I say Myanmar, you say Burma

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 6 14:24:34 UTC 2008

tOn Tue, May 6, 2008 at 4:21 AM, David Borowitz <borowitz at stanford.edu> wrote:

> Wikipedia, as it often does, tells a good story about the various names of
> Burma:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Burma
> Except for the fact that one of these transliterations is of recent origin
> and has been seized by the ruling party as some sort of nationalistic
> symbol, this seems a lot like plenty of other phonetic English
> pronunciations of historic or sloppy transliterations. (Think of the foreign
> policy impacts if Russia started getting mad at us for not saying /rasiya/.)

Not so far off: Post-USSR Ukraine made quite a point of not being
"*the* Ukraine".

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list