From: Abubakr on
On May 30, 10:46 pm, Alessandro Riolo <alessandro.ri...(a)>
> On 29 May, 15:02, Abubakr <deltara...(a)> wrote:
> > In Dari:
> If you transliterate from Dari in Latin (or in standard Italian)
> instead than on English (i.e. ee becomes i, ou u, aa a, oo o, and so
> on), you'll see they may look more familiar (i.e. Eetaalyaa -> Italia,
> Mekseek -> Meksik).

Indeed. Latins and their modern successors had this alphabet down pat.
The English, let's just say, made it less than optimal. ;)

However, in Dari the "a"s in Italia is long (like a South African
English "a" in the word "half"), where as in Italian they are

From: Bruce D. Scott on
jvazquez(a) wrote:
: On 29 mayo, 20:21, Abubakr <deltara...(a)> wrote:
: > On May 30, 6:24=A0am, Chagney Hunt <ess...(a)> wrote:
: >
: > > Ironically the name China might not have been picked by the Chinese
: > > themselves. It probably came from "Jin", a dynasty established by
: > > nomads coming from from Manchuria who conquered and ruled most of
: > > northern China for over a century before they themselves got swallowed
: > > up by the Mongols.
: >
: > No, it is older than that. China has been known as "Cheen" in Persian
: > since at least late antiquity and the English word seems to be a
: > corruption of the Persian.

: China was named "el Reino de Catay" (The kingdom of Catay) a long time
: ago.

As Abubakr noted, our word Cathay actually comes from Khitai, one of the
steppe empires attending to the breakup of the Sung Dynasty. The
Chinese called it Laio so in some texts from about 50 years ago you see
it labelled Laio (Khitai). This Khitai is also the name for China in
Russian. I guess it matters when and from which direction you get
conquered :-) El Reino de Catay and Cathay and other such formulations
from Europe undoubtedly come from Marco Polo.

Abubakr noted a connection to Khotan. This I never heard before. Is it
true? Khitai and Khotan are quite separated in distance.

Great reading on the steppe empires is of course _Empires of the
Steppes_ by Rene Grousset, for many years the classic in English even
though it was translated from the French.


drift wave turbulence:
From: Clément on
On May 29, 11:33 am, Lleo wrote:
> On 29 maio, 08:21, jvazq...(a) wrote:
> > (This is not a sophisticated, nor un-sophisticated, nor any kind of
> > competition. You only get some general culture ;-)
> Em português:
> Coréia do Sul / República da Coréia

Not wanting to be pedantic, just adding a little as we trade info on
our respective languages, the diacritic in Coréia has been dropped
since January 1st 2009, making it now just Coreia. (Words with "ei" or
"oi" in a stressed penultimate syllable do not get an acute accent


Luiz Mello
From: Clément on
On May 29, 8:15 pm, jvazq...(a) wrote:
> On 29 mayo, 18:45, Futbolmetrix wrote:
> > On May 29, 9:44 pm, Lleo wrote:
> > > > > Itália
> > > > Ý
> > Apologies to Elfenbeinkust, but this easily wins the Tyskland award!
> > D
> Yup. My vote to Ý.

Oh, most definitely.


Luiz Mello
From: Clément on
On May 30, 12:41 am, Lleo wrote:
> On 29 maio, 20:01, jvazq...(a) wrote:
> > On 29 mayo, 10:33, Lleo <lleo...(a)> wrote:
> > > Em português:
> > Camerun
> > > Camarões
> > It sound like "shrimp" in Spanish.
> > What is the name of "shrimp" in Portuguese?
> In Portuguese, Shrimp = Camarão. Its plural is "Camarões". So,
> "República dos Camarões" could be mistakenly translated as "Republic
> of Shrimps" :-)

According to Wikipedia, this is exactly where the name comes from:

"Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472. They noted an abundance
of prawns and crayfish in the Wouri River and named it Rio dos
Camarões, Portuguese for "River of Shrimp", and the phrase from which
Cameroon is derived."


Luiz Mello