Zum x-ten Male im Radio:

...Birma, das offiziell Myanmar heißt...
Was heißt hier "offiziell"? Was schert es mich, wie irgendwelche Asiaten ihr Land nennen? Wir sagen ja auch nicht "France" oder "Italia", oder? Eben.


pj said...

Because 'Mynmar' has political connotations, being changed from 'Burma' by the military junta. So opposition groups continue to use Burma.

But I think that there's some complication in that in Burmese the name is actually something like 'Myanmar' in the written form, and 'Burma' in the spoken form - so how that translates into German I'm not sure. I imagine 'Burma' is the common European term, I'm not entirely sure how a country gets to decide how other languages refer to it, as a British person this is something I know too well (most languages pretty much opting out of the difficulties of 'British' and the 'UK' and using 'England' and 'English').

LemmusLemmus said...

Thing is, a country does not get to decide on how other countries refer to it; it's up to the speakers of other languages. German journalists just choose to go along with every change of name, although nobody would ever get the idea of calling the country "officially" called "Italia" "Italia" - presumably because we've always said "Italien". You could call this the "change bias".

If Myanmar is the term the motherfuckers in charge use, that's another reason not to use it.