This/next year the Day of Divergence is on a weekend. So Happy New Zealand!
[The word "mandarin"] encapsulates an entire colonial history. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to reach China. Traders and missionaries followed, settling into Macau on land leased from China's Ming dynasty rulers. The Portuguese called the Ming officials they met mandarim, which comes from menteri in Malay and, before that, mantrī in Sanskrit, both of which mean "minister" or "counselor." It makes sense that Portuguese would borrow from Malay; they were simultaneously colonizing Malacca on the Malay peninsula.For centuries, Europeans' impressions of China filtered largely through the Portuguese. [...] From the vantage-point of English speakers, many of the exonyms for non-European places and languages come filtered through the languages of former colonial powers. Bombay and Ceylon, for example, also come from the Portuguese, whose empire once sprawled through Asia.
Okay. The thing to do about O is probably - breathe.
But what is the empty space under Al? Should we do something about that too?
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