Talk:Cochin China

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 Definition In French Indochina, the southernmost part of Vietnam, including the Mekong Delta; roughly corresponded to IV Corps tactical zone of the Republic of Vietnam [d] [e]

Should this not be "Cochin China" or "Cochin-china"? Anthony Argyriou 17:42, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I've seen it all ways, and guessed this was most common. Were I to generalize, I'd say that Vietnamese sites, using Roman orthography, tend to more spaces (e.g., Ha Noi, Da Nang, An Nam). Do you read it,or know someone who does? I'd like an expert opinion. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:03, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11the Edition, which is about as standard a mainstream source as you can find, calls it Cochin China. Ditto The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, another pretty good source. Ditto The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Revised and Completely Reset, Fifth Edition. So I would say that there's no question at all about which one is correct. At least for the purposes of CZ. Hayford Peirce 19:03, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
It's no big thing to change it, but I hesitate to use English-language dictionaries as authoritative about foreign words. My preference would to find a Vietnamese-English source, or at least some source that is specifically concerned with naming, such as the Geographer of the U.S. State Department.Howard C. Berkowitz 19:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Howard! For pete's sake! This is an English-language encyclopedia! If you hesitate to change it, I won't. Anything other than "Cochin China" is just plain wrong! Hayford Peirce 20:06, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
If you really want it, change it; I won't be too upset. To me, however, English-language encylopedias transliterate foreign words according to an authority in both that language and English. That is the basic rule in Library of Congress cataloging. Churchill would return any memorandum that referred to Istanbul as Constantinople.
Nevertheless, consistency is more important here than accuracy. I'm just not very impressed by most dictionaries in this sort of thing. A formal Gazzeteer is another matter. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:10, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
The (english-language) atlases I have which are old enough to show it all call the country "Cochin China", though a book I am reading discussing the spread of languages calls it "Cochin-China". Those are all English-language sources, though. However, I think it would be better to check an authoritative French source about the spelling of the French name of a French colony. Anthony Argyriou 22:04, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
And checking French Wikipedia, the spelling "cochinchine" seems to be standard, though I'd prefer to see a French language source from before 1945. The etymology of the name seems to argue for a space or hyphen; English orthographical rules are not the same as French. I think, based on my personal preference for using English names in an English reference work, that the article should be renamed to either "Cochin China" or "Cochin-China". However, seeing that the French did seem to use "cochinchine", there's an argument for not changing the name of the article. Anthony Argyriou 22:14, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes there are no good answers. Even worse, what is the name of the city? Sai Gon, Ho Chi Minh city, Saigon, or Gia Dinh, the last being the pre-French name.? I've used Saigon as the name of the article because I had to use something.
Would a fair compromise to be have redirect for all of these names to the existing article title, and also mention them, in bold, in the first paragraph? Howard C. Berkowitz 22:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Cochin-China with a hyphen generally refers to a fowl called "Cochin-China hen", or fowl, or some such. Hence, at least in English, the hyphen should be eschewed. I am not impressed by the argument that the French call it Cochinchine - Do we call the article about Rome Roma -- je ne crois pas.... Hayford Peirce 22:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
There should definitely be redirects from the alternates, as well as mentioning them in the opening paragraph. That is, or should be, policy for handling articles with multiple possible names. Anthony Argyriou 04:55, 14 October 2008 (UTC)