by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/06/12 00:30 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/06/11/428351.aspx
People get confused sometimes about the name of this place, but whether you call it:
According to some sites (like the U.S. Library of Congress), its official name used to be Macao when it was a Portuguese territory but after the reversion to China the official name became Macau (China : Special Administrative Region) and in conversations about it in its former territorial status the name Macau is now prefered in most contexts.
But other sources (such as the Macao SAR Government Portal) seem to prefer Macao and Macao Special Administrative Region.
At the risk of disrespecting Congress I am going to side with the actual Macao government site, and not just because they have updated more recently. :-)
Last year, while looking into what we had for East Asian collation support in Windows, I noticed a curious fact. The default system code page is 950, which is the Traditional Chinese code page, yet the collation choices were:
I figured this was a bug but it seemed odd that no one ever reported it, if it were. Hmmm, strange....
So, although I was confused I decided to see if I could find out what was going on. I talked to several native speakers and people now living in the US who were either from Macao or who had vistied there for an extended period, and learned that even though the Traditional forms are still used more often than the Simplified ones, in recent years the Simplified forms have seen more usage.
More importantly, however, people in Macao often do use a pronunication sort and it is Pinyin-esque (English is a productive language, so I can make that word up!). Many people in Macao learn the Bopomofo pronunciations but they do not use them in their daily lives. Thus the PRC Simplified Pinyin may not be perfect but they will be closer to the order that a native speaker would expect than the Bopomfo order, even if not all of the ideographs are on the list.
I was unable to find any data on a Macao-specific Pinyin ordering, but I do know that the PRC government has expressed interest in getting Pinyin pronunciations for many more ideographs, including Traditional forms. Perhaps one of the motivations behind such a move is indeed to help support people in Hong Kong and Macao! Certainly it is the case that a Pinyin-based IME is more useful to most native speakers in Macao than a Bopomofo one would be.
Maybe something Cantonese would be most useful, but that is a story for another day....
This post brought to you by "序" (U+5e8f, a.k.a. as an ideograph meaning sequence or series)
# Ben Bryant on 14 Jun 2005 9:48 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 14 Jun 2005 11:23 AM:
# ncampos on 15 Jun 2005 8:15 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 15 Jun 2005 10:22 AM:
Alex on 22 Nov 2007 11:36 PM:
I have been asking the same question, and didn't notice you blogged about it.
Go visit the http://www.gov.mo/egi/Portal/index.htm
It is now using both spelling on the same page!
Please take a look at
(if you can read Chinese), it says the reply is official from the Macao government.
Michael S. Kaplan on 23 Nov 2007 1:13 AM:
Well, someone posting on Yahoo answers quoting what they claim is the official answer may or may not constitute proof for others, and whether any country or region has the right to decide the only way that OTHER languages would spell a word is questionable notion for any language....
Alex on 27 Nov 2007 11:41 PM:
Yes, the author only says his friend claimed to have got an official answer. OTOH, you can see on Macao's official web site that both spelling exists.
Just as much right as when PRC started to spell Peking as Beijing.
Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Nov 2007 12:28 AM:
Leaves me with flashbacks to farsi/persian and uighur/uyghur issues. :-)
Alex on 26 Mar 2008 12:46 AM:
I don't know if you read Chinese, but this article mentions an incident of Peking/Beijing, and I like the reply by the governor:
Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Mar 2008 2:39 AM:
Wow, a fascinating reversal of the way that these things have gone in China recently!
2010/11/18 Oriya vs. Odia?
2010/10/10 Korea vs. Corea
2008/03/12 Chaudhuri vs. Chaudhary?
2008/02/02 Bangalore or Bengaluru (Bengalūru)?
2007/12/03 Every character has a story #31: U+272f0 from CJK Extension B, an ideograph that proves that every rose has its thorn! (aka It wasn't my fault, but [from the Windows standpoint] it was because of me....)
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