MONGKOK may disappear, but Hong Kong is safe for now, and Beijing has finally been embraced - by the BBC. The BBC's pronunciation unit chief, Graham Pointon, was explaining how the corporation decides to pronounce names to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Language Centre last night. Mongkok might have to go because he had learned during his week's visit that it should be 'Wongkok'. Not that BBC announcers have ever had to say the name - yet. 'But I shall have to make a note of that for discussion when I return,' he said. The unit's three linguists work out how names in up to 20,000 languages and dialects should be pronounced. Apart from speakers of about 40 languages within the organisation, the unit turns to embassy staff and academics for advice - even when it has to decide minutes before a broadcast. 'The fastest I remember checking was when we had 40 seconds to get a name pronunciation to the news reader,' said Mr Pointon. Most Chinese names prove little problem. The unit has a list of pronunciation of all the Pinyin syllables, and announcers do not try to use the tones when speaking in English. Hong Kong will not change to Heung Kong unless it becomes a problem, he said. 'The Chinese have the name Hong Kong on the new passport. If the Chinese accept it as Hong Kong then there's no reason for us to change it.' But the BBC has finally stopped using Peking because everyone else uses Beijing. 'We used to recommend Peking but recently everything has been coming out of Beijing saying Beijing. So it was decided we were sounding a bit old fashioned,' he said.