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These Spanish cities are often mistakenly spelled. THIS city nickname is just wrong!

These Spanish cities are often mistakenly spelled. THIS city nickname is just wrong!

Old Mar 14th, 2024, 12:08 PM
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These Spanish cities are often mistakenly spelled. THIS city nickname is just wrong!

Finally getting this out in the open. I am sure that many cities the world over are misspelled by many people, including myself. (does Abbabba have two double B's?? Or is is just the one?)

But since I often look at online forums devoted to Spain (and I am NOT pointing this at the smart Fodorites; I see it more often on those "you know who they are" websites.)

I wonder why so often the names of two cities, in particular, are so often written incorrectly. Are these accepted ways to write their names in English? (Apulia vs Puglia)
I don't think so.

So why, for example, do we so often see RHONDA????? (Influence of The Beach Boys does not seem an adequate excuse here)

And where is BILBO? And where is BILBO'S sister city, BILBOA? I can't find either on my map of Spain.

And last, the nickname of the glorious Catalan capital of Barcelona is not BARCA.
Barca is the name of a football team.
I don't know but I've been told, that BARNA would be a more acceptable nickname, if you must.

(As we know here in the good old USA: It is NOT Frisco. And I do not live in the "Big Apple.")

To borrow a phrase from a devoted and smart, Fodor-ite.....I'm done!!!

Actually, not yet.....there is NO AMLAFI DRIVE in Italy!!

Now I am really done.

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Mar 14th, 2024 at 12:19 PM.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 12:43 PM
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Hi eks,
The BILBOA is Fodorite's mikelg's special peeve, which neither of us, neither mikelg nor I, understand. But it´s very common, yet I don't know why it's often misspelled.
But Bilbao is BILBO in Basque (Euskara), so that's correct.
As San Sebastián's name is DONOSTIA in Basque/euskara.
Pamplona's Basque/euskera name is IRUÑEA.

Then there's one of my favorite towns in La Rioja Alavesa, which is ESKERNAGA in Basque and in Spanish, Villanueva de Alava. Basque names are decidedly different.

As a young kid, studying during the Franco regime, I kept a map that had Euskadi (Basque Country-País Vasco) identified as "Las Vascongadas" and the language spoken there as "vascuence" (as in "Basque speak") rathen than the official name, Euskara!.

RHONDA, I don't know why the H.

I also see the city of Barcelona's name written as Barça, which is the fútbol team FC.

And then here's GRENADA (Caribbean island) rather than GRANADA. I see this often.

Last edited by Maribel; Mar 14th, 2024 at 01:22 PM.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 12:58 PM
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It's not exclusive to Spain, but I think often it is just a typo.

Nothing wrong wit using the "English" version of a name, if people understand that over the local name.
Bruges is French, but it's name is Brugge as it is in Flanders.
No-one refers to Bruxelles, or Brussel, only to Brussels.


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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 01:00 PM
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The accent in Ávila tends to get lost, and I hear people in Italy pronounce it AVEEla.

Also, speaking of Italy, there's no Cinque Terra. (Cinque means "five" and "Terra" is singular, so it sounds like "five land" in Italian.)

And "Sienna" is a colour, but "Siena" is a city.

And "I can't spell that" abbreviations, like "San Gim", get under my skin.

Give me a little time and I'll think of more.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 02:03 PM
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It does not surprise me to see Ronda spelled as Rhonda given the common spelling of it as a first name.

We can sit here all day long about inconsistencies between languages. My Ukranian grandfather pronounced and spelled Paris as "Parish." Not to mention how English speakers pronounce it differently, yet spell it the same, from the French. Languages often adapt a city name to fit their needs, which would include spelling and pronunciation.

By all accounts, Rome is incorrect, too. 🤷‍♀️
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
It's not exclusive to Spain, but I think often it is just a typo.

Nothing wrong wit using the "English" version of a name, if people understand that over the local name.
Bruges is French, but it's name is Brugge as it is in Flanders.
No-one refers to Bruxelles, or Brussel, only to Brussels.
Many seem to take it a step further and call it Brugges. It drives me barmy but I bite my tongue. People are trying hard to do the right thing, they just get caught between the two languages.

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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 04:23 AM
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Spelling incorrectly is one thing, but there are legitimate translations for place names, and they can be different for every language. So in English we can safely say Netherlands or in French Pays-Bas, and they are both perfectly acceptable ways to say the same thing.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 07:04 AM
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Sanremo is correct, San Remo is just wrong at so many levels
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 07:23 AM
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The main spelling mistake which drives me nuts is boarders when they mean borders.
As long as you know what people are talking about I guess it doesn't matter in the greater scheme of things.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 08:37 AM
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Oh, Bvlenci, how could I have neglected to mention "Sienna?" That's as common as all the other misspelled names that I did list...

What I didi not know was that BILBO is the Basque name for the city that outsiders know as Bilbao....excellent, and thank you!

Paises Vascongadas..of course, we learned that name for the region back in junior high school!!
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 09:24 AM
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eks,
I have older friends in Madrid who still refer to Hondarribia (fishing town east of San Sebastián/Donostia) as Fuenterrabía, which I used to say growing up as a kid. My junior high school Spanish maps had none of the Basque names either.

Last edited by Maribel; Mar 15th, 2024 at 10:20 AM.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 10:12 AM
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Bilbo, where Tolkein went to get the name
Narni, where CS Lewis went to get ..ia
well neither probably went there, but knew about both places
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
Bilbo, where Tolkein went to get the name
Narni, where CS Lewis went to get ..ia
well neither probably went there, but knew about both places
bilboburgler are you on Spain's most wanted list?
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 11:01 AM
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Mamma Mia, is Abbabba anywhere near Waterloo?
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 11:20 AM
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A point so far overlooked is that we English-speakers have a proud, centuries-old tradition of not referring to foreign places or nationalities by their real names. At least when we’re interested enough, we try very hard to seek alternatives. Thus to us, Deutschland is “Germany,” Ellada is “Greece,” and Suomi is “Finland.” (Obviously I could go on.) In fact, residents of the places whose names we mangle can obliquely feel flattered; at least we have noticed them. If we refer to a place or a society by its real name, it’s usually because we didn’t think it worth the trouble to find another one. (Example: the country known to its residents as Luxembourg, is also known to us English-speakers as Luxembourg.)

Furthermore, for a very long time, though not so much at present, we English-speakers felt that an authentic or contrived Latin name, if one could be found, was always better than the real one. (Thus, the medieval Spanish philosopher Ibn Rushd is known in the English world as Averröes.) Going back to the original comment, Apulia was the ancient Roman name for the south-easternmost part of Italy, and therefore preferable to whatever the Puglians themselves thought they were.

It’s not that we English-speakers are ill-intentioned; it’s just that after coming first to rule the seas, and then the world’s greatest empire, we instinctively, if maybe naively, came to believe that we knew better than anyone else, what the various parts of the world should be called. Now that the empire is “deep in darkness” (as The Pogues once observed), perhaps we should reconsider this approach, but the habits of centuries are hard to break!

A few additional comments on the original post:

[1] Technically, the only “correct” spelling of Ethiopia’s capital is in the Amharic script; anything else is a mere transliteration. There is really nothing wrong with “Addis Abbabba,” or “Adis Ababa,” but the consensus of western geographers appears to be “Addis Ababa” — though a recent English-language world atlas on my shelf gives “Adis Abeba.” (See what I mean?)
[2] I was a little surprised that the original poster was concerned about Apulia (for Puglia), but apparently not about Rome (for Roma), Venice (for Venezia), or Sicily (for Sicilia).

Last edited by Faedus; Mar 15th, 2024 at 11:51 AM.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 11:30 AM
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I think that sometimes people consistently spell names wrong because the first time they saw the name somewhere it was spelled incorrectly by someone who didn’t know the correct spelling. So the mistake continuously gets perpetuated. For some people it’s difficult to get the incorrect spelling out of their head.

I do have a pet peeve about incorrect spelling for anything, including place names amongst travelers. The Grenada/Granada example really bugs me. And Ronda/Rhonda really bothers me, too.

There are some names I have difficulty with, though, but I always look them up before typing, such as Peloponnese. I can never remember if there is one p or two p’s. And Caribbean. Can never remember if there is one r or 2 r’s.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Faedus
A point so far overlooked is that we English-speakers have a proud, centuries-old tradition of not referring to foreign places or nationalities by their real names. ...
Every nationality does that, especially for the better known places. For an Italian, it's Londra, Parigi, and Berlino. For a French person, London is Londres. It sounds affected for someone to say Roma when speaking English.
​​​​​
For a Chinese person, the US is Měiguó.

Years ago, when I was moving to the Netherlands, I told someone I would be working in the Hague. She told me it's actually called Den Haag. I relied that actually it's called 's Gravenhage. That shut her up.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci
Every nationality does that, especially for the better known places. For an Italian, it's Londra, Parigi, and Berlino. For a French person, London is Londres. It sounds affected for someone to say Roma when speaking English.
​​​​​
For a Chinese person, the US is Měiguó.

Years ago, when I was moving to the Netherlands, I told someone I would be working in the Hague. She told me it's actually called Den Haag. I relied that actually it's called 's Gravenhage. That shut her up.
You have a point. Most of us make an effort to learn some of the language / geography of the country we are visiting.
Going further is optional.
btw, Koreans call the US Miguk.. ..and k is silent..😸

Last edited by danon; Mar 15th, 2024 at 12:55 PM.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by danon
You have a point. Most of us make an effort to learn some of the language / geography of the country we are visiting.
Going further is optional.
btw, Koreans call the US Miguk.. ..and k is silent..😸
It sounds as though Korean adopted the Chinese name for the US. In Chinese, it means "beautiful land". I imagine it doesn't mean anything specific in Korean. (I don't speak either language, but I worked a fair amount in China, and I look some private lessons in Korean long ago.)
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci
It sounds as though Korean adopted the Chinese name for the US. In Chinese, it means "beautiful land". I imagine it doesn't mean anything specific in Korean. (I don't speak either language, but I worked a fair amount in China, and I look some private lessons in Korean long ago.)
It means the same in Korean . I have learned Korean alphabet , but cannot speak more than a few words.
From what I understand , about 70% of Korean vocabulary has Chinese root .
Some South Korean schools still offer classes in Hanja ( Chinese). One of the most popular Korean dishes ( my favourite )
Jajangmyon was “ imported “ from China.


Last edited by danon; Mar 15th, 2024 at 03:51 PM.
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