13 December 2013

European toponymy* and synecdoches**

* Toponymy: "the study of place names"
** Synecdoche: "a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa [...]"

The following post wants to address an important issue, because, as Chris McCandless said, it is important "to call each thing by its right name". As Mandela said, it is also important not to randomly quote famous people, but that's another issue.

"Bosnia"

Level 1: Bosnia is a geographical region, but it is not a country. Bosnia and Herzegovina IS a country. Herzegovina is also a region. The region of Bosnia and the region of Herzegovina together form (guess what?) Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Level 2: People from Bosnia are called Bosnians. People from Herzegovina are called Herzegovinians. People from Bosnia and Herzegovina are generally called Bosnians, even though if you say "Bosnian" to a person from Mostar you might be corrected to "Herzegovinian".
Level 3: Bosnia and Herzegovina (abbreviation: BiH) is divided into 2 entities, Republika Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (or simply "Federation"). Republika Srpska of course IS NOT the Republic of Serbia (which is the formal name for Serbia, by the way). Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina obviously IS NOT Bosnia and Herzegovina, just one of its two parts.
Level 4: The official capital of Republika Srpska is Sarajevo, but the National Assembly and the Government are based in Banja Luka. The capital of the Federation is also Sarajevo. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is... (drum beats) ...Sarajevo!
Level 5: In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are 3 "ethnic groups", which mostly reflect the religious affiliation of the Bosnians: Bosniaks (= Bosnian Muslims), Croats (Catholic) and Serbs (Orthodox). Republika Srpska has a majority of Serbs, the Federation has a majority of Bosniaks, although some cities (especially in Herzegovina) have a Croat majority.
Level 6: Bosnian Croats are Croats (of course!). Croatians are also Croats. If I understood correctly (it's level 6, guys!), a Croatian is a citizen of Croatia; "Croats", on the other hand, defines the "ethnic group". But in Italian, Croatian and Croat are both translated with "croati"...

"Macedonia"

- The Republic of Macedonia is the formal name of the country that is called Macedonia by most people in the world.
- Macedonia is also a region of Greece. Its biggest city is Thessaloniki.
- Macedonia is also an historical region which includes Macedonia (region of Greece), the Republic of Macedonia, and parts of surrounding countries.
- The Republic of Macedonia IS NOT called Macedonia by the Greek people. Instead, it is called "Former Yugoslavian Republic Of Macedonia" (FYROM).


Last but not least, macedonia is the common word used in Italy to indicate the fruit salad...

"Holland"

HOLLANDE IS NOT A COUNTRY! (caps lock required...)
This funny video explains the whole deal:


"England"

Although this blog specifically deals with Europe, this is als... What? Oh yes, "England" is actually a part of Europe, they told me.


"Friuli"

Andate a Trieste e rivolgetevi ad un triestino chiamandolo "furlan". E capirete.

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