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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:31 PM   #33821
g.spinoza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Why, though? If Germany insisted that everyone call it "Deutschland" in all languages, would you accept that?
I would continue to call it whatever I please. Nevertheless, addressing a consulate or an embassy, I'd use "Deutschland". I don't see any problems.

EDIT: For instance, my nickname is spinoza. But maybe tomorrow I decide I want to be called "sgarluF". You can still call me spinoza and think that this should be my name, but I wouldn't respond.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:35 PM   #33822
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As a linguist, I do. Language is not math or science. The native speakers of a language determine, through usage, what its words mean. Germany has every right to insist on what its name should be in its own language. It does not have the right to prohibit "Germany," "Allemagne," "Tyskland".... Even in official contexts.

Of course, we have nothing like an "Académie française" to regulate English, so the whole idea of usage being changed by official pronouncement may just be strange to us....
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:37 PM   #33823
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I just wonder if officials of British Virgin Islands know that we call them Britské panenské ostrovy... Do you think they care?
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:39 PM   #33824
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Languages are not static. They change, names evolve over time. As pointed out earlier, far more radical name changes have been adopted in English language (and other languages). Maybe not overnight, but changes do occur.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:39 PM   #33825
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My guesses: No, and no.
And you shouldn't care: do what you want. :-)
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:49 PM   #33826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
It bothers me (and increasingly so) how some people, many people, think that the attempt to fix or work out some sort of official convention or practice necessarily means some draconian authoritarian power imposing them at any costs. Chill out, everyone.
Tell that to the Greeks, with their obsession with Fyrom.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:50 PM   #33827
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Languages are not static. They change, names evolve over time. As pointed out earlier, far more radical name changes have been adopted in English language (and other languages). Maybe not overnight, but changes do occur.
But they change naturally, not by fiat, particularly not by fiat from outsiders. English-speaking people have been calling Germany "Germany" for centuries, far longer than it's been a nation-state. As long as the name's not actively offensive, we should have the right to continue doing so.

I don't particularly care about "Czechia" versus the "Czech Republic"; it's the principle of the thing.

Of course, I still say "Burma" and "Peking," so.... (And why are francophones allowed to say "Birmanie" and "Pékin" while we "have to" say "Myanmar" and "Beijing"?)
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:57 PM   #33828
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
not by fiat from outsiders
Shouldn't it be called Skoda instead of Fiat when talking about Czechia

Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
Ivory Coast demands that the name of the country would be "Cote d'Ivoire" in all languages. So you can keep calling it Ivory Coast, but in formal contexts it has to be Cote d'Ivoire.
Germans don't care about it and call it Elfenbeinküste.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 10:07 PM   #33829
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I think sometimes internal language/grammar reforms are far more controversial... Portuguese and German are among European languages which underwent significant reforms over last 3 decades.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 10:27 PM   #33830
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I think sometimes internal language/grammar reforms are far more controversial... Portuguese and German are among European languages which underwent significant reforms over last 3 decades.
It's something that would be untinkable in Italian. Italian language, although being mostly confined within Italy (in opposition to multi-national languages like English, French, German, Spanish or Arabic), it's not regulated by any governative agency. New words enter in our language naturally because they are used by people. That's why we have full of English loanwords in our everyday speech (and nowadays also in official government acts: spending review, job act, stepchild adoption,...), in opposition to the French, who translate everything (like ordinateur instead of computer).
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Old April 18th, 2016, 10:30 PM   #33831
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Georgia, not the US state but the country in Caucasus also claimed that its name shall be Georgia in every languages. However in Hungarian it's called Grúzia (pronounce like Grooseeah) which is the Russian name of that country. They don't like it, I think. The Hungarian authorities have been discussing about it for ten years, some call it Georgia (but pronouncing it very different from the English pronounciation, like gheorgheeah), some Grúzia.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 10:39 PM   #33832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
If Germany insisted that everyone call it "Deutschland" in all languages, would you accept that?
Surely not. However (apart from that I actually live in Germany so I don't see this country from outside) if next week Germany would change its name to some non-historic name like Foijgergia (I hit the keys randomly in my keybord and added -ia) I think we should use that name instead of Germany/Allemagne/Alemania/Tyskland/Németország/Whatever.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 11:16 PM   #33833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attus View Post
Georgia, not the US state but the country in Caucasus also claimed that its name shall be Georgia in every languages. However in Hungarian it's called Grúzia (pronounce like Grooseeah) which is the Russian name of that country. They don't like it, I think. The Hungarian authorities have been discussing about it for ten years, some call it Georgia (but pronouncing it very different from the English pronounciation, like gheorgheeah), some Grúzia.
We call it Gruzínsko On the other hand I think it is the matter of linguists of the certain country. I guess every language has its "dictionary of correct words" and the demonyns as well as name of countries are state there. The subjected country can only give recommendation.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 11:33 PM   #33834
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If I'm not mistaken, my first ever post on SSC (I'd been lurking for a while) was a reaction to the ridiculous and untrue proposition that "No one says Cologne any more."....
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Old April 18th, 2016, 11:52 PM   #33835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
As a linguist, I do. Language is not math or science. The native speakers of a language determine, through usage, what its words mean. Germany has every right to insist on what its name should be in its own language. It does not have the right to prohibit "Germany," "Allemagne," "Tyskland".... Even in official contexts.

Of course, we have nothing like an "Académie française" to regulate English, so the whole idea of usage being changed by official pronouncement may just be strange to us....
a) No, language is not something exclusive. All those speaking English or any other language determine it. English then, because it is being an international language, more than other languages is being shaped by the non native speakers.

b) But this official pronouncement is not really a linguistic issue. It is not like that they are creating a new English word. They are just filling a vacant line on a form at the UN after 20 years about the short geographical name for the country. All the possible variants are already existing English words anyway.

Czechia, Czechlands, Bohemia, Czech

All the fuss about a new name is just there because it is a catchy news item to frame it like that. Czech Republic is not getting any new name. It's simply decided that after 23 years after the dissolution it is time to fill that vacant spot and decide finally on a one word name for the country in the UN languages. In Czech that word has always been Česko, and there are several possible translations of that word already existing in English. Czech representatives have simply decided that they will pick one of them and fill the form.

Last edited by Surel; April 19th, 2016 at 12:01 AM.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 11:59 PM   #33836
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a) No, language is not something exclusive. All those speaking English or any other language determine it. English then, because it is being an international language, more than other languages is being shaped by the non native speakers.
The fact that all of Continental Europe has decided that English is its Esperanto does not make that first "being" - which no native speaker would ever use - correct. The second one, you could make a case for.

The "the" I highlighted isn't English either.

By your logic, the sheer numbers of Continentals speaking bad English* would make their bad English, well, not bad. No other language is subject to that rule.

Yes, it's amazing that so many non-native speakers speak and write English so well, (And damn convenient for the average American or Brit who can't be bothered to learn other languages...but I'm not guilty of that. I respect the languages I use, and am humble enough to recognize how much I don't know, and will never know.) But there are precious few people on this forum who can pass for a native speaker for longer than about three sentences. When you've got native command of English, then and ONLY then will you get a say in it. Don't hold your breath.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 12:08 AM   #33837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
I would continue to call it whatever I please. Nevertheless, addressing a consulate or an embassy, I'd use "Deutschland". I don't see any problems.

EDIT: For instance, my nickname is spinoza. But maybe tomorrow I decide I want to be called "sgarluF". You can still call me spinoza and think that this should be my name, but I wouldn't respond.
So if a building in Rome were labeled "Ambasciata di Deutschland" rather than "Ambasciata di Germania," you'd be okay with that? I'd think it was a matter of respect for the host country and its language to use the Italian word (I assume it would say "Botschaft von Deutschland" as well....)
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Old April 19th, 2016, 12:14 AM   #33838
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
The fact that all of Continental Europe has decided that English is its Esperanto does not make that first "being" - which no native speaker would ever use - correct. The second one, you could make a case for.

The "the" I highlighted isn't English either.

By your logic, the sheer numbers of Continentals speaking bad English* would make their bad English, well, not bad. No other language is subject to that rule.

Yes, it's amazing that so many non-native speakers speak and write English so well, (And damn convenient for the average American or Brit who can't be bothered to learn other languages...but I'm not guilty of that. I respect the languages I use, and am humble enough to recognize how much I don't know, and will never know.) But there are precious few people on this forum who can pass for a native speaker for longer than about three sentences. When you've got native command of English, then and ONLY then will you get a say in it. Don't hold your breath.
I guess you either intentionally missed my point, or you can argue that you did not get it at all because of my poor command of English, whatever you chose .

PS. I could make a good case for the first one as well... But that is not the point at all. All those imperfections are indeed what shapes and will be shaping English language.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...icial-1.694470
Quote:
"No one was expecting the winter weather to be quite as harsh as it is being at the moment, particularly the snowfall we saw yesterday was kind of unprecedented at least for a number of years in the Lower Mainland," spokesman Adam Grossman said Monday.
As about the "the" https://www.google.nl/search?q=the+n...ve+speakers%22


Look, I would never dare to say that my English is perfect or consider it a standard. But I would never dare to say that only the native speakers are an authority on a language. It's complete bogus. Moreover that was not the point. The point is that every language is being formed by all those speaking that language, not only those that usurp some born right to it.

Last edited by Surel; April 19th, 2016 at 12:30 AM.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 12:22 AM   #33839
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
So if a building in Rome were labeled "Ambasciata di Deutschland" rather than "Ambasciata di Germania," you'd be okay with that?
Why should I care?

Quote:
I'd think it was a matter of respect for the host country and its language to use the Italian word (I assume it would say "Botschaft von Deutschland" as well....)
As I said, I'd continue call it Germania in my everyday use. I still use Birmania and not Myanmar. But, when communicating with them, I'd use the name they choose. Why making a fuss about that?
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Old April 19th, 2016, 12:36 AM   #33840
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In Spanish it's also Birmania. And I'll continue to call it by that name (Burma when writting in English).

Since someone mentioned Georgia (country), at one point I thought of a trail running from Tbilisi to Le Mans and call it the Appalachian Trail. Like its American namesake it would run from Georgia to Maine.
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