Peking to Bejing

  hastelloy 11:21 19 Mar 2012
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On the thread about temperature conversion, somebody said "changing centigrade to Celsius was on someone's whim. So was changing Peking to Beijing, a decision taken entirely in Washington."

This is not true. Peking is a romanisation of the Cantonese for "Northern Capital". When China made a point of making Mandarin the official language they made it clear that they expected the rest of the world to respect that decision. This meant that a translation was in order. Bejing is the romanisation of the Mandarin for "Northern Capital". So China didn't change the name of their capital - they changed their official language.

What a sad life I lead!!!

  wiz-king 11:41 19 Mar 2012

Ahso = ah so desu ka = Oh, that's how it is

  Quickbeam 14:11 19 Mar 2012

It was morddwyd that said that, I thought it was Prof Shufflebottom that changed it, we must both be a little dim sung...

  Miké 14:37 19 Mar 2012

Two number sevens and a fifty two please.

  hastelloy 14:46 19 Mar 2012

Miké I hope you've got some Rennies if your eating that combination!!!

  morddwyd 20:52 19 Mar 2012

"they made it clear that they expected the rest of the world to respect that decision"

Then we should make it clear to the French that it is London, not Londres, and I fully expect the Germans to insist on Köln, Munchen and Bayern.

What about Roma or Milano, or even Caerdydd, Abertawe,, Inbhir Nis (Inverness) and Ghlaschu?

If the inhabitants of a country are to decide what the rest of the world must call their country, where will it end?

I cannot even write the Russian for Moscow, let alone pronounce it!

Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Myanmar and the like are somewhat different, they changed their names to shake off another shackle of imperialism.

  Condom 00:23 20 Mar 2012

Morddwyd

It is pronounced "Mock Baa". Maps and atlases are normally printed to suit the country they are used in so French maps will show countries and cities with their French names. The same is true in Russia but some countries show their English equivalents in parenthesis for convenience of English speakers.

Of course not everyone uses Latin script so interpretations are some times used. Where I spend much of my life the language is tonal so English translations for the same place can vary. Phatphong and Patpong being the same place in English as PH is pronounced P and not F. In Thai script you would have no idea what it was. It makes driving a little more exiting.

  hastelloy 08:07 20 Mar 2012

morddwyd

""they made it clear that they expected the rest of the world to respect that decision"

Then we should make it clear to the French that it is London, not Londres, and I fully expect the Germans to insist on Köln, Munchen and Bayern"

You're missing the point - the Chinese don't call it Bejing. This is romanised just as Londres is the French version of London etc, etc.

"If the inhabitants of a country are to decide what the rest of the world must call their country, where will it end?"

It's alright if I decide what to call you then? (As long as it's polite)

  Quickbeam 08:54 20 Mar 2012
Answer

Of course some places defy a translation to suit other nationals. Heckmondwike, Hooton Pagnall, Mythomlroyd. We all have some place names that strange even to modern English.

  Quickbeam 09:04 20 Mar 2012

I just checked to see where the origins of Heckmondwike lay, possibly Viking I thought, it does go back a very long way pre-doomsday, with the name being Old English but with only 7 families recorded there in 1379, (inbreeds you all say). Anyway, it seems that they became famous for having a Blanket Hall in the past, enough to make any true Viking LOL in his Mead Hall!

  Quickbeam 09:06 20 Mar 2012

...forgot why I looked after all that. It seems it would translate to Milkfarm or something similar.

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