East Timor - Leste?

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Sat Mar 8 07:35:11 UTC 2003

> Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2003 23:58:24 -0600
> From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Jesper_N=F8rgaard?= <jnorgard at prodigy.net.mx>
> I have noticed that some sources insist that there was a name change
> of East Timor to (the more portuguese correct) Timor Leste or Timor-Leste.

I noticed that too.  This doesn't affect the tz database proper; just
iso3166.tab, which contains unofficial but common English names for
countries, e.g. "Libya" rather than "Libyan Arab Jamahiriya".  In
English, the name "East Timor" is still far more common than
"Timor-Leste", so I don't think iso3166.tab needs to change yet.

A tougher example of the problem is "Cote d'Ivoire", which is just
barely more common than "Ivory Coast" in English (according to Google,
anyway).  My daily newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, had used "Cote
d'Ivoire" for several years, but has now switched back to "Ivory
Coast".  If this turns into a wider trend, at some point I suppose the
tz database should switch to the name "Ivory Coast" in iso3166.tab.

Something else that will affect both iso3166.tab and zone.tab is the
renaming of Yugoslavia to Serbia & Montenegro, which will probably get
them a new country code to replace YU; see

More information about the tz mailing list