Latinisation (literature)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Latinisation is the practice of rendering a non-Latin name (or word) in a Latin style. This may be done so as to more closely emulate Latin authors, or to present a more impressive image. It is done by transforming the name into Latin sounds (e.g. Geber for Jabir), by translating a name with a specific meaning into Latin (e.g. Venator for Cacciatore), or choosing a new name based on some attribute of the person (e.g. Noviomagus for Daniel Santbech, possibly from the Latin name for the town of Nijmegen).

Latinisation is also common for place names, as a result of many early text books mentioning the places being written in Latin. Because of this, the English language often use Latinised forms of foreign place names instead of Anglicised forms or the original names.

Examples of Latinised names for countries or regions are:

  • Estonia (Estonian name Eesti, German/Scandinavian name Estland, i.e. "land of the Aesti")
  • Livonia (German/Scandinavian name Livland, i.e. "land of the Livs" - the local tribe)
  • Ingria (Finnish Inkerinmaa, German/Scandinavian "Ingermanland", i.e. "land of the Ingermans - the local tribe)

Latinisation is a common practice for scientific names. For example, Livistona, the name of a palm, is a Latinisation of "Livingstone".

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Latinisation (literature)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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