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This may sound offlandish - but I want to throw support behind the idea of
spelling proper names in close accord to their actual names' pronunciation.
The English spelling/pronunciation "Prague" would redirect to "Praha"
actual name of the place. This is not something that should simply be left
to stand along English lines.
The idea of keeping English consistent is valid -- the proper spelling of
English words means that all who read that word can interpret it to a
reasonable degree of similarity - albeit in their own accents. (Dan and I
have been talking at length about this). Proper English spelling then is
generally important because it provides an anchor for the word - which is
used by billions around the world. Similar to Han characters, which can be
read consistenly by peoples who can barely say hello to each other.
Hence this is also a good reason also to name proper names according to
their proper pronunciation. Proper names have long undergone a normal
Anglicization when translated to English. Attempts in different aread have
been made to reform this -- the Hepburn system given way to the pinyin,
being an example -- We do it here already too: [[The Chang Jiang]] article
redirects from Yangtze - perhaps in tune with the proper name of the
Yangtze - I dont know for certain -- but this edit was done by a
ZhongGuo-pedian, and not an Anglo-pedian - hence deference in Chinese
matters would naturally goes to the guy/gal who is actually Chinese. Im not
going to give Erik any lectures about travel in Deutchland.
A part of the reason why the En.Wikipedia has far more traffic than all of
the other languages combined. (Internet access issues, WP founded by
English speakers, etc.) is that English itself, being the world lingua
franca - tends to attract people to it - simply because of the numbers.
There is no reason why a foreign speaker, even with poor English skills,
should feel like they are unwelcome - (as long as they can take
correction - but thats attitude -related) - nor should they need to
excercise some kind of compartmentalized way of thinking about their
articles - certainly integrated language tools -implementation might
someday speed up the process of making more articles avaliable.
In fact - what it looks like to me is that the En wikipedia will be the
major component in a world language wikipedia - that allows for all kinds of
cross-textual content. To separate these out by language makes some sense -
for sake of non-confusion, but I submit that these other variants represent
rifts between English and these other languages - and hence the willingness
of people to use them. Perhaps a WorldPedia where only a few of the major
languages are allowed would fit the bill to start.
Naturally grammatical errors will come up, and this is just the price to be
paid for being the common tongue. There will always be a struggle between
the forces of ethnoconvergence and ethnostasis - both of which see each
other as being 'diverent' and 'destructive' - according to their
value systems. The one reveres multiculturalism, while the other reveres
only its own.
All that said, I'd just like to see Prague redirect to "Praha" -(etc) let
"Prague" be recorded as a depricated way of naming the capital city of
Czechlosovakia. Proper names, at least we can all agree - belong to the
denzens of those cities, and not to people elsewhere. Why depricated?
Because I play go, chat, etc, with people from Czechlosovakia (for example)
. Not something that was a reality as little as a decade ago.