Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beijing (not Peking)

"Hey, wait a minute," I hear you say, "didn't Beijing use to be called Peking?"

Short answer: Yup.

Long answer: "Peking" is the Europeanization of "Beijing", which became the common name for the city until 1949, when "Beijing" became the preferred name.

Kind of how that city in Belgium in English is Brussels, not Bruxelles. Or how that Italian city is Rome, not Roma. Or the way that railroad in Monopoly is pronounced Reading, not Reading.

Further (fine, just go watch the video below), the city currently called "Beijing" has also been known as Zhongdu, Dadu, Khanbaliq, Cambuluc, Beiping and Yanjing over its 2500 year history.

"Hey, isn't this the same way Istanbul was Constantinople?"

No.

And you've missed my point entirely.

But you make a nice segue.

Yes, I spelled that correctly, I don't think you're a self-balancing transportation device.


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