This Is Kirk! wrote:I stand corrected, but they really shouldn't refer to the country as Ivory Coast.
I agree. But the list of countries they refer to in English whose name is not English is very long:
Do you also think the same about all of those?
I presume he doesn't. Here's why Côte d'Ivoire is different. They have officially declared Côte d'Ivoire to be their name IN ENGLISH (and in all other languages). They decline to recognize translations of their name. The US government accedes to their wishes in this. The US State Department page
for the country calls it Cote d'Ivoire. For comparison, the US State Department page for Spain
calls that country Spain.
Even more telling is their US State Department page for Passports & International Travel
. First, note that the URL ends with "cote-divoire.html". For comparison, the URL for Spain's page ends, as you would expect, with "spain.html". Second, note on that page that their "official name" is "Republic of Côte d'Ivoire", a translation from the French "République de Côte d'Ivoire". (And again, Spain's OFFICIAL name on their page is "Kingdom of Spain".) Notice in that official name that "République" and "de" get translated. "Côte d'Ivoire" does not. It has, officially, no translation. It should not be confused with the identical French phrase which does
have a translation. When speaking of the country, "Côte d'Ivoire" is Côte d'Ivoire. Period. Letters to The Ivory Coast are returned, unopened, with the stamp PAYS INCONNU
. Ok, just kidding about that last part. I think.
tl;dr - They're Côte d'Ivoire because that's what they want to be called and that's what we agree to call them.