On The Go Tours

Travelling around the world is one of the greatest things that we as humans can do.

Whether you like to explore the cities of Europe, the culture of East Asia or the rainforests of South America, the world is literally your oyster.

With all those countries comes a lot of different languages. In fact, there are 7,106 different active languages in the world - and they can translate into all sorts of things.

To show how diverse and unique languages can be, On The Go Tours looked at the names of 191 major cities from around the world to discover their literal translations.

Take a look at their interactive map here.

You'll be surprised to learn that Birmingham literally translates as 'Village of Beornmund's people', Dublin means 'Black pool', while Budapest translates as 'Water Furnace'.

Here is a list of some of our favourite translations from their discoveries.

  • Kandahar (Afghanistan) - Alexander the Great
  • Tirana (Albania) - Dairy
  • Luanda (Angola) - Tax
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina) - Fair winds
  • Vienna (Austria) - White fort
  • Baku (Azerbaijan) - Wind-pounded city
  • Dhaka (Bangledesh) - Small bushy tree
  • Brussels (Belgium) - Home in the Mars
  • Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - The field around the palace
  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - River of January
  • Sofia (Bulgaria) - Wisdom
  • Bogota (Colombia) - Enclosure outside of the farmfields
  • Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) - St James of the fertile of place
  • Copenhagen (Denmark) - Merchant's harbour
  • Djibouti (Djibouti) - Doormat made of palm fibres
  • Cairo (Egypt) - The Victorious
  • Lautoka (Fiji) - Spear hit/ bull's eye
  • Accra (Ghana) - Ants
  • Guatemala City (Guatemala) - City of forested land
  • Tegucigalpa (Honduras) - Silver mountain/ place where the elite live
  • Budapest (Hungary) - Water furnace
  • Reykjavik (Iceland) - Smoky bay
  • Delhi (India) - Eminence/ threshold
  • Jakarta (Indonesia) - Victorious dead
  • Dublin (Ireland) - Black pool
  • Rome (Italy) - Strong
  • Nairobi (Kenya) - The place of cool waters
  • Monrovia (Liberia) - Named after U.S. President James Monroe
  • Vilnius (Lithuania) - A surge
  • Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) - Small castle
  • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) - Muddy confluence
  • Monaco City (Monaco) - City of the new house
  • Podgorica (Montenegro) - Under the small hill
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Dam on the water
  • Oslo (Norway) - Meadow of the gods
  • Ngerulmud (Palau) - Place of fermented fish
  • Manila (Philippines) - Place of the flowering mangrove plant
  • Bucharest (Romania) - City of joy
  • Dakar (Senegal) - Tamarind tree/ land of refuge
  • Singapore (Singapore) - Lion city
  • Bratislava (Slovakia) - Braslav's glory
  • Bloemfontein (South Africa) - Fountain of flowers
  • Seville (Spain) - Plain
  • Khartoum (Sudan) - End of an elephant's trunk
  • Paramaribo (Suriname) - Large river inhabitants
  • Damascus (Syria) - Well-watered place
  • Bangkok (Thailand) - District of wild plums
  • Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) - City of love
  • Funafuti (Tuvalu) - Banana
  • Abu Dhabi (UAE) - Father of the gazelle
  • Birmingham (UK) - Village of Beornmund's people
  • Montevideo (Uruguay) - I see a mountain
  • Vatican City (Vatican City) - Soothsayer city
  • Harare (Zimbabwe) - He does not sleep

HT On The Go Tours

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