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  #1  
Old 04-10-2003, 10:51 AM
arjee arjee is offline
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Names of Countries, but in other languages.

I was watching an international sporting event where all the players wore shirts with the names of their countries on the backs. The team from Sweden wore shirts that said, "Sverige," for example.

So, my question is, if their country is called "Sverige," why do we (I am in North America) call it "Sweden?" Can a country just decide what they are going to refer to another country as? Could the USA one day choose to officially refer to Canada as anything other than "Canada?"
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2003, 10:54 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Well, every country has the right to decide what to call themselves in their own language. As for what the name translates to in other languages, that's up to the people in the other language to decide.

You can call Israel Yisrael is you really want to. But when speaking to an English-speaking audience, you'll go a lot farther if you use "Israel" instead.

Zev Steinhardt
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:57 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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This was covered in an early Straight Dope book, but about Germany.

Bottom line: The name by which a people calls itself, and the names by which its neighbors call it are often different, and extends back into ancient times.
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:41 AM
everton everton is offline
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IMHO Earl Snake-Hips Tucker has nailed it. There's no strict reason why the USA shouldn't start calling Canada something else some day, but it's not very likely given that most Americans already call it Canada.

New differences are no longer likely to occur these days because we have international organisations to belong to. Countries' name changes are well publicised and we all tend to agree to update our records accordingly. But when contact between nations was less common than it is today we have often chosen different names for our neighbours than they use for themselves for the same reason we speak different languages from theirs.
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Old 04-10-2003, 12:42 PM
Captain Lance Murdoch Captain Lance Murdoch is offline
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Sometimes people within a country use different names to describe their homeland. Witness Switzerland.
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Old 04-10-2003, 02:02 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Back when Nicaragua was a hot topic, you could always tell the political stance of a commentator by the way they pronounced the country's name. Pro-Sandinista commentators almost always pronounced it with a grossly exagerated Spanish accent, "Neek-a-HRAAAWGH-hwa", ususally hawking up a good one on the third syllable.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:07 PM
Loopus Loopus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
This was covered in an early Straight Dope book, but about Germany.
Here's the article.
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2003, 03:24 PM
arjee arjee is offline
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Thanks, everyone!

Yes, I was aware of that other article, but I still had some questions after reading it.

Wouldn't it seem more courteous to call a country by the name it calls itself? I keep thinking of a former co-worker named Richard who just would not respond to anything other than Richard - not Rich, not Rick (and certainly not Dick).

How do people in (let's use this as an example again) Sweden feel when their country is referred to as Sweden, even though that's not what they themselves call it? The USA is proud of the name "United States of America" - would Americans feel slighted if the USA was officially referred to as something other than that?

Also, do countries maintain official documents stating the names it uses to refer to other countries?

And how *do* we get "Sweden" from "Sverige?"
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:36 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjee
Thanks, everyone!


How do people in (let's use this as an example again) Sweden feel when their country is referred to as Sweden, even though that's not what they themselves call it? The USA is proud of the name "United States of America" - would Americans feel slighted if the USA was officially referred to as something other than that?

But the USA IS referred to as something other than that by other nations. The French call it "Les Etats-Unis", for example.

It's not a matter of one country calling another country by the "wrong" name; it's a matter that the same country has different names in different languages. What we call "Finland" is called "Suomi" in Finnish. Neither of us are wrong; the word is just different in the two languages.

Having spent time in Europe, and having met many Europeans, I can't imagine that anybody could be offended by this.

Ed
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:42 PM
everton everton is offline
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I can't help you with that last question, and maybe some Swedes will be along to explain how they feel about us calling their country by the name we do, but in the meantime, how do you feel knowing that your country is called Les Etats-Unis d'Amérique in Francophone countries, Los Estados Unidos de América in Spanish-speaking ones etc.? (on preview I see suranyi has covered this)

Countries are only likely to become annoyed if we use a name they find insulting. Surely your co-worker had the right to expect you to call him by his name if you knew what it was? In the same way, if we know a country prefers to be called X and we keep calling them Y they are likely to react negatively to that. Generally that might apply when there's a cultural or government change that results in a country's name changing and yet we fail to adopt the new name (like Mesopotamia for Iraq or Zaire for Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Having said that, there are names for countries that originally meant "foreigner" or something worse.

I assume that there must be official records kept at a government level to save the official names we give to the countries we deal with.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:44 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjee
Wouldn't it seem more courteous to call a country by the name it calls itself? ... How do people in (let's use this as an example again) Sweden feel when their country is referred to as Sweden, even though that's not what they themselves call it? The USA is proud of the name "United States of America" - would Americans feel slighted if the USA was officially referred to as something other than that?
In reality, no one much minds. I've never heard of an American getting upset with a Chinese person referring to the U.S. as mei guo (sorry, no tone marks), or with an Arab saying amrika.

Quote:
Originally posted by arjee
Also, do countries maintain official documents stating the names it uses to refer to other countries?
Just dictionaries, atlases, gazeteers, etc. The closest thing you might get to an official document would be something like a United Nations roster of delegates printed in a given language.

Quote:
Originally posted by arjee And how *do* we get "Sweden" from "Sverige?"
[/B]
We didn't get Sweden from Sverige. In this case, it's likely that an older name for the country Sweden was used in English at one time. At first, the English name probably wasn't all that far off from what the Swedes were calling Sweden. But over time, English speakers made their modifications to the word (changing a suffix, changing sv to a more English sw), and the Swedish word for their country probably changed some as well. So the terms diverged into their modern forms in the respective languages -- but almost certainly have a common source.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:48 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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OED has a little more info, but too much to type.

Apparently, the 'v' shifted to a 'u,' then later shifted to a 'w.' Also, the "d" was a "th" earlier. Also, one of ther earlier names of "Sweden" was "Swede-land," or some similar spelling. "Sweden" then might just be a short form.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:57 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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There have been cases when a foreign government tries to get English speakers to use the native name in English. I think I remember seeing Dutch publications in English calling the country "Nederland," and Turkish government publications in English insist on "Türkiye." With two dots over the ü.
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2003, 04:06 PM
arjee arjee is offline
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For my purposes, "Les Etats-Unis" is the SAME as "United States" as it's a direct translation. I was talking about, say, some other country calling, say, Mexico "Greenvania" or some other name seemingly unrelated to "Mexico." I do realize that most different names can be traced back to a common source though - very interesting! I'll have to look up the "Finland" / "Suomi" connection.

I'm not talking wrong or right here - I'm just curious. Thanks for all your replies and interesting insights though!

As an aside, I am Canadian, and while we refer to the people of the USA as "Americans," I rarely hear a Canadian calling the USA "America." It's usually referred to as "The States."
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:08 PM
essohbee essohbee is offline
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Being Swedish, I must say I have yet to hear anyone saying that they take offence when some forr-ih-nurrs calls us Sweden or whatnot. I can't really see why that would be such a big deal. They call us whateever they feel is reasonable, and we call them whatever we feel is reasonable. The full name of the U.S. in Swedish is 'Amerikas Förenta Stater', though most simply refer to it as 'Amerika' or 'USA'.

I tried to find information on where the name for Sweden is derived, but it was in vain. Anyhow, I think I'd prefer to hear Sweden called Sweden, rather than hearing its "true" name being butchered by forr-ih-nurrs
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:15 PM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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There's a difference with the USA's name. There are direct translations for the words UNITED and STATES in other languages. I see no problem with Germany calling us Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, etc. I'd have an issue if they had a new word for AMERICA. There no such "thing" as a "CANADA",beyond that nations name, so no one has an excuse to call that country anything but CANADA.

The OP about SVERIGE/SWEDEN is valid; in English there's no reason to create a new word for Sverige. I'm not certain on its correct Swedish pronunciation, but I'm sure there'd be a reasonable close English approximation. Ditto for Suomi/Finland.

You could find so many examples of this: Why isn't the word for
Spain "Espania" in English? Certainly looks pronounceable and darn close to the Spanish?

But I digress: in short, if it's reasonably pronounceable, use the same damn word as the natives; shows much more respect.
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:15 PM
everton everton is offline
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Excuse me quoting myself but...
Quote:
Originally posted by everton
Countries are only likely to become annoyed if we use a name they find insulting. Surely your co-worker had the right to expect you to call him by his name if you knew what it was? In the same way, if we know a country prefers to be called X and we keep calling them Y they are likely to react negatively to that. Generally that might apply when there's a cultural or government change that results in a country's name changing and yet we fail to adopt the new name (like Mesopotamia for Iraq or Zaire for Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Having said that, there are names for countries that originally meant "foreigner" or something worse.
So a country might be annoyed if you insisted on calling it Greenvania when they'd already asked to be called Mexico, but not if Greenvania had been your version of their name since time immemorial and provided there were no inappropriate connotations for Greenvania.
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:19 PM
everton everton is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BwanaBob
I see no problem with Germany calling us Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, etc. I'd have an issue if they had a new word for AMERICA.

The OP about SVERIGE/SWEDEN is valid; in English there's no reason to create a new word for Sverige. I'm not certain on its correct Swedish pronunciation, but I'm sure there'd be a reasonable close English approximation. Ditto for Suomi/Finland.

You could find so many examples of this: Why isn't the word for
Spain "Espania" in English? Certainly looks pronounceable and darn close to the Spanish?
So what do you call Finland, Spain, Germany etc?
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:26 PM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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Sadly, I am guilty as the rest of us in using what I was taught in geography classes. But I attempt to discover what a nations "true" name is; I used to collect world postage stamps and pretty much had to learn them in order to identify stamps of other nations. This entailed learning some other alphabets as well.

My post was meant as a suggestion, not one that has any weight with Merriam-Websters or whoever decides these things.

I should also add that I have relatives in a few other countries (all non-English speaking and all different) and have been exposed to other nation names in those other tongues.

I find it quite fascinating.
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:47 PM
everton everton is offline
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Well, of course it’s a good thing to learn about other countries, but surely you don’t feel guilty about using a generally recognised country’s name?

Perhaps you should compare your post with essohbee’s. He is Swedish yet he doesn’t mind there being a different English-language name for his country. You say you would “have an issue if they had a new word for AMERICA”, but that seems a little over-sensitive to me. Except that the USA is such a young country that everyone who might refer to it has had plenty of opportunity to hear the name in its official form. That’s why people typically do attempt to call it by a name similar to the original.

But in cases where the English name and mother tongue name differ, the reason is often that many years have passed between today and the first time the country was referred to in English. In that time there has been a natural evolution of language, so both versions of the name have changed (see bordelond’s and Earl Snake-Hips Tucker’s explanations of Sweden). Also, the original name given to a country may have been acceptable at the time it was coined but has since changed in its home language and the original has just stuck in English. That explains Finland and Germany for example.

So long as the foreign language version of a country’s name has an established provenance, and provided it is not inherently insulting there’s no reason to feel guilty about using it or for anyone to “have an issue” with it, and I don’t believe Germans, Finns etc. do generally.
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:54 PM
arjee arjee is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BwanaBob
...no one has an excuse to call that country anything but CANADA.
I must admit, I had a good chuckle over "Canuckistan!"
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  #22  
Old 04-10-2003, 05:41 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Bob: Why would you have an issue about how a foreign language operates internally?
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  #23  
Old 04-10-2003, 07:27 PM
mcbiggins mcbiggins is offline
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Some people are very sensitive about such things. I knew a kid of Turkish decent who had been told by his elders that anyone that said "Turkey" instead of "Turkiye" (i have no idea how to type an umlaut over that u) were racists. I proceeded to ask him what he called Japan and Germany, and then asked if he was a racist for not calling them Nippon and Deutschland. The Turkey/Turkiye debate is especially weird because it's not even a case of a neighboring peoples being called "those guys" or "the other people." It's just a vowel shift, for crying out loud!
I have a feeling that such concerns are tied in with anti-imperialist/anti-American sentiments, along the lines of: "Those jerks can't even get our name right!" in many parts of the world. Also, with the rise of English as a world language, many nationalists might feel that their country is losing its identity when its own citizens start using English words or pronuciations instead of native ones. Just look at France and their desire to give French names to "English" words like "internet" and "e-mail."
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Old 04-10-2003, 07:57 PM
everton everton is offline
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I suspect it would be sensible to emphasise the word "some" in your first sentence there, mcbiggins. Without wanting to contradict your anecdote I've spoken to Turkish people who were happy enough to use the English pronunciation when speaking English and didn't accuse me of being racist when I pronounced it that way. The Turks have already made the big step of replacing the Arabic alphabet with a version of the Roman one we use, so they aren't particularly protectionist in these matters.

There are regular posters to these boards that have plenty enough first hand experience of that region to give us a definitive call – perhaps they'll be along soon.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:11 PM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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I guess my saying I'd have "issues" was a bit strong.
I find the argument for old/divergent language names compelling enough to agree.

I thought about "newer"nations. English seems to replicate the native names fairly well (with the exception of Kiribati).

We took their spelling but not their pronunciation. (for those who care, it's something close to "Kiribahss").

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Old 04-10-2003, 09:36 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjee

As an aside, I am Canadian, and while we refer to the people of the USA as "Americans," I rarely hear a Canadian calling the USA "America." It's usually referred to as "The States."
To continue the aside, we Americans rarely refer to this country as "America" either - we usually call it the United States or the US. When travelling abroad, I noticed that most other people do call it America, and I picked up the habit when I lived abroad. In fact, I remember talking to my dad on the phone and making reference to my roommate going "to America" to visit her family, and having my dad laugh at me. He just thought it sounded weird.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:43 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Bob: I think you might have it backwards. "Kiribati" comes from "Gilbert," doesn't it?

So, what do you call the following?[list=1][*]Zhong Guo[*]Tae Han Min Guk[*]Espańa[*]Magyar[*]Singapura[*]Nihon[*]Brasil[/list=1]
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:44 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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The new name Türkiye and the Roman alphabet adapted for writing Turkish came in at about the same time, in the 1920s after the Ottoman Empire was overthrown. In Ottoman times, the country wasn't self-designated as Türkiye; it was called Devlet-i Âliye-i Osmaniye (literally 'The Sublime Ottoman State'; written in the Arabic alphabet).

To get ü, type Alt 0252 using the numeric keypad on the right of your keyboard (make sure the Num Lock light is turned on).
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  #29  
Old 04-10-2003, 09:51 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Monty, Hungary's self-designation is Magyarország.

I've got one. Anybody recognize the name Bharat? How about al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah? Or Eesti?
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:59 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Monty
Magyar
Magyarorszag, right?
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  #31  
Old 04-10-2003, 10:02 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
Monty, Hungary's self-designation is Magyarország.

I've got one. Anybody recognize the name Bharat? How about al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah? Or Eesti?
<shakes fist at Jomo Mojo over the Hungary thing>



...


Bharat = India
al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah = Morroco
Eesti = Estonia
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  #32  
Old 04-10-2003, 10:09 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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OK, Jomo Mojo, here's some softballs for you ...

al-Misr = ?
Bod = ? (clue: no longer an independent nation)

Extra credit:
Turkish Yunanistan = ?
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  #33  
Old 04-10-2003, 10:11 PM
Timmer Timmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
Monty, Hungary's self-designation is Magyarország.

I've got one. Anybody recognize the name Bharat? How about al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah? Or Eesti?
the middle 2 look arabic with the "al" but otherwise, i don't know.

but i would like to raise the point of arabic names. When was the last time anyone hrere called Egypt "misri" (the closest possible english spelling - the s is actaully sort of a swallowed sw sound). My point is that many of the arabic letters are unpronouncable to speakers of english. i studied it for 2 years and still can't pronounce 3 or 4 of them without having a cold.

and upon preview, al-misr would be egypt
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:23 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Thus my last posting above shows the utter silliness of griping about what term another language uses internally for a country.
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:34 PM
Space Vampire Space Vampire is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bordelond
In reality, no one much minds. I've never heard of an American getting upset with a Chinese person referring to the U.S. as mei guo (sorry, no tone marks), or with an Arab saying amrika.
I do find it mildly upsetting that some people are changing it to "mi guo," "rice country." I can't remember if I've actually read any discussion about this, but I've always assumed it's meant as an affront of some kind.
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:48 PM
Timmer Timmer is offline
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the way rice coutry was explained to me was that the chinese got here, saw how big it was and thought, "wow, you could grow a lot of rice here." don't know how accurate that is, but i don't find it at all confrontational.
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:33 PM
bradwalt bradwalt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BwanaBob
There no such "thing" as a "CANADA",beyond that nations name, so no one has an excuse to call that country anything but CANADA.

What if the word "Canada" is unpronounceable in your native language, or means something obscene, or sounds like something bad, or your language doesn't use the English-language alphabet?
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:52 PM
Timmer Timmer is offline
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generally things get transliterated (to say kanada in japanese). Canada is a bad example b/c all of the sounds are fairly common. If we were to take Peoria, IL and pretend it was country, Arabic has no "o" or "p" so it would wind up like biuria (spelled ba'-waw-ra'-alif) or similiar, just taking the sounds that come closest (much like english did with iraq).
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  #39  
Old 04-11-2003, 12:03 AM
Satisfying Andy Licious Satisfying Andy Licious is offline
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Another factor is that a nation might have accent marks that another nation does not use. Take, for example, Cote d'Ivoire. It's supposed to have several marks I neither know nor know how to make here. It's much easier for English speakers to call it the Ivory Coast. Plus we know what that means.
It doesn't bother me that Mexico refers to the U.S. as (correct me if I'm wrong) los Estados Unidos. It means United States. It's not like their calling us El Gringos del Norte or something.
We spell their country right, but mispronounce it. When we appropriated the Spanish word canon, with the accent mark, we pronounced it right but had to start spelling it "canyon."

Trivia: The type of word we're discussing is an exonym: A name by which one people or social group refers to another and by which the group so named does not refer to itself.
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Old 04-11-2003, 12:08 AM
Daver914 Daver914 is offline
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Chinese, due to its lack of an alphabet, has to transliterate all foreign names into a group of characters with a relatively similar pronunciation. Canada becomes "Jia na da", New York becomes "Niu Yue", Spain (Espańa) becomes "Xi ban ya" (xi is pronounced something like "see"), and so forth.
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:04 AM
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Côte d'Ivoire was mentioned as the French name for Ivory Coast. In fact, 10 or 15 years ago they changed their English name to Côte d'Ivoire as well, sometimes without the circumflex. Rather bizarre, and I'm not sure what the motive was, but this is now accepted usage by English-speaking governments and institutions.

Other recent name changes off the top of my head:
  • Upper Volta became Burkina Faso.
  • Zaire became Democratic Republic of the Congo, not to be confused with the Republic of the Congo on the other side of the river.
  • Burma became Myanmar.
  • Rumania became Romania.
  • The Ukraine clarified its preference for Ukraine (without the "the").
  • Byelorussia became Belarus.
  • Moldavia became Moldova.
  • Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.
  • South-West Africa became Namibia.
  • Some of the ex-Soviet "stans" clarified their English spelling after the breakup of the USSR: currently Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan.

The silliest example I can think of, and the best to illustrate your concern about names being offensive, is Macedonia. A good chunk of ancient Macedonia is now in northern Greece, but a portion of it was also in what became Yugoslavia. The Macedonians of northern Greece are protective of their name and heritage, but neighboring Macedonia, one of six republics in Yugoslavia, wasn't a real issue so long as it was under the boot of Tito (not the Jackson).

When Yugoslavia broke apart, each republic became its own independent state: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia, leaving Serbia and Montenegro to be discussed in another thread. Naturally, Macedonia wanted to keep its own name. Greece, was slightly fearful this newly independent Macedonia might have designs on ancient Macedonian territory in Greece, but was mostly annoyed that it was trying to appropriate Greece's heritage. The selection of a shield design used by Alexander the Great for the country's flag didn't make things any easier. So Greece blocked entry into any international organization under that name. To put this into perspective, a Greek friend told me it would be similar to Mexico changing its name to Texas, and putting the Alamo on its flag.

Eventually, Macedonia agreed to be admitted to the UN and elsewhere as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," pending final resolution of the name. I've heard talk it may become Northern Macedonia, but that was a couple years ago. As a UN member, it is still alphabetized under T, for "the".
UN Member States
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  #42  
Old 04-11-2003, 02:09 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjee
I'll have to look up the "Finland" / "Suomi" connection.
The word Finland derives from the Swedish name for the country. Finland was under Swedish rule for mumble years and about 7% of the people still speak Swedish as their native language. The country is officially bilingual.
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:32 AM
Space Vampire Space Vampire is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Timmer
the way rice coutry was explained to me was that the chinese got here, saw how big it was and thought, "wow, you could grow a lot of rice here." don't know how accurate that is, but i don't find it at all confrontational.
I have my doubts about that, seeing as "mei" is the standard and I only recall seeing "mi" used by people who were bitching about America. Besides, that explanation doesn't ring true on a simpler level: China's pretty big too.
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Old 04-11-2003, 03:22 AM
eburacum45 eburacum45 is offline
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Cymru is the name that the Welsh call their own country, while the word Wales comes from the Saxon word for foreigner...

notwithstanding the fact that it was the Saxons that were the foreigners in those days.
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  #45  
Old 04-11-2003, 04:33 AM
Monty Monty is offline
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Posts: 21,131
Actually, there is such a thing as "a canada" other than the name of a country. It's the Korean equivalent of "A, B, C." The Korean alphabet's first three letters are often referred to as: Ka, Na, Da. Sometimes, though, folks will recite the first four, thus: Ka, Na, Da, La.
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  #46  
Old 04-11-2003, 05:04 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Bod = Tibet
Yunanistan = Turkish for Greece
Macaristan = Turkish for Hungary
Lehistan = Turkish for Poland (literally 'the land of Lech' as in Lech Walesa)

Egypt in Arabic is not al-Misr. It's just Misr. In Hebrew it's Mitsrayim.

Anybody want to try
Hayastan?
Sakartvelo?
al-Jaza’ir?
al-Mamlakah al-Urduniyah?

Of course, with Google at your fingertips, this will be easy. A fun learning experience.
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  #47  
Old 04-11-2003, 05:56 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by flodnak
Finland was under Swedish rule for mumble years ...
I'd like to modify that a bit. What later became Finland was just the Eastern half of Sweden, so to say that it was under Swedish rule is stretching things a bit.
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  #48  
Old 04-11-2003, 07:36 AM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BwanaBob
There no such "thing" as a "CANADA",beyond that nations name, so no one has an excuse to call that country anything but CANADA.
I should have stressed that "Canada" doesn't have any other meaning "in English" other than the nation name. Hence it doesn't translate to anything in other languages. so other nations might as well call it Canada (or as close as their language/alphabet allows.) The fact that Ka-na-da may be the Korean equivalent of a-b-c is coincidental; a Korean speaker would being able to tell the difference by context (a homonym, if you will).
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Old 04-11-2003, 08:21 AM
Timchik Timchik is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
Anybody want to try
Hayastan?
Sakartvelo?
al-Jaza’ir?
al-Mamlakah al-Urduniyah?

Of course, with Google at your fingertips, this will be easy. A fun learning experience.
Hayastan = Armenia
Sakartvelo = Georgia (the Soviet one, of course)
the others I'll have to Google for...

How about

Tyskland?
Kitai?
Lietuva?
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  #50  
Old 04-11-2003, 08:34 AM
prow|er prow|er is offline
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now this is fun...

Kitai=China...my guess, i'm not too sure
Lietuva=Lithuania
al-Mamlakah al-Urduniyah=Jordan?
al-Jaza’ir=Algeria
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