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What happened to Chinese? I can't seem to find it in any of the revisions.

Gender of German country names[edit]

It seems that many German names for countries are labeled as having no gender. This is wrong. The fact that they usually do not bear a definite or indefinite article does not mean they have no gender. For example, "das schöne Frankreich" is correct, while "der schöne Frankreich" or "die schöne Frankreich" are definitely false. As far as I can see, EVERY german noun has a gender. In compound words, the last constituent determines the gender, thus e.g. Die Elfenbeinküste is feminin, while contries ending on "Land" and "Reich" are neuter (Frankreich, Russland, Finnland). An exception from this rule appears to be Dänemark, which is neuter, although "die Mark" (the march, meaning area located at the border of the empire) is feminin. Country names ending on "~stan" and "~ien" (Indien, Pakistan) are neuter, too. I don't know the reason though. Country names ending on "~ei" like Türkei or Slovakei are feminina. Others are mostly neuter, with some random masculin countries (eg. Tschad, Libanon, Iran, Irak - and NOT Iraq). How do we correct that in one go?

RFD discussion[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


According to our long-standing Criteria for Inclusion, "A person or place name that is not used attributively (and that is not a word that otherwise should be included) should not be included." Specifically then, place names that are not used attributively should not be included in Wiktionary. I can find no other reason for including France listed in the CFI. As the current proposal to alter CFI to allow names of countries seems doomed to fail, we should begin deleting entries like France which are specifically disallowed for inclusion under our current policies.

If you think this entry should be kept, then please quote an existing policy under which it is allowed, or please draft a new policy for vote that will allow us to keep an entry for France. --EncycloPetey 19:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Move to appendix, delete redirect. I've been thinking about this since the Mazandaran debacle at RFV, and I think that until we've decided exactly which place name entries we plan to keep, we should keep them all in appendices (I'm thinking something like Appendix:Place name:France). To delete them unceremoniously would be to throw away a lot of hard work by a lot of good contributors. —RuakhTALK 19:54, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I like to think that I stay on top of the various high-volume pages we have here, but I do not recall the Mazandaran incident you allude to. Where was the discussion archived? Did it get its full 30 days on RFV with reciprocal links? Counties (or equivalents) are not kept here, so I will guess that Mazandaran should probably have been deleted (along with Greater Manchester.) But I am having difficulty finding that conversation. Was there some extenuating circumstance that caused it to disappear? --Connel MacKenzie 21:40, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Strong keep. If the CFI can be interpreted as disallowing words such as France, then the CFI should be fixed rather than deleting any of these words. In particular, the "attributive use" rule seems arbitrary and not well thought out. Any good, general English-language dictionary will include France, and most bilingual dictionaries of a general nature also include France. Of all the dictionaries I own, the only ones that don’t have France are my specialist and technical dictionaries, such as the "Dictionary of Petroleum Technology". —Stephen 20:05, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
The premiere dictionary of the Spanish language (by the RAE) excludes all names of countries as entries. If you think CFI should be changed, please make a specific proposal. (and see Geneva Convention above for arguments from those who would delete entries like this based on CFI) --EncycloPetey 20:17, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
The RAE has a completely different objective relative to the big English and most other dictionaries, that being prescriptive in nature rather than descriptive. I kept a copy of the RAE dictionary in the offices of my translation firm for many years, but it is useless as a translator’s tool. I no longer have a copy, having left it with the company when I retired, but if I remember correctly, it contained few if any proper nouns at all. It is a repository of the literary Spanish language and does not even attempt to catalog the words and senses that are regularly used in business Spanish, medical Spanish, legal Spanish, engineering Spanish, etc. The RAE only bothers with the core literary language. It’s main advantage is that it also comes with the Esbozo de una Nueva Gramática de la Lengua Española, which is much more useful to translators and business people. —Stephen 16:45, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Move to an appendix. For reference both my English-German and English-Welsh dictionaries have "France" in a separate section to the main word lists. The former has "Countries, nationalities, languages", which also includes rivers, and seas etc. The latter uses "Geographical names" with nationalities and languages in the main body. Thryduulf 20:48, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Keep. My New College Latin and English Dictionary has France (Gallia) as does my New College French and English Dictionary (not surprising, that), as does my Chinese-English Dictionary (can't read the publisher's name, it's in Chinese), as well as my Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. None have relegated France to an appendix or otherwise segregated it from other words. We need to figure out what criteria dictionaries in general are using with respect to place names and adopt something like that (maybe a wee bit more inclusive, as we are not bound by printing costs). I have wrestled with this for a long time and can not come up with a satisfactory formula. bd2412 T 21:12, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Keep. I dislike tongue-in-cheek nominations, particularly from sysops that know the existing conventions. --Connel MacKenzie 21:17, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Conventions which directly violate our own explicintly written policies, for entries that would be deleted by hard-liner literal adherents of the CFI. We need to explictly decide what we want to do with geographical names, and this nomination lies in what is hopefully the shallow end of our murky policy pool. --EncycloPetey 21:20, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Where are these "hard-liner literal adherents of the CFI"? The one thta nominated this article is you. I think the point is that we should be not be litigating our uncontroversial cases just to make a point. The notion that "If you think this entry should be kept, then please quote an existing policy under which it is allowed, or please draft a new policy for vote that will allow us to keep an entry for France" is wrong. Policy is it is not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and met with the occasional exception, written or unwritten. If something is so obvious it doesn't need a policy, then there is no harm done in not having. If we include placenames at all, France will be one of them. Meanwhile, if you don't want something deleted, don't nominate it. The best way to make a point is to say it, not to prove it through breaching experiments. Dmcdevit·t 22:38, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
But we are not talking about occasional exceptions here. This entry and others like it are an enormous class of entries wholly inconsistent with our stated policy. The polucy in question is regularly quoted as reason for deletion of new or existing entries. This means there are persons who believe that policy reflects desired practice for Wiktionary. As previous attempts to modify that policy have been resisted, so I am trying the alternate approach of adhering to our policy. Either we should follow our policy in general or we should ignore the policy altogether. Right now it's all done on an enttirely case-by-case basis at the whim of the community, about half the time breaking with policy for no discernable or specific reason. If that's the way we want to run things, we should have the courtesy to say so in CFI. --EncycloPetey 22:49, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
But you're not "trying the alternate approach of adhering to our policy." This nomination will fail, as you and everyone else who has seen it knew it will. And you don't really want the article deleted anyway. I'm left with the impression that you nominated it so that it would fail, so you could prove your point experimentally that CFI doesn't work. If you want to improve it, propose something sensible instead of this. Dmcdevit·t 23:03, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
We don't know that yet. Two people have agreed that this should be removed from the main namespace. And why should I propose a change in policy when I know that will fail, as has happened every time someone has tried that over the past two years. It has been said that the definition of stupidity is "doing the same thing again but expecting a diffeent result". I'm not stupid. Since we've tried changing the policy multiple times and failed, it's time for a new approach. By the way, you haven't yet voiced an opinion about the central question: Should France be deleted, and if not why not? --EncycloPetey 23:11, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't make sense. We can't get towns removed, and your new approach is to nominate a country article for deletion. For one thing, according to your definition of stupid, this is very mush so, since we've had countless RfDs on placenames, more of those than policy votes. And I don't think trying to get a clear policy is stupid. In fact, I think acting like it's just a hopeless cause is failing to take into account the many constructive comments given by the people participating in those discussions. Both votes on the matter, proposed by the same person, were withdrawn in favor of more discussion. Of course it is clear to me that there are people dissatisfied with the attributiveness criterion, and that we need something more. I think more discussion, though not this kind of nomination, can get us there, too. But I was enjoying the calm until now. Dmcdevit·t 03:01, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Delete. Other dictionaries also include things like Bill Clinton, George Washington etc. but that doesn't mean we should. Jooge 04:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
We're not discussing that slippery slope, we're discussing France, for which virtually all dictionaries have an entry. Why do you want us to be less than our competitors? bd2412 T 12:37, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Strong Keep - and change CFI to say "ALL words in ALL languages" SemperBlotto 07:17, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Strong keep although I agree it contradicts CFI, which really does need to be changed once we can all agree on where to draw the line. DAVilla 07:51, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
According to the CFI Germany, Argentina, New York, Paris, Canberra, Swansea, Mississippi, Normandy, Yorkshire, Torbay, North Rhine-Westphalia, Wessex, East Berlin, Nippon, Abertawe, Mexico City, Van Diemen's Land, Dutch East Indies, Austria-Hungary, Cynghordy, Leningrad, Severn, Bristol Channel, Itchen, Tees, Quimper and Loire are all not allowed. However it seems that at least some of these are allowed and this is alright. So how can we say to new contributors that their entry has been deleted because it fails the CFI and not be hypocritical? If we want to include these words we must change the CFI to allow them first. Thryduulf 14:32, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
The CFI actually explicitly mention New York as being allowed because it has an attributive sense, in "New York delicatessen". I still don't know what a New York delicatessen is, though, and don't see how this makes sense as a criterion; by the thinking underlying this policy, linguae should have an English entry because it's used attributively in lapsus linguae. —RuakhTALK 15:35, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Keep, of course. The main rule should be 'all words in all languages', and more detailed CFI should apply only when there is a doubt about the following questions:
  • is it a word (or should it be considered as a word in Wiktionary)?
  • does this word exist in this language?
When everybody agrees that something is a word, and that this word is used in the language, detailed CFI should not be applicable. Lmaltier 20:56, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. That makes good sense to me. —Stephen 16:50, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Of note: the entry itself was never even tagged with {{rfd}}; this was a WP:POINT nomination, and should have been ignored from the start. The fact that two or three people apparently discussed it beforehand (see "move to appendix" above) makes it seem almost sinister, seriously undermining the point they were trying to make. --Connel MacKenzie 07:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
    There is no conspiracy, Connel; and we are not Wikipedia. --EncycloPetey 07:12, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
    As one of the people who voted to move this to an appendix, I find it insulting to be accused of being part of a conspiracy on the basis of no evidence, apparently just for expressing an opinion you disagree with (and this is not the first time your comments to others with whom you disagree have come across as such). I have not discussed this entry before this thread started, and since it has started if discussed it only here and on the Beer Parlour thread about place names. The reasoning behind my vote is that based on the current CFI, this is not eligible for the main namespace; however it is a useful phrase for translations etc and one that I feel does belong somewhere in Wiktionary. So an appendix is the obvious solution, especially since this is how the German and Welsh dictionaries I have (the only mutli-lingual dictionaries I have to hand) treat names of countries. Please, for once, could you at least try to assume good faith in others. Thryduulf 09:04, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
    Based on no evidence? All I did was refer to the comments above (the "evidence.") However, closer reading shows that I could have been more precise in my wording. EncycloPetey has been here a long time, and knows that languages and countries meet CFI; they always have, long before CFI existed. In his and Ruakh's postings, (along with Ruakh's hallucinations about an RFV that doesn't seem to exist) it seems quite obvious that some people are up to no good; the nomination itself was in bad faith. So I apologize for implicating you, by merit of not noticing that your comment was merely a "me too" response to Ruakh's suggestion (well, I did say two or three.) But I don't apologize for assuming bad faith of a WP:POINT nomination. As always, I don't appreciate people such as EncycloPetey suggesting I said things I did not say (which, in this troll-happy week, has happened an astonishing amount.) --Connel MacKenzie 10:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
    This probably isn't the place to have this discussion, but for the record, (1) I did not hallucinate an RFV that didn't take place; it's just that recent RFV archives are in the form of links to diffs, which don't count toward what-links-here. (Quite a problem, actually.) At any rate, see for the RFV discussion of Mazandaran. (2) EncycloPetey did not discuss this with me (or, so far as I know, anyone else) before bringing this up, and I can provide no insight as to his motivations. (3) I do genuinely believe that France and all such entries should be moved to appendices until we can figure out which of them we want to include for real. We currently have a lot of such entries that flout the CFI, and while many editors apparently feel that the CFI are simply wrong (a feeling that I'm inclined to share), we don't seem to have total consensus on that point, and we don't seem to have any sort of agreement on how the CFI should be amended, so it's my opinion that we should adhere to our stated policies until we've all agreed on how we can improve them. —RuakhTALK 16:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Keep. We should reconsider our criteria to include important place names, including countries of the world. If we delete "France", where are we going to post translations?--Jusjih 15:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps in and Appendix:Countries or similar. Thryduulf 16:45, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Comment. So I've looked through all the print dictionaries I have handy, and there seems to be a divide between bilingual dictionaries (most of which include France, though some relegate it to an appendix and a few don't include it at all) and monolingual ones (all but one of which exclude it, and that one still relegated it to an appendix). One interesting thing is that even monolingual dictionaries in French and Hebrew (languages where there's key information to be given about a word like France, specifically its gender and, in the case of Hebrew, its vocalization) don't include France. Another interesting thing is none of my dictionaries seems to include Kenya, except for the one monolingual dictionary that includes France. A final interesting thing is that a lot of online dictionaries do seem to include both France and Kenya, though I can't tell if they're appendicizing them. —RuakhTALK 19:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)


The etymology tying "France" to Sanskrit "firang" is incorrect. Firang is not a Sanskrit word (the most obvious indication being that there is no native /f/ sound in Sanskrit). Firangi ("foreign/foreigner") is a Hindi/Urdu word borrowed from Persian firangi, which itself derives from the French word franc. See Wiktionary:firangi.