When writing code we spend a lot of time standardising things. Language specifications mainly. General syntax. API’s. Data Formats. The Web. We standardise all manner of things to make it more convenient for anyone from anywhere to make things that everyone can use.
Being so used to all these standards, I was quite surprised when I suddenly realised, that we don’t standardise Country names.
Think about it, in English, the country Germany is named, well, Germany. In German, it’s called Deutschland, in French it’s called Allemagne, in Danish it’s called Tyskland - and these are all countries that are next door! I haven’t even begun to look-up what German is in Arabic or Chinese.
So who’s correct? Well, the name that the country gave itself of-course!
Quite frankly, it puzzels me why anyone would even go to the extent of creating a different names from the ones they were given. I can just imagine the conversation:
“hello!, where are you from?”
“I am from español.”“Oh really? Ah yes, I see….
Well sorry old boy, español doesn’t really have a very British ring to it, how about we call you… hmmm, Spanish?Yes you look like a Spanishy sort of a fellow. Now on to the next, where are you from… Éire?… hmmmm
Anyway, I’m sure each of these names have a long established tradition and reason behind them, not just arbitrary like I suggest, but really, doesn’t this ring of complexity for complexities sake? Can’t we go about tidying up the languages we use the most?