Obama respelled

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 19 12:02:58 UTC 2009

>From the link below we get:

"US President Barack Obama will make his first visit to China from November 15-18. To mark the occasion, he's changing his name.
"Obama" is transliterated in the Chinese press as 奥巴马 (à obāmǎ), but a promotional poster distributed yesterday by the US Embassy uses 欧巴马 (ōubāmǎ). Today's Mirror ran a detailed look into the situation:
A Mirror reporter learned from the US Embassy that the use of ōubāmǎ was due to the fact that the transliteration was closer to the English pronunciation than à obāmǎ, which has long been used in the Chinese media."

This shows the need for truespel.  I can't interpret the phonetic spellings above.  I assume our presidents name is pronounced oh-BAH-muh as we've all heard a million times.  In truespel ~Oebbaamu (stress after a double consonant).

The US Embassy uses ōubāmǎ.  Why the "u"?  The macron over the first "a" looks like it should be "bay" instead of "bah".

All young Chinese students are learning English as a second language.  They need truespel to show English phonetics in an English friendly way.  Whoever first put letters to Chinese did them no favors.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
see truespel.com phonetic spelling

> Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 17:08:32 +0800
> From: strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: Majuscules and minuscules
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Randy Alexander
> Subject: Re: Majuscules and minuscules
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 9:15 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> At 11/18/2009 07:11 PM, Tony Au wrote:
>>>This doesn't cover all proper nouns, but in Chinese, a centered dot is used
>>>to distinguish between parts of a foreign transliterated name. For example,
>>>Barack Obama is 贝拉克·奥巴马 (I hope this shows up right!).
>> Unfortunately, not for me, with my primitive
>> Eudora email program. Â Can you resend this with
>> the syllables (or is it Latin letters?) in Latin
>> script? Â I assume the tone numbers could be
>> omitted, and I *can* see a centered dot properly
>> -- the 8-bit "Latin 1" code set seems to include it.
> Since your request seems to have been overlooked, here's a pinyin
> transcription with numbers for tones:
> bei4la1ke4 (dot) ao4ba1ma3
> The US government wants to change his official Chinese name to one
> that sounds closer to his "English" name (changing "ao" [AO] to "ou"
> [ou], etc. See this article for info about that:
> http://www.danwei.org/front_page_of_the_day/obama_aobama_oubama.php
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
> Blogs:
> Manchu studies: http://www.bjshengr.com/manchu
> Chinese characters: http://www.bjshengr.com/yuwen
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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