Stop requiring endonyms (Was: RFC 4645bis: making 'pes' and 'prs' extlangs

Stephane Bortzmeyer bortzmeyer at
Mon Dec 8 09:50:46 CET 2008

On Fri, Dec 05, 2008 at 02:48:32PM -0800,
 Roozbeh Pournader <roozbeh at> wrote 
 a message of 38 lines which said:

> The Indians and the Chinese had been telling the world people what
> to call their cities in English for quite a while now, and the world
> is doing that

I regard this trend (requiring endonyms) as a quite stupid one.  Will
the british ask us to always write "London" instead of the exonym we
use ("Londres")? Will they send troops if we do not comply? If so, we
will ask the italians to stop calling our capital "Parigi" (the
endonym is Paris).

Worse, and more on-topic for this list, will the english-speaking
people require that we call their language "english" while we always
used "anglais"?

To me, "persan" (the french word) is an exonym, like "german"
("deutsch") or "mandarin" (don't know how to write the endonym). And
it can be used like any other exonym.

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