Tue, Jun 29, 2010 - Page 8 News List

[LETTER]

Names should make sense

Once again, we see more nonsense from the Taiwan Pinyin League and its pitifully small but (sadly) extremely vocal cadre of supporters (“Taipei County’s new name triggers dispute,” June 25, page 3).

League director Chang Shu-feng (張淑芬), who in a laughable irony doesn’t even spell her own name correctly in any romanization, is laboring under the misapprehension that Hanyu Pinyin is for China’s convenience.

Simplified Chinese would be for China’s convenience. The use of pinyin is for the convenience of the foreigners who have to read it (otherwise why romanize at all?) and from that perspective, the only sensible choice is the one that the vast majority of foreigners learning Chinese already study — Hanyu Pinyin.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson and mayoral candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also seems to have missed the point with her comments.

I don’t think foreigners need the meaning of the city’s name to be spelled out for us. What we need is a name that’s unambiguous.

Calling Xinbei City “New Taipei City” never seemed like a good idea given its proximity to the “old” Taipei City.

STEVEN PAINTER

Taipei

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