Talk:Burma/Myanmar

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Renaming[edit]

(conversation moved from Talk:Burma)

I think a renaming to Myanmar should be discussed soon. The name seems to have growing international acceptance, including in the media such as the BBC. AusLondonder (talk) 17:10, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

As someone who opposed the last move request, I do recognise that the BBC has gradually shifted to "Myanmar" over the last year or so (incidentally, I think this is not unconnected to the fact that it struck a content distribution deal with the Burmanyan authorities last year) is significant, and a new discussion may be warranted. However, while the BBC is obviously highly influential, it is still pretty much on its own in terms of British usage. A new discussion now would probably be as fraught as previous ones and may end up with no change. If we were to wait to see if the BBC's lead is taken up elsewhere (I personally think this won't take too long), then I think it likely that the page could be moved with a decisive consensus and not much fuss. Formerip (talk) 17:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
After a quick scan of "elsewhere", it appears to me that it has already happened. I've mentioned before that in the US, the great majority of news articles and commentaries have switched to "Myanmar". Perhaps someday Wikipedia will come around as well, but I'm not holding my breath, given the small but tenacious group that inexplicably remains committed to the artificial colonial name. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 18:28, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree that it's time to reopen this, as the tide is turning on WP:COMMONNAME. Most news reports these days refer to it as something like "Myanmar (formerly Burma)" or "Myanmar (also known as Burma)". For example, a Google News search for "burma -myanmar" returns 413,000 results, while "myanmar -burma" returns 7,810,000. Anyone brave enough to open a formal RM? --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 17:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, the last few years really seems to have changed things, I think the previous debate in 2012 is now out of date. As a wikipedia user, I was shocked to look for the wikipedia page for Myanmar and find it under "Burma". Nren4237 (talk) 22:03, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Name[edit]

(conversation moved from Talk:Burma)

I feel this page should be moved to "Myanmar" or "Republic of Myanmar". "Burma" is the name that replaced "Myanmar" by the regim. What do you think? --SO2 (talk) 23:02, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

See Talk:Burma/Myanmar --regentspark (comment) 23:14, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Well then, thanks. SO2 (talk) 08:46, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh! I'm so sorry! I mixed the both names together! Myanmar is the namn that is taken in use by the regim. Sorry. SO2 (talk) 16:49, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
It’s fine to be at odds with what a regime thinks. The English language is not mandated by them. —Fitoschido [shouttrack] @ 1 June, 2015; 07:44
However, I think the tide is turning on WP:COMMONNAME. Most news reports these days refer to it as something like "Myanmar (formerly Burma)" or "Myanmar (also known as Burma)". For example, a Google News search for "burma -myanmar" returns 413,000 results, while "myanmar -burma" returns 7,810,000. --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 17:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
(from Burma talk page) Why is the title still Burma when it's officially Myanmar? The first paragraph should say that it was previously Burma, but that shouldn't be the title. 73.179.216.228 (talk) 16:08, 7 June 2015
Take a look at the conversation above, as well as previous ones in the archives, and you'll see that this has been a bone of contention for quite some time. I am amazed (as are you, apparently) that there is even a debate on this; but there is a small but adamant contingent of editors who insist on perpetuating the "Burma" title. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 20:32, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
This was a bone of contention since the article was created 12 years ago. It's been at Burma for what... 8 years now? I argued to keep it at Burma. The question would be, have things changed a great deal in those 8 years? This is an English based wikipedia. What do Canada, USA, UK and Australia officially call the country? Has that changed (because I haven't looked in a long time). Does the gov't in exile still go by Burma? Is the country still controlled by an illegitimate Junta? What do the people inside the county call it (in the recent past there were more that called it Bama than Manma). In the past discussions, the news sources in the UK, Australia and Canada were split, with the USA in favor of Myanmar... has that changed? Has past former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi changed her views on the country name? These are the questions (maybe more) that will need to be looked at in deciding whether it's worth taking a look at renaming. I admit I haven't done so in awhile. If someone does the the verifiable research on those things, and if they've substantially changed, that's when it's time to take a re-looksee at the title. Fyunck(click) (talk) 21:25, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
The country's official name has been Myanmar for 26 years. President Obama uses that name, as does the UN, presumably acknowledging that sovereign countries are entitled to call themselves whatever they wish. WP does not refer to Iran as Persia, nor Burkina Faso as Upper Volta, or Cambodia as Kampuchea, or Democratic Republic of Congo as Zaire, or Zimbabwe as Rhodesia ... and on and on. The legitimacy of the ruling junta is not supposed to be a factor here, per WP:NPOV. I don't really know what would need to change for WP to face reality. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 22:12, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Official as recognized by whom? Not the US, UK, Canada, or Australia. Countries can certainly call themselves whatever thy wish, and in English we can call them whatever we wish. Look, those items you just mentioned were debated last time, and the time before and the time before, etc. Burma was chosen as the name after listening to all the arguments. Your list of other countries were all countered in the previous debates. Didn't you read them? If so why bring the same old stuff up that is easily dismissed as "been there done that?" IF new developments have happened in the interim then certainly lets discuss them... I always listen and re-evluate if need be. But if only the same identical themes are brought forth with no new material on which to judge by, then it's not worth the time. Fyunck(click) (talk) 22:23, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I personally don't believe that any new information is necessary, since the argument for using "Burma" was never that cogent in the first place; but if you need something new, how about the fact that most American and British media now split the difference, using Myanmar on first reference, then later add a post-script that the country is "also known as Burma"? Even the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, seems to be facing reality -- she usually refers to "my country" or "our country" -- essentially, also, splitting the difference. The fact that the four governments you mentioned continue to insist on using a local name instead of an internationally acknowledged one for political and nationalistic reasons shouldn't be a determining factor here; we are supposed to be neutral. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 01:59, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well you'd be 100% wrong on your first point then, since most people disagreed with you. As for the rest, American media split the difference before so nothing new there, however UK did not, being almost completely in the Burma camp media-wise. So if that can be shown in sources to be 50/50, that would be something new and worthy added to the table. If the opposition leader has been calling the country Myanmar, that would also be new and worthy information. Again it would need to be verified. But you'd be wrong to say that the major English speaking countries gov'ts don't matter in what they officially call the country, or that what the locals call themselves doesn't matter... it all matters. We look at everything just as we did in other discussions. We didn't leave things out. Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:19, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

The fact that people disagreed with me doesn't necessarily mean that their argument was cogent (fallacy of Appeal to Popularity). And where did I say that it didn't matter? I said it shouldn't be the determining factor. Everything should be considered, as you said. Such as general acknowledgement by the rest of the world. But again, this is fruitless. I'm not even sure why I bothered to weigh in again. Be my guest, leave it the way it is. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 07:09, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
How is the usage of "Myanmar (also known as Burma)" an argument in favor of Myanmar? If anything, the fact that the name Burma is being used to clarify the meaning would seem to argue in favor of using Burma. --Khajidha (talk) 12:53, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
The transition isn't complete if the nation is referred to in recent sources as "Myanmar (also known as Burma)". Sri Lanka is never called "Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)" or "Sri Lanka (also known as Ceylon)". Likewise with Iran/Persia. The country which is in the most similar position to Burma/Myanmar is Ivory Coast/Côte d'Ivoire where both names are sometimes used interchangeably within the one article. See [1] for example. Gizza (t)(c) 09:51, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

western imperialism should not be impose on the world Myanmar is Myanmar[edit]

Myanmar is call Myanmar in english by the United Nations. Obama addresses the country as Myanmar. under what logic is there for a handful of country to hijack and call something they have no ownership over? does UK even dispute it is not called Myanmar? are you going to meet a Myanmar citizen and argue with him that he is a Burmese and he is not from Myanmar? really?

Yes, I would. Why? Because that is the English word for his nationality and the English word for his country. Just as I use the English words for EVERYTHING else I talk about. Whether countries, shapes, colors, animals, emotions, food, or anything else. --Khajidha (talk) 09:42, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
And once again, that would be an excellent argument if it were correct. Fact is, Myanmar is a direct pronunciation in English of the country’s official name, Myanma — meaning fast and strong people — just as Burma is a direct pronunciation of the native name Bamar. So Myanmar is the English name of that country as well. Try again. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 12:43, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Burma is the word that was chosen by the English speaking community, Myanmar is a word being foisted upon them by the Burmese. --Khajidha (talk) 16:10, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Is it Myanmar or Burma? Choose one.[edit]

There are more than 400 Burmas yet 150 Myanmars and the country is supposed to be called what Myanmar? Jewnited (talk) 14:26, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Please read the above talk page header regarding the naming issue. Every argument that one could possibly invent has already been discussed and re-discussed. You will find them all at the above links.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 17:28, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
And will be resuggested as long as this mess isn't dealt with. It's pointless to try to call a country by it's old name because we already know it will fall out of use. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 22:04, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to point out to all editors that once the name changes to Myanmar on wikipedia (and it will be more and more likely to do so as time goes on), this frivolous argument will be over - there won't be a re-vote to change the name back to Burma unless something else happens down the track. So I think we really should just get on with the it and save hours and hours of speculation and effort on something inevitable.Ljgua124 (talk) 23:05, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
And I don't get it. Who is even in favour of Burma, and why? The majority of arguments are overwhelmingly in support of Myanmar (higher usage, recognizability, local's choice, status quo, ambiguity...) I have searched and the only arguments for Burma I find are "No, not enough reasons to change it to Myanmar, stop arguing.. The name of the article was Myanmar until apparently either a surprise wave or cabal of activists came and rejected the country's name change. It's as unreal as calling Taiwan "China" or calling Western Sahara "Morocco" just because of politics. We don't agree with ISIS but we still acknowledge their name. Some need to realize that although this wiki is for English language only, it's not for English people only. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 16:29, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Part of that is totally wrong. Higher recognition probably lies with Burma. And locals call it Burma too. Locals also call it Myanmar. It depends on where in the country you ask. Fyunck(click) (talk) 05:58, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Couldn't agree more -- but if you've perused the considerable archives of this sub-page, you know that a small but extremely tenacious group has so far succeeded in preventing the name change. I don't get it either; the official name has been Myanmar for 26 years. President Obama uses that name, as does the UN, presumably acknowledging that sovereign countries are entitled to call themselves whatever they wish. WP does not refer to Iran as Persia, nor Burkina Faso as Upper Volta, or Cambodia as Kampuchea, or Democratic Republic of Congo as Zaire, or Zimbabwe as Rhodesia ... and on and on. The usual argument is that readers searching for the article who know the country only as Burma (all two of them, at this point) would have trouble finding it if the name were changed -- but with the usual redirect, that would not be an issue. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 18:24, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
The official name of Greece has been 'the Hellenic Republic' for 38 years, and I'm sure Obama, the UN, etc. use it for official purposes. However, on Wikipedia the article resides at Greece, as this is the overwhelmingly common English name, and 'hellenic' is just a literary word meaning 'Greek'. Similarly, 'Myanmar' is a literary word meaning 'Burma', but the latter term is the overwhelmingly common English name. Indeed, the vast majority of English-speakers have no idea how to pronounce 'Myanmar' (frequently including newsreaders, when the term is shoehorned in to supplement 'Burma'). How on earth can a term be WP:COMMONNAME if most people don't even know how to pronounce it? As for the examples of Persia, Upper Volta, etc., they are very selective. Wikipedia never called Libya 'the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya' previous to 2011, despite that's being its official name for decades. And the Wikipedia article on the Republic of China is also a redirect to its common English name at Taiwan. There is clear precedence for keeping this article at Burma, and comparing it with Iran/Persia (officially changed 90 years ago!) is spurious. 90.245.27.136 (talk) 01:04, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, my goodness; since when has pronunciation been a deal-breaker for article titles? I don't know any English speakers who have trouble pronouncing Myanmar -- and even if such people exist, surely none of them know the correct pronunciations of Łódź, Szczecin, Czestochowa, Bydgoszcz, Tungnafellsjökull, Brennisteinsfjöll, Reykjanesskagi, Úlfljótsvatn, (I could go on and on) either -- and yet the English WP uses all of those names as article titles with no argument. Your one marginally valid analogy is Taiwan, but the problem with using its correct name is the obvious confusion that would result between Republic of China and People's Republic of China. Iran/Persia actually argues against your point; since 90 years seems to be an acceptable elapsed time for you, how many more years past 26 will need to elapse before Myanmar becomes acceptable? And if you don't see the difference between the usages of "Greece" and "Berma" as popular names, it will be 90 years before we can resolve this situation successfully. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 14:43, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
What do YOU see as the difference between the usages of "Greece" and "Burma" as popular names? Why AREN'T you arguing that "Greece" should be changed to "Hellas" or the "Hellenic Republic"? And, as for Iran/Persia, I NEVER see an article in the papers or on TV or on the internet that includes the phrase "Iran, formerly known as Persia". They just say "Iran". On the other hand, virtually every article I see on Burma contains the phrase "Myanmar, formerly known as Burma". If it's been 26 years and the press still feels the need to clarify, how can you claim that Myanmar is the common name? --Khajidha (talk) 14:52, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
' Your one marginally valid analogy is Taiwan, but the problem with using its correct name is the obvious confusion that would result between Republic of China and People's Republic of China. ' Obvious confusion? Then why, pray tell, does this obvious confusion not apply, for example, in the case of the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo? The reason the ROC lives at Taiwan is because Taiwan is the WP:COMMONNAME; it has nothing to do with 'confusion', and Wikipedia is awash with similarly-titled articles about different things. All your examples of 'unpronounceable' places have no bearing on this question, as none of them has alternative, more-commonly used English names. When there is such a common English name, English Wikipedia uses it in preference to the native name; so we have articles at Munich, Vienna, Nuremberg and Brussels not München, Wien, Nürnberg and Bruxelles. En WP has an article on Mecca, not Makkah, despite the Saudi government's attempts to officially change the romanisation of the city's name, because Makkah is not the common English term, and English speakers do not simply change their terminology for a place just because a foreign government wants them to. And Wikipedia policy reflects that by saying ' Wikipedia prefers the name that is most commonly used as such names will be the most recognizable and the most natural '. Iran/Persia by no means contradicts my point: firstly, because after 90 years, Iran has indisputably become the common English name for the modern state, and secondly, the term 'Persian' has become an ethnonym that does not mean the same thing as 'Iranian'. 'Burmese', however, is the common English term to denote any citizens of the modern state which we call Burma; the corresponding ethnonym is Bamar, at which namespace it is rightly found on Wikipedia. 90.245.17.54 (talk) 02:24, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
You'll have to ask the American media why they feel that obligation (not all do, by the way), because there is really no need to wait for the entire current generation to die off before ceasing to remind people that the country used to have another name. Look through old newspapers and you'll see "Iran, formerly known as Persia" all over the place - but no one alive today remembers Iran as "Persia". Perhaps we'll have to wait a similar length of time in Myanmar's case, but I hope not. Do I really need to go through the political strategies inherent in preserving the obsolete name "Burma" which do not exist in the case of "Greece"? If so, others have done so in past discussions, multiple times; consult the archive. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 15:40, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Politics? Okay, you REALLY need to explain that. To me, the issue is simply self determination. Every language community has the right to name things (including countries) as they see fit and not have words foisted upon them by outsiders. --Khajidha (talk) 15:50, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Exactly! That's why the UN now uses Myanmar, presumably acknowledging that sovereign countries are entitled to call themselves whatever they wish. Myanmar's democracy movement clings to "Burma" because they do not accept the legitimacy of the unelected military regime, and the US and its allies naturally take the side of the democracy advocates -- although that's weakening, because Obama used the name "Myanmar" when he was there. The irony is that even the democracy movement no longer insists on not calling the country Myanmar; they just continue to challenge the legitimacy of the regime. Of course, the country will in all likelihood continue to be called Myanmar long after the regime is gone. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 16:31, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
No, not exactly. We are arguing two different things. You are arguing about the Burmese people's right to call themselves what they wish, I am arguing about the rest of the world's right to call Burma what they wish. What the Burmese call their country is of absolutely no relevance to what the English language calls their country. I don't even dispute their right to call their country Myanmar in their own language, I am arguing that it is the English language community's right to call it Burma. In other words, "sovereign countries are entitled to call themselves whatever they wish" BUT they are not entitled to force others to call them that.--Khajidha (talk) 16:58, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, you can't really believe that what a country calls itself is of "absolutely no relevance" to what WP calls it. The rest is quite true, but it's a straw man: I don't see any evidence that the present Myanmar government is seeking to "force" anyone to call it anything. And no one is arguing against your individual right to call the country "Englebert Humperdinck", if you so choose; but I think WP should call it "Myanmar", for all of the reasons -- higher international usage, name recognition, local preference, status quo, minimization of ambiguity, etc., etc. -- that have already been enumerated ad infinitum. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 23:58, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
And as I said way above, that statement is wrong. It does not have higher name recognition than Burma and it is certainly not the local preference if you mean the local population. The local population uses both bama and manma depending on who or where you ask. Fyunck(click) (talk) 00:09, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
See how futile this is? You refute one line of argument, they jump to another. Hopeless. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 02:03, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
It is futile from my pov also. I never said I was for or against keeping it at Burma. I simply implied that if you are going to try and make a point it would help if things weren't made up. The statement was corrected (when said by someone else) yet you used it again. A slip or deliberate doesn't matter at this time, it was in error and I corrected it. Fyunck(click) (talk) 03:37, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Why can't I? I said it, I meant it. WP should note what the country calls itself, but that is not the criterion for the article name. If the Myanmar government isn't trying to force this change, then why are you? I wasn't speaking of my individual right to call countries by whatever name I choose, but of the right of the English language community to choose the names it uses. Just as we use names that differ from the native form for many other countries (and cities). Your points: 1)higher international usage - in English as a first language situations? 2)name recognition - as I said before, Myanmar is often qualified while Burma can be used without reference to Myanmar 3)local preference - irrelevant for English language usage 4)status quo - seeing as the article is currently named Burma, how is Myanmar the status quo? 5)minimization of ambiguity - see my point about name recognition.--Khajidha (talk) 03:46, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Quite. It has always been Wikipedia policy to use the most common English name. So, in addition to the examples I have already given, we have East Timor, not Timor-Leste, Ivory Coast, not Côte d'Ivoire, Brunei, not Negara Brunei Darussalam; North and South Korea, not the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea, Laos, not the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Switzerland and Russia, not the Swiss Confederation and the Russian Federation, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, not Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta... And Burma, not Myanmar. The criterion here is simply what is the most commonly used and understood English name? 90.245.17.54 (talk) 05:11, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not sure why I keep beating my head on this wall -- but as someone pointed out in the other ongoing discussion over at Talk:Burma (which so far overwhelmingly supports moving the article), Google News searches for "Burma" currently return around 1,410,000 results, compared to 16,700,000 for "Myanmar", reflecting that most news media sources now prefer "Myanmar". Results for Google generally are 102 millon (Burma) vs. 343 million (Myanmar), belying your contention that Burma remains "the most commonly used and understood English name". So you can keep repeating that I'm "wrong" all you want; hard data suggests otherwise, and the general tide of WP opinion is turning against you. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 12:56, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Indeed, I couldn't agree more. As a new editor of wikipedia, I was shocked to see this page being titled "Burma", when "Myanmar" is overwhelmingly used by the general media. The article itself says that "Most English-speaking international news media officially refer to the country by the name Myanmar, including the BBC,[34] CNN,[35] Al Jazeera,[36] Reuters,[37] and RT (Russia Today)". I know you guys had a debate a few years ago about this, but I support the notion that things have changed since then. Nren4237 (talk) 22:17, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Actually if you check the main article's talk page you will see that a move request is currently ongoing. Fyunck(click) (talk) 22:20, 8 August 2015 (UTC)