> In some cases recent European history has made the spelling of
> placenames a political issue, also quite unnecessarily. IMO Germans
> have every right to say Danzig and Breslau rather than struggle with
> Gdansk and Wroclaw, respectively; and Poles have a right to say Wilno
> for Vilnius and Lwów for Lviv. The names of places, or their
> history,
> cannot be monopolised by their current "owners".

I totally agree. It's crazy when Lithuania receives protests from a Russian
diplomat because "Karaliaucius" is used instead of "Kaliningrad" in railway
A more complicated issue is personal names. "Platonas" is used in Lithuanian
for "Plato" and that won't change but, say, David Hume was spelled
"Deividas Hjumas" in Soviet times and now we switched to the awkward
"David'as Hume'as" to keep both the original spelling and Lithuanian endings
(so that we can decline the personal name). The problem is that not so many
people can read out the name correctly when it's written in the latter form.
One must be highly educated to pronounce and accent "Descartes" or
"Cervantes" (let alone Chinese names etc) properly so, eventually, everyone
pronounces names as he likes and that's ok. On the other hand, once I really
couldn't understand when one of my university lecturers, apparently having
zero knowledge of English, spoke about a Mr "Boor-keh" and it turned out to
be the name of Edmund Burke, the founder of conservatism, pronounced in the
Lithuanian way.

Juozas Rimas