Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

CQQ-No.011: What the Locals Call ‘em

©2004 UrbisMedia

©2004 UrbisMedia

To a German the city of Venice is Vendig ; to a Frenchman it’s Venise ; to an American it is, of course, Venice. None of these spellings and pronunciations is, however, how the denizens of Venice refer to the hometown they call Venetia .

As we navigate to and from different cities in different countries, the names of cities on maps, road signs, and train and bus timetables which we refer to, or hear over the public address, look and sound different, and often more or less romantic than the names we have become familiar with since as early as our first social studies class, and which are confirmed almost daily in written and spoken references.

In many cases the spelling and pronunciation employed by locals for the names of their city can be deduced from their similarity to the English usage— Warszawa, Kiyev, Lisboa, Kobenhaven —for example. However, the sign on the train you are taking from Venise (or Venetia) to Paris will readParigi , which sounds more like an obscure village in Lombardy, might cause enough hesitation in boarding to cause you to miss the train.

e following quiz is an exercise than might spare you a missed train, or ending up in Siberia rather than Moskva because you didn’t recognize its local name. Match ‘em up.

City Quotient Quiz

Click to: Take the online quiz.

©2004, ©2015, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 1.1.2004)