Latinisation (literature)

Latinisation (Literature)

Latinisation (literature)

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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 Liv" - 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

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