Fwd: Re: Peking/Beijing (Re: Burma/Myanmar) [bis]

From: Alain LaBontÚá (alb@sct.gouv.qc.ca)
Date: Fri Oct 08 1999 - 09:40:27 EDT

>From: "Jian Yang" <jian@olf.gouv.qc.ca>
>To: "Alain LaBontÚ" <alb@sct.gouv.qc.ca>
>Cc: "Jacques M." <melot@itn.is>, "Patrick Andries"
> "Franšois Yergeau" <yergeau@alis.com>,
> "Estelle T." <ethibaul@olf.gouv.qc.ca>,
> "Jean-Pierre CabaniÚ " <cabanie@lep-philips.fr>,
> <Bernard_CHOMBART@compuserve.com>, "Denis G." <garneau@ibm.net>
>Subject: Re: Peking/Beijing (Re: Burma/Myanmar) [bis]
>Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 02:11:47 -0400
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smtp13.bellglobal.com id CAA14845
>> >At 05:59 -0700 10/7/1999, Akerbeltz Alba wrote:
>> >>Micheal Everson sÚh:
>> >>
>> >> >For the last two, I think there's nothing wrong with us updating to
>> >> >correct pronunciations than those cogged together by civil servants of
>> >> >British Empire. Pinyin is _convenient_, and why not use it for all
>> >> >placenames in China?
>> >>
>> >>Hmph, because Mandarin is a foreign language to anybody south of the
>> >>Yellow river.

[Yßng JiÓn]
>Not quite true if one may admit that a period of nearly a thousand years
>mean something. In fact, dialects like that of Peking belong to the Northern
>dialects family, one of eight great dialect families in China. During the
>past thousand years, especially during the period of the Southern Dynasty
>Song, many people moved from the North China to the South China, bringing
>with them their dialects. Since the Dynasty Ming, there began to be a
>certain spoken form based on northern dialects and labeled "madarin speech
>(in Chinese: guan huÓ)" as it was typically spoken by mandarins (in modern
>language: civil servants). According to its regional variation (as a result
>of fusion between northern and southern dialects), it was called "northern
>mandarin", "southern mandarin", etc. That's why even in those south or
>southwest provinces like Sichuan, Yunnan and Guangxi (Han people), people
>speak dialects of the same family as in the North China (including Peking).
>There is no oral comprehension problem between people from those regions.
>Northern dialects are spoken by more than 70% of Han Chinese from North
>through to the South in the middle part of China.
>Why call "dialects" some spoken systems even if there may not be oral
>comprehension between them (like between Peking and Cantonese spoken
>systems)? Because they share the same writing script and a considerable
>quantity of vocabulary and phrases, even syntactic characteristics
>(linguistic reason), as a result of more than two thousands years of common
>developping (historical reason): for example, in our days, one can read a
>written Chinese text in pure Peking dialect prononciation or in pure
>Cantonese dialect prononciation (which is impossible, synchronically
>speaking, for French and Spanish or Italien no matter how similar they are);
>also because they have been in one country (political and cultural reasons).
>But, in the last analysis, "dialect" or "language" may both suit, depending
>on the point of view: just like one can call first white Amrericans and
>Canadians "pioneers" or "colonistes".
>Yßng JiÓn
>Admittedly "Hong Kong" is a VERY crude representation
>> >>of "Heung Gˇhng", but in any case preferred to "Xiang Gang".
>> >>Admittedly, few of the place-names actually ARE in the local
>> >>languages, but the few there are survive only in foreign languages
>> >>these days, such as Fukien/Hokkien, Hong Kong, Kwangchou, Kwangsai
>> >>etc.
>> >>On a personal note I always found it hilarious that the capital,
>> >>deep in Mandarin speaking territory, should have a phonetic
>> >>representation of I'm-not-sure-what but definitely NOT Mandarin with
>> >>the final -k and/or inital k- in PEKING; could be Cantonese Pak Ging
>> >>; )
>> [Edward]
>> >The spelling "Peking" in the Wade-Giles Romanization represents the
>> >same pronunciation in the same dialect as "Beijing" in Pinyin. They
>> >had some funny ideas about phonology back in the 19th century. The
>> >funniest example is
>> >
>> >Wade-Giles Jehol
>> >Pinyin Rehe (note d'ALB : ša se prononce ź je-he ╗ en franšais)
>> > ( [ź zha-ha ╗ en anglais])
>> >
>> >also the same pronunciation in the same dialect.

[Yßng JiÓn]
>How could it be a transliterating system if it is not so?
>> >
>> >I also find it funny that the Beijing "dialect" is called Mandarin,
>> >which is not Chinese. It is derived from a Hindi word brought in and
>> >applied by the British.

[Yßng JiÓn]
>See above: Mandarin was the translation of "guan huÓ" in Chinese.
>> >
>> >And of course, that several of the various languages of China are
>> >called "dialects", which is like calling English and Castilian
>> >(Spanish to the hoi polloi) "dialects" of Latin, or calling Catalan
>> >and Portuguese "dialects' of Castilian.

[Yßng JiÓn]
>Had there been in Europe a king as strong and cruel as the First Emperor Qin
>in China, there might be the same situation now. But that's a pure
>speculation to answer a pure abstract question.
>> >
>> >
>> >--
>> >Edward Cherlin edward.cherlin.sy.67@aya.yale.edu
>> >"It isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's
>> >what you know that ain't so."--Mark Twain, or else
>> >some other prominent 19th century humorist and wit

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