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When did Usama become Osama, and why?

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TyeDye75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:14 AM
Original message
When did Usama become Osama, and why?
This has been annoying me for ages...why is his name spelled two different ways?.... is it a translation thing?....

June 1999.....Usama
http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

December 2001.....Osama
http://www.adl.org/terrorism_america/bin_l.asp

Was it after 9/11 that it changed?

:shrug:
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. As far as I know
it's a translation thing. The Arabic symbols are open to interpretation.

There are also multiple spellings of other Arabic leaders, the most prominent one that has a lot of spellings is Moammar Khaddafi (which is only one spelling of about a half a dozen).
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OrlandoGator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Ding Ding
It's a matter of alternative translations of Arabic words to English. Same thing happens with Chinese names.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Yes, Some Examples
Edited on Wed Mar-09-05 12:34 PM by Ravenseye
Osama / Usama...

In arabic there are three vowels that have long and short variations.

They're generally pronounced the following

Long A - Pave
Short A - Path
Long E - Deed
Short E - Dead
Long O - Dude
Short O - Dud

Osama's name begins with a Long O. While there is no 'U' in the Arabic alphabet, some english spelling variations will use U for the long O and use the 'O' for the short O. Hence Usama.

Qadafi's name is a different situation. In arabic there are a number of different consonants that just plain don't exist in English.

The start letter in his name is a hard k that's sort of gutteral sounding. It's usually repreented in english as the letter Q but it sounds closer to 'kaw'.

So the arabic word for 'ancient' is Qadim. This would be prononounced (in some dialects) like kaw-Deem but a bit more throaty.

Some papers used Kadafi just plain ignoring the different k sounds. There is a straight K in arabic, but it's a completely different letter. So some made it Khadafi....really the best way though I think is the Q. Qadafi.

*edit* In addition there are multiple D sounds, making Qadafi's name doubly difficult to spell in english *end edit*

Make sense?

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DebJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. I think the press and WH don't like the "USA + MA" look, ya know
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. That's what I heard someplace too.
It MAY have even been on the MSM, come to think of it. They didn't want the "US" anywhere near binLaden.
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TyeDye75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. I was pretty sure it was a translation issue
it just seemed pretty weird that the change came after 9/11.

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. More obfuscation. You get diffferent documents if you Google UBL
Richard Clarke still spells al-Qaida "al-Qida" GOOGLE that - refrences to lots of high quality, older USG documents come up.
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TyeDye75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yeah I noticed that
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Helps to cross-reference with known Code Names too
Edited on Wed Mar-09-05 07:21 AM by leveymg
Pick this up, very useful:

Code Names:. DECIPHERING US MILITARY PLANS, PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS IN THE 9/11 WORLD By William M. Arkin. Steerforth Press

Rots o' ruck

:hi: Hey, #500 - I'm half-way to respectability!

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TyeDye75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thanks for the tip...and congrats on the big 5-0-0
:hi:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Never much liked Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army
Prototype for all sorts of nasty pseudeo-populist Big Brothers to follow.

After the Round Heads slaughtered the Diggers, the Irish, and the Levellers, the ruined rump of the Glorious Puritan Revolution reimposed monarchy after 1650. By doing away with the real grass-roots opposition, and sharing power with the rising mercantile classes, the English Gentry and their professional army avoided the social revolutions of the next century.

Tony Blair follows right in that line of rule by deceit.

A DIGGERS BALLAD

You noble Diggers all, stand up now, stand up now,
You noble Diggers all, stand up now,
The wast land to maintain, seeing Cavaliers by name
Your digging does maintain, and persons all defame
Stand up now, stand up now.

Your houses they pull down, stand up now, stand up now,
Your houses they pull down, stand up now.
Your houses they pull down to fright your men in town
But the gentry must come down, and the poor shall wear the crown.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

- G. Winstanley


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TyeDye75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I see you read my signiture...
you're right he was a shit...

which is why I was totally dumbfounded when he made it to number 10 on the BBC 100 greatest Britons poll a couple of years ago.
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. If I remember correctly (State Dept)
Edited on Wed Mar-09-05 06:53 AM by WoodrowFan
If I remember correctly, the State Dept sets the "official" US govt spelling for names in those cases where there can be multiple spelling using the Roman alphabet. That sets the standard for government documents. US news agencies usually then use the "official" version to avoid confusion, but not all do, and of course non-US agencies may have their own spellings. I suspect in OBL's case it was just the media hadn't settled on a spelling yet. After 9-11 there was a LOT more attention paid to him so the media finally settled on a spelling.

In some cases the country or person in question may announce their official preference, such as Beijing instead of Peking.
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
10. I remember when I was a kid
and Bejing was pronounced and spelled "Peking."
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RoeBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
12. SNL had a good skit about
various spellings of Kaddaffi back in the 80's.
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