Re: Decimal separator with more than one character?

From: Allen Haaheim (
Date: Sun May 18 2003 - 20:59:36 EDT

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: character groupings in various languages"

    From: "Philippe Verdy" <>

    >I know that at some time, China made a request that the >correct way to
    write China and Chinese in English should be >Zhina and Zhinese (according
    to the official Pynin(?) >phonetic transliteration of Han to the Latin

    I think it was likely "Zhongguo," the Pinyin spelling for "China" in
    Mandarin; and "Zhongwen," one of several designations for Chinese. I've
    never heard of "Zhina" or "Zhinese."

    As for "China," scholars think it may be derived from "Qin" (pron. "Cheen"),
    the state that gradually won out over several others to establish the first
    unified empire in 221 BC. Imports of Ming porcelain--"china"--into Europe
    might have helped this name stick. "Cathay," another word for China, comes
    from "Khitan" (Qidan), the "Tartars" who happened to be the
    imperial power from about AD 900 to 1100. I hear modern Russian uses some
    form of "Cathay" for China.

    >China made other successful requests for Pékin, the traditional French name
    >(now written Beijing both in French and English, despite everybody
    >continues to say "Pékin" in French and few people would >associate it to
    Beijing), Canton (now Guandong ? I'm not >even sure of the official French
    >orthograph as everybody says "Canton")...

    It's still "Pekin" ペキン in Japanese too. At least up to a couple of years
    ago, Peking University had not stopped calling itself Peking University. In
    North America some kind of urge to exoticize the word "Beijing" has resulted
    in us pronouncing the "j" in "jing" as the initial sound of "genre," rather
    than that of "jingle," as it is pronounced in Mandarin. Canton city is
    "Guangdong" in Chinese. I would say most English speakers here (Vancouver)
    say "Canton."

    Allen Haaheim

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