Alternative place names?

Oscar van Vlijmen o.van.vlijmen at
Wed Sep 27 16:55:17 UTC 2000

> Jesper Nørgaard / Vietnam: Saigon vs. Ha Noi.
> David Keegel / Theory file.
> Gwillim Law / Theory file.
> Vadim Vygonets / Saigon vs. Ha Noi and Jerusalem vs. Tel Aviv.
> Paul Eggert / Jerusalem vs. Tel Aviv.
> Gwillim Law / I think it's fine to put
>   alternative place names into the comments, but I hope we'll resist making
>   frequent changes to the zone names.

One of the TZ prescriptions is:
"Use the most populous among locations in a country's time zone,
e.g. prefer `Shanghai' to `Beijing'.  Among locations with
similar populations, pick the best-known location,
e.g. prefer `Rome' to `Milan'."

The rationale of the 11 Theory prescriptions is of course:
The user has to be able to find the wanted timezone immediately.

I am NOT proposing to change the Theory rules, but I wonder: population
count, popularity, media exposure all change, a capital hardly or not. A
capital is or should be known to everybody. Haven't we all had some kind of
geography lessons, years or decades ago?

If in a TZ application the end user is able to see the commented alternative
names, then in some cases alternatives should be mentioned in the data
If not, mentioning alternatives still could be useful to the developers of
Windows, Macintosh and web derivatives of the TZ application.

> Paul Eggert, Vadim Vygonets, Antoine Leca / China: Chongqing
A recurring problem is that people inside and outside of China don't like
the official pinyin transliteration. Most professional map makers however
use pinyin.
Officially (Peking University course) the q- sound is an aspirated voiceless
affricate, with j- the unaspirated voiceless counterpart. In practice j-
sounds more like the (voiced!) g- in English genuine and q- more like the
ch- in English chew. How Chongqing is pronounced in Chongqing I do not know.
What I do know is that Chongqing is the official pinyin transliteration.
Chung is a British transliteration (Wade, 1867), indeed: tch'ong is the
French EFEO (1902) transliteration, but k'ing is the French transliteration
for pinyin qing, whereas ch'ing would be the British transliteration.
I'll vote for pinyin Chongqing.

> Antoine Leca / Cambodia: Phnum Penh
There is a (Unicode) "Proposal for encoding the Khmer script", by Maurice
Bauhahn, a proposal to ISO-IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2. This is not a Romanization
proposal, but in this document I found a reference to:
American Library Association - Library of Congress romanization tables:
transliteration schemes for non-Roman scripts approved by the Library of
Congress and the American Library Association, Randall K. Barry, ed. 1997,
isbn 0844409405. Who has access to these tables?
See also the ISO/TC46/SC2 working groups for international transliteration
standards (
I suggest: Phnom_Penh as zone name, Phnum Penh in comment.

> Gwillim Law / Do not change established names unless they become ambiguous or
>   shockingly incorrect.
Yes, but established by whom? And what would you call shockingly incorrect?
To some people it's shockingly incorrect to say Kirgizstan instead of
Kyrgyzstan, but a certain influential publication or whoever 'established'
an alternative transliteration. Where to draw the line?
> Vadim Vygonets / Kirgizstan
BTW: Kyrgyz is not a Russian (Slavonic) language, but a Turkic language, and
-i- and -y- indeed do sound different.

> Paul Eggert / Hong Kong, Macao, Harbin, Urumqi, Kashgar.
I'll vote for these as zone names; one could put more or less common or
official alternatives in comments. Alternatives to Kashgar: Kaxgar, Kashi.

Oscar van Vlijmen

More information about the tz mailing list