Sunday, October 23, 2011

German and Czech names of places, towns and villages

There is plenty of villages in the area of what is today called Czech Republic which were known under two different names in the past, one Czech and one German. This was caused mainly by presence of two large groups of inhabitants in the area. This fact has its roots deeply in the middle ages.

There was large colonization in the 13th and 14th century of those parts of land which were previously covered by forests. New villages raised on the "greenfield", it means there was no settlement before the colonization. New population was quite often German, coming from the area of German lands west from Bohemia. There were also many Germans coming to larger Czech towns as they were merchants, craftsmen and so on. 

This brought new contributions to the Czech language (there are many many words taken from German) and also meant that some of the villages got German names. Quite often there was no Czech name for the village at all until the beginning of 20th century. This was valid mainly for the areas more or less near to the borders. 

Map of the German parts of Bohemia and Moravia, mostly known as Sudetenland. 

You won't be able to find the German names on current maps. But there are websites which provide dictionaries of the village names both in Czech and German, so if you have the German name, you can search for the current Czech name. Here are links to some of those websites:

No comments:

Post a Comment