PROPER NAMES IN ESPERANTO
There are a number of ways of handling proper names in Esperanto. Listed below are my
own personal preferences, and they are only guidelines. For languages that do not
use the Roman alphabet, it is often desirable to transcribe names using Esperanto
- Names of continents, oceans,
and countries: translate into Esperanto.
- More local names: usually leave in their native language. Some large, well-known cities
may be "Esperantized" (e.g. Nov-Jorko, Vaŝingtono, Londono, Romo, Parizo,
- Names of planets: translate into Esperanto.
- Names of satellites, or planetary or lunar features: leave as they are (Latin, etc.).
- Names of constellations: use Latin names, following international convention.
- Personal names: each person should decide what to do with his or her own name.
It may be left as is, transliterated into Esperanto letters (to aid pronounciation),
or completely "Esperantized" (e.g. Johano, Klaro, Vilhelmo).
I generally prefer to leave personal names in their native language if I don't know
the person's preference.
I'm fortunate to have a personal name (David Grant Simpson) that is pronounced
essentially the same in Esperanto as it is in English, so I don't need to change
Another note about personal names: in most Western cultures, the
family name appears last, while in some Eastern cultures, it appears first.
Esperantists often write the family name in all capital letters so that others
will know which name is the family name; for example: David SIMPSON.
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