Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Netherlands

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Misspelling/miscapitalization of Dutch surnames in Wikipedia and what to do about it

Dutch surnames with prefixes like "van" and "de" are often written with an undercase letter, instead of being first-letter capitalized in Wikipedia articles. This may be because non-native Dutch speakers misunderstand the Dutch capitalization conventions. They see an undercase after a given name or initial (as per the exceptions allowed by the Nederlandse Taalunie Cf."Persoonsnamen". (in Dutch). Nederlandse Taalunie. Retrieved 19 February 2023.) and jump to the conclusion that "therefore" the stand-alone surname also must be given a lowercase letter. See for an example the Antonie van Leeuwenhoek article, but there are many other examples.This is just a matter of well-meaning ignorance in my view. I have on my own intitiative edited the capitalization information in Capitalization#Compound names and in Dutch name (which cites another article with the unfortunate title Tussenvoegsel, as the real problem is with voorvoegsels), but I am afraid that is not sufficient. However, Wikipedia has a Manual of Style, which has a chapter "Capital letters" and a subsection (MOS:PERSONAL) about the capitalization of Personal names. Unfortunately, this guidance currently is absolutely inadequate to combat the problem I am concerned with. So, in my naivety, I started a Crusade to amend this guidance. See Amendment of guideline for capitalizing foreign personal names. Unfortunately, this only elicited massive opposition from the denizens of this talk page, who appear to be emotionally invested in the current phrasing of the guidance. You will see that the discussion has gone through many revisions of the proposed amendment and has at times become acrimonious. However that may be, these types of debates are routinely resolved by asking for a vote from other Wikipedians at the top of said Talkpage. Everybody can join into the discussion and the ensuing vote. I intend to force such a vote in the near future, and I think it would be in the interest of the participants in this WikiProject to participate in this discussion/debate, hopefully with a cleaning up of articles devoted to Dutch biographical subjects as a result. I hope you will heed my Clarion Call :-) Ereunetes (talk) 21:53, 7 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I feel your pain. The problem is that Belgians tend to capitalize the "van" and "de" all the time, not just at the beginning of a sentence. Americans are physically unable to differentiate between Belgian and Dutch spelling, because in their brains the Dutch and Belgians are all Flemish, which is somehow related to French. I wish you lots of patience and a little bit of luck. Jane (talk) 12:44, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I feel your pain about being deemed "Flemish" :-) Incidentally, if you'd care to look into it, you'll see that the capitalization rule exception of the Nederlandse Taalunie has an exception to the exception for the Belgians :-) I suspect this was introduced because in the past Francophone registrars of the bevolkingsregister could not be bothered to respect Dutch (or "Flemish") capitalization rules for newborn's baptised names. Hence monstrosities like "T'Serclaes de Wommersom" which made it to the wiki article about this Worthy, without anybody being able to do something about it. And I am afraid I ran out of patience :-) Ereunetes (talk) 17:09, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well to confound the issue even more: when the Dutch travel to another country they tend to feel sorry for people trying to pronounce names like Wytze or Stijn and will just conveniently change their name for the duration of their stay. And let's be honest, if you were born a Kruikezijker or Rotteveel, wouldn't you welcome the opportunity to just change it to some other name? There are lots and lots of very strange names that I can easily see are derived from the Dutch, but which have taken on a whole new spelling a few generations down the road. In terms of spelling for Wikipedia, it's the majority of spellings in the reliable sources which always wins, even though such sources have notorious difficulties themselves with name spellings of their own writers. Jane (talk) 17:37, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That doesn't mean that bona fide Dutch biographical subjects have to suffer, does it? I am just objecting to an error being perpetuated, because Anglophones are too lazy to look up that part of their subject's biography. I mean, if you take the trouble of writing a biography about someone, why not make sure how the name should be spelled? Which brings me to the " 'tSerclaes" subject I accidentally broached above. When I idly googled the name " 't Serclaes" (so with the apostrophe to the left of the t, as it is an "apostrophed" grammatical contraction) I walked into a torrent of strange spellings. It appears there was a 13th-century citizen of Brussels "who was made famous by his recovery of the city from the Flemings.", according to the Wiki article Everard t'Serclaes (note the shift of the apostrophe to the right of the "t", which makes it a tongue-breaker). His monument is a major tourist attraction in Brussels. And it went downhill from there. For instance, we also have Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly (no apostrophe here), which is definitely the majority spelling online. But is it also the correct one? Ereunetes (talk) 18:01, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Spelling often changes, it's not straightforward. In this case 't Serclaes is about the only wrong way of spelling the name. Names like Serhuyghs, Serroelofs, Tserclaes and t'Serhendrickx go back to a specific point in time when they renamed a bunch of Brussels' prominent people after their fathers: (of the) sir Claes = des Heer Klaas > d's her Claes > t'Serclaes. In some of the old days the spelling of a word was personal and phonetical, in others we see fashion or evolving pronounciation changing the spelling. Everard t'Serclaes can be written in many different ways, all pointing to the same man: Everaert, Everhart, Everaerde, Everardus, Everaard; Tserclaes, Tserclaeus, t'Serclaes. In old tales we often see Tserclaes, in family trees t'Serclaes. Emmarade (talk) 22:37, 2 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All true. But I only referred to the placement of the apostrophe. The "Dutch" placement is apostrophe before the "t" and that makes sense, because it is a grammatical contraction for the article het. The placement of the apostrophe behind the "t" makes no such sense and is the result of simple misunderstanding on the part of Francophones. And then the capitalization of the T follows almost automatically, as this is a French convention as with the "d' " in d'Artagnan, which is capitalized at the start of a sentence. Ereunetes (talk) 01:09, 3 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're ignoring my main point that "t" does not always refer to "het" and 't Serclaes is definately wrong. D'n heer, d'oude gast, t'aller stond, are all correct Dutch. The apostrophe is marking left out characters (in this case: den heer, de oude gast, te aller stond) which can be located at both sides of the t. Which side the apostrophe is written, depends on the placement of the left out character(s). So the "Dutch placement" is not always before the t, especially in artistic literature and ancient text, which means you're making a wrong statement. Emmarade (talk) 17:18, 3 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Incidentally, what is wrong with Rotteveel and Kruikezijker? Ereunetes (talk) 20:18, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You mean what's wrong with having to explain that your family name literally translates to "rots too much" and "crock pisser"? I dunno, just a hunch. Jane (talk) 07:30, 17 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jane023 You may be right that on Wikipedia "the majority of spellings in reliable sources always wins". I just did a test of that statement by looking at a number of the English language sources that are enumerated in my Example article Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. Not all of these sources are accessible online, but the ones I could access had all the wrong capitalization! So all wrote "van Leeuwenhoek" instead of "Van Leeuwenhoek". So the author of the Wikipedia article is blameless in this case: he or she just followed your advice. And the sources in question are impeccable as biographical sources as far as I am concerned. But they are Totally Wrong in the orthographic field, because they apparently all have followed the wrong reasoning (like lemmings) and chosen the Exception over the Rule. This casts rather a poor light on Anglophone scholarship, I have to say. It seems to me that the first rule for a biographer is to know how to write the name of your subject. That so many do it, is no excuse. And the mistake is so easy to avoid. If only people would follow the advice in my proposed amended version of MOS:PERSONAL, and inform themselves about (in this case) Dutch spelling conventions. It would make Wikipedia look less stupid in non-Anglophone eyes. Ereunetes (talk) 21:28, 16 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes it's sad. On the positive side, most articles on here about Dutch people are written by people who do understand the issue and who generally quote sources that also understand the issue. So by broad usage of proper spelling, we are gaining ground. Only snafu is that most people outside the Benelux are blissfully unaware of this spelling war with the Belgians and, sadly, these are the same people who assume Belgium is a province of the Netherlands or the other way around. They can barely tell the difference between a Flemish library and a Dutch one. And the more museums in Flanders that claim Rubens and Hals were from Belgium the worse off we all are on this crusade, though neither of those individuals have spelling issues with their family names, only with their given ones. One can cry about it, but I would support a separate meta project to untangle these, if it's only to stake a claim on proper Wikidata labels for all individuals concerned. I haven't looked at the Commons discussion for years but I recall the sorting issue was big (sorting them all under De & Van etc). Jane (talk) 07:30, 17 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would rather not go into the internal Belgian linguistico-political controversies (if that is a word :-) But you see the problem on the Anglophone front at least? Why don't you contribute to the discussion on the Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Amendment of guideline for capitalizing foreign personal names page? You don't have to agree with me on the details. Maybe you have an idea to break the deadlock. Ereunetes (talk) 19:44, 17 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dutch names capitalization

Would anybody be interested in writing a WP:Essay on Dutch capitalization rules? Even if it is not enforced it would help other users understand the problematic with capitalization in Wikipedia. I am not expert in Dutch but I can help. ReyHahn (talk) 13:00, 28 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Capitalization article has the capitalization rules of the Nederlandse Taalunie with references to its website, and examples.(See also the talk-page topic ""Compound name" unfortunate, does not cover subject" of this article). The same goes for the article Dutch name. Personally, I also like Van (Dutch), also because it treats of Collation a la Batave. You also may profit by looking at the discussion on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Amendment of guideline for capitalizing foreign personal names Ereunetes (talk) 21:07, 28 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure if you are for or against an essay for Dutch capitalization. Most of those links are very brief or general. Is because of discussions like that of the MoS that I think that an explanatory essay would be necessary, independent of the solution that is accepted, see also my comment there.--ReyHahn (talk) 12:05, 29 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am all for it if you'd like to write it. I just gave the wikilinks to help you gather your material for it. If you do, it might be a good idea to also go into the problem with collation of Dutch "Van" names. Those are routinely indexed under the "V" in the U.S. But this is highly uninformative, for which reason these names are collated on the first letter of the noun in the name in the Netherlands. And I think this also should be done in this Anglophone Wikipedia, for the same reason. I do it already in my own biographical articles in the DEFAULTSORT parameter (and the listas parameter in sundry templates). Anyway, if you decide to write the essay I would be glad to look at it, if you want me to. Ereunetes (talk) 20:02, 29 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Low Saxon#Requested move 1 July 2023 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. {{replyto|SilverLocust}} (talk) 23:46, 8 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Women in Green's 5th Edit-a-thon

Hello WikiProject Netherlands:

WikiProject Women in Green is holding a month-long Good Article Edit-a-thon event in October 2023!

Running from October 1 to 31, 2023, WikiProject Women in Green (WiG) is hosting a Good Article (GA) edit-a-thon event with the theme Around the World in 31 Days! All experience levels welcome. Never worked on a GA project before? We'll teach you how to get started. Or maybe you're an old hand at GAs – we'd love to have you involved! Participants are invited to work on nominating and/or reviewing GA submissions related to women and women's works (e.g., books, films) during the event period. We hope to collectively cover article subjects from at least 31 countries (or broader international articles) by month's end. GA resources and one-on-one support will be provided by experienced GA editors, and participants will have the opportunity to earn a special WiG barnstar for their efforts.

We hope to see you there!

Grnrchst (talk) 13:28, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move discussion: Chrysanthus Janssen --> Chrysanthus (arachnologist)

Members of this WikiProject might be interested in the requested move discussion happening at Talk:Chrysanthus Janssen#Requested move 24 September 2023. Thank you for any feedback at that talk page! Umimmak (talk) 01:51, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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