Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2014 January 14

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January 14[edit]

Wikipedia articles in european portuguese[edit]


I'm graduated in Modern Languages and Literatures. As translator and proofreader, specifically in the field of encyclopedias and encyclopedic dictionaries, I often use Wikipedia. So, whenever I have a doubt, I very often clear it up by reading the articles in english, french, spanish or german as there is a great lack of articles in the portuguese language. On the other hand, most of them are in brazilian portuguese. All things considered, I wonder if you would envisage my cooperation in the translation of the existing articles into european portuguese. Thanks for your attention and Happy New Year. Maria Rebelo — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello, Maria. Any contribution to any Wikipedia is welcome. But this is the English Wikipedia: it is completely separate from the Portuguese Wikipedia in governance and rules. I don't know what the policies of pt Wikipedia are with regard to different varieties of Portuguese, but it is there you must ask. I suspect that pt:WP:VP might be a good place to start. --ColinFine (talk) 00:22, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Maria, as you are aware, Portuguese Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese are the same language, with some minor differences in vocabulary, grammar, and spelling (despite the orthographic accord). It makes little sense to have separate articles for these dialects, as this would lead to duplicative work and incomplete coverage. Americans, Britons, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and other English speakers manage to share a single set of articles here at the English-language Wikipedia. You also need to keep in mind that the population of Brazilians greatly outweighs the population of Portuguese, so it is little surprise that the Portuguese-language Wikipedia reflects this dialect more heavily. —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 02:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
The policy of the Portuguese Wikipedia is similar to that of the English Wikipedia in allowing articles in either version of the language. It isn't clear whether Maria proposes to translate articles from Brazilian Portuguese into European Portuguese, which is against the rules, since no translation is needed and either version of Portuguese is considered equally correct, or whether she proposes to translate articles not yet available at all in Portuguese from English, French, Spanish, or German into European Portuguese, which would be acceptable and even welcome. Marco polo (talk) 14:58, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's for the best for all versions of Portuguese to use pt. I read Andrew Lih's book which discussed the Indonesian Wikipedia and the Malay Wikipedia. Lih said that Indonesian and Malay are very similar but use separate Wikipedias anyway. WhisperToMe (talk) 07:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Is there a Burmese given name "U"?[edit]

U is a common honorific in Burmese (as in U Thant). Older editions of the Guinness Book of World Records mention this, but go on to say that U can also be a given name (literally meaning "egg"). Is this true? Do we have any articles on famous Burmese people named U? Or failing this, can anyone point me to a non-famous Burmese person whose given name (not honorific) is U? Psychonaut (talk) 21:24, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

I guess that Paw Oo Thet might be such a one, if "Oo" is another spelling of "U" (it appears to be spelt the same way in Burmese, "ဦး"), and if it is not an honorific in his name. But Burmese names says "many Burmese names use an honorific, given at some point in life, as an integral part of the name", so it might be the honorific. --ColinFine (talk) 00:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
In Burmese U is usually an honorific (though it is only equivalent to "Mr", see Burmese names), but it can be a given name in several oriental countries, though I can only find Burmese examples at the moment. According to our article, Ba U was the son of U Poe Hla and Daw Nyun, so I am guessing that makes U his given name. We also have a Thant Myint-U.--Shantavira|feed me 09:04, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure about Ba U. Normally Burmese honorifics come before the given name, though in some reference works they're written after it. For example, our article on U Nu (a.k.a. Thakin Nu) unambiguously states that U is the honorific, but Oxford Reference writes his name as "Nu Thakin U". So the U in Ba U may be the honorific. Can a Burmese speaker clarify? —Psychonaut (talk) 10:26, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd say, written like this without any punctuation or italics, "Nu Thakin U" is just plain wrong. Wikipedia would write his name "U Nu" or "Thakin U Nu"; the Library of Congress catalogue might write something like "Nu, U" or "Nu, Thakin U" . Andrew Dalby 13:01, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
If a publisher as reliable as Oxford gets Burmese names wrong, then it's possible that Wikipedia does too on occasion. (We routinely use Oxford publications as reliable sources, so some editors may simply copy names without verifying their accuracy elsewhere.) For the case of Ba U, I dug up the original edition of his autobiography My Burma: The Autobiography of a President. The frontispiece gives his name as "U Ba U" which leaves little doubt that the first U is an honorific and the second U is part of his given name. —Psychonaut (talk) 15:08, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
My guess is that what's wrong in this Oxford reference entry comes down to a design preference to use no italics or parentheses in the heading. The people writing the article probably knew exactly what they meant :)
On "U Ba U", I agree completely. Andrew Dalby 14:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Is the difference significant? One may morph into the other seamlessly. Consider names like Michael Knight or my own ("Schulze" used to be a kind of village headman). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:18, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the difference can be and usually is very significant. Consider that if you use the word "Knight" or "Schulze" to refer to an infant, there is absolutely no doubt that you are using the term as a given name, not as an honorific (or more properly as a social or political role, which is the usual literal meaning of those terms). Similarly, I'm interested in uses of U which are unambiguously not honorifics. This could be demonstrated, for example, by finding a female person with this name or a male person who carried this name from birth (since the honorific is used only for older males). —Psychonaut (talk) 11:43, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with others above that "U" is usually an honorific but can also sometimes be a part of the name. Honorifics come first, so, in a name beginning with "U", it's highly likely that "U" will be an honorific. On the other hand, if "U" comes at the end of the name, it certainly won't be, So in the case of Ba U it is part of his name. (Incidentally there's no "given name" or "surname" in usual Burmese names: children don't usually share part of their name with their parents.)
Whether "U" means "egg" is another question. Sorry, I can't do Burmese script today (the site I normally use is down) so all I can say is that the word for "egg" is spelt differently from the honorific "U", and also differently from the second element in Ba U's name, so he was definitely not called "egg" :) According to my old dictionary, the honorific "U" means literally "uncle", and that's natural enough: it's a title for someone, like an uncle, who deserves to be honoured by the speaker. But I defer to those who really know Burmese or have newer dictionaries! Andrew Dalby 12:26, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
That's right. The honorific is spelled ဦး, pronounced [ú] with the high tone; 'egg' is spelled , pronounced [ṵ] with the creaky tone. ဦး has a lot of other meanings too; anyone who's interested can go to and paste ဦး into the search box labeled "Burmese" to see them all. Incidentally, the character insertion box at English Wiktionary has Burmese characters, so you can use that until is back up and working. Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:16, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there is a Burmese given name "U" and "Oo". "U" is same as "Mr" if uses as an honorific and Burmese honorifics always come before the given name. But "U" or "Oo" can be a part of the name if it comes in the middle or at the end of the name. In Ba U, Paw Oo Thet and Thant Myint-U, it is part of their name. Some other examples are Tin Aung Myint Oo, Aung San Oo, Win Oo. Some women football players also have "Oo" as a part of their names. But there is no use of "Nu Thakin U" in Burmese. As a name, "U/Oo" does not mean "egg" and means first child. This talk page may help to understand Burmese names. PhyoWP *click 20:21, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! It seems that these names have been romanized with different systems. Is there an online tool which can automatically convert from the Burmese to the Latin script using one of the standard transliteration or transcription systems? For consistency I'd like to get them all in the same form. —Psychonaut (talk) 20:53, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, transcription of Burmese is not standardized, as seen in the varying English transcriptions of Burmese names. MLC Transcription System is used in many Burmese linguistic publications. As far as I know, there is no online tool. Dear Mr Angr and Ko Hybernator, is there any online tool which can automatically convert from the Burmese to the Latin script using one of the standard transliteration or transcription systems? Thanks. PhyoWP *click 02:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know of one. I just do it manually. Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • There are Burglish converters (from Burglish (Burmese words spelled in Latin alphabet) to Burmese) but I don't know of one that converts from Burmese to Latin. I wonder if the Library of Congress uses a Burmese converter application.
  • On the original question by Psychonaut, I'd just add that ဦး can be used in the first part of an Arakanese/Rakhine name. I'm thinking of Rakhine names like ဦးဦးသာ (Mr Oo/U Tha) and ဦးဦးခင် (Mr Oo/U Khin). (U Oo Tha's son Okka Oo Tha is a famous keyboardist/pianist in Myanmar.) But I can't think of any (modern or historical) formal Burmese/Rakhine name that includes (egg). (There's Hnin U Yaing, which is a Burmese approximation of a Mon name.) Hybernator (talk) 16:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think U should be translated as "uncle" or "Mr" - it's simply a term of respect for an older male, like in fact the word "mister" in English (originally it was "master", but calling someone "mister" doesn't really mean that they're your master). Burmese names have meanings, usually rather poetic - "handsome", "brave", that sort of thing. So you can call your kid "U" ("respected") if you want. PiCo (talk) 22:32, 18 January 2014 (UTC)