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Name Change


Ian_Lee

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The Mayor of Seoul announced today that the Chinese name of Seoul is changed from 漢城 to 首爾

Read:

http://chinese.chosun.com/big5/site/data/html_dir/2005/01/19/20050119000015.html

or

http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200501/200501190040.html

One of the reasons Mayor Lee cited for the change is to avoid confusion in the mail, i.e. some letters with the address SEOUL大學 is wrongly sent to 漢城大學 while some with the address SEOUL商社 are sent to 漢城商社

(It seems it is still okay to write Chinese address on the envelope for those mails sent to South Korea. But most likely it doesn't work for those mails sent to North Korea.)

But interestingly according to the poll taken among Chinese in Seoul, there are more opposing the change than those who support it.

But Mayor Lee is funny in claiming that to call Seoul as Seoul in English is the international norm.

But why does he care what Chinese call Seoul in Chinese?

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Another case of 去中国化? :lol:

by the way

some letters with the address SEOUL大學 is wrongly sent to 漢城大學 while some with the address SEOUL商社 are sent to 漢城商社

what's the difference then? i dont quite understand it.

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It's a worldwide trend. In a globalized environment, different local names for foreign places are disappearing in order to ease confusion.

The Koreans are slowly changing from calling Australia "Hoju".

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HashiriKata
The Koreans are slowly changing from calling Australia "Hoju".

I don't find the changing of names in Korea difficult to understand at all.

Chinese and Korean are two totally different languages, why should Koreans still imitate Chinese ancient pronunciation for placenames, especially for foreign placenames? In the past, it's ok for historical reasons. In the present, it's grossly misleading and totally ridiculous for Koreans to use Korean imperfect imitation of ancient Chinese imperfect imitation of foreign pronunciations for foreign placenames.

:tong

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I don't find the changing of names in Korea difficult to understand at all.

Chinese and Korean are two totally different languages, why should Koreans still imitate Chinese ancient pronunciation for placenames, especially for foreign placenames? In the past, it's ok for historical reasons. In the present, it's grossly misleading and totally ridiculous for Koreans to use Korean imperfect imitation of ancient Chinese imperfect imitation of foreign pronunciations for foreign placenames.

漢城 does not have anything to do with pronunciation. I think the main driver behind the change is because 漢城 can be interpreted as Han (Chinese) City.

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But the core of the problem lies in the fact that the name change cannot be dictated by the Seoul Municipal government alone.

Since the name 漢城 has been widely used in Chinese societies for a long time, it is almost well-nigh nigh impossible to force them to change the old habits.

For official business, the change may be easier if Korea insists (But actually most of those official/business contacts have been conducted in English which use the term "Seoul").

But the problem is how the Seoul municipal government can force the average folks, i.e. my parents or me or some local newspapers in Hong Kong, to switch from 漢城 to 首爾?

By the way, 首爾 seems phonetically less acceptable than 漢城 in Cantonese.

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Actually if Mayor Lee cares so much about how Chinese say Seoul in Chinese, why doesn't he restore the old name 漢城 (漢城 was the old name for Seoul during the Chosun Dynasty) to suit Chinese?

Per Mayor Lee's logic, why doesn't he demand all other countries to call South Korea as "Han Guo" in lieu of "Korea" since the Chinese title most closely resembles the South Korean National title "Dae Han Min Kok"?

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I told a colleague about this and she was totally surprised (seems that this is not widely reported or noticed in Hong Kong). She asked me what the two characters of the new name were, and I told her - 首都的首,爾虞我詐的爾。 :mrgreen:

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Chinese and Korean are two totally different languages, why should Koreans still imitate Chinese ancient pronunciation for placenames, especially for foreign placenames?

the problem is, it's not Korean imitating chinese pronunciation, did they change the Korean name of the city? it's they forced CHINESE to change how CHINESE to call them, isnt it a little bit ridiculous? I'm afraid how chinese translating a foreign city name depending on Chinese willing, but not that city's willing. if this is internatinoal trend, then tomorrow New York city feels 纽约 is terrible, would they force chinese to call them 牛腰 or whatever? or they 一气之下, 索性change their english name to New Amsterdam, just for preventing chinese calling them 纽约, isnt this funny?

P.S. thank you gato for your kindly explanation! :lol:

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The problem is 漢城 is a widely known and recognized name. When I told my mom, "漢城轉咗名喎。” she said, "漢城好出名咖喎。“ I said, ”而家转咗叫首尔。“ my mom said, "转咗咪冇人识佢啰。“

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The problem is 漢城 is a widely known and recognized name. When I told my mom, "漢城轉咗名喎。” she said, "漢城好出名咖喎。“ I said, ”而家转咗叫首尔。“ my mom said, "转咗咪冇人识佢啰。"

是啊, 草率!

this sounds to me so much like the argument of if the -ese in noun "Chinese" means Chinese inferior, some idiots even suggest Chinese should change their ENGLISH name as Chinian or whatever.

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But why does he care what Chinese call Seoul in Chinese?

Kind of a weird question to ask considering how obsessed the Chinese are with what their stuff is called outside of China, no?

But my real question, considering Seoul's efforts, is when is the US going to tell Taiwan and China to stop calling the US Secretary of State 國務卿 (along with the accompanying misunderstanding of the SoS' job description), and start calling her/him what they are which is 外交部長?

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Yonglan:

In Chinese vocabulary, it reserves the best terms for US-related stuff.

For instance, Chinese call US the "beautiful country" (美國) while Japanese only consider US a country that grows rice (米国)

Moreover, Chinese think the greenback are as valuable as gold (美金) while all the other dollars (i.e. Australian Dollar, Singapore Dollar,...etc) do not have such honorable label (Hmmm......But if US$ keeps on its falling track, then there may be a name change) :-?

Moreover, Chinese thinks that Washington D.C. (華盛頓) is prosperous (華) and thriving (盛).

But when Chinese think of London (倫敦), they just think of dull sex (敦倫) :conf

So Americans got the best deal and you shouldn't complain :lol:

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Ian Lee, and everyone, allow me to post the joke in Chinese here. Some of you might have read it. But it's very entertaining and fits the topic perfectly. :D

  首先,咱把美国译成“屙麦粒颗(America),绝对“信达”,尽管有点儿不“雅”。但让人一听这地方,不是荒蛮僻壤,就是穷山恶水,吃的拉的全是种子,必然三思而后行。再看首都在哪儿?“花生屯”(Washington)?!整个儿一专业村。旁

边的州庄稼都种不好,秋收一到“麦里烂”(Maryland),所以见人矮三分,“弗及你呀”(Virginia)!人弱言善,说话倒是文诌诌的。大西边那个花生屯稍好一点儿,屯里有个“细芽图”(Seattle),听起来象是一个农业科研站。

  本人先溜出国门,餐馆打工“扭腰”(NewYork),残了,伤心哪,呼天抢地有“痞”气,“废了呆哟废丫”(Phildelphia)!简称“废城”,一听就是烂地方。人人都说西岸阳光明媚,“裸衫鸡”(LosAngeles)女人不穿衣服,就挂个下海洗澡的小兜兜。投亲奔友开开眼去吧。但客久惹人厌,“家里烦你丫”(California),家人烦你都带脏字儿,还能腆着脸不走吗?其实,到哪儿也不容易,处处是陷阱,不是“诱她”(Ulta),就是“蒙他哪”(Montana)!   兄弟我到过的地方不多,最早在“饿还饿”(Ohio)读书,那地方经常跟闹自然灾害似的,吃都吃不饱,怎么做学问?再损点儿,译成“屙还屙”,能把人吓瘫,好汉架不住三泡稀,如果没完没了,水分尽失,最后还不变成木乃伊。所以我跑啦。

  现在住的紧挨著“吃家狗”(Chicago),富起来是没指望啦,周围也怪可怖的。北有“唯死克星”(Wisconsin),南边儿抱怨“阴地暗哪”(Indiana)!这里没有太多回旋的余地,只有“一里挪”(Illinois),往东“迷痴跟”(Michigan),跟过去是湖,一迷糊就淹着,没听见正西面一声接一声地“唉噢哇”(Iowa),不是叹息,就是一惊一乍。

  还想来美国看看?咱接着再讲上海人的故事。上海人喜欢走南闯北,见多识广,到了美国,却回不去了。有学问的,对着大洋吟诗,“阿拉思家”(Alaska)!没有诗意的,只好每天“哇啦哇啦”(WalaWala),以解心忧。

  涉世未深的女孩子,从没见过这么恐怖的地方,有病没治,区分只有“得个啥死”(Texas)?遭逢歹徒,“恶砍杀”(Arkansas),遇见土匪,“砍杀死”(Kansas)!碰到强盗“非你可死”(Pheonix)!就是有幸免难,日后得中六合彩,谁不怕“富了雷打”(Florida)?既然如此,想想还是“赖死回家死”(Las。egas)的好,谁知有家难归,她们只好绝望地哭喊“阿拉爸妈”(Alabama)

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