Thursday, April 15, 2021

Map Quest

Historians teach that the USA emerged from its isolationist ways when it entered World War I

Geography teachers may dispute that point.

Whenever an American media outlet wants to re-emphasize the issue, they merely find one of many studies that show a significant percentage of high school students can't locate major foreign cities or countries on a map. The inference is that, no matter what the foreign policy, the average American citizen doesn't know or doesn't care about much of the world beyond his borders.

If that's the case, I guess the average American viewer can't get any more confused when NBC follows the international 'corporate line' and promotes the Winter Olympics as being based in Torino.

Americans speak English. In their language, the name of the city is Turin.

Somewhere in the past, cultures have seen fit to customize geographic names for reasons known only to them at the time. Perhaps it was a 'pronunciation' issue or a translation matter. Whatever the origin, it's well-established. For example, the Germanic countries know the Empire of the Franks — Frankreich, in their language — is called France by those who live there. The French know their northeastern neighbors call their home country Deutschland and the English call that same country Germany, but to them, it's Allemagne.