Er wohnt in Kyoto.

English Translation

He lives in Kyoto.

It’s interesting how “Tokyo” was imported into German as “Tokio”, but “Kyoto” for some reason was allowed to keep its “y”.


I often wonder about the transcription of geography and sometime I try to find out the reasons.

Generally there has been a great overhaul of transcriptions a few decades ago. Peking became Beijing, Kalkutta Kolkatta and so on, but it takes at least a generation.
Translations to German are much less common nowadays, e.g. when I read “cowboy novels” as a child the Rocky Mountains were still the “Felsengebirge”.
Do you travel to the “Schwarzwald” today or to the “Black Forest” as Mark Twain did?
On the other hand, we still have Rom for Roma, Mailand for Milano and Florenz for Firenze, but Bologna is Bologna.
The same is true for English: Berlin is Berlin, although usually strangely pronouced with very short vocals, but München is Munich, probably for fear of the Umlaut, and you have Venice, Rome and Florence.
Paris is always Paris but no Frenchmen likes the German or the English pronouciation. But then the Italians have Parigi.

I really think you can write a book about the history of these things.


The random art of romanization:

1 Like