I say Myanmar, you say Burma

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue May 6 14:49:26 UTC 2008

Personally, I say "Mallomar," but perhaps that's just me.

  Because the current government of, er, that place is a military junta that seized power unlawfully, the U.S. State Department does not recognize either it or the designation "Myanmar."  In U.S. official circles the nation has always been "Burma."


Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Mark Mandel
Subject: Re: I say Myanmar, you say Burma

tOn Tue, May 6, 2008 at 4:21 AM, David Borowitz 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

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