A bright cartographer has re-invented the world map to reflect country names as endonyms used by inhabitants in the prevailing local language.
Endonym refers to the name of a place used by the people who live there – and which can be different from the universally ‘accepted’ names on world maps that hail from the United Nations database and its Group of Experts on Geographic Names.
For the Endonym Map, the language that is most widely and currently adopted is used for the country name in cases where more than one national or official language is in use. For instance, people who live in Germany don’t refer to their country as Germany. Instead, they use ‘Deutschland’ which is a German endonym.
‘It bugs me to no end that places like South Africa and India have a dozen or so recognized languages, but there’s only room on the map for one,’ the cartographer admits.