Sit, Google, Sit

Objections in China over the name Google has chosen for itself in Mandarin. An online petition is circulating asking Google drop the name Guge. The name Guge is represented by the Chinese ideograms for harvest and song, or it can mean valley song or grain song. Chinese users of the search engine believe it has rural or traditional connotations, the opposite image the high-tech giant should be trying to cultivate.

A survey of Chinese internet users last year by the China Internet Network Information Company found that over half of the respondents failed to spell Google correctly. The search engine company is trying to counter this by pairing its English name with the Chinese name.

Some have suggested that Google be known as gougou, or dog dog. A suggestion that Google flatly rejects. Others suggest the English-Chinese blend Good gou, or good dog, in acknowledgement of Google’s behavior toward the Chinese government.

(Source: Straits Times, 22 & 30 April 2006)

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