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Iraq

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GuyBarry
1253237.  Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:07 pm Reply with quote

What about the EU, with its 24 official languages? It'll take some time to get through all of those...

 
suze
1253274.  Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:13 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
There's at least three, because the one working with me here must have parents after all...


In fact, the designated Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgiens consists of nine municipalities in the far east of Belgium with a total population of 77,000. Even within the German zone as much as 45% of the population identify as first language French speakers; the number of first language German speakers is around 41,000.

The former Neutral Moresnet forms one of the nine municipalities, while Eupen (population 19,000) is the only Belgian town of any size to be predominantly German-speaking. Those who know their Treaty of Versailles may at this point wish to couple Eupen with Malmedy, but in fact Malmedy is by now overwhelmingly French-speaking.

Germany did negotiate secretly with Belgium in the 1920s to buy the German-speaking region and incorporate it into Germany. A price of 200 million Goldmark (at the time ~£10 million) had been all but agreed, but France found out and convinced Belgium to end the discussions.

Belgian language politics is best left to Belgians, but German doesn't really have the right to rank alongside Dutch/Flemish and French/Walloon as a major language of Belgium. There are more first language German speakers in Australia than there are in Belgium.

 
duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk
1253630.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:44 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Most Arabists prefer Iraq, under the convention that the letters <e> and <o> are not used in the Romanization of Arabic.

Actually, that reminds me of a thing. In Britain we usually pronounce Iran and Iraq with the <i> representing the vowel of hit. A lot of North Americans, though, say "Eye-ran" and "Eye-rak".

In fact, the proper Arabic pronunciation of Iraq is more like "ee-rock". But is "Eye-ran" in fact reasonably close to the proper Persian pronunciation of Iran? AIUI, the opening vowel of these two country names is not the same one in Arabic/Persian script.


On Douglas's question, if it was ever spelled Irak that was indeed a lack of cultural awareness; the county itself has always spelled it with a <q> to represent the Arabic letter <ق>.

The first England cricket team ever to visit Pakistan showed a similar lack of cultural awareness, and the tour blazers were emblazoned Parkistan. Some will recall that until the 70s/80s it was also usual in English to write Rumania.


In fact, under the kingdom, the country's name was spelled 'Roumania'.

 
duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk
1253632.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:51 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Should we call New Zealand Aotearoa and the American countries their native names? If so, their native names in which of the hundreds of languages historically spoken there?


Most people in New Zealand call it New Zealand, and so that is what we should call it. There is/was a left-leaning newspaper whose name I do not recall, but which habitually called it Aotearoa to make some kind of point. In truth though, only about one third of the Māori - who are about one sixth of the population of New Zealand - actually speak Māori on a regular basis.

AFB wrote:
Greece calls itself Ελλάδα. Should we call it that?


Basically, yes.

AFB wrote:
The official name of the country where I live is …ire, but for various reasons to do with political expediency most of us prefer not to call it that in everyday life.


Very few of you actually go about your day to day lives in Irish, and so you use the English-language name Ireland. That makes it good enough for the rest of the world to use.


GuyBarry wrote:
Agreed. I hear "Myanmar" pronounced in various different ways, and I'm not sure which is correct (the BBC says "myan-MAR", with two syllables, but I've heard it with three, and with varying stress). No one ever had a problem with "Burma".


Suppose that you and I had a Luke Skywalker moment, and I chose to reveal to you that I am in fact your mother. For some reason I chose to do this in Scouse, and said "I'm yer ma". Eliminate the <I>, and that is more or less how the word Myanmar is pronounced in Myanmar.

The <n> is etymological and silent, and the final <r> is not even present when the name is written in Burmese script. It is apparently intended to show that the word is stressed on the final syllable, and that the final vowel is hence not a schwa.


What, indeed, do we call South Africa? There was a movement in the country called the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO), linked to Steve Biko's Black Consciousness Movement, which insisted that the country be known as 'Azania' once apartheid had ended. This reflected their belief that all whites should be excluded from from any political role in the future 'Azania'. New Internationalist magazine, during the 1980s, referred to South Africa in this manner.

 
duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk
1253635.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:58 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Today I learned that the name China is Sanskrit. (Unlike the names Japan and Korea, which are Chinese via Italian.)

We probably won't start saying Zhōngguů any time soon, although you never quite know with the PRC. The English-speaking world called the capital Peking until around 1980, and only stopped when the PRC announced that henceforth any mail addressed to Peking would be returned marked "Unable to deliver. No city of this name in the People's Republic."

Do the Indian authorities yet return mail addressed to Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras in the same way?


As for Koran, that was the usual spelling in English until about 1980 as well. I first encountered the form Qur'an on a Guyanese stamp which formed part of my "at least one stamp from every country in the world" collection, but before very many more years it had largely taken over.


The Chinese made these changes in order to introduce a uniform system of transliteration from their own ideographs into the Latin alphabet. Hence, they dropped the Wade-Giles system of translation by decree in 1975, replacing it with the Pinyin system. therefore, Peking became Beijing and Mao Tse-tung became Mao Zedong.

The full Chinese translation for People's Republic of China is Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo

 
Alfred E Neuman
1253647.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:28 am Reply with quote

duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
What, indeed, do we call South Africa? There was a movement in the country called the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO), linked to Steve Biko's Black Consciousness Movement, which insisted that the country be known as 'Azania' once apartheid had ended. This reflected their belief that all whites should be excluded from from any political role in the future 'Azania'. New Internationalist magazine, during the 1980s, referred to South Africa in this manner.


Given that AZAPO never held power and never formed part of the government you can safely ignore their opinion. In fact they had exactly 1 MP in three general elections and none in this parliament (out of 400). Additionally, there was never broad acceptance that Azania should be used.

If youíre English, you can call it South Africa. If you wish to be formal, the Republic of South Africa. If youíre not English, translate it. Itís a descriptive name, and not a politically sensitive one.

 
GuyBarry
1253649.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:43 am Reply with quote

Alfred E Neuman wrote:

If youíre English, you can call it South Africa. If you wish to be formal, the Republic of South Africa. If youíre not English, translate it. Itís a descriptive name, and not a politically sensitive one.


It's slightly anomalous, though, that "North Africa", "West Africa" and "East Africa" are used as the names of larger regions of the African continent, but "South Africa" can't be used that way because it's the name of a country - you have to talk about "southern Africa" instead.

On the other hand, we talk about "northern/western/southern/eastern Europe", not "North/West/South/East Europe". Is there any reason for the difference in terminology between the two continents?

 
suze
1253706.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:27 pm Reply with quote

Not really, although note that we do sometimes say "Northwest Europe". That term means different things to different people, and just about the only constant is that it includes Belgium and the Netherlands.

 
suze
1253713.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:55 pm Reply with quote

duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
'Azania'. New Internationalist magazine, during the 1980s, referred to South Africa in this manner.


Thanks for mentioning that magazine, because I think it may have been the very publication from my younger days in which I first encountered the name Aotearoa for New Zealand.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1253727.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:35 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Alfred E Neuman wrote:

If youíre English, you can call it South Africa. If you wish to be formal, the Republic of South Africa. If youíre not English, translate it. Itís a descriptive name, and not a politically sensitive one.


It's slightly anomalous, though, that "North Africa", "West Africa" and "East Africa" are used as the names of larger regions of the African continent, but "South Africa" can't be used that way because it's the name of a country - you have to talk about "southern Africa" instead.

On the other hand, we talk about "northern/western/southern/eastern Europe", not "North/West/South/East Europe". Is there any reason for the difference in terminology between the two continents?


And North America and South America are continents. The worlld is full of anomalies.


Last edited by Alfred E Neuman on Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
monzac
1253748.  Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:14 pm Reply with quote

I recall hearing Mark Steel, iirc, speaking of 'the western district' when he meant Western Australia. Used locally, the Western District refers to the western regions of Victoria, which is an eastern state (just to confuse matters even more). I was momentarily puzzled while listening to whoever it was :/

 
GuyBarry
1253773.  Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:21 am Reply with quote

Even within the UK we're inconsistent. Leaving aside Northern Ireland (the name of a political entity rather than a geographical one), we have "northern/southern/western/eastern England" and
"northern/southern/western/eastern Scotland", but "North/South/West/East Wales". (Actually I don't hear "East Wales" very much, but Wikipedia says it exists.)

 
Awitt
1253776.  Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:28 am Reply with quote

Two of Australia's states and one territory are also named geographically: South and Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

 
GuyBarry
1253781.  Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:34 am Reply with quote

Do you know why they chose "South", but "Western"?

 
Awitt
1253787.  Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:08 am Reply with quote

No, I'd have to go investigating that into the background and history.

 

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