Olympic mascots no longer friendly

Organisers of the Beijing Olympics have changed the English name of the 2008 Games mascots after people complained it was too difficult to pronounce, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

    The 'Friendly Five' will now be known as 'fuwa'

    The five mascots, which represent four of China's most popular animals - a fish, a panda, a Tibetan antelope, and a swallow, along with the Olympic flame were originally called the 'Five Friendlies' in English when they were unveiled last year.

     

    However the name was too hard to pronounce and too easy to misunderstand according to China's official media, who cited a Beijing newspaper report.

     

    The five dolls would now be known in English as 'fuwa', a Chinese word that translates as blessed or happy children, Games organisers told AFP.

     

    According to the 2008 Games committee, the mascots are intended to symbolize China's welcome to the children of the world to the Games.

     

    Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Olympic organizing committee, confirmed the mascot name change to AFP but said it was designed to give more appeal to the mascots.

     

    "Fuwa reads more smoothly," said Sun.

     

    "I think the change of name will help popularise the mascots."

     

    The 2008 Olympic Games will be held in Beijing from August 8 to 24.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.