I'm about to leave Naples. I had a wonderful time. The total chaos of the city, the extremely warm and interesting people, the great food and the wonderful weather was just delightful. I'm sure I only scratched the surface, but I really enjoyed the Napolitan style. I only wish I could speak Italian.

I was also excited to meet all of the interesting people and the level of civil activism that could easily be sparked into an even more vibrant blogging community.

One thing that was confusing to me was that everyone says "Naples" when they're speaking in English. Why don't they say "Napoli"? Dean Martin says "Napoli", why do even the Italians say "Naples". Strange. In Japanese, we say "Napoli", "Torino" and "Milano" not, Naples, Turin and Milan.

I'm off in a few minutes for the UK. Look forward to meeting the folks there.

Special thanks to Derrick and his hosts for letting me use their place and to Giuseppe for inviting me!

19 Comments

Maybe we Italians, when speaking english, tend to overdo it a bit. Meeting you in front of a mozzarella was a real pleasure, thanks for coming to Naples, er... I mean, Napoli.

Welcome to Europe, glad you are having a wonderful time (you didn't say thanks for all the pasta!) If you're confused about Italy wait til you get here. When you fly into Heathrow you'll be landing in the UK near London in England - and staying in London, the capital city of England (one of four countries in the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) which is part of Europe. People born in England are referred to as English, Brits, British and Britons (those from London are Londoners) but not United Kingdomers. Sorry I'm not sure since when or why we changed from Great Britain to United Kingdom. We now hold Euro passports, not British passports, so I guess that makes us Europeans as well. You'll see the changes on our money especially if you take a close look at a one pound coin and fifty pence piece. Hope you have a great time in England (weather is superb at the moment) meeting up with the British European English, Welsh, Scots and Irish bloggers ;-)

Japanese messes up Holland (オランダ) for The Netherlands just like English, though.

Just a guess, but I'd say since the city was founded by Greek colonists, and the Greek name of the city is Neapolis (new city: nea being fem of neos), if you say it quickly enough it sounds like Naples.

hey we even say japan, and japanese, for nihon and the nihonjin

And you haven't seen Rome... :)

And why do the French call London, "Londres"?

"Naples" is the exonym (the word outsiders use to describe something) and "Napoli" is the endonym. I defer to the linguists in the crowd, but maybe it's another way we use language to separate "us" from "them"?

(I asked what the opposite of exonym was once, and got an answer from Adina.)

Good point. I guess we say "Japan" when we speak in English too. Interesting point of external words and internal words... but then why do we get to say "Napoli" in Japanese?

The bloggers waiting you for visit Rome....

Dixit Joi Ito:

Interesting point of external words and internal words... but then why do we get to say "Napoli" in Japanese?

Maybe because the Nihonjin are respectful of other peoples’ culture if the latter is supported by military might, and that Japan’s encounter with foreign names is fairly recent and thus unencumbered with fusty onomastic baggage ;-)

Not for the Japanese, that bizarro “Tyskland” or “Saska” with which these barbarian Swedish or Finnish hordes label Deutschland, thus. Or that Anglophone “Parissss” nonsense for the French capital, or “Florence” for Fi'RRRentse. Or the bizarre French “Mozarre” for Moootsart, or “Aix-la-Chapelle” for Aachen. Or the unfashionable German “Mailand” for MilAAAAno, or their guttural “Griechenland” for the suave Ελλας

Western civilization is but a rabble of parochial cultural imperialists and philistines, I’d say ;-)

How do say Capri? Capri pants or CA-pri the island?

Has been such a pleasure and an inspiration to meet you,Joi, in Naples.I appreciated your strong passion ,your honesty, your truly coherent civil activism,your culture and knowledge. Lots of new interesting ideas were born talking by the sea ,drinking the best wine!Hope to develop those ideas in the future with you and with our wonderful friends.CIAO.

Jio,

I hope you got a chance to take the hydrofoil over to Capri while you were in Naples. It really is such a different environment than the hustle and bustle of Naples itself.

DLee

http://www.threateningletters.com

(When a kind word just isn't enough)

Joi, thank so much for coming in Italy. It was very nice and interesting talking to you. I hope we can have more occasions to explore the emergent democracy theory...as we already started.

About naples/napoli I've another explanation. The south people (and more in general the italians) - historically - formed itself on a very open character and culture. For us the word "hosting" it'snt only a formal word but a substantive one. That's why when we meet a foreign person we try to be friendly trying to speack the language more accessible to him. Usually the english, but in our language you can find words from spanish, french, arabian and so on. So just a cultural data.

Hoping to see you soon, all my best for now. CIAO

I'd just like to point out that the Japanese read Chinese names as if they were Japanese... for example, Mao Tse Dong is "Mou taku tou" and Deng Xiao Ping is "Tou Shou Hei" (and they still call Beijing "Peking", too :) ), so it's not a matter of the Japanese being more polite about foreign names...

My guess is that the relationship between England and Italy is much older than that between Japan and Italy, and the place names have gotten "Anglicized" over the centuries (and have probably changed in Italian as well, citing the earlier comment about the greek name of the city...)

I wonder if that's why "Deutschland" is "Germany" in English and "Allemande" in French? :)

I'd just like to point out that the Japanese read Chinese names as if they were Japanese... for example, Mao Tse Dong is "Mou taku tou"

I’d just like to point out that the “real” Japanese — i.e. Yamato-kotoba/大和言葉, kun’yomi/訓読み — reading of “Mao Ze Dong”/毛沢東 would be, say, “Ke Sawa Higashi”, and certainly not “Mou taku tou” ;-)

The on’yomi/音読み pronunciations used in Japanese were often imported from the languages spoken in the South-Eastern or coastal Chinese regions, from which e.g. the Cantonese/粤, Wu/呉 or Hakka/客家 languages (dialects?) derive.

The ~3th century A.D. 三国志 mentions, in its 魏 section, an island country in the direction of the sunrise, named 倭. This indicates that relations between the continent and Japan are quite ancient.

Given the long history of on’yomi, and considering the phonetic limits of the Japanese kana syllabic system, some divergence from today’s Chinese Putonghua/普通話 is thus not surprising. You might want to check out, however, how a Cantonese-speaking person pronounces 北京 today.

I should also add that even in Mandarin/官話, “Beijing” isn’t really an exact rendition either, as the “B” is pronounced somewhat like a P/B hybrid, and “j” should sound something like “dz” or “dj”.

My guess is that the relationship between England and Italy is much older than that between Japan and Italy, and the place names have gotten "Anglicized" over the centuries (and have probably changed in Italian as well, citing the earlier comment about the greek name of the city...)

I wonder if that's why "Deutschland" is "Germany" in English and "Allemande" in French? :)

I’m not sure that “Anglicization” would be the proper term to describe how “Germany”, as a name, came into being.

A Roman general named Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of Emperor Tiberius, was posthumously awarded the title “Germanicus” for his military successes in Germania. General Drusus had two sons:

•His elder son, a popular general who died in Egypt at age 34, inherited the honorific and was called Germanicus Julius Caesar.

•The younger son became emperor Claudius after emperor Caligula was assassinated. Claudius went on to conquer a large island country in the North-West, which became known as the Roman province of Britannia, with “Londinium” as its capital. Claudius’ son was named, well, “Claudius Tiberius Germanicus Britannicus” in his honor.

As for the Frenchies, “une allemande” would generally mean “a German lady”. The country name proper is “Allemagne”, and presumably derives from the Alamans, the assertive Germanic tribe who had been a pain in the a** for a couple hundred years for the Salic Franks living in France. The Alamans were finally defeated by the Salic king Clovis in the 5th century A.D. near Köln/Cologne.

The culture of the Salic Franks — associated with the river Sala (Ijssel) — exerted some lasting influence in France. See e.g. in Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fifth:

“King: Sure we thanke you. My learned Lord, we pray you to proceed, And iustly and religiously vnfold, Why the Law Salike, that they haue in France, Or should or should not barre vs in our Clayme [..]”

It was Purtughese who first reached Japanese shore in a wrecked ship(1543). Soon later, in 1549, a Spanish minister, Francisci Xauerii, emigrated into Japan to introduce Christianity.

Thus begun the history of EURO-JAPANESE CULTURAL RELATIONS.(See also,

http://www.rc.kyushu-u.ac.jp/~michel/serv/eujap/chronology-japn01.html )

As you can see,

there was even an Italian guy who established an Academy of Astronomy in Kyoto in 1610.

More famous is the visit of a goup of Japanese young men to Rome in 1613.

So, it was not English speaking country who got the first contact with Japan, and I guess that's why...

It was Purtughese who first reached Japanese shore in a wrecked ship(1543). Soon later, in 1549, a Spanish minister, Francisci Xauerii, emigrated into Japan to introduce Christianity.

Thus begun the history of EURO-JAPANESE CULTURAL RELATIONS.(See also,

http://www.rc.kyushu-u.ac.jp/~michel/serv/eujap/chronology-japn01.html )

As you can see,

there was even an Italian guy who established an Academy of Astronomy in Kyoto in 1610.

More famous is the visit of a goup of Japanese young men to Rome in 1613.

So, it was not English speaking country who got the first contact with Japan, and I guess that's why...

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