Monday, July 9, 2012

An Astronaut or Taikunaut? Or Writing a Telegram in Russian in Latin Letters

Almost a month ago, on June 17, the first Chinese woman astronaut was sent into space. But is she an Astronaut or a Taikunaut – a Chinese term for a space traveler ("Taikung" – "space" in Chinese)? The Chinese, it seems, are not so sure. The Chinese launch was almost 49 years after the flight of the first woman in space – the Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. Golda Meir, the Foreign Minister at the time, and always keen on women rights and achievements, sent her a congratulatory telegram. The telegram is rather peculiar – Russian written in Latin letters, due it would seem to the limits of sending telegrams in Russian. You can read it above. 

Incidentally, according to one Israeli news site, Israel Post is considering canceling its telegram service for being overly expensive and cumbersome. Sic transit gloria mundi ...

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