Anglicisation facts for kids
Anglicisation or anglicization is the act of changing of spoken or written elements of another language into a form that can more easily be understood by an English speaker.
For instance, the Italian name of the city of Rome, the capital of Italy, is Roma. English speakers call it "Rome" to make it sound more English. Another example is the city of Moscow in Russia, which sounds like Moskva in Russian, though it is written much differently because Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet (it is written in that language as Москва). Still, English speakers call the city "Moscow" because it is easier to say.
Most of these changes were made a few centuries ago. In some cases the original language was different to the modern one. Turin in the Piedmont province of Italy was called Turin in Piedmontese, the native language of the region, but is now officially known as Torino after its Italian name. The English and French name for Florence, also in Italy, is closer to the original name in Latin (Florentia) than is the modern Italian name of Firenze.
Anglicization has both a political and cultural dimension. Most Welsh and Scottish Gaelic place names were once anglicized when they were under English rule. Now that they have their own local parliaments, they changed the official names back again. In Scotland, however, few people speak Gaelic, so in most places the English versions are almost always used. On the other hand, in Wales, where there are plenty of Welsh speaking people, all road signs need to be in both English and Welsh.