Present name of BurmaCurrent name of Burma
"Burma" or "Myanmar"?
Myanmar was not mentioned by the Brits. This former English-speaking settlement was always referred to as Burma and in Burmese as Burma or mya. For the best explanations of the differences between the two, the old Hobson Jobson Dictionary is still a very useful one: despite its rather unusual name, the Hobson Jobson Dictionary:
"Mranma is the name (Burma) of the nation wide name of the Myanmar tribe, which they themselves generally use for Bamma, unless they speak with form and sensitivity. "Burma is the more common name and Myanmar is a more informal name, similar to Muang Thai and Prathet Thai in Thai.
According to the Myanmar Language Commission, if Burma was only referring to the Burmese, the Burmese and all the other nations, how could there be a "Myanmar language"? At home I have her latest Myanmar English Dictionary (1993), which also mentioned a "Myanmar Alphabet". Burma and Myanmar (and Burma and Myanmar) mean exactly the same thing, and it cannot be said that the word "Myanmar" encompasses more persons within the present EU than the name "Burma".
However, the puzzlement is old and when Burma's independent movements were founded in the 1930', there was a discussion among the young nationists about what name should be used for the country: either Bahamas or Myanmas. Nazi leaders chose to name their motion Dohbama Asiayone ("Our Burma Association") instead of Dohmyanma Asiayone.
They said the cause was that "since the founding of the Dohba, the Nazis have always looked to the unit of all the nationality of the land..... and the Thakin ( "Burmese nationalists") noticed that Burma was only the part of the land in which the Burma dwell. That'?s what the Myanmar Magi called their land.
But Bamanaingngan is not the land where only the Myanmen are. There are many different nations living in this land, such as the Kachins, Karens, Kayahs, Chins, Pa-Os, Palaungs, Mons, Myamars, Rakhines and Shans. Therefore, the Nazis did not use the word mysamanaingngan, but rather the word bayama naing-ang. That'?s the right expression.
Any nationality living in Bamanaingngan is named Bamana. "Thus the move became Dohbama Asiayone and not Dohmyanma Asiayone ("A Brief Geschichte of the Dohbama Asiayone", an formal Burmese goverment paper in Rangoon in 1976). However, in 1989 the current administration ruled that the opposite was the case and it is this opinion that many non-nationals repeat again and again.
Sadly, there is no Burmese or other terminology covering both Bama/Myanma and minority communities, as there was no such unity before the advent of the Brits. Myanmar with its present borders is a product of Britain, and the succession of Burmese sovereign regimes have handed down a messy structure that is still fighting to find a shared identities.
However, to insist that Myanmar is the whole land and in some ways a more local concept than Mumbai is silly. Rangoon is therefore a more accurate way of writing in German. In most of the Myanmar languages the old "r" tone has become extinct (although not in Arakanese and Tavoyan, both of which have a very pronounced rhythm, Rrrangoon, almost) and is replaced by a "y" tone, just as "r" often becomes "l" in Thai.
Yangon " is so infantile as if the Thais had been insisting that Ratchaburi " Latbuli " was written in English or Buriram Bulilam. In addition, there is another aspect to the recent "name changes" in Burma. Not only the name of the state and the capitol were "changed".
However, the trouble is that the initial name all have a Shan meanings; the "new" name is just Burmese version of the same name, without meanings in any of the languages. They undermine the claim that the changes were made to make them more "indigenous" and not just to reflect the Burmese people.
Speaking at the LORC's fortyth state press conference, the Information Committee spokesperson said: -- "Measures are being taken to ensure the proper use of Myanmar's terminology. As an example, our land is formally called'Pyidaung-su Myanma Naing-Ngan' and is referred to in English as the'Union of Burma'. Burma' is like the mention of'Bama'. Indeed, this does not only mean the Bama (Burmese citizens), one of the Union's ethnic groups.
Myanma " means all the Union's ethnic groups such as Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine Bama and Shan. Therefore, the use of "Burma" is wrong and "Myanma" should be used instead. Accordingly, "Union of Myanma" will be used in the near-term.