either adventurous Americans who probably don't care for huge cookie-cutter U.S. beach resorts flooded with vacationers, or non-Americans who don't care about U.S. resorts at all. Small wonder that there are more articles about European destinations mentioning ol' Petrograd than articles about Florida mentioning St.Pete-Tampa. (But guess which one gets more English-speaking visitors.) - Todd VerBeek 12:52, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Let me also point something else out: before we were using Template:Otheruses, and Wikitravel:RDF Expedition/Related articles, I think that giving one destination guide an ambiguous title made finding the other guides with disambiguators much harder.
I think that situation has changed, and that using the otheruses template makes giving an ambiguous title less of big deal. It's still annoying, but less so. --Evan 10:43, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

Naming too many articles "YY National Park"[edit]

I am concerned that we are going overboard naming articles "YY National Park". Surely we should be using the most common name? In many cases people don't use "National Park" when they talk about an area. In the UK, people talk about the Lake District rather than the Lake District National Park and Peak District , rather than Peak District National Park. -- DanielC 12:54, 30 April 2006 (EDT)

You are correct. The full name should only be used if it is the most common name for a park. -- Colin 13:00, 30 April 2006 (EDT)
I agree. However Ryan has objected to this, here and here, above. - Todd VerBeek 13:11, 30 April 2006 (EDT)
Yes, I see, the second was a rather long discussion too. Wan't that discussion a bit USA-centric though? My impression is that in the USA many National Parks are in wilderness areas with few towns/cities, wheras in other countries, especially the UK, National Parks are regions in themselves with many towns inside and thus more suited to a general title and template (no permits etc)., rather than a "National Park" one. -- DanielC 13:20, 30 April 2006 (EDT)
I'm not sure that the discussion above was US-centric as your example and the Mount Fuji example shows. To sum up the discussion, the argument being made (mostly by me) was that the current naming rules can be applied differently by different people in some cases, and that it seemed more useful to have article names that weren't ambiguous, with redirects set up for other common names. That would hold true for your "Lake District" example since the article may be about the entire region, the park area, or something else entirely. That said, either my arguments or my debating skill were inadequate, and the counter-argument of "I just like short names better" was one that proved difficult to refute. While I'm still vehemently in favor of the "less ambiguous" rule for places with multiple names, the consensus seems to be to keep the "most common" terminology, so that's the rule to apply. -- Ryan 13:45, 30 April 2006 (EDT)

Disambiguation section - clarification on when not to disambiguate[edit]

Would it be appropriate to amend the Disambiguation section to make it clear that when creating an article, a disambiguated name should not be used unless another article already exists that conflicts with the one being created, or that would be confused with the one being created? ~ 23:08, 16 July 2006 (EDT)

I think so. This is coming up in the context of disambiguators for U.S. counties, which unimaginatively routinely re-use the same names from one state to another. But since Wikitravel is not an atlas, not all of these counties are going to be the subject of actual articles. Sometimes a metro region will be big enough to make the county (or counties) it's in irrelevant. Sometimes several counties will be so sparsely populated with so few towns that it makes more sense to lump them all into a single region under a name that describes them all (e.g. "Wiki River Valley"). Most states have counties that were drawn by a bureaucrat with a straightedge, so they aren't meaningful from a travel perspective, which is the standard for creating Wikitravel regions. Rather than trying to head off any possible naming conflict by disambiguating county names in advance, let's at least wait until we know we have an article-naming conflict before we resort to disambiguating them. - Todd VerBeek 23:34, 16 July 2006 (EDT)

Use of "North" considered harmful[edit]

I see articles here and there with names like South (Brazil) and North (Canada), and they pose a few problems. They get parsed into article titles like "North travel guide - Wikitravel", which looks silly. I can't imagine anyone in Canada saying "I'm going to North" (or "Je vais en Nord") and getting anything other than puzzled stares in response. Even including a definite article ("I'm going to the North") still doesn't sound like a destination, but a direction. The only advantage I can see to names of this sort is the fact that they get displayed in the breadcrumbs as "Canada : North : Yukon". A neat trick, but... {shrug}. My city's breadcrumbs read "Michigan: Western Michigan : Grand Rapids", which is correct because we actually call it "Western Michigan"... not "West". Granted, there are a few places that are really referred to as just a direction (e.g. the South or the Midwest in the U.S.) but they should be one-off exceptions, not so commonly used that we need a disambiguation page for North. In most places, I think we'll find that the name people really use is something like "Southern Brazil" or "Central Sri Lanka", and names should be preferred over mere adjectives. - Todd VerBeek 21:33, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

I'd agree - something like "Northern Arizona" is better (to me) than "North (Arizona)". Adding a rule indicating that the non-disambiguated name should be used unless it's not a common name would be OK with me. -- Ryan 21:46, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
Qualified agreement, but... I think the South is what we call that region, by a far margin. Canadians do refer to the North as a region, but to a lesser degree. These sound bad without the initial definite article, I agree, and I think we should make a point of using "Northern X" or "East X" rather than "North (X)" where there's an alternative. There are just some parts of the world that are called "The [name of compass bearing]" and making up other names isn't going to work. But I definitely agree that these should be the rare exceptions, not the rule.
As to "North travel guide" -- maybe we should do a little RDF-twiddling to set the title. Like, for articles where the default title looks stupid, people can put {{title|Travel guide to the Canadian North}} and that's what shows up in the HTML title. Impressions? --Evan 22:06, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
No question: there are a handful of cases where "(The) South" is in fact the best-known name for a region. And while there are some cases where the local shorthand is to call something "East", they usually have a better, more widely-understood name like "East Los Angeles" or "East Grand Rapids"). For North (Canada), I was going to suggest Territories (because they all are) or Great White North (because it's more fun... and true). - Todd VerBeek 22:58, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
I can't speak for North, but I know that when you talk about the Southeastern US, that "The" is part of the name. People don't call it South, they call it The South. Note that when you write The South, you capitalize the T in The. -- Mark 23:34, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
I've added a specific note to the policy noting that "South (Foo)" is only appropriate when "South" is the commonly used name. The existing guideline of "use the common name" already covers this, but having an example can't hurt. If someone wants to expand that to include the suggestion of only using "South (Foo)" when a better name is not available then that would be all good. -- Ryan 19:14, 1 August 2006 (EDT)

"Next place up in the hierarchy"[edit]

The rules here say that when disambiguating, the "next place up in the hierarchy" should be added in parens. The problem is that this is often very unintuitive (and also not consistently done). For example, my neighboring city of Holland, Mich. is currently called Holland (Michigan)... but that's "wrong" according to this rule, because the next level up in the hierarchy is Western Michigan, so it should be Holland (Western Michigan)... or at least it was until the Lake Michigan Beachtowns sub-region was created, so it should now be Holland (Lake Michigan Beachtowns)... which is a long strip along the coast, so someone may decide to break that up further so it becomes Holland (Ottawa County), which no one except someone from around here would even know where in the world it is!

That whole re-disambiguating song and dance should be unnecessary, though. Other than a city within a county (or similar arrangement), we're never going to find two places of the same name within a state or province; there's never a city of Darryl, Vermont, and also the other city of Darryl, Vermont. Holland (Michigan) will always be sufficient to uniquely identify this place, and has the added bonus of being the name (give or take punctuation) that most people would use to find it. But a strict literal application of the rules says it's wrong, and also gives us new article names like Monrovia (Los Angeles County) instead of the more intuitive Monrovia (California).

In the U.S. and Canada, the state/province is the clearest disambiguator. Does Australia, Mexico, or Germany often have inter-state naming conflicts, or would the nation name be enough to fully disambiguate its cities? In countries with more central and less "federal" governments (i.e. fewer well-known administrative regions), using the nation is clearer. For the UK, I'd suggest England/Scotland/Wales/N.Ireland, because the counties are mostly unfamiliar to foreigners ("Shropshire?"), and doing it at the country level ought to be sufficiently unambiguous. What if we amend the rules to say that what should be added in parens is "the state, province, or nation they are in (whichever is most clear)"? - Todd VerBeek 12:33, 21 July 2006 (EDT)

I think the common practice is to always use the country as the disambiguator, with a few exceptions. The US & Canada use state / province, Australia also seems to use state, and England uses something different as well (county?) but it's inconsistent. There may be other exceptions, but I think changing the rule to be "use the country as the disambiguator except for the following cases" and then have a table of exceptions and the preferred disambiguator would be the easiest way to match theory to practice. -- Ryan 12:52, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
I think that if there's a "namespace" already for the name -- like states in the US -- then we should use it, otherwise stick to the existing rules. --Evan 13:16, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
Update: I added a note to Rule 1 that if there are "natural" or "traditional" disambiguators, those should be used. Is the wording useful? Does it need to be more algorithmic? --Evan 13:34, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
In how many cases is the disambiguator going to be something other than the country? Wouldn't it just be easier and clearer to say the following?
When disambiguating cities, the disambiguator should be the country name (for example St. Petersburg (Russia)) except for the following cases:
That would be clearer and it avoids the problem of people having to determine what the "namespace" should be for a place they may not be very familiar with. Thoughts? -- Ryan 13:46, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
In lots of cases; there are ambiguous things within the same country; a very typical example is a city and the province or prefecture that surrounds it having the same name. Can we leave it at "choose the next biggest thing your doohickey is in, or use an even bigger one (like a country) if that seems better?" It seems to me that the country is favored pretty heavily in the description right now, and that if we try to make rules on a case-by-case basis, we'll be sorry we did.
For your examples: I think Bath (Somerset) is an example of us sticking strictly to the rules as they stood before today, Birmingham (England) is us being flexible (it used to be at Birmingham (Midlands), IIRC -- see Talk:Birmingham (Midlands). --Evan 16:06, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
(Follow-up to Even, but re-indenting) I agree that there are ambiguous things within a country / state / whatever. For example, Wisconsin has a ton of towns with the same name. However, those are generally rare exceptions, and in such cases we'll probably end up having a discussion about naming anyhow - is it "Foo (province)", "Foo (province, Spain)", etc. Changing the wording to make the common-case obvious ("use the country except for USA, Canada, Australia where the state/province is used) and then adding a note about what to do in cases where further disambiguation is needed (which is what??? "Wisconsin City (Wisconsin County)"?), seems clearer and easier to follow.
Also, the naming in England is all over the place. See Halifax (West Yorkshire), Ripon (England), Wakefield (West Yorkshire), Durham (city), Berkeley (Gloucestershire), Gloucester (England), and a ton more. Having a simple rule that says "use the country, except for A, B, and C where the state/province is used" would allow us to resolve those and have a bit more consistency. -- Ryan 16:30, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
The simple algorithm that we've used for years has served us well. It is arbitrary and not perfect in any way, but we've made common-sense exceptions where the algorithm has resulted in titles that didn't make sense. I really, really don't want to change it now. If you'd like to revisit some of the English cities and counties with an eye to the newly formalized exceptions, I'd be happy to help with that. However, I'm not excited about having to start over from scratch with these. At the very best, what we'll achieve is a lot of work shifting around not the name of things but the disambiguator of things -- a real waste of time and energy. --Evan 17:05, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
Hi Evan - I'm not sure where our disconnect is occurring. You refer to "newly formalized exceptions", but those "exceptions" cover 99% of the disambiguated articles on the site. Todd and I are arguing that those "exceptions" should be clearly stated as being the rule. I honestly don't see how changing #1 on Wikitravel:Article naming conventions#Disambiguation to read like the following suggested text would entail "starting from scratch" or "achieve lots of work shifting around not the name of things but the disambiguator of things".
  1. Disambiguators should use the country of a location as the disambiguator - for example St. Petersburg (Russia). There are three exceptions to this rule:
  1. Places in the United States of America use the state as the disambiguator - for example Venice (California).
  2. Places in Canada use the province as the disambiguator - for example Windsor (Ontario).
  3. Places in Australia use the state as the disambiguator - for example Hamilton (Victoria).
This language would provide clear, obvious rules for naming that match the current Wikitravel usage. In cases where this rule isn't enough we've still got rules #2-4. The only work that is required would be to clean up places like England, which is no different than (for example) moving Monrovia (Los Angeles County) to Monrovia (California). It's not a lot of work, it creates a very clear rule for people to follow, and it makes something better that even you describe as "arbitrary and not perfect in any way." We're both intelligent people (or in my case at least I've got a mostly-functional brain) so I'm assuming there's a miscommunication here somewhere - please let me know what I'm misunderstanding. -- Ryan 17:56, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
The city-in-a-region-of-the-same-name situations are special cases, and already handled (in all but the most specialest cases) without the next-highest-level rule even being applied. We're better off leaving them out of this discussion altogether, because they're an entirely different subject with a different set of rules (which work pretty well in that space). We're talking about rule #1 here. Evan, that formula's "been serving us well" mostly because people are ignoring it. They read it and think "that doesn't make sense" (or they don't read it), and name the article Holland (Michigan) instead. Where we run into problems are when people take it literally and create Monrovia (Los Angeles County), and in the UK where the rule is too vague and the people themselves are of different minds as to whether the counties count (they're technically just arbitrary subdivisions drawn - and redrawn - by the national government, after all). - Todd VerBeek 18:28, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
OK, I think I finally see what you're saying. We're just going to replace rule #1, and instead of using the nearest enclosing geographical container, we use country first, except where a traditional diambiguator is more natural, like for US and Australian states or Canadian provinces. All the other rules will stay the same -- this is just providing a different default for geographical disambiguators.
If I'm getting you right... I think I like it. It does work better than the existing rule. My only requests: I'd rather say, "except where there's a traditional disambiguator, like US or AU states or CA provinces", rather than listing all the traditional disambiguators. There are a lot of countries in the world, and lots of naming conventions, and I'd rather we didn't list them all here. Calling out those three is probably going to get us pretty far.
Second, it'd be nice to have some iterative rule for when the two places are in the same country. A good example would be the various Gulf Coast regions in the USA. Suggestions? --Evan 21:01, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
The only concern with not explicitly listing AU, US, and CA as the only exceptions (and as far as I'm aware they are currently the only countries other than England where Wikitravel doesn't use the country as the disambiguator) is that it leaves the same uncertainty about whether to (for example) use French departements, which could be considered "traditional disambiguators". I won't run out and commit hari-kari if the language is more ambiguous, but but I do think having clear and obvious rules would be easier to follow. And as always, if an exception came up where a "natural disambiguator" was called for it could be dealt with on a per-case basis (although I can't think of any examples).
As to the Gulf Coast regions, aren't they all getting disambiguated by state? It seems like they are covered nicely by this rule. Something like the Midwest (United States of America) might not fit in as nicely, but I think it's implied that a region that covers multiple states cannot use a state as a disambiguator. -- Ryan 21:39, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
I'd like to leave the door open for other traditional disambiguators (I just don't know how people dab cities in Brazil or Kenya or Pakistan or whatever) but I'm OK with whatever. It seems like a good change. --Evan 22:40, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
Agreed that if Brazil (or some other country) needs to use a finer-grained disambiguator then we should allow it. I've updated the text to include my original suggestion while also trying to incorporate your concerns, but it's not as readable as I'd like - if anyone can finesse the language to get the point across better it would be a good thing™. -- Ryan 03:40, 22 July 2006 (EDT)
I've done some work on the wording. I'd still like to establish an explicit standard for the UK, though. It's not immediately clear in that context whether "country" means the United Kingdom or the nation (England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland), and we currently have articles using everything from the kingdom to the county. I'm not aware of any naming collisions between UK nations (no Canterbury in Scotland, or Aberystwyth in England), but that still seems the most intuitive level to disambiguate at, and appears to be the most common (despite instructions to the contrary). Disambiguating by nation has the added bonus of respecting the national identity of the locals. - Todd VerBeek 10:52, 22 July 2006 (EDT)
(Response to Todd, but re-indenting because nine levels of indentation is scary) The note about using the kingdom/nation for the UK seems fine to me - changes that make the guidelines clearer and easier to follow are good. -- Ryan 13:49, 22 July 2006 (EDT)

English Disambiguation Question[edit]

It's not clear to me how these should be disambiguated:

The current rule would be to use "England" as the disambiguator, but both of these cities are in England. Should further disambiguation simply add another level of specificity, ie: "Amberley (Gloucestershire, England)" and "Amberley (West Sussex, England)", similar to the city/region disambiguation example for Albany? Note that the disambiguation could be done by just using the names as they exist, but I think using "England" in the disambiguation helps provide context that there is more than one in England. For what it's worth, this issue will come up again with some of the towns in New York and Wisconsin as they seem to repeat names within the state as well, so it would be nice to settle on a rule and then add the example to the disambiguation guidelines. -- Ryan 16:48, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

I'm going to bite my tongue here and not point out that I asked about this above (Second, it'd be nice to have some iterative rule for when the two places are in the same country.). Or... not. Anyways, since we threw out the old bottom-up rule, I'd suggest starting with the country if possible, then working down through containing regions until you get to two that are different. I think that long disambiguators are a pain, so adding the extra comma-delimited "England" is extra typing for no real value. I'd stick with the two disambiguators above if it were up to me, since they're clear and recognizable. --Evan 23:39, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
I agree about the compound disambiguators being unnecessarily cumbersome. In the rare cases where disambiguating at the standard level doesn't work, disambiguate at a smaller level that does work. - Todd VerBeek 23:55, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
The language you suggested about having an iterative rule is included in the current guideline, but my concern here is trying to figure out what the disambiguator should be when that rule kicks in. In the very rare cases where two locations of the same name are located in the same state/province/country, do we use "(region, country/state)" or just "(region)", and what should the region be? In the US, is it counties since they are more static, or should we use the Wikitravel region, which is a "higher level" but less static. For the articles above they are using counties, but there are "higher level" Wikitravel regions that, based on the current guidelines, should be used instead. My hope in bringing this up was that we could decide a clear example that would guide us in the future when we encounter these situations since I don't think the current (or past) rules were very clear.
Anyhow, I'd prefer to use the counties (as they do now) rather than the Wikitravel region (South East (England)) as the disambiguator. I assume then that Amberly (England) should be set up to redirect to Amberley to avoid further confusion. Let me know if that sounds right. -- Ryan 00:20, 28 July 2006 (EDT)

West page[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

There are pages on Central, North, South, East, but there is no West page. Can someone create the page? What about northwest, southwest, southeast, northeast?

What the hell was this about? — Ravikiran 06:43, 16 February 2007 (EST)
If no one can remember what this was about, I will just remove this rather than archive something without any context. — Ravikiran 12:55, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
If I were more paranoid, I would guess that this is someone trying to drive me insane. The existence of pages called "Central", "North", etc. annoys me to no end, because they are not actual place names and thereby ignore our naming conventions. - Todd VerBeek 18:42, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

Article with official name containing a /[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

I have an article Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park that contains a / as part of the official name. Is there any way to escape that / so the name is treated as one rather than Ai-Ais with subarticle Richtersveld Transfrontier Park? --NJR_ZA 09:37, 5 March 2007 (EST)

You might be able to use <nowiki>xxx</nowiki>, not sure thought, try it out :-) --MiddleEastern 16:39, 5 March 2007 (EST)

Translating place names into English?[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

I'm working on Ciénaga_de_Zapata_and_the_Bahia_de_Cochinos_(Bay_of_Pigs). cacahuate talk correctly pointed out that I didn't name the article correctly, but I'm uncertain what the correct name should be. I looked at Wikitravel:Article_naming_conventions but didn't find an answer. cacahuate talk suggested "Ciénaga de Zapata National Park." But the name of the national park is "Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata." Maybe the title should be "Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata (National Park)." To make matters more complicated, this national park was the site of the most important battle of the communist era, and well-known to many Americans. So I added "and the Bahia de Cochinos" plus the English translation "(Bay of Pigs)." So the title that seems best to me is "Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata (National Park) and the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs)." But that is a long title! Any suggestions?--Chapayev 13:24, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

I think "Ciénaga de Zapata National Park" is the answer. That gets 900+ google hits to the 607 that "Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata" gets, and we use the most common English name, rather than official names on Wikitravel. I think a redirect page for Ciénaga de Zapata National Park would be wise. And since the Bay of Pigs is an event rather than a destination (or am I wrong?), it should not get a redirect, but you can indicate that the park was the site of the botched invasion in the park article itself, as well as one-liner descriptions of the park in the "other destinations" section of its parent region. Also, we use names in parentheses in article titles only for disambiguation purposes. --Peter Talk 14:25, 29 June 2008 (EDT)
This afternoon I did a bunch of work on the Pinar_del_Rio_(province) page, including creating three new pages for national parks. What looks right to me is to use the official name as the article name, then when you link to the page add in parentheses the English translation. For example: Parque Nacional de Viñales (Viñales National Park). Adding extra names on the right side of the pipe is easy. Following this style produces: Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata (Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, and the Bahia de Cochinos or Bay of Pigs). Does that look acceptable to everyone? P.S. the Bay of Pigs is a place, the Bay of Pigs Invasion was the event. And when we settle on the name for this page, let's add a list of national parks to Cuba.--Chapayev 19:20, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

Do &s in titles break pages?[edit]

Swept in from pub:

I ask as I've noticed there is a merge candidate named Free wifi in Brighton & Hove but when I click on the link I get taken to "Free wifi in Brighton". I've tried a couple of things to get around this, and tried it in both Firefox and IE, but have found no way of getting to the real article. Is there a trick to this, or can an admin move the page, or does it need a more brute force method to get the page to be viewable? Nrms 23:56, 10 May 2009 (EDT)

Short answer is "yes", ampersands cause problems. Long answer is I remember coming across another article with the same problem but I don't remember if I was able to do anything about it. LtPowers 08:02, 11 May 2009 (EDT)
Okay, I was able to move the page (and its talk page) to Free wifi in Brighton and Hove. I deleted the original page and its talk page. The trick is, when you go to the delete page, the URL says "". I had to change that to "", and it worked. Similar trick with the move operation. LtPowers 08:07, 11 May 2009 (EDT)

Policy article title[edit]

Does anyone mind if I move this article to just Wikitravel:Naming conventions? I've found myself referencing the "most common English name" bit a lot to deal with names other than article titles. Like calling the Sears Tower the Sears Tower, rather than the obscure, but official, Willis Tower. --Peter Talk 19:20, 19 July 2009 (EDT)

Go ahead. Jpatokal 01:22, 20 July 2009 (EDT)

Directional district names[edit]

I'd like to change the following bit of our district naming policy:

don't repeat the name of the city. Los Angeles/East is as clear as and much shorter than "Los Angeles/East Los Angeles

For several reasons, I think we should stick to the simple policy of using the most common name for the place. For LA, for example, I would assume people say "Eastside," not "East." We used to use names like those being recommended here for non-districts, but have moved away from that practice (e.g., Southwest (Colorado) → Southwestern Colorado), to both do away with the need for ridiculous disambiguations like East and to better match the way people speak. Another reason to avoid districts called X/North or X/Southwest is because it creates a conflict with our RDF goals.

Also, the first clause of the same sentence advises to keep district names as short as possible. That conflicts with our now standard procedure for districts that amalgamate important neighborhoods, e.g., Chicago/Bridgeport-Chinatown, Washington, D.C./Adams Morgan-Columbia Heights, San Francisco/Union Square-Financial District, etc.

I'd like to just delete the sentence. Objections? --Peter Talk 21:20, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

As long as it's only for districts, I'm cool with that. Otherwise, I think it's a good advice. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:49, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
I like the plan. As a bonus, it makes it easier to tell when a district has a commonly-used name that's worth knowing, versus when we're just using a directional for lack of any better specifier. - Dguillaime 22:48, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm going to mostly object here. Of course commonly used names should be used, and I agree that LA/East should be moved to LA/Eastside if that's what it's called. However, I still think it looks really dopey to have districts with completely duplicated names like "Los Angeles/South Central Los Angeles", and I'm not really all that keen on jawbreaker districts like "Washington, D.C./Adams Morgan-Columbia Heights" either.
The way I see it, article titles are a technical artifact and not a part of the guide itself. They should be kept short so they're easy to link to, and the "actual" name should be spelled out at the beginning of the article. Jpatokal 09:54, 15 October 2009 (EDT)

New discussion[edit]

I can see Jani's point about "Los Angeles/South Central Los Angeles", but that's a rare case and "South Central L.A." would work just as well. For a counter-example, there's the one I raised initially that prompted Peter to start the discussion above: Manhattan/Lower Manhattan. Does anyone really think that should be Manhattan/Lower? Keep in mind that the words after the slash are what are displayed in the browser title bar; do we want that to read "East travel guide" or "East Los Angeles travel guide"? LtPowers 11:55, 12 September 2011 (EDT)

Can we get Manhattan/Lower Manhattan to show up as simply Lower Manhattan in Wikitravel's titlebar? That is, whenever we have an article title in the X/Y format, only Y displays. --Peter Talk 16:24, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
That functionality is already in place, as I mentioned above. LtPowers 17:31, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
I don't mean the browser titlebar, I mean our titlebar at the top of the page—"Manhattan/Lower Manhattan" does look odd. Is there a way to suppress that on a case by case basis? I thought I remembered there being a template or bit of wikimarkup to do that. --Peter Talk 17:54, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
DISPLAYTITLE would do it ( but I'm not sure that our version of Mediawiki supports it properly. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:26, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
(edit conflict) You can change the capitalization of the first letter (see example) with the magic word "DISPLAYTITLE", but nothing else can change; it has to resolve to the same db key as the "real" title. In version 1.14 and later, setting the server variable $wgRestrictDisplayTitle to FALSE removes that restriction, but MediaWiki explicitly recommends against doing so, "as it breaks the wiki convention that a page's title is its name, and thus can be used for linking to it." LtPowers 18:31, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
Back to that South Central example... It's a pretty bad example in defense of Janis' argument, because the actual name is not South Central Los Angeles, it's just South Central, to which everyone knows you don't be a menace while drinking your juice in the hood. --Peter Talk 23:27, 12 September 2011 (EDT)


Related to the above, on my lovely island Zealand there are now three subregions; South Zealand, West Zealand and... Nordsjælland - which was started by User:Elgaard back in 2007. So, I've asked a bunch of locals here if they would use Nordsjælland or North Zealand in English (Nord=North, Sjælland=Zealand) and there was a slight skew towards Nordsjælland, 6 to 4.

To a Dane who speaks both languages it just looks silly to mix the two languages, so ...

  • should we go with democracy at name them Nordsjælland, Vestsjælland and Sydsjælland
  • should we hail Kim Jung Ill for a moment and name them North Zealand, West Zealand and South Zealand (and get rid of the æ)
  • Keep them, which I really don't like, but it might all look different to non native speaker.

--Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:49, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

Make it North Zealand. We should only use other languages when there is no readily available English term. In this case, there is. LtPowers 23:32, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
Agree with LtPowers. Plus most English speakers wouldn't know how to type an "æ" anyway. Texugo 01:58, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
The question that should be asked of the locals is what would the traveler call this place? To me, as a potenial traveler to those fair shores, I would also prefer North Zealand over Nordsjælland because North Zealand is an English name, while Nordsjælland is clearly Danish. However, by all means create a redirect article for Nordsjælland linking to North Zealand. However, I must not forget my cultural bias in relation to Zealand, as I come from New Zealand, so North Zealand fits better than Nordsjælland in my mind. -- Huttite 16:55, 20 November 2009 (EST)
Seems like we have a consensus then, you're always welcome to come around if the potential turns into something real btw, I'll be happy to show you around North Zealand :) --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:01, 20 November 2009 (EST)

Some places in the Netherlands[edit]

The places of the Netherlands all use Dutch names, but I am not sure what we should do.

How do we name Friesland? An English word for the province is Frisia, but that's also the name of a wider region in Northwestern Europe (including parts of North-Holland, Northern Netherlands, Germany and Denmark). So then the name West Frisia could be used, as it is the mid-western part of that region (as also used in West Frisian Islands), but this makes matters complex, as there is also a West-Friesland/West-Frisia in North-Holland that means exactly the same and is even more at the west. Then, as we do now, we could use the Dutch name Friesland, but this is not the official name of the province, the only official name is Fryslân. And it might sound like Dutch imperialism or something as Friesland is used by the Dutch, while the Frisians use Fryslân. I also doubt Friesland is the most common name in English, but maybe it is, I really don't know.

Also, the towns have two names, a Dutch one and a Frisian one. Which one to use? In Frisia, both are sign-posted in both Dutch and (West-)Frisian. But in the rest of the country, only the Dutch name is used. Again, I'm not sure on the most common English name.

Then we got some other ones. These places have an English name, but I'm not sure if it's commonly used (as these are very small towns and villages, you don't see these English names anywhere sign-posted):

Some other provinces with English names:

I have no idea which of these are the "most common English name". To be honest, I feel most of them could better just use the Dutch name, as they are sign-posted (and I think their English equivalents are not used much). But I am not sure on how much the English names are used outside of the Netherlands. globe-trotter 17:54, 3 January 2010 (EST)

Unsure, but Zealand also happens to be the island I live on --Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:31, 3 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, it's also a province of the Netherlands :P But we could use Zeeland for clarity, so the Danish Zealand stays Zealand (though I think a link at the top of the page would be useful to avoid confusion).

Anyway, I found this map [10], which uses the following convention and for now I'm going to follow it:

  • Small towns and villages use the Dutch name
  • Large cities get the English name (such as The Hague).
  • Provinces use the Dutch names (but even Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland? Should we change these provinces into those? I thought North-Holland and South-Holland would be more logical.
  • The province Friesland gets the Dutch name, but this is problematic: as the map is from 1987 (it even still says Federal Republic of Germany!!!), at that time the name Friesland was the official name. Now Fryslân is the official name. So now I still don't know what to do here. But for now, I'll just keep the Dutch names.

So should I rename North-Holland, South-Holland and North-Brabant to Noord-Holland, etc.?

globe-trotter 20:19, 3 January 2010 (EST)

In general, where there is an English name, it should be used. It's true that such names won't be widely used in the country in question, but that's the rule. I see no reason to use "Noord" instead of "North"; it's no different than having "New York" listed in Spanish articles as "Nueva York" (which it always is). (Another rule of thumb is to check the English Wikipedia; they've usually had such arguments long before we get to a particular location's article.) LtPowers 08:29, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Region names[edit]

I have read most of the discussion above but I am still at a loss as to why it became convention to put brackets around a country name when it is used for a region, eg: North (Vietnam). Why does that make sense and why is it a good thing? It has a horrible effect on the displayed article name: "North travel guide". What is wrong with North Vietnam or Northern Vietnam? --Burmesedays 08:14, 8 January 2010 (EST)

Nothing's wrong with those names if they're commonly used. But take an example like South (United States of America). It's always called "The South", and calling it "Southern United States" is an artificial construction. I don't know if the situation in Vietnam is similar. LtPowers 09:06, 8 January 2010 (EST)
Good points. But why the brackets around the country? I think this is what causes articles to be very confusingly called (as in my example) "North travel guide"? In your example, why not South United States rather than South (United States)? As aside, a huge number of our region names are artificial constructions. Artificial but logical might be better than artificial and confusing. --Burmesedays 09:55, 8 January 2010 (EST)
Because no one ever calls it "South United States"; it's just "the South". We need the parenthetical for disambiguation. LtPowers 13:24, 8 January 2010 (EST)
Agreed, and I'm quite sure that North (Vietnam) would be better as North Vietnam, as that is such a common name. --Peter Talk 16:59, 8 January 2010 (EST)
I wouldn't know myself, but it's certainly possible. LtPowers 21:33, 8 January 2010 (EST)
For this US example I guess an article called South travel guide is OK then. I cannot think of many other examples though where that makes any sense and parethenses appear all over our region articles. Can we take it that unless there is a very particular reason to use them, this is not desirable? --Burmesedays 23:04, 8 January 2010 (EST)
I think I would agree. Whenever possible, it is nice to avoid the parentheticals. The Vietnam War has made "North Vietnam" a very well-known region, so that case definitely makes sense to change the name. ChubbyWimbus 23:15, 8 January 2010 (EST)
Ah, I just discovered the problem. The "North" region of Vietnam as defined in our Vietnam article covers much less area than the historical "North Vietnam", which extended south to 17 degrees north latitude. There might, thus, be some confusion if we were to use the title "North Vietnam". I would guess that that is the reason the region was named as it was. LtPowers 10:39, 9 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, North Vietnam doesn't actually cover the whole area of the former country of North Vietnam. A few months ago, I already changed the "South", "North", etc. into Southern Thailand, Northern Thailand and Eastern Thailand. So I agree with Burmesedays, better use those names if they are better. We also have lots of these regions in China, which maybe could be adapted. --globe-trotter 10:43, 9 January 2010 (EST)
Then call it Northern Vietnam. Anything is better than the current name of "North". This is a general point by the way, not specific to that one example I gave. --Burmesedays 11:38, 9 January 2010 (EST)


We currently have the following rule:

"As an exception, if one place is so much more famous than others with the same name that the disambiguation is a hindrance rather than a help, leave it without a disambiguator on the end. This is rare, and if you even have to think about which place is "more famous", go back to rule 1."

I think this is way too harshly applied, like when I look at the discussion at Talk:Saint Petersburg. Is this sentence really meant in a way that a city as huge as Saint Petersburg needs thought over? I really don't even have to think about which city is "more famous", it's clearly the Russian one.

Maybe there is a way we can "objectivity" this rule for hard cases? Such as that national capitals (see the discussion about Panama City (Florida) and Panama City (Panama) and that large metropoles of a country get preference? --globe-trotter 14:50, 11 January 2010 (EST)

I think the basic rule of thumb is that a city of international prominence—one that is a household name around the world—should be the direct target, with a disambiguatory link at the top. When there is a case of one city being significantly more important than another, but neither are all that widely known, then it is better to just send readers straight to the disambiguation page. I'm not sure a truly objective measure is possible, but your suggestions are good rules of thumb. --Peter Talk 15:51, 11 January 2010 (EST)

Latin Characters[edit]

Per discussions such as this one, this one, this one, and I'm sure numerous others, there is immense confusion about what constitutes a "Latin character with or without accents/diacritics". Could someone who knows more about this subject than I do expand the Romanization section of this guideline with a few more examples and (hopefully) a list or link to a list of valid characters? For those of us with character-impaired keyboards it would be helpful to have this called out explicitly so we could easily figure out if a character is valid or not, and hopefully avoid future confusion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:40, 9 February 2010 (EST)

You missed a big discussion in the Traveller's Pub. Here is a list of latin letters, including ones with diacritics. I've never seen about 2/3rds of those letters until I saw that page. As for "character-impaired keyboards", Wikitravel policy is that a page without the diacritics be made a redirect so this shouldn't be a major problem (when editing text, simply use copy/paste). While many places may not use the diacritics that are used in their native languages, there are many places where the diacritic/accent seems to follow into use in English. Examples: Malé, Maldives; São Tomé and Príncipe; São Paulo; Meroë, Sudan; Medellín, Colombia; Kraków, Poland; many Icelandic & Scandinavian places; lots of Arabic & Vietnamese transliterations...there are even some cities in the US which use the tilde in their official names! AHeneen 03:36, 9 February 2010 (EST)
The logic behind the argument to have diacritics and illegible characters is silly. Is there something wrong with using English in the English Wikitravel? Online, Meroe, Krakow, Sao Paulo, etc. are still moreoften unaccented. Probably because of the inconvenience of using characters not used in the English language. And people who do use them are often just copying the native language use, to be cool or whatever. That European cities discussion actually shows nearly total support for Stefan's proposal of "English unless there is none" than for using strange characters. That is also much clearer. Cities just look out-of-place, like the example used in the discussion Chişinău. Chisinau has an English name, so it seems silly that we would not use it and then tell our users to "copy and paste" the name everytime they want to refer to the city. A lot of wasted time, in my opinion.
Currently, it seems that we have an ambiguous "Use diacritics/accents sparingly" policy that people disregard or abide by at random, no? ChubbyWimbus 04:02, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I think there is a danger that this discussion is taking place in many different WT places. If someone felt like sweeping all of the relevant discussion here, it would be helpful. Unsurprisingly, I am in full agreement with ChubbyWimbus here. The only possible benefit I can see of accents and diacritics is as an aide to pronunciation. That can be dealt with by putting the name with such embellishments in brackets in the article. It should have no influence on the title of the article, which I believe should be written in plain English characters wherever possible (i.e. nearly always). --Burmesedays 04:23, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I didn't mean to debate whether we should or should not use all Latin characters in names - current policy is clear that we should. What I'm suggesting is that someone should update the policy page to make it more explicit what that means. However, since there seems to be ongoing discussion about whether or not we should use accents in names, my opinion is that as long as there is a redirect from the non-accent/diacritic name then it doesn't hurt to use the local name, and can actually have benefits - as Jani pointed out, some words will have very different meanings without accent/diacritic, and from my own experience traveling in Iceland, if our guide had been "Thingvellir National Park" instead of Þingvellir National Park I probably would not have immediately recognized that they were the same place, so there are clear benefits to using the (Latin character) name that is in common usage rather than always trying to re-write to match what's on a US keyboard. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:56, 9 February 2010 (EST)

I don't understand how there can be any possible confusion about this. Like the rule says, the Latin letters are A to Z; add any squigglies, dots, dashes and smiley faces you want, or even squish a couple together, and they're still Latin letters. Case by case:

  • Ærø should be right where it is, at Ærø, with lots of redirects.
  • The Þ (thorn) of Þingvellir is not in the A-Z range, but it's arguably Latin anyway. No relevance to places outside Iceland though, so it's a debate for Talk:Iceland as far as I'm concerned.
  • It's perfectly clear that São Paulo is a permissible name, the debate is about whether the city is more commonly known in English as "Sao Paulo" without the tilde.

The thing that you two don't seem to understand is that, while those squigglies look annoying and useless from your diacriticless American/Indonesian point of view, they are critical to pronunciation and understanding in the countries that use them. If I näin somebody in Finnish, I saw them; if I nain them instead, I fucked them. The traveller comes first -- it may be a hassle for us editors to input them sometimes, but it's to the traveler's advantage that we use them. Jpatokal 08:50, 9 February 2010 (EST)

And just to reiterate what I've said elsewhere; I've no strong opinion on São Paulo - though that's easy to type on a Danish keyboard, it's just Alt+~followed by S, not sure why this is not the case for US keyboards, especially with such a large Spanish speaking population.
My main concern with following a strict A-Z policy, is that it's more ambiguous for a number of full-fleged non English letters. Å (which is not an accent, but a letter) is both commonly transliterated as (double) 'aa' and (single) 'a' while Ø/Ö is written as both both 'o' and 'oe'. And then we have a case like Seyðisfjörður where people unfamiliar with the ð would propbably think it's a weird d (which it historically also was), while it's really more like 'th' in modern Icelandic - and tooadd to the confusion - in Faroese it's now purely a tonal indicator - so do we omit it article names then?
As it might show, introducing a strict english A-Z policy, will force us to make a complex set of transliteration rules for a large number of letters, which most contributors are not going to read anyway, increasing the janitorial burden even further. I'm much more in favour of the current status quo of just making redirects when needed.
I think there is a bit of a perception gap, between those who see English wikitravel as the Wikitravel for English speakers, and those (like me) who see it as the global/international Wikitravel, in the lingua franca of the online world. Maybe that's the issue that really needs to be resolved. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 09:22, 9 February 2010 (EST)
A Jani rant :) Trust the Finns to cause confusion on that front. More seriously, I do understand all that, really I do. And that's precisely why I supported the idea of putting the name with squigglies in the article in brackets as a pronunciation aid. What I still don't understand is why they appear in article titles at English Wikitravel when there are widely used English names, and thereby cause all this debate. I would not go to Finnish Wikitravel (or wherever) and suggest the sguigglies are all removed. --Burmesedays 09:24, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I'm also confused on this issue. I thought "use the most common name in English" was our guiding principle—rather than simply "use Latin, transliterate other alphabets." "Ærø Denmark" gets fewer hits than "Aero Denmark," but more than "Aeroe Denmark" when a google search is limited to English language results. Wouldn't that mean we use Aero? --Peter Talk 14:19, 9 February 2010 (EST)
After many years contributing here, I'm of the opinion that the "most common name" guideline may have been a bad one as it tends to lead to arguments with no clear answer, such as Ærø, Aero or Aeroe, or some of the "Death Valley" or "Death Valley National Park" discussions above. It seems like a better rule might be "Use the most common English name. In cases where there is not an obviously "most common" name, use the name that travelers to the destination are likely to see in common usage at the destination, provided Romanization is not required." That would mean Ærø, São Paulo, and Death Valley National Park, and eliminate a lot of confusion. It would also prevent usage of burdensome "official" names such as "City and County of San Francisco", which was part of the impetus behind Wikitravel:Why Wikitravel doesn't use official names. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:09, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I made a similar argument here, although in that case it was that we should use "least ambiguous" names when there were multiple English names for a place, such as "Death Valley" and "Death Valley National Park"; integrating that idea into the naming conventions is one that I would still be in favor of. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:15, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I still agree with Burmesedays. Pronunciation is not aided at all by using Ærø over Aero; If anything, it makes it more difficult. Seyðisfjörður which I would read as: Say-yois-fyor-or (and would be wrong!) could just as easily be Seydisfjordur with the Icelandic name listed in the article, like we do with all foreign names. The pronunciation argument still doesn't really pass, as someone mentioned; Cyrillics works better for Russian, kana for Japanese, but we don't name our articles in those scripts. I feel like there is a hidden worry that we will offend or confuse non-native speakers if we use too much English, but I don't see why we should feel guilty for using English in the English version of the site?
If it were decided that there is no good way to write Icelandic names (for example) in English, then I suppose we could just say, "Use English names, except for Icelandic cities", but I still think most cities will have an English name. The naming convention right now is basically a policy of "whoever creates it first chooses how it will be written" (or whoever is clever enough to redirect the current name to their desired name and make all alternatives redirects in order to make reversion impossible can decide, as seems to have been the case with Sao Paulo). ChubbyWimbus 21:03, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I'd venture most cities don't have an English name, only large international cities does - it's just that in most countries you only use the A-Z part of the alphabet, or there is a officially defined transliteration of foreign alphabets. I really feel strongly against renaming Ærø to Aro, Aeroe or Aroe. If you look past the first 20 pages of google results for Aero in English, where the majority (some 70-80%) of the results are about the island, the rest of the hits are all about Aeroflot offices in Denmark, the Jean Michelle Jarre concert of the same name held here a couple of years back, aerotech companies, airlines, danish .aero domain registrars and what not, of course it will have many hits when Aero is a real English word.
If we go for Aro instead - the first google hits is about the island of Årø, an entirely unrelated island to the west, which can also be written as both Aro, Aaroe and Aaro. And there will be many other cases as the letter Ø, also in fact is a word, it means island - hence nearly all the 800 islands of Denmark ends on a 'Ø' in their names... Ærø, Samsø, Fanø, Rømø (Roemoe really looks horrible btw) etc.
Casual users who see the names Ærø, Bågø or Rømø, will probably search for Aero, Bago or Romo, but really, seriously, no one here would connect those names with the islands. I'd personally take them for foreign names if that was put before me in writing. Pronunciation wise, and according to the most widely used transliteration standards, these should really be called Aeroe, Baagoe and Roemoe - Am I making your head spin yet? And it's not just limited to Denmark; Ö (which is also a seperate letter, with the same transliteration issues) is also the Swedish name for an island, and were some to start an article on Gränsö we would have the whole problem with Granso, Graensoe or Gransoe all over again, same goes for Norwegian.
Hence we'll end up with a whole bunch of redirects anyway, so I really don't see why we then shouldn't just redirect to the real official unambiguous name, instead of redirecting searches for the real name to a "stopgap name", which is only there because Æ,Ø and Å is not on English keyboards. There just is no official names in English to go for. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 02:48, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Stefan and Jani are making similar arguments. I think explicitly stating "if there isn't an English name that is obviously the most common, use the local name" is probably a safe rule of thumb. It's clear, we don't have to argue about nuances of Google hits, and provided redirects are setup it does not decrease usability in any way. Additionally, for someone like me, I won't need to wonder if the Wikitravel guide I'm reading about "Aeroe" is the same place as the destination listed as "Ærø" that I see on the local map/train station directory/etc. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:10, 10 February 2010 (EST)
I like the "If there isn't an English name that is obviously the most common, use the local name" idea, although "obviously the most common" will still have some debate. Along with that general policy, we could just add languages that we think people may struggle with to the Romanization list. They have similarities to Vietnamese in their use of diacritics, and we have a rule for writing Vietnamese [[11]. Just looking at the "List of cities in (country)" on Wikipedia, Icelandic cities could probably benefit by having this policy, while Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese/Brazilian, Moldovan cities could easily be all English letters with the official names at the top of the page. ChubbyWimbus 23:14, 10 February 2010 (EST)
I'm quite fine with Ryan's rule of thumb, although I was under the impression that it was the rule all along, and I agree with Chubby that while "obviously" raises the bar a little higher, it's not going to "solve" this problem.
Last and least, I've raised the issue of eth and thorn on Talk:Iceland. It's tricky, but it's also irrelevant to the rest of the world outside Iceland and the Faroes and -- no matter what we decide -- doesn't need more than a footnote on a global policy level. Jpatokal 03:55, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Support from me for Ryan's suggested rule of thumb as well. What about existing article names? There are stacks of them with squiggly names, when there is a commonly used English name. Should those be changed, or do we only apply this to new articles that we see? --Burmesedays 04:21, 11 February 2010 (EST)

Also support, but it seems to me from the discussion above that there is not a common understanding of "an English name that is obviously the most common". It seems that Burmesedays and also others expect this to imply that the majority of names will be without diacritics and stuff whereas Jpatokal and others expect the majority to be with. Maybe I am wrong, but I think it would be nice if eg Burmesedays could give examples of existing articles with names that should be changes according to this "obviously" rule, to see if there is a common understanding or not, ClausHansen 06:20, 11 February 2010 (EST)

Sure. Just a few: São Paulo, Iguaçu Falls, Braşov, Ölüdeniz, Malmö.--Burmesedays 07:10, 11 February 2010 (EST)
We may need to be clearer about "obviously the most common" then - I assumed the bar would be as high as our current rules for when not to disambiguate ("if a place is so much more famous that disambiguation would be a hindrance"). In that case, place like São Paulo (see for example and Iguaçu Falls (also referred to as Iguazu and Iguacu) that are referenced with a mix of names would use the local name, but we would use Geneva instead of Genève since the former is ALWAYS used on English maps and references. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:19, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Malmö's official name in English is Malmö, and should it be renamed to Malmo or Malmoe? The first google results says it all "Malmo - Malmö - Malmoe - Malmø - City Guide", again I really don't see the point of not using the official, unambiguous name if we are going to have to make 4 redirects anyway. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 12:27, 11 February 2010 (EST)
I was under the impression that Iguazu Falls would be Iguazu Falls and Sao Paulo would also be without the diacritics. With Malmö, I don't see how writing it "Malmo" is ambiguous. An English-speaker would easily know that Malmo is Malmo (I had actually not known the city had diacritics in the name. lol). I really don't think Swedish names are particularly ambiguous without the diacritics. I though the idea was to limit the use of diacritics as much as possible to only use them when absolutely necessary. ChubbyWimbus 21:02, 11 February 2010 (EST)
I think this is where the disconnect is for me - I don't understand the reason for wanting to limit the use of accents and diacritics in article names as long as a redirect is in place. If someone could spell out the reasoning behind that idea I think it would make it easier to formulate a consistent policy. I have a similar issue with arguments made about using shorter article names ("Death Valley" vs. "Death Valley National Park") - it seems like as long as there are redirects in place for the shorter names, the ultimate name of the article doesn't matter that much and we might as well go with whatever is likely to cause the least confusion/ambiguity. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:17, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Actually, I wouldn't immediately make the connection to the city if I saw "Malmo," whereas I would with Malmö. I think I am of one mind with Jani—the traveler comes first, and it's more useful than not to have the diacritics, partly for pronunciation help, but more importantly for reading street signs. We could use the format "Name ([[Language phrasebook|Language]]: name with diacritics (SOO-doh phuh-NEH-tih-sih-zay-shuhn)," but it would be more concise to just put the diacritics in the name itself and only pronunciation in the parentheses. I agree with Ryan in that I don't really see any reason, from a reader's perspective, to avoid diacritics, or even Latin characters that do not appear in the English language, so long as pronunciation follows the article title in parentheses, and that redirects are set up.
I don't want to throw off the consensus work being done, but here's just a suggestion of a relatively simple solution: Names using Latin characters should appear as they do in their own language, except when there is a different more commonly used English name. That's a simple, categorical rule, which would leave us with São Paolo and Malmö, but not Genève. I see the former two in English language writing often, so this doesn't seem too radical to me. --Peter Talk 22:29, 11 February 2010 (EST)

I think this is getting more and more muddled. How would the decison about a different, more commonly English name be made? Is Iguaza Falls a more commonly used different English spelling than the squiggled Iguaçu Falls? I would never dream of writing Malmö, and I doubt whether many native English speakers would, bar the linguistically interested and those with Scandinavian connections. The simple solution ("write in English, dont use diacritics and accents except where there is no common English name") is clearly not very popular --Burmesedays 23:08, 11 February 2010 (EST)

In my mind the decision process would be the same as when we try to figure out whether or not to disambiguate an article:
  1. Are there different versions of the name? If no, we're done.
  2. If there are different versions of the name, is one so much more common than the others that NOT using it would be a hindrance? If so, use it and we're done. An example: Geneva.
  3. Otherwise there are multiple versions of the name, and one is not clearly correct, so use the local name.
My opposition to "always use the no accent/diacritic name" is twofold: one, we still end up with confusion (Aero? Aeroe?) and two, I don't think it's a benefit to a traveler standing in a bus station to make them translate a non-diacritic name into what they see on the schedule. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:27, 11 February 2010 (EST)
But once again, the traveller at the bus station would still have the native name on the guide, clearly visible, just like those with non-Latin scripts can do. The idea that the accents help the traveller to pronounce names, in my opinion is just not true. It's rare for an English speaker to know anything about Swedish, so I don't see it as particularly useful in that way (once again, the accented name would still be there). If these accents are so helpful, then why do we have a strict policy for Vietnamese against all diacritics? The diacritics in Vietnamese mark tones, in which a lack of using tones makes speech incomprehensible. People seem so passionate about Scandinavian languages (probably in part because we have Scandinavians here) yet our Vietnamese policy strictly forbids it. I'm sure there are signs in Vietnam that are written in Vietnamese, but no one seems bothered by the lack of diacritics in Vietnamese. I'd prefer making Swedish cities (for example) like the Vietnamese; no diacritics. If Wikitravelers are okay in Vietnam, I imagine Malmo will not be too traumatic either. ChubbyWimbus 00:20, 12 February 2010 (EST)
It may be rare for the average English speaker to know anything about Swedish pronunciation, but probably pretty common for the average English speaking traveler visiting Sweden and traveling independently (and this is to whom our guides are geared). They just need to take a look at Swedish phrasebook to get an idea of what that umlaut means. --Peter Talk 12:32, 12 February 2010 (EST)
But the Swedish and Icelandic Ö, is not an accented O, its a separate unrelated letter, which like the Danish Ø, is ambiguous because many people write it as 'oe' on foreign keyboards, exactly to differentiate it from 'O', same goes for the Swedish Ä (the swedish version of Æ) which is also a separate ligature transliterated as 'ae' to differentiate the letter from 'a'. I'm very much in favour of Peters proposal above. Florence, Copenhagen and Moscow, but not Malmo or Aeroe. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:23, 12 February 2010 (EST)
I think I'd have less objection to diacritics if redirects didn't screw up our RDF features. LtPowers 07:49, 12 February 2010 (EST)
Along with "they are hard to type" (which is solved with redirects), this seems to be the only other concrete argument that has been made against using accents/diacritics in names, unless I've missed something in the discussion above. The breadcrumb trail for São Paulo and Ærø both look OK, so could you clarify what breaks? Maybe this is something that can be addressed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:41, 12 February 2010 (EST)
If you navigate to São Paulo via the redirect at Sao Paolo, all RDF features will break. This is true of all redirects, and is a tech issue independent of using diacritics. I think it's generally best, though, not to tailor our policies to deal with outstanding tech issues, in the hopes that we will eventually resolve them. --Peter Talk 12:47, 12 February 2010 (EST)
I'm just saying that redirects don't solve the problem entirely. LtPowers 15:31, 12 February 2010 (EST)
The main argument is not just that its "hard to type". The pronunciation arguments are running in circles, because the proper name will be visible regardless of which way we write it. I think out of an attempt to establish a more concrete naming rule, the real debate is "What is English?". Also, because it seemed that there was a desire to avoid diacritics, and there are rules in place against them, the issue of conformity and consistency was brought up. ChubbyWimbus 01:52, 13 February 2010 (EST)
I guess I'm still having trouble figuring out what the advantages of NOT using accents/diacritics are - you list rebuttals to arguments made in favor of using diacritics. Reviewing what's above, the cases made for using accents/diacritics are:
  • There are pronunciation advantages (Jani, Stefan)
  • Not using accents/diacritics can change the meaning significantly for local speakers (Jani)
  • It is less ambiguous if we create a rule that says "when in doubt, use the local name" (myself, Peter)
  • It is less confusing for travelers if the name used on Wikitravel article matches what they see on maps, bus stations, etc. (Jani, myself)
We've been able to discuss these arguments at length, and might even be moving towards some level of agreement. Similarly, here are the arguments that seem to be made for NOT using accents/diacritics:
  • They are hard to type.
  • If we rely on redirects then breadcrumb navigation doesn't display.
Did I miss anything? I'm not sure what you mean by "it seemed that there was a desire to avoid diacritics, and there are rules in place against them" - the current naming convention states "Use only the characters of the Latin alphabet for all article names (not just place names). Latin characters are the letters A through Z, capitalized or not, with or without accents/diacritics, and including ligatures (such as æ, Æ)."
The initial point of this discussion was to include a few more examples in the guidelines to clarify our naming conventions (inspired partly by the current discussion of how the São Paulo article should be named), but since it has turned into a debate about when/if we should use accents/diacritics it seems important to understand both the pros and cons. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:49, 14 February 2010 (EST)
There are pronunciation advantages to using characters that English-speakers can read, as well, as most people do not want to bother trying to decode place names. I still don't necessarily think that people who want to travel to Sweden will bother to learn much of the language or how to pronouce Swedish. People don't do that much with China, Japan, even Mexico (maybe most non-English countries). And the arguments about pronunciation, meaning changes, and matching bus/train stops are rather mute when we have an anti-diacritic position on Vietnamese, which could "benefit" from all of the same arguments (and once again, the correct name would be on the page no matter what). I tried to look it up, but I couldn't find any reason as to why it is strictly forbidden in Vietnamese when it uses the Latin alphabet with diacritics. The anti-diacritic policy however, makes Vietnamese naming very clear, so we don't have diacritic arguments about it.
I'm not sure what level of agreement we are moving to, because I feel like aside from leading to a discussion about how to name Icelandic cities, the discussion has not moved towards anything, at least in terms of making the policy clearer. Perhaps it sounds good to say that any article without a clear English name should be given its native name, but as the above discussion has shown, what one person thinks is the clear and obvious English name may still be contested. ChubbyWimbus 17:11, 14 February 2010 (EST)

I don't know why I'm not getting any response to my points about æäøöåð (and i'm sure there is others) being inheritable ambiguous letters, that can be transliterated in 2-3 different ways - and should we choose a strict A-Z approach, will be an ongoing issue with Scandinavian, German, Austrian and Swiss articles, as there are no one transliteration that is overwhelmingly more popular than the others locally, hence you introduce ambiguity in the article title when not using the original letters. And another point; my German isn't particularly good, but if I wanted to search for Göttingen, that is what I would search for; not Gottingen or Goettingen, since I come from a not insignificant minority of more than a billion people that uses accented letters and ligatures on a daily basis, and don't view them as some unwieldy foreign concept (and many of us reads English just fine) --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:58, 14 February 2010 (EST)

The fact that Danish people have these characters on their keyboards is irrelevant to the discussion. But it's good that you brought us back to more meaningful discussion about the specific characters/languages. I'd prefer not to use diacritics for Portuguese or Spanish (where the Sao Paulo debate stemmed from). They do not render the names incomprehensible to native speakers or English speakers, and that's always the way most English users would type them and also how I think they are typically written in English.
As for the Scandinavian/German/etc. characters æäøöåð, I have honestly not seen them used in English. Wikipedia uses them, and I think has influenced a lot of online sites... Just to see what all of the options could be, and to make it easier to review, could someone who is familiar with these languages please show how each is or can be romanized? There are examples above only with a couple of them. ChubbyWimbus 23:52, 14 February 2010 (EST)
They are roman letters :p
      • æ - 'a' + 'ae' (Ærø, Aeroe, Aroe, Aero Aro)
      • ä - 'a' + 'ae' + 'e' (Gränsö, Granso, Graensoe) Gräns = border; ö = island
      • ø - 'o' + 'oe' (Gransø. Granso, Gransoe) Gran = (pinales); sø = lake
      • ö - 'o' + 'oe' + 'oo' (Brännögård, Branogard, Braennoegaard, Braenogard, Branoegard, Branogaard etc.)
      • å - 'a' + 'aa' (Årø, Aaroe, Aro)
      • ð - 'd' + 'th' (Seyðisfjörður, Seythisfjorthur, Seythisfjoerthur, Seydisfjordur, Seydisfjoerdur)
And to counterpoint the "visitors would still have the native name on the guide, clearly visible..."; well yes, but nearly all of our guides also have name, region and country available in the opening paragraph for easy reference --Stefan (sertmann) talk 07:26, 15 February 2010 (EST)
I have decided it is all Wikipedia's fault :) and no more of my energy will flow in the direction of this discussion. Best of luck with a şølütĭöñ and please make sure the guideline is updated!--Burmesedays 09:24, 15 February 2010 (EST)
I'm strongly for keeping diacritics. I have always taken the "use English" policy to refer to cases where there is a clear, unique, established English name for the place, i.e. Mexico City, not Ciudad de México. All the examples given there are of this type, and I agree with that. However, most places don't have an English name, and simply dropping the diacritics often creates a very poor English representation of the word. Are we going to ban the Spanish "ñ" in favor of a standard one, "Puerto Penasco" instead of "Puerto Peñasco"? And are we really suggesting that a name like Iguaçu Falls be renamed to Iguacu Falls? "No, the standard English spelling is Iguassu", you might say. But does that mean a transliteration of "ss" should be proscribed for the hundreds of other placenames which have never been written this way? I think not. The Spanish and Portuguese characters ç, ã, ô, etc. are typically preserved in any profession English writing I have seen, and I would venture that in writing São Paulo is far more common with than without the til. "Sao Paulo" is not really an "English version" of the name the same way Naples is an English version of Napoli. It's just laziness or lack of know-how in typing the til. Frankly, it hurts my eyes to see Spanish or Portuguese placenames written with the diacritics dropped because it just seems misleading and unprofessional. As for Scandinavian and other languages where I don't necessarily even know the pronunciation of special characters, I would still rather see the original placename up top than be redirected to an arbitrarily-chosen transliteration. Redirecting to the original placename allows us to use redirects for any number of transliteration systems without having to endorse one. Texugo 23:19, 15 February 2010 (EST)
Also for keeping, per Texugo and others – cacahuate talk 00:50, 16 February 2010 (EST)
After reading all the arguments, I am convinced that we should keep the original placenames except in the rare cases when there is a clear, unique, established English name. As I see it, this is really not too far away from what the policy has been all the way, but it has not been described sufficiently clearly in our policy, ClausHansen 01:08, 16 February 2010 (EST)
Re: Sao Paulo, if it's good enough for Starfleet, it's good enough for me. =) LtPowers 08:35, 16 February 2010 (EST)

Its interesting to see so many opinions. Personally, I'm neutral because for an electronic guide the use of redirects, etc, makes the actual name largely irrelevant. You could rename all the articles as numbers sequentially from 1 to 55,000 and I wouldn't care, as long as all the possible names were in the text, and the appropriate redirects are in place. (Although I'm sure we could still disagree on where to put the comma in the number). However, we all seem to accept that trying to maintain the local names worldwide is a hopeless cause. We have so many character sets, translation methods, names that cannot even be uniquely mapped. What we in effect actually deciding here that we are accepting some European characters that are not English characters, just because the words also contain some characters which map onto the standard English character set. --inas 18:15, 16 February 2010 (EST)

That's about right Inas. How will this relate I wonder to the use of pronounciation aids in the romanisation of non-European languages (eg Vietnam's 29 letter alphabet)? Or are the arguments only relevant for European languages?--Burmesedays 20:02, 16 February 2010 (EST)

Personally I'm in favour of any incarnation of the latin alphabet, including Vietnamese, although thanks to Hollywood and LBJ, i'd venture many Vietnamese cities have a commonly used English name, Da Nang for example, over Đà Nẵng, Hue, but Buôn Ma Thuột over Buon Ma Thuot, although a separate consensus for Vietnam seems to have been reached, and I don't feel as strongly about that, as I do against renaming places in my own backyard to names I couldn't figure out was related, without clicking through to the article. Ö may look like an O, but it is not an O, any more than it is a A, E, U or Y. To me, changing Ærø to Aero, is like changing Hull to Hall --Stefan (sertmann) talk

I can understand why Stefan and it was exactly those type of diacritics and ligatures that I was in favour of keeping right at the beginning of this discussion, although I later made a mistake when citing Malmo. It is the mostly pronounciation mark-up that I see as totally unneccesary and unrelated to the language that this Wiki is written in. But whatever the majority view is, I wil go with that, no matter how illogical I might find it. As an aside don't you think that a traveller at a bus station who can't figure out that São Paulo is the same place as Sao Paulo, actually deserves to get lost? :)--Burmesedays 21:02, 16 February 2010 (EST)
Stefan is right, of course, but dropping diacritics rates fairly low on the scale of offences the English Language has committed against foreign place names.
If there is any reasoning that could be applied to using Malmö that doesn't apply to Hà Nội, then I must be missing something. You'll see it in the bus station, etc.. --inas 21:09, 16 February 2010 (EST)
I don't know the full history behind naming conventions for Vietnamese places, but in the example you cite I think Stefan's point about the westernized version of Vietnamese place names meeting the "so much more common" threshold (the "Geneva instead of Genève" exception) is valid, although for smaller Vietnamese villages without an obviously correct westernized name I wouldn't be opposed to changing policy to using the local name, unless there is a some good reason for doing otherwise that applies specifically to Vietnamese. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:21, 16 February 2010 (EST)
Do we have any reason to doubt the reasoning stated in the guideline, that is that the diacritics get in the way? --inas 21:40, 16 February 2010 (EST)
The example cited in the guideline is "Hà Nội" which is always referred to in the US (and I assume other English-speaking countries) as "Hanoi", so in that instance the diacritics would get in the way to the majority of English speakers, who know it as "Hanoi". While I don't know for certain, this guideline may be a remnant from very early days of Wikitravel when the focus was still very much on major travel destinations and we didn't yet have to wrestle with the hard cases such as how to name a small village that doesn't have an "obviously correct" English name. Jani wrote that section so he should be able to provide some insight. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:17, 16 February 2010 (EST)
The Vietnamese policy was laid out in 2005, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and many browsers were incapable of displaying Vietnamese accented characters, and we figured that "Con Dao" was a lesser evil than some users getting "C□n □□o". (Technical aside: most European accents are in ISO 8859-1 and show up perfectly well even on old PCs, and the rest in the 8859-x's are also OK, but Vietnamese is entirely outside the ISO system and didn't really work at all [outside Vietnamese PCs running VISCII] until Unicode came along.) I don't think this is the case anymore though, and I'd be quite open to switching Vietnamese article titles to use diacritics as well, as long as the list of exceptions in the guideline -- Dalat, Danang, Hanoi, Saigon and Vietnam -- is maintained. (And I wouldn't object too loudly to Dalat and Danang being dropped off that list, as long as the final 3 stay.) Jpatokal 00:03, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Interestingly, I see that Wikipedia seems to use diacritics by routine in an European language context, rather like Wikitravel. In the Vietnam pages though, they appear only sparingly and without any logical pattern that I can determine. The reasons may well be technical as Jani explains above. Either that, or nobody can be arsed to change everything :). I am sure there are other cases, not just Vietnamese. Certainly Lao. The sound of worms crawling out of cans.--Burmesedays 00:14, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Vietnamese is actually a special case, since it's written locally in a Latin script, while Lao, Thai, Chinese etc are just romanizations. I'm not aware of any other Latin script that's nearly as encrusted with diacritics (Vietnamese often has two on a single character!), although there are a couple of obscure languages like Azeri that incorporate borderline chars like Ə. Jpatokal 09:17, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Ah! I didn't bring up Vietnamese to change it to diacritics! lol. I've been thinking about this, though, and perhaps on the Scandinavian languages we should leave the diacritics. Although many of the arguments can go either way on eliminating vs keeping diacrtics, for me, I think that the fact that in those languages they are separate letters that are often greatly different in pronunciation than the regular letter (without diacritics) is the most reasonable/convincing argument. ChubbyWimbus 00:42, 17 February 2010 (EST)
This is true for every language that employs diacritics. (Did you seriously think those funny foreigners like to decorate their alphabet just the hell of it?) Jpatokal 09:33, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Depends on the diacritic. In Spanish, "ñ" is a different letter than "n", and pronounced differently, but accents over vowels signify only syllabic stress and do not change the sound of the character underneath. LtPowers 09:34, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Stress is lexical in Spanish: cómo (where?) is not the same as como (I eat). If it wasn't, there would be no need to write it! Jpatokal 10:55, 17 February 2010 (EST)
I realize that (although that's a bad example since both are pronounced the same with the same stress), but ChubbyWimbus was talking about diacritics that change the pronunciation of a letter. LtPowers 11:00, 17 February 2010 (EST) (P.S. cómo is "how?" not "where?" =) )
I still don't think that applies to Spanish or Portuguese names, though (the romanization of Iguaçu Falls is not Iguacu Falls, though, it's Iguazu Falls. Interestingly, although Wikipedia seems to revel in diacritics in European languages, they use the English for the falls [12]. I hate to sound cynical, but I think Wikipedians are less likely to complain about Vietnamese lack of diacritics because less English-speakers are familiar with it, probably less Vietnamese are there (or were there) to affect the policy than Europeans/Hispanics for their cities, and a lot of English-speakers have such an ingrained belief that Asian languages are incomprehensible that even when they see an Asian language written with English characters, they act like it's all Chinese. The diacritics would add to that sense. Regardless of their reasons, I would prefer our Vietnamese guides to remain the same (no diacritics). Does this sound reasonable and consistent? Having a policy should eliminate most naming questions, but we need to make sure that our policy doesn't come down to the fact that there is some bias arbitrary bias in favor of certain languages and against others... ChubbyWimbus 00:42, 17 February 2010 (EST)

Actually "Iguazu" is the Spanish name for it, just as valid as the Portuguese one since the area is shared with Paraguay and Argentina. (The anglified version is actually "Iguassu".) The nearby city of Foz de Iguaçu, however, is not. It would be very strange to replace the spelling with the Spanish or English version, I think, and we'd still be stuck with "Iguacu" if we drop the diacritics. Texugo 09:44, 17 February 2010 (EST)

I know I said I would stay out of this discussion, but after a few glasses of excellent vintage Barollo this evening, here is an example of what really bothers me. I have just logged in and one of the articles I see for patrolling is called Ústí nad Orlicí District. No redirect in place for the English spelling (I took the trouble to create that myself). The only paragraph of text in that article reads:
  • Česká Třebová, Ústí nad Orlicí, Brandýs and Orlicí and Choceň lie on the main corridor line connecting Prague, Brno, Wienna and Ostrava. However, most modern and fast IC and EC towns stop in Česká Třebová only. In Ústí nad Orlicí and Choceň most of rychlík trains stop. In Ústí nad Orlicí you can switch to trains going further to Letohrad. In Choceň you change for Vysoké Mýto and Litomyšl railway.
I would love to wikilink that paragraph, but I am scared. Are we really so intent on making life so difficult?--Burmesedays 12:31, 17 February 2010 (EST)
I fail to see much difference between putting brackets around [[Česká Třebová]] and [[Ceska Trebova]], or why it's any more difficult than [[Manchester]], I mean all you really do in any of those cases is type four brackets. Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe that Barollo is impairing your logic? :) --Stefan (sertmann) talk 02:05, 18 February 2010 (EST)
I cannot deny some impaired logic :). The point is though, if I wikilinked all those place names and they came up in red, what does that mean? That no articles exist? That the articles do exist but the titles are written in English? Should I then go and check for English spellings and put re-directs in place? We are creating unnecessary complexity and confusion. Additionally, your average English speaking and writing Wikitraveller would never in a month of sundays think to put Česká Třebová into a search box (or even know how to compose the accented letters) when he or she is searching for Ceska Trebova. Until the re-direct was put in place by myself yesterday, the search return for Ceska Trebova was empty, despite the article existing. AS face value, Wikitravel apparently did not have the article the user was looking for. How is that best serving the traveller? You might say this is taken care of by a redirect. Yes it is, but there wasn't one and you cannot rely on this - a common state of play here. A right old mess which would not be the case if we insisted that article names are written in English in the first place (with exceptions as previously suggested). --Burmesedays 02:47, 18 February 2010 (EST)
I think the same problem applies in the reverse. If you wikilink Ceska Trebova and it comes up red, you might be missing an already created Česká Třebová article. Ironically, it's actually easier to double check whether a diacritic-less article exists for the visible "diacriticized" version, as it's easy to remove the diacritics, but hard to add them as a redirect for editors less familiar with the local language. I don't think "Česká Třebová" is a "non-English" name—diacritics are perfectly acceptable in English, and used most often for foreign place names... as well as loan words like piñata (pinata looks ridiculous).
I don't see any significant disadvantages to including diacritics, only advantages, other than the "hard to type" argument, which conflicts with Wikitravel:The traveller comes first. I'll add another argument pro: as an international site for travelers, I think we should tend towards the international than to the parochial, especially as our site is not at all geared only towards native English speakers (I actually get the impression that our site is better known and more popular among continental Europeans than Americans, who in my experience mostly haven't heard of us). And naming articles like Montañita Montanita looks simply incorrect, not to mention confusing. Ñ and n are different letters for Ecuadorian place names, just as much as o and ö are for Swedish place names.
In any rate, our policy already states what seems to be the majority opinion here (and I should have read the article more carefully before my earlier comments): Use only the characters of the Latin alphabet for all article names (not just place names). Latin characters are the letters A through Z, capitalized or not, with or without accents/diacritics, and including ligatures (such as æ, Æ). Latin characters are much, much easier for English-speaking readers and contributors to "sound out" or to type (say, for the search tool) than non-Latin characters. If using accents/diacritics and/or ligatures, please also create redirects without (eg. the article named Ærø should have redirects named Aero and Aeroe). I think this discussion, while interesting, is thus moot. Actually, I think the policy states what I was suggesting above ;)
Lastly, I think just about every OS offers a compose key for easy typing of non-standard characters (for English anyway), e.g., Alt+n+~ for ñ in Ubuntu. Copy-pasting also works well. --Peter Talk 16:44, 18 February 2010 (EST)
If the discussion is then "moot", could someone go back to the question that started it and add additional examples to the policy so that we can hopefully avoid future confusion :-) Having now spent a couple of weeks debating this I suspect I actually understand things well enough to take the plunge myself, but didn't want to do so without letting this discussion run its course. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:11, 18 February 2010 (EST)
Moot indeed :). I think that the only concrete things that have come out of this long dicussion are that a small number of users think widespread use of squigglies is confusing and unneccesary, and much more importantly, that Vietnamese squigglies should no longer be disallowed.--Burmesedays 19:41, 18 February 2010 (EST)
As an aside to Peter's comment: In my experience, people familiar with the site versus those who are not coincide more with our coverage of their places of interest than nationality. Many people interested in travel to Japan know and use this site, because our coverage of it is pretty good. Americans who are interested in travel to Japan often wind up here at some point in their searches. I think that's how I found it, actually. I could be wrong, but who comes and how they find this site is interesting... (but not using diacritics could get those European users to focus on the bettering articles in their native language versions, which would benefit the site and help prevent their languages from dying. lol)
More on-topic: since the discussion sprung off of Sao Paulo, what is the decision on that? Because it is a well-known destination without diacritics, it seems to qualify as a "no diacritics" city. A decision was reached on the city's talk page, and some people here seem to agree, but since the discussion was generalized, results are inconclusive. ChubbyWimbus 02:36, 19 February 2010 (EST)

Ah, OK, I see what we have left to figure out. Your contention is that Sao Paulo is the English name for São Paulo. I would disagree and say that diacritics ≠ non-English. That is, the English name is Sao Paulo or São Paulo, depending on whether you are bothering to type the diacritic. On the other hand, it would be weird to use the name México instead of Mexico (which unlike Sao Paulo is universally written without an accent in English), so where do we draw this line? --Peter Talk 15:02, 19 February 2010 (EST)

That is why I was hoping to bring out of this discussion something more concrete than "most common English name" but perhaps that is the best we can do? I have always seen Sao Paulo, and I don't think it is simply a matter of "diacritics ≠ non-English" in this case; I honestly think that's the "English" way of writing it. As I pointed out above, I really think Wikipedia's use of diacritics has affected other online sources in using them, but with Sao Paulo, there are actually still many websites that do not use the diacritics. ChubbyWimbus 15:16, 19 February 2010 (EST)
The best way to handle this might be to simply accept that while the existing policy clearly favors Česká Třebová over Ceska Trebova (or Cheskaa Tzhrebovaa or whatever) and Moscow over Moskva/Москва, there will be borderline cases. My suggested policy rewording way up in this discussion would get rid of those borderline cases, but would mean that we'd rename Mexico -> México, which I don't think we want.
When we have a borderline case like Sao Paulo v. São Paulo, under the existing policy, I think we'd need to debate the outcome on the talk page, which is also not ideal. We could establish external points of reference to keep ourselves from wasting/duplicating time that other sites have already done. Thus, we could default to Wikipedia's approach when in doubt to save us time and possibly impossible consensus building on what ultimately is a fairly trivial issue. FWIW, Wikipedia chose São Paulo after having a meaningful discussion, which referenced the fact that Encarta, Encyclopædia Britannica, and the U.S. Consulate to São Paulo all include the diacritic. --Peter Talk 20:00, 19 February 2010 (EST)
I've stated my case for a "when there isn't an obviously correct name, use the local name and create the necessary redirects" rule above, implemented in the same way as our current disambiguation rules, and will hereafter cease lobbying :-) Such a rule would, however, provide an unambiguous guideline for us to follow for cases such as São Paulo (use the local version since it's not obvious which is the correct name) without affecting articles like Mexico or Geneva (in both cases, the local name is never used by English speakers). -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:19, 19 February 2010 (EST)
I'm with Ryan here. São Paulo has no obvious, incontestible English name since there is definitely contention on the matter, so we should go with the local name. Texugo 00:12, 20 February 2010 (EST)
I can wholeheartedly support that. --Peter Talk 00:45, 20 February 2010 (EST)
Me four. Jpatokal 01:05, 20 February 2010 (EST)
Me five (through gritted teeth) :). If the policy is not to change, then this seems like the only workable guideline to me. Well done Ryan. As an aside, would anyone object if we made checking names with diacritics for an English re-direct a routine housekeeping job? I have starting checking each one I see on the recent changes screen, and find a lot with no redirects in place. I think that's the only way we can stop misleading negative search returns.--Burmesedays 01:34, 20 February 2010 (EST)
Since we probably can't come up with a more definitive rule, I'll concede. However, if a debate arose about a city, I hope that the fact that there was a debate would not automatically mean to use diacritics. ChubbyWimbus 02:28, 20 February 2010 (EST)
With our disambiguation rules, debate hasn't always automatically meant disambiguation (see Talk:Ontario for an example) and I assume that this guideline should be the same. It should, however, allow us to avoid debate in the vast majority of cases and focus on more important things than squigglies. Provided there isn't any further objection in the next 24 hours or so I'll update the policy page to reflect the current consensus, and then we can move on to debating some other obscure nuance of travel guide creation :-) -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:27, 20 February 2010 (EST)
Coincidentally I just started a new thread about the much less trivial issue of IB's latest response on the tech issues on Google wave; would be a productive place for y'all to spend some energy :) --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:17, 20 February 2010 (EST)
I also agree with Ryan's thoughts :) --globe-trotter 12:00, 21 February 2010 (EST)
The guidelines on article naming have now been updated per this discussion, and with a number of additional examples to hopefully clarify things. I didn't touch the Vietnamese section of Wikitravel:Romanization since it wasn't entirely clear that we're going to change that, but if someone else feels like updating it I would be in full support. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:24, 21 February 2010 (EST)


I've just moved Albany (city, Western Australia) to Albany (Western Australia), because Albany (region, Western Australia) redirected to it. Since we don't have a region called Albany (Western Australia), we don't need to disambiguate between the city and the region.

Sadly, that means our classic example on the Naming Conventions page is defunct. Are there any other names that have double disambiguators?

-- LtPowers 21:25, 17 May 2010 (EDT)

Albany as a region disappeared in the recent re-organisation of Western Australia. The Canadian Durhams are quite a good example of a double I think:
Is Albany the lowest subdivision down from Western Australia? We don't have a Venango County article, yet Franklin (Venango County) was given the county addition because there is another in the state (although I really don't think there is anything there). If there is a subdivision that distinguishes it, then I guess you can use it, regardless of whether or not we have an article for it. It would look better than the (city, Western Australia) thing. ChubbyWimbus 02:11, 18 May 2010 (EDT)
Albany isn't a subdivision of Western Australia at all. It's a city in South West (Western Australia). Durham's a good find, Buremesedays. I'll update the page. LtPowers 08:51, 18 May 2010 (EDT)

Naming regions that don't have names[edit]

I'm continually thinking about subdividing Finger Lakes into subregions. The clear choice for one of the subregions encompasses Monroe County (Rochester's county) and the town/village of Victor. Victor is almost always considered a suburb of Rochester, like all the other towns in Monroe County, but it's in Ontario County.

So I don't know what I'd call this hypothetical article were I to create it. Calling it Monroe County is misleading because Victor isn't in Monroe County. But there's no other name in common use; "Greater Rochester" encompasses much more than just one county (in fact, five or seven counties are included, two of which aren't even in the Finger Lakes region), "Suburban Rochester" would seem to exclude the city itself, "Rochester and its suburbs" seems too long-winded.

Worse still would be a second subregion I'd want to create, which would be bounded by Monroe County in the west, Lake Ontario to the north, Central New York to the east, and I-90 to the south. I have no idea what to call that, none whatsoever.

Are there any precedents to which I might refer? Any suggestions for how to name regions-without-names?

-- LtPowers 14:22, 26 May 2010 (EDT)

The regions you defined pretty much looked "Northwestern Finger Lakes" and "Northeastern Finger Lakes" to me. Yes, directional names are boring and sometimes confusing but they are always an option when every other alternative fails. No better suggestion from me at the moment. – Vidimian 15:47, 26 May 2010 (EDT)
I've thought about that but the main problem is that there are no Finger Lakes in either of those two subregions. =) LtPowers 19:14, 26 May 2010 (EDT)
Standard colonial rules state that when a place isn't named then the discoverer gets to choose one. While I'd suggest something other than "East and West Powersland", anything you come up with that seems appropriate is likely to be fine :) -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:35, 26 May 2010 (EDT)

Eastern European cities[edit]

Swept in from the pub

In countries like Poland and Romania, they use very unfamiliar characters in their city names. What do we do with a city like Łódź? Move it to Lodz and Chişinău? The problem is that the article name Lodz is already taken as a redirection, so a quick move is not possible. --globe-trotter 14:02, 18 January 2010 (EST)

This may have been beaten to death in naming discussions which long pre-date my involvement here, but I struggle to see why we allow these characters at all on English Wikitravel? No benefit that I can see; only downside as GT has identified. --Burmesedays 21:25, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Wikitravel:Naming_conventions is a good starting point, and per those we do allow ligatures and accents if there is no Anglicized version of the city name - but I'm not sure if that is the case for Lodz. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 23:36, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks Stefan. If I understand correctly, edits like this one should be rolled back then?--Burmesedays 09:58, 20 January 2010 (EST)
This is an important question, also because a number of new articles are being established in Romania these days both with and without these characters. As I understand the policy, we should allow diacritics if the city does not have an English name. Does that not mean that cities like Łódź and Chişinău should be spelled like this? Not that we need to do it the same way as Wikipedia, but over there they use the local spelling. Further, with a very limited knowledge of the languages, the local spelling will help you understand how it is pronounced. What is considered to be the problem with using the local spelling? I think, we need to decide how to do this and then state the naming policy more precisely.
Maybe we could do like this: Name the article without diacritics and state the name in the article without, but then just after the name in the beginning of the article show the name with diacritics in ()? If we do this, we will have to change the naming policy, ClausHansen 10:37, 20 January 2010 (EST)
A very large reason why these characters should not be used is that searches will not work unless the user composes the (probably) unfamiliar characters. I cannot imagine many English language speakers people typing in Chişinău when they are searching for Chisinau. That means you need to set up a redirect page every single time one of these characters is used. That seems both clumsy and unnecessary when the English name is widely known. I think the policy is to use these characters by exception when there is no anglicised version. Emminently sensible I think, but not monitored it seems.--Burmesedays 10:46, 20 January 2010 (EST)
This is a difficult issue. On the one hand, it's not desirable to have special characters in the article title, because that makes it difficult to link to. But on the other hand, wherever the name is used outside of links, it is better written with the diacritics to help the reader with pronunciation. Łódź and Lodz are very far apart in pronunciation. --Peter Talk 11:17, 20 January 2010 (EST)
I like Claus's idea. A guideline of the name with diacritics in brackets within the article but not as part of the article name. Deals with the issue neatly. --Burmesedays 11:25, 20 January 2010 (EST)
I don't like the concept of renaming Tromsø to Tromso or Tromsoe, or Ærø to Aeroe or Aro, they really are not the same letters, it looks stupid, and there is no clear standard for transliteration - i.e. "Øø/Öö" can be transliterated as both o and oe, while "Åå" can be both a single and double "a". The original letters are unambiguous. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 11:54, 20 January 2010 (EST)
If there is no standard English name, then I agree Stefan. Those are the cases when diacritics could be used, redirect put in place etc. Otherwise, let's make life easy and remember that this is an English language Wiki. --Burmesedays 12:04, 20 January 2010 (EST)
I think we have to distinguish between litagurs (like Æ, Ø and Å), which are seperate letters, and diacritics (like in Chişinău), which just give further information on how to pronounce a letter. Maybe we could use litagurs in the names but diacritics only in the text? If we only use the criteria of whether there is a standard English name, then most cities will have to be named with the diacritics, so we should avoid using that criteria alone, ClausHansen 13:12, 20 January 2010 (EST)
That's the thing though, according to Wikipedia, Łł is a ligature, so should we then write Łodz instead? And while ş and ă also gives me trouble, diacritics like à,á,ä,â and ã is easily written on a keyboard, so I don't really see a reason not to call Sao Paulo, São Paulo. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:22, 20 January 2010 (EST)
"ã" is definitely not easily written on English keyboards. And Sao Paulo is rarely written with the diacritic in English. LtPowers 18:50, 20 January 2010 (EST)

We are so not opening this can of worms again -- this led to endless debates before the current policy was imposed. Wikitravel is written for the comfort of its readers, not its writers, so if you need to use cut-n-paste to add in diacritics, too bad. (And for lazy writers who don't, it's editors' job to clean up afterward.) For the reader, the diacritics do no harm and may do a little good (some people know how to pronounce them!) as long as all the appropriate redirects are in place, so whenever in doubt, keep 'em. Jpatokal 03:44, 21 January 2010 (EST)

Couldn't the same argument be used in favor of naming Russian articles using the Cyrillic alphabet? LtPowers 10:19, 21 January 2010 (EST)
No, because the average reader can't understand Cyrillic. Jpatokal 00:59, 26 January 2010 (EST)
But the average reader doesn't know what the various diacritics do to the pronunciation either. LtPowers 07:03, 26 January 2010 (EST)
So we can all understand, where is that documented please Jani? Wikitravel:Naming_conventions does not seem to say that. As an aside, I am finding a complete pickle related to this; two articles existing for the same location, one with a diacritics name and one without, lack of redirects etc. A clear policy that everyone can be directed to (not least, me!) would help. --Burmesedays 10:20, 21 January 2010 (EST)
The second sentence of Wikitravel:Naming_conventions#Romanization says "Latin characters are the letters A through Z, capitalized or not, with or without accents/diacritics, and including ligatures (such as æ, Æ).".—Vidimian 19:27, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Ah. Reading it again that is very clear (sadly). I can only plead for everyone to be careful when naming articles and wikilinking. Putting the re-directs in place is most important to make sure that searches work for the huge majority of English language users, who will not type names with diacritics. Internal wikilinking is another matter and we will just have to accept that mistakes will happen. --Burmesedays 21:17, 25 January 2010 (EST)
As long as the redirects are in place (and I agree they are very important), navigation will still work fine even if the wikilink is to the accentless version. But maybe we should import Wikipedia's redirect-straightening bot over here as well... Jpatokal 00:59, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Wikipedia's redirect policy explicitly warns against "fixing" redirects that aren't broken. Do they really have a bot that does exactly that? (Of course, we do have a mitigating situation -- that our RDF features, in particular breadcrumbs, don't work with redirects.) LtPowers 07:03, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Single redirects are fine, but double redirects should be straightened out since they confuse newbies, and there are bots for this. See wikipedia:Wikipedia:Double redirects. Jpatokal 09:03, 9 February 2010 (EST)

Diacritics etc (again)[edit]

swept from pub:

I have been a little reluctant to post this request as I do not wish to appear obsessed by this issue :). When we had the latest sguigglies or no sguigglies debate, I made a request for all patrollers to please look out for place names with diacritics/accents etc that did not have simple character re-directs. This does not seem to be happening as I have been finding lots on the recent changes list that don't. One unanimous conclusion (perhaps the only one) from that discussion was that we must get the redirects in place to maintain the relevance of our search function. So another plea for this please. And an especially pretty please to those who were so in favour of encouraging widespread use diacritics. --Burmesedays 22:52, 1 April 2010 (EDT)

I've been catching quite a few of them, so you're not the only one! Texugo 23:20, 1 April 2010 (EDT)
Great. Please keep it up. --Burmesedays 05:25, 2 April 2010 (EDT)

Convention for Germany[edit]

Germany has its own official disambiguation system for place names which is used e.g. on road signs and official publications. Mostly they disambiguate by river name, region or district, often in brackets or with a slash. Examples include: Frankfurt (Oder), Frankfurt am Main, Oldendorf (Holstein), Oldendorf (Landkreis Stade), Aschendorf/Ems, Borsum (Harsum), etc.

Rather than invent our own system, my proposal is that we adopt this as the convention for Germany with a couple of caveats:

  • We don't use disambiguation unless there are 2 articles of the same name (i.e. only disambiguate if we have to).
  • We drop the German words for district (Landkreis) or parish (Gemeinde) where they appear. E.g. Oldendorf (Landkreis Stade) becomes Oldendorf (Stade).

--SaxonWarrior 16:35, 6 May 2011 (EDT)

As there appears to be no objection, I propose to include something on the lines of the above in the convention shortly. --SaxonWarrior 10:03, 8 July 2011 (EDT)

Directional names and grammar[edit]

As discussed at Talk:Northeast#North East vs. North-East vs. Northeast, there are a ton of articles named "North East," "South West," etc., which should be renamed to Northeast, Southwest, etc. Are there any instances in which this renaming would not be appropriate? --Peter Talk 02:01, 8 July 2011 (EDT)

  • North East (Pennsylvania) is one example, though it's still a redlink -- it's a town actually named "North East". I would also imagine anything of the form "West South Carolina" or "North East Timor" should be left alone, though I don't know if any such instances exist. LtPowers 10:26, 8 July 2011 (EDT)
"Northwest" in the English language is only common in North America. "North west" and "North-west" are more common in the United Kingdom (e.g. North West England), Australia (e.g. Mid West and India (e.g. North-Eastern India). --Globe-trotter 13:16, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Agree with Globe-trotter. Northwest looks odd to my eyes. --Inas 14:22, 8 December 2011 (EST)

Hawaiian versus English, and other languages spelled with accents[edit]

Swept in from the pub.

What are thoughts on using the Hawaiian or English spelling of names, when the names only differ by the use of the okina (ʻ) and kahakō (āēīōū)? E.g. Hawaiʻi or Hawaii, Oʻahu or Oahu, Kalākaua or Kalakaua?

Obvious options:

  1. Use only the English spellings.
  2. Use the Hawaiian spelling the first time a name is mentioned, then switch to the English spelling without comment.
  3. Treat it like any other foreign language, and introduce the Hawaiian spelling in a parenthetical note.
  4. Just give names in Hawaiian exclusively.

(I imagine this could apply with other pairs of languages where words differ only by accent marks... heck, even Japan could benefit from this, with Tōkyō or Tokyo.)

--BigPeteB 12:13, 7 December 2011 (EST)

Hi - have a look at Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions/Accented characters for a similar discussion. I think the general consensus is that if the city/town has a common English name, then the English name should be used. Including the local name as well within the article is always okay. So Hawaii is always Hawaii, and Oahu is always Oahu. If there is no English name, we don't try to anglicise (effectively misspell) a local name. There are borderline cases like Malmö where it isn't clear (at least to me) whether using Malmo is a misspelling or an English spelling. We have redirects to help anyway, and we're probably always going to have problems in the edge cases. --Inas 17:13, 7 December 2011 (EST)
I was referring more to the article text, and not the page name, so I think that discussion only applies tangentially.
So to rephrase my question: within an article, what's the preferred way to handle English vs native or romanized names when the only difference is "accented" characters? --BigPeteB 10:04, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Use the same naming as used in the title. Else it would be confusing. --Globe-trotter 11:50, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Still doesn't answer my question 100%... what about names of streets, buildings, businesses, etc. (things that don't get their own articles)? The physical street signs in Hawaii read "Kalākaua Avenue" and "Liliʻuokalani Avenue", so do we write it like that when giving the address for a business, or do we strip the funny characters? --BigPeteB 12:03, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Same rule applies. If there is an English spelling, or clearly a commonly used anglicised names, use it (giving the Hawaiian alternative if you like). If there isn't a common anglicised name use the Hawaiian name. Whenever you are using Hawaiian names include the appropriate diacritics, accents, etc, for the language you are using. There will probably be examples with some names where you can't be sure whether there is actually an English name or whether it is just a Hawaiian name where perhaps the diacritics are commonly omitted. These are the edge cases, so use your best judgement. --Inas 14:17, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Actually, now that I do my own legwork, I have to say that what you describe doesn't seem to match with what people are doing. Łódź is repeatedly written "Łódź" in its article, São Paulo is repeatedly written as "São Paulo", and Malmö is repeatedly written as "Malmö". (None are 100% consistent, but it's a wiki.) The Hawaiian government's site consistently uses the Hawaiian spellings throughout. So I don't see why, within the article text, we shouldn't follow suit, particularly since that seems to be what we've been doing anyway in other articles. I don't see why there's a need to be imperialist about preferring "English" spellings when the native versions also use Roman letters. --BigPeteB 15:46, 8 December 2011 (EST)
It all does make sense though. Wikitravel:Naming conventions have it all spelled out. The article names of Łódź, São Paulo and Malmö use diacritics because there is either no English name available without diacritics (Łódź, Malmö), or because multiple names are used in English and then the local name is preferred (São Paulo). In the case of Hawaii, only Hawaii is used in the English language. Hawaiʻi is Hawaiian. If we'd use Hawaiʻi as an article name, that would would mean we'd have to call the German article Deutschland, which wouldn't make sense. --Globe-trotter 16:26, 8 December 2011 (EST)
(Once again, I'm not talking about article names; I'm only talking about the body of the article.) Somehow you read the same page I did and got exactly the opposite answer. The state government's pages do read "State of Hawaiʻi" and "County of Oʻahu", so clearly they prefer the Hawaiian names. According to Wikitravel:Naming conventions and your own words, if there are multiple names, the local name is preferred. And according to Wikitravel:Naming conventions, we should use Roman letters "with or without accents/diacritics". The local government's preference is for Hawaiian names with diacritics, so once again I assert that that choice fits all the criteria I've been told. --BigPeteB 17:23, 8 December 2011 (EST)

(Re-indenting) Local names are not preferred, English names are. When there is an English name available for a place, it should be used. Else we would have to rename Germany to Deutschland. I interpret current policy this way:

  • Sao Paulo and São Paulo are both used in English. São Paulo is also used in the local language, thus it is preferred.
  • Hawaii is used in English. Hawaiʻi is not used in English, it is only used in Hawaiian. Thus the English name is preferred. --Globe-trotter 19:17, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Agree with Globe-trotter. You can see the discussions that led to Sao Paulo at Talk:São_Paulo#.22Sao_Paulo.22_or_.22S.C3.A3o_Paulo.22.3F, and personally I think the policy was hacked to accommodate it. I don't think it would extend as far as incorporating Hawaiʻi or Oʻahu where Hawaii and Oahu are clearly the most common English word, which is the essence of our policy everywhere. --Inas 21:45, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Okay... I guess I got thrown for a major loop by the other articles that seem to also break the rules. In my mind, "São Paulo" isn't English because "ã" isn't a letter in English... so it's just using the native name and spelling, and calling it English. (Similarly, "Wooj" would be valid English, "Lodz" could maybe be English but would be very confusing given how it's pronounced, but "Łódź" is just Polish.) So, I'll stick with the unaccented names of Hawaiian places and treat the Hawaiian names like any other foreign language. --BigPeteB 11:43, 9 December 2011 (EST)
P.S. Thanks for taking the time to explain this to me, y'all. :-)
Frankly, I think Sao Paulo is misplaced here, as the tilde is unfamiliar to most English speakers, but several English-language sources have started using it, including the New York Times and the Guardian. I wouldn't be surprised if the okina started being used in English-language sources in similar proportions in the near future, but it's not there yet. LtPowers 13:40, 9 December 2011 (EST)
Agreed that Sao Paulo in reality is probably best without diacritics, since English doesn't use it (although I have also noticed a recent surge of using Spanish/Portuguese diacritics in English). I think it's strange that people are afraid to use English in the English Wikitravel. I guess it's an extension of "political correctness" that has everyone worried that it's somehow "offensive" for us to use English in an English website. I think the above comment, "I don't see why there's a need to be imperialist about preferring "English" spellings" shows that attitude well. Is it really Imperialistic to use English spellings on an English-version website??
To me, English is simply more accessible and less initimadating to English-speakers (for obvious reasons) therefore, I would mostly prefer that we use English and have the native language in parenthesis beside site names, like we do in Japanese/Chinese/etc. This is however, a minority opinion on Wikitravel (either that or there is a very silent majority). ChubbyWimbus 09:22, 12 December 2011 (EST)
The most common english name is well established and documented policy. I'm sure there are strong arguments for using local languages and variants within articles, but it is really up to those who think that to build a consensus for change, and not to just introduce those variants through lack of objection individual cases. --Inas 15:36, 12 December 2011 (EST)
Regarding the specific example of "Sao Paolo" vs "São Paulo", see Wikitravel:Article naming conventions#Examples. Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions#Latin Characters has a long discussion about the reasoning behind those guidelines. If this discussion is about changing that policy (and it seems like it's heading there), could it be moved to Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions? It's generally best to have policy discussions on the appropriate policy talk page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:48, 12 December 2011 (EST)
I think Big Pete was asking about how to spell names within articles anyway. =) LtPowers 18:24, 12 December 2011 (EST)

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I just got back from a week in Hawaii and I've been rethinking this based on my observations:

The biggest problem I have with the "English names are preferred" argument is that that isn't what locals do when they talk. If I ask locals about a cloth skirt, they'll call it a "muʻumuʻu" (4 syllables), not a "muumuu" (2 syllables, and is a real Hawaiian word that means either "footsteps" or "silent, mum"). If I ask how to get to Ala Moana Center, they'll tell me to turn on Piʻikoi Street (3 syllables) even though the road sign reads "Piikoi Street" (2 syllables, if you pronounced it as written).

So, unless someone has an equally convincing argument otherwise, I think that because the traveler comes first, the Hawaii articles should just use Hawaiian names for things, because if we write "a cloth skirt called a muumuu (muʻumuʻu)", that reads like it's correct to pronounce it "moo-moo", and it just isn't. You may be understood, but you'll be just as wrong as if you pronounce Łódź like "lods" instead of "wooj"... why leave any room for confusion, when you could just write "Łódź" and be done with it? --BigPeteB 16:43, 27 December 2011 (EST)

The English pronunciation of "muumuu" is indeed "moo-moo", so it's not incorrect at all. Hawaii is not a foreign country; everyone there understands English, and there's no reason to avoid using English words just because there are Hawaiian equivalents. (And I don't think proper nouns cause the problem you fear; I would never pronounce "Piikoi" as two syllables any more than I would try to pronounce "Hawaii" with just two syllables, okina or no okina.) LtPowers 21:42, 27 December 2011 (EST)
Proper nouns is mostly what I'm stuck on... unless you've been told in advance, how would you know to pronounce "Piikoi" as 3 syllables? Ditto for "Hawaii"? --BigPeteB 23:58, 27 December 2011 (EST)

Whew, a lot of confusion here. I'm going to try and spruce up Wikitravel:Naming conventions, since it's clearly unclear!


  1. The article was moved away from Wikitravel:Article naming conventions to emphasize that it is for all naming, not just article naming, so spellings should be consistent everywhere.
  2. If in doubt, the default is local naming conventions, so you would write Piʻikoi St.
  3. Accent marks and diacritics are part of the Roman alphabet, and are perfectly acceptable in English prose.
  4. Names such as "Hawaii" and "Oahu" are so commonly spelled without the ʻ, that we should omit it. Aside, perhaps, from a pronunciation explanation next to the article title.

Hopefully this clears things up at all? --Peter Talk 19:45, 29 December 2011 (EST)