Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Prishtina and other place names in Kosova

Prishtina…wake up!
Originally uploaded by agroni

It’s interesting how everybody uses Serbian names (without the accents) in English for place names in Kosova, for instance Pristina (Serbian Priština) and Kosovo, rather than Albanian Prishtina (or Prishtinë) and Kosova.

This goes against the general rule that the official language of a country (or the biggest one, if there are more than one) is used as the basis for the name in English, thus Ibiza (rather than Catalan Eivissa), Bilbao (and not Basque Bilbo), Helsinki (and not Swedish Helsingfors), and so on. Or rather: While Kosova was a part of Serbia, it followed the rule to use Serbian forms of the place names, but now it doesn’t any more.

Will we see a switch to Prishtina and Kosova in the near future, or are the old names too established?

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