LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for AUXLANG Archives


AUXLANG Archives

AUXLANG Archives


AUXLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

AUXLANG Home

AUXLANG Home

AUXLANG  January 2010, Week 5

AUXLANG January 2010, Week 5

Subject:

Proper names [WAS: Mein Eingriff in eine Esperanto-Sendung]

From:

Geoffrey King <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

International Auxiliary Languages <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 30 Jan 2010 17:08:20 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (42 lines)

lingwadeplaneta wrote:
> It seems that the biggest problem of Esperanto now is the way it treats proper names. Browsing through Eo wikipedia, one notices that there is no system in rendering proper names. Some recieve -o at the end, like Pekino, others don't. Some change -a to -o, others don't, yet some others change -a to -ao (e.g. the river Oka is called Okao, but the river Volga is called Volgo). The names originally ending in -a are especially chaotic (some still write "Volga"). One of the reasons why a standalone modifying particle is better than an ending. 
Lots of things in Esperanto have stayed the same for decades, but the 
approach to proper names seems to have changed.
The "classic" approach esperantized names either from the pronunciation 
(Shakespeare -> Ŝekspiro) or from the [European] spelling (e.g. 
"Pekino"). Commonly-used names have retained these forms.
But in recent years there has been a tendency (also occurring in 
English) to use "official" or "international" forms or transcriptions of 
names. In English "Peking" has given way to "Beijing"; and the names of 
many towns and cities in India are getting more "authentic" 
English-language forms.
This is happening in Esperanto as well. Sometimes it is quite orderly, 
as with "Hindujo" becoming "Barato". Other times it is messy. For 
example, names of Chinese places and people increasingly come in the 
"official" transcription, which is perhaps more recognizable (more 
standardised) in writing, but gives you little clue to the pronunciation 
unless you make a particular study of it.
Names normally written in Cyrillic transfer much more easily into the 
Esperanto alphabet (better than into English) because Esperanto has most 
of the necessary phonemes. Consequently there is less tendency to use 
"international" transcriptions. If you put names into the Esperanto 
alphabet, you might as well go the whole hog and put the -o on as well. 
Using Esperanto spelling but not Esperanto endings would be seen by most 
people as an error, or at least a missed opportunity.
Wikipedia, mentioned by somebody, is certainly the best place to look in 
if you are in search of wayward Esperanto. Remember it is more or less 
unmoderated; periodicals and web-pages that have an editor and a house 
style will in general be consistent. Even so it is certainly true that 
there is inconsistency as to which names are Esperantised and which are 
not. In general, the more often names are mentioned, the more likely 
they are to be assimilated. Esperanto's aversion to homophones also 
helps; if "Wien" in Austria becomes "Vieno", then "Vienne" in France is 
best left as is. "Londono" is by default assumed to be in England rather 
than Ontario.
Volapük had, I think, a special marker to introduce "foreign" words, in 
particular unassimilated names, and something of the kind has been 
proposed for Esperato. It hasn't caught on, but if people feel the need 
it is still there and available.

Geoffrey King

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options