How To Change A English Name To Latin?


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Unfortunately there is no single method for finding the Latin equivalent of an English name. For same names there is an accepted equivalence. For example, Charles becomes Carolus, Henry becomes Henricus, James becomes Jacobus. A good resource is old parish registers where names were written in Latin. I find this link quite useful for that.

You can also search through classical and medieval Latin texts looking for the name. Google makes this very easy. For example, if we are looking for the name Alex we can use the search time "alex". This gives us the following results. The second hit on that search shows the text "Imperator Alexander Severus ..." From this we can see that Alexander can be used as a name in Latin unchanged from the English.

If the name you want to translate appears in the Bible you can look in the Vulgate, the Latin Bible created by St. Jerome, and see what he used. This link will let you search the Bible and see the results in the Vulgate and the King James Version side by side.

Failing the above if the English name ends in -us or -a you can probably use it unchanged, or if there is a near equivalent that has those endings you can use that. For example, Mark becomes Marcus, Caroline becomes Carolina.

If you're still stuck it's probably OK just to Latinise the name by adding -us for a boy or -a for a girl. Incidentally, when Latinising names the current accepted practice is to Latinise the given name but leave the surname or family name unchanged and treat it as indeclinable unless by change it has a Latin-looking ending.

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