[APG Public List] translate place names

Stephen Danko stephen at stephendanko.com
Sun Oct 24 02:02:01 MDT 2010

I have been struggling with this same issue with place names in Poland.  I have 
decided that the language in which I will spell place names depends on the 
target audience.  If I am writing for an English speaking audience, I translate 
place names into English.  If I am writing for a Polish speaking audience, I use 
Polish language place names.  (By audience, I don't mean just the audience at a 
lecture, but also the readers of my written work.)  Language differences don't 
exist for all place names, however.  Warszawa in Polish is spelled Warsaw in 
English.  However, Nowa Wieś in Polish is never translated as New Village in 
English (although the kreska "s" ś is not used in English).

Best regards,
Stephen J. Danko

From: "Rolgeiger at aol.com" <Rolgeiger at aol.com>
To: apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org; apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Sun, October 24, 2010 12:01:59 AM
Subject: [APG Public List] translate place names


I wonder whether it make sense to translate place names from the origin language 
into my own. 

Like German Koeln into Cologne or Niedersachsen into Lower Saxony. Or Bavaria 
which originally is Bayern.

I think it leads into trouble once I have to do with orignal documents from that 
area for they will not have translated their names into any other language. 

I realize that Cologne is about the way an English speaking person would 
pronounce the German sound "Koeln". But doing research about emigrants in 
upstate New York, I don't translate for example "Perkinsville, New York" into 
"Perkinsweiler, Neu York". Would not make sense for no records exist with 
"Perkinsweiler" but all with "Perkinsville".

Same with names having a "sch" which are pretty much often transformed into the 
common Englisch "sh".

Mit freundlichen Gruessen

Roland Geiger, St. Wendel, Deutschland (= Germany)

PS: Sorry, I just got up and had had no coffee yet. Otherwise I may not have 
asked that question. 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <../attachments/20101024/e72863e3/attachment.htm>

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list