Vocabulary Creation?!?

Posted by epdiv on 18:10 7/2/02

In reply to: Vocabulary Creation?!? posted by Matt on 17:01 7/1/02

When making maps as a kid, I found myself making scores of names that all sounded the same... they all had a CVCVC pattern. I try to add more variety now: names like Ete”a Mitano, Cterano, Jinayzu, Kulapman, Uytai, Sitfi, Nouaseuae, Palthuknen sound like they come from different languages.

On Earth all the continent names basically "sound" the same (America, Africa, Australia, etc.). Why isn't this so on Almea? Is it that each continent or country gets to keep its own name on every map? Do the Verdurians or Kebreni have a different name for Uytaians (Sitfians, Nouaseuaeans, etc.), or do they recognize their real name? I find this interesting because our word for "China" looks nothing like the Chinese word for China "Zhonguo." (I have no idea how we named it China), Same with "Japan" and "Nippon."

Mark responds:

Oh, Almean toponyms are just as varied as ours. For instance, Xurno is called Ahuenai in Verdurian; in Xurnásh, Verduria is called Berdura. Gurdago is called Guchidak in Tzuro. Lake Bérunor is called Metheru in Kebreni. The Eärdur river was the Isre:ica to the Cuzeians. It's just that I try to choose one name when writing in English-- generally the name used by the dominant local culture.

China, curiously, is usually named for a dynasty... not the same one, either. Our word comes from the Qín dynasty, which first unified China. The Northern Chinese refer to themselves as Hàn after the next dynasty. The Southern Chinese, I'm told, call themselves the Tong, after the later Táng dynasty. Zhongguôo of course means 'middle kingdom', a purely abstract term.

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