Newsflash: Chinese prefer their word for it, March 25:
A survey, initiated by the China Youth Daily in association with the website sina.com.cn, found that over 80% of Chinese people are opposed to translating China’s capital city as “Peking,” favoring instead “Beijing.”
Fair enough, I suppose, though this would seem a non-issue. Aside from names like Peking Duck, Peking University and Peking Opera, which predated the creation of the pinyin system, who on earth still says Peking instead of Beijing? (Aside from the French, that is. And the Germans.) Still, I’m guessing that the survey result means 20% of Chinese people still like “Peking,” (which would be truly bizarre – I wonder if even 20% of English-speakers would use that name these days).
While it isn’t whether this means Chinese people would like “standard” Chinese names applied universally across the globe or just on the street signs in their own cities, the article’s author decides to let other unnamed “experts” speak for them: “Some experts have pointed out that “only by preserving its own cultural traditions and nationalism in international communication can a nation speak to the world in an equal voice.”
No word yet on whether New Yorkers prefer “New York” over “Niu Yue.”
A through-train casualty, April 14:
According to an analyst at Bank of China International (BOCI), a corner of the bank’s Hong Kong office is piled high with unused equipment. This equipment was brought in to cope with the expected surge in trading business as mainland individuals started trading Hong Kong stocks under the H-share through-train scheme. Premier Wen Jiabao put the brakes on the through-train in November and, based on current progress, BOCI’s equipment might be obsolete by the time the wagons start rolling.