After looking into it, it's apparently quite contentious. After this question I was wondering how we should tag them. , or both? Synonyms probably, but which would be master? Thoughts?


IATA calls it Myanmar (scroll down the list). So perhaps we should adopt the 'travel industry-standard' and call it Myanmar?

EDIT: The official name with the United Nations is Myanmar too.

  • As I posted in either the question on georgia vs georgia-country or the one on what macedonia should be used for, I'm against blindly following anyone. Every organization made its own compromises without blindly following some other organization. I'll call it Myanmar if the people there ask me to call it that, at least across some spectrum of its multi-ethnic population. Jan 23 '13 at 20:48

According to Wikipedia, the official name is Myanmar:

The country's official full name is the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

If this is true, I would vote to make Myanmar the master tag.

  • Really? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma has the first line saying "also known as...".
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 14 '13 at 19:59
  • "Some countries, however, have not recognized this name and use the long form Union of Burma instead.". So it's controversial? :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 14 '13 at 20:01
  • It was officially named so by an unpopular communist thug government. Most places like Wikipedia and Lonely Planet kept calling it Burma, usually with Myanmar in parentheses. I know the country is opening up now and the thugs might not be calling all the shots anymore. In such case we could go with whatever the people of the country prefer. I would defer to Aung San Suu Kyi. (In any case it apparently just boils down to different romanizations of the same Burmese word.) Jan 15 '13 at 5:33
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    @hippietrail I don't think the Burma government is claimed by anybody to be communist by any definition; not since 1988, see e.g. here and here.
    – gerrit
    Jan 15 '13 at 13:28
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    Well it seems there have been multiple unpopular thug governments. It's hard to keep clear which changed the English name and which was communist. Either way Aung San Suu Kyi's party, National League for Democracy currently uses "Burma" in both its homepage URL and banner: nldburma.org Jan 16 '13 at 13:55

I vote for . Although the official name is , there are many reasons to choose instead. Discussion on the topic can be found here on Wikipedia. Wikipedia itself settled for Burma after a lengthy discussion, and so do various major news outlets. It mostly boils down to the question if the military governments decision to change the name should be considered legitimate or not.

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    I do not agree. If we can elaborate that one of the names is the official name (which seems to be controversial), we should used it. Jan 14 '13 at 20:03
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    Which of the two official names for Taiwan should we use? Should we use the pinyin of the Chinese name instead of Tibet? A romanization of the Hebrew pronunciation of Palestine? In my book all people have the right to self-identify and I couldn't give a poo what their official rulers-of-the-day have to say about it. Jan 15 '13 at 5:36
  • @hippietrail I understand your attitude, but then we have 10000 different names for each country. Jan 15 '13 at 8:15
  • @RoflcoptrException: Until you reveal the source of your statistics I believe we have fewer than that (-; Whatever the number we need to choose one for each, so we should be both consistent and mindful in how we choose each one. Jan 15 '13 at 8:21
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    Personal empirical research ;) Jan 15 '13 at 8:27
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    +1 Editors at Wikipedia have given this a lot of thought, specifically from the perspective of what's a neutral name to use in English, and I'd tend to align with their decision.
    – Jonik
    Jan 15 '13 at 16:04

I don't know if it's a good idea, but we can also make a tag with both names: or .

  • I voted this down, but after some thought I'm no longer as against this as I was. Can't undo or reverse my vote though )-: ... Jan 23 '13 at 20:50
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    @hippietrail: Now you can :-) Jan 24 '13 at 7:24
  • The reason I didn't like it was because it looks like a double-barelled two-part name. The reason I like it now is because this is all Stack Exchange tags will let you do when you want to make a tag that says burma (myanmar). Maybe we can ask for an extension on allowable tag characters? Jan 25 '13 at 9:05
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    I'd encourage you to consider a tag with both. The goal is always to help the most people find good answers, and in this case, we should recognize that some people will be searching for one or the other name.
    – Jaydles
    Jan 25 '13 at 13:12
  • @Jaydles: Good point. We could argue that with the two merged as synonyms of the same tag that the tag completion system would find the right tag for everybody anyway, but with the two actually in the tag it will be more apparent. Jan 26 '13 at 4:53

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