Question about city names that are being renamed

Dileep Damle dileep_damle at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 20 17:56:06 UTC 2011


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Well said.  One minor point.  Batata is the South American word for Potato, still used in Cornwall, England.  Similarly Ananas in India (also in French who must have got in south Pacfic) , although Pineapple in English.  Words do get mispronounced as they travel.  Most European names and many Muslim names deriving from antiquity are common , each takes many different forms across the world ( Joseph, Adam, Abraham, Jesus, Charles, Caesar, John, James, .....).

The problem only comes when someone claims the right to preserve the name their own culture/language/empire gave to a thing.  Its a form of mourning the loss of empire in the case of Indian city names.

Dileep (no idea if there was an originally different form, or whether it means anything, although an ancestor of Ram was Dileep Raja )

From: Lakhan GUSAIN 
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 4:08 PM
To: VYAKARAN at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU 
Subject: Re: Question about city names that are being renamed

VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net Editors: Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany Details: Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: INFO VYAKARAN Subscribe:Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: SUBSCRIBE VYAKARAN FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME (Substitute your real name for first_name last_name) Archives: http://listserv.syr.edu 



Here some of my observations:



How names are “originated” may be a part of long debate, but how they are “changed or modified” also needs a deep understanding of the history of the subject (City, state, or nation). Sometimes, it might be to “restore” old glory, besides many other factors, of the subject under question. Name change, after all, psychologically gives a sort of “mental satisfaction” to “fix” the past or “restore” or “acquire” a desired glory.



Factors may be many: linguistic, political, religious, etc



Political factors: are already under debate….like Bombay/Mumbai, Chennai/Madras, Calcutta/Kolkata….



Linguistic: The only reason was their (New comers or just say learners) inability to pronounce the name (the way natives pronounce) of the person, place, or product: examples: Dilli (Native): Delhi (British): Dehli (Moguls etc)

Rama (Ram), Krishna (Krishan), Yoga(Yog), Mantra(Mantr), karma(Karm), HinDi(Hindi), HinDoo(Hindu), UrDoo (Urdu), Moslem(Muslim), Koran(Qur’an), Dacca(Dhaka), Cawnpore(Kanpur), Singapore(Singhpur), Bombay(Mumbai), Jaypore (Jaipur), Adzmeire (Ajmer), Bandhna (Bandana), Shampoo (Champoo), CuDhy (Curry)…..list is very long…



South Asians are also not champion in pronunciations in foreign tongues: First one is SA Pronunciation and the original in parenthesis: JaagaT (Jacket), Kaartuus (Cartridge), baalTi (Bucket), baTaaTaa(potato=came via arab traders as P=B there, a domestic problem), waaskuT (Waist Coat), and the finally, Bakwaas (F*** Wash)… 



Religious factors: (Native/original word in parenthesis):  Faisalabad (Lyallpur), Allahabad (Prayag or Kashi), Patna (Patliputra), Bihar (Vihaar)….to name a few



Hope it helps….



Regards a lot,



Lakhan (Original was “Lakshman)




------------------ 
Lakhan Gusain, PhD
Coordinator, South Asian Language Program
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies [SAIS]
The Johns Hopkins University
1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-2213


Phone: 202 663 5753; Fax: 202 663 5764; Cell: 202 361 4473 
Email: lgusain1 at jhu.edu; Web: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/directory/bios/g/gusain.htm
-------------------





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 20 May 2011 10:13:15 -0400
From: athr at LOC.GOV
Subject: Re: Question about city names that are being renamed
To: VYAKARAN at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU

VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net Editors: Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany Details: Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: INFO VYAKARAN Subscribe:Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: SUBSCRIBE VYAKARAN FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME (Substitute your real name for first_name last_name) Archives: http://listserv.syr.edu 
Calling Chennai/Madras 'patnam' has parallels, such as the ancient Roman reference to Rome as just "urbs," " the city," preserved in the Pope's Christmas and Easter blessing "urbi et orbi," "to the city and the world," and New Yorkers' habit of referring to their city as "the city," which one occasionally hears applied to Washington nowadays.  Presumably the modern Turkish name of Istanbul/Constantinople, literally "up to the city," comes from the Turks regarding the great city on the Bosporus as THE city.  Any other parallels?



Allen



Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.

Senior Reference Librarian and Team Coordinator

South Asia Team

Asian Division

Library of Congress

Washington, DC 20540-4810

USA

tel. 202-707-3732

fax 202-707-1724

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.










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