Place names 

When there is a well-established English version of a place name, use it.

Exemple correcte the Balearic Islands
Exemple correcte Catalonia
Exemple correcte Majorca

Exemple correcte Minorca
Exemple correcte Moscow
Exemple correcte Munich


When there is no well-established English translation, use the name in the local language.

Exemple correcte Arezzo
Exemple correcte Castelló de la Plana
Exemple correcte Girona


When a Catalan place name may not be as familiar to the reader as the Spanish, French or Italian equivalent, you may decide to add this version in brackets after the Catalan name.

Exemple correcte Alacant (Alicante)
Exemple correcte L'Alguer (Alghero)
Exemple correcte Eivissa (Ibiza)

Exemple correcte Elx (Elche)
Exemple correcte Perpinyà (Perpignan)


Avoid the use of demonyms (words used to describe inhabitants) for towns and cities. Use the inhabitants of Barcelona or the people of Barcelona, rather than Barcelonans. Note that the demonym for Catalonia is Catalan (not Catalonian).

Do not translate addresses, but if they can be made more understandable or easier to read for an English-speaking audience, then this is advisable. For example, transcribe the first letter of lower-case Catalan terms such as avinguda, carrer, carretera, passeig and plaça in upper case for English-speaking audiences (so Carrer de Sant Pau, Avinguda Diagonal, etc.).

Write out the full address rather than using abbreviations (so for pl. de Catalunya, write Plaça de Catalunya).

Floor and door numbers should be expressed in cardinal rather than ordinal numbers (for example, Carrer de Provença, 66, 1, 2).

  • Rivers and lakes

    Do not translate the names of rivers and lakes (River Sec, not the Dry River) unless there is a well-established English version (River Danube).

  • Seas

    Translate the names of seas when there is a well-established English translation. For example, use the Bay of Biscay (rather than the Cantabrian Sea, unless you are referring strictly to the southern part of the bay).

  • Islands

    Translate the names of islands when there is a well-established English translation.

    Exemple correcte Corsica
    Exemple correcte Sardinia
    Exemple correcte Sicily


  • Mountain ranges

    Translate the names of mountain ranges when there is a well-established English translation.

    Exemple correcte the Alps
    Exemple correcte the Pyrenees


    Do not translate them when there is not.

    Exemple correcte the Picos de Europa
    Exemple correcte the Serra de Tramuntana


  • Landmarks, buildings, rooms and halls

    Generally speaking, do not translate the names of landmarks, buildings, rooms and halls. However, there are some exceptions such as the Catalan Parliament building or the Great Wall of China. Likewise, descriptive translations may be used to make references clearer: for example, the Les Àligues building at the University of Girona or the Camp Nou stadium. In the case of generic names, such as Sala de juntes (in Catalan), we recommend writing Sala de Juntes (boardroom) in English.
Darrera actualització: 15-11-2017
Impressió del capítol | Impressió de la pàgina
Recommended citation:
«Place names» [en línia]. A: Criteris de la Universitat de Barcelona (CUB). Style Guide. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. Serveis Lingüístics. <https://www.ub.edu/cub/criteri.php?id=2442> [consulta: 18 maig 2021].