Recently, the name of the second oldest colonial city in South Africa – Port Elizabeth or PE – was changed to Gqeberha. The word mixes some of the unique linguistics of a widely spoken language known as Xhosa. And yet, as NPR’s Eyder Peralta reports, many South Africans are struggling to pronounce the new name.
Apart from the difficulty in pronunciation, there are also economic costs. Businesses in general operating at Gqeberha have to change a lot of stuff like their business cards, banners, website etc.
And then there is the Satellite Navigation business. They have to change every single instance where the earlier name was mentioned, from addresses of stores to street names. TomTom is one such company. After the name change of Port Elizabeth, TomTom made 2.3 billion changes in their databases in a month!