Names of European languages in those languages

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more (PDF Version).

The proper term used in linguistics for the name of a language in that very same language is “autonym” (or “endonym”), so the correct academic title of this article should have been “List of European language autonyms”. There are two issues with such a title: Few people know the word “autonym” at all, so the article would be hard to find, and Google autocorrects “autonym” to “antonym”, making matters even worse.

I hope you will forgive me the funny-looking title and enjoy the following map of European language autonyms:

Autonyms of European languages

The map is based on my earlier map of European languages, which shows the English names of the same languages. The article explains the methodology I used in more detail, and I recommend reading it first if you have any questions related to the map above.

Please note that when there are two forms of a name that differ only by the inclusion of the word “language”, the map shows the more common variant. For example, Polish is called either język polski or polszczyzna, but the former variant is significantly more common than the latter one, so it is the one shown in the map.

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