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"friendlies" No Longer Friendly


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Seems our Beijing buddies have had a name change:

BEIJING, Oct 16, 2006 (AFP) - Beijing Olympic organizers have changed the English name of the mascots for the 2008 Games after people complained it was too hard to pronounce, China's official media reported.

The five mascot, which resemble cuddly teddy bears, were dubbed the 'Five Friendlies' in English when they were unveiled a year ago.

But the name was too hard to pronounce and too easy to misunderstand, according to Xinhua news agency, citing a Beijing newspaper report.

Beijing Games organizers told AFP that from now on the dolls would be known in English as ``fuwa'', a Chinese word that translates as blessed or happy children.

The five dolls represented four of China's most popular animals -- the fish, the panda, the Tibetan antelope and the swallow -- as well as the Olympic flame.

They were intended to symbolize China's welcome to the children of the world for the Games, according to the Olympic organizing committee.

A spokesman for the Olympic organizing committee, Sun Weide, confirmed the name change to AFP but said it was designed to give more appeal to the mascots.

``Fuwa reads more smoothly,'' said Sun. ``I think the change of name will help popularize the mascots.''

AFP

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Not so new...they were knowed also as Fuwa. Anyway i think the name change will make it more easy to pronounce to the occident.

I don't know about easier to pronounce _ none of us occidentals have problems saying "Friendlies" _ but I guess it makes them sound more Chinese at least.

I wonder if this is all related to the recent Beijing campaign against "Chinglish"

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Frankly, I always preferred Peking. Beijing Duck doesn't sound as exotic, and certainly the Pekingese breed of dog hasn't been referred to as Beijingese. Besides, one of my favorite movies is 55 DAYS AT PEKING -- not Beijing!!

I'm with you all the way on that.

I think in French it's still called Pekin. I'm not sure about other languages.

And I still refuse to call Bombay Mumbai, Madras Chennai, Calcutta Kolkata etc.

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And I still refuse to call Bombay Mumbai, Madras Chennai, Calcutta Kolkata etc.

Oh, Chennai - right. Last Sunday on AMAZING RACE, they had the conestants race to "Chennai," and I know I had encountered it here in our "Identify the Cities" threads, but failed to realize that that was the old Madras -- even thought "Madras" got mentioned.

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  • 1 year later...
I'm with you all the way on that.

I think in French it's still called Pekin. I'm not sure about other languages.

And I still refuse to call Bombay Mumbai, Madras Chennai, Calcutta Kolkata etc.

Well Kolkata is just the better spelling for the more correct pronunciation, Mumbai is a more historical name but I have no idea about Chennai.

Also South Africa tried to get people to refer to Pretoria as Tshwane a couple of years ago but it never took.

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Well Kolkata is just the better spelling for the more correct pronunciation, Mumbai is a more historical name but I have no idea about Chennai.

Also South Africa tried to get people to refer to Pretoria as Tshwane a couple of years ago but it never took.

I remember a few years back, there was a propsal to change Sydney's name to whatever the aboriginals called it (Eora, I think). Thank God that proposition never flew anywhere!

It's interesting that recently, in coverage over the cyclone, most of the press here still refer to "Burma". I guess "Myanmar" never really took hold.

Edited by Sir Roltel
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I remember a few years back, there was a propsal to change Sydney's name to whatever the aboriginals called it (Eora, I think). Thank God that proposition never flew anywhere!

It's interesting that recently, in coverage over the cyclone, most of the press here still refer to "Burma". I guess "Myanmar" never really took hold.

It takes time, Siam is now Thailand and Ceylon is now Sri Lanka

Though our countries only officially accept Burma as the name of the country.

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It takes time, Siam is now Thailand and Ceylon is now Sri Lanka

Though our countries only officially accept Burma as the name of the country.

Well, let's ditch "Germany" and go back to the "Holy Roman Empire", I say!

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I remember a few years back, there was a propsal to change Sydney's name to whatever the aboriginals called it (Eora, I think). Thank God that proposition never flew anywhere!

It's interesting that recently, in coverage over the cyclone, most of the press here still refer to "Burma". I guess "Myanmar" never really took hold.

Well, the one that never really took hold -- andif course, most ironic since it all started there. The Greeks have never been able to change their country designation to HELLAS in the IOC -- even with the 2004 Games when it would've been a great opportunity to!!

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