Foreign Words Used on Antique Maps

There are many foreign words that are used on antique maps.  A lot of antique maps were written in languages other than English – Latin, French and German, for example.

Translation websites such as babelfish.com and translate.google.com are very useful, however when it comes to translating antique maps they can be less than perfect.  For your convenience MAPSandART.com has translated into English the most common French, German and Latin terms often found in maps.

French

Abrégé, ée = condensed

Académie = academy

Américain; Américaine = Americain

Ancien; Ancienne = ancient, previous

Année = year

Armée = army

Augmenté,ée = enlarged

Auteur = author

Banc = bank (aquatic)

Bois = woods

Boussole = compass

Carte = map

Chemin = path

Chez = at (publisher)

Comte = Count

Connaisance = understanding, knowledge

Connu, e = known

Conté = county

Corrigé, ée = corrected

Cosmographe = cosmographer

Cosmographique = cosmographic

Couronne = crown

Dedié, ée = dedicated to

Destroit = strait

Dessiné = drawn

Duché = Dukedom

Est = East

Etat = state

Etats-Unis = United States

Faubourg = suburbs, outskirts

Fleuve = river

Géographe = geographer

Hydrographe = hydrographer

Ingénieur = ingenior

Isle = island

Lac = lake

Lieue = league

Mappemonde = world map

Mer = sea

Mer Glaciale = Arctic Ocean

Mer du Nord = Atlantic Ocean

Mer du Sud = Pacific Ocean

Méridional, e = southern

Monde = world

Monseigneur = lord, title of respect

Montagne = mountain

Nord = North

Occident, ale = Western

Oriental, ale = Eastern

Presqu’ile = peninsula

Privilège = privilege

Redigé, ée = edited

Reduite = scaled down

Reine = queen

Relation = narrative, account

Rivière = river

Rocher = rock

Roi; Roy = king

Royaume = kingdom

Septentrional, ale = Northern

Servir = to assist

Successeur = successor

Toise = fathom

Vaisseau, x = vessel

Vent = wind

Compiled by www.MapsAndArt.com

German

Allegemeine = general (adj)

Alt = old

Angrezend = bordering (adj)

Armee = army

Ausführlich = detailed, complete (adj)

Bach = brook, stream

Bahn = road, path

Bai, Bay = bay

Bayern = Bavaria

Berg = mountain

Beschreibung = description

Deutsch = German

Dorf = village

Eismeer = Polar Sea

Entdeckung = discovery

Enhaltend = containing

Entwurf = plan

Erde = World

Eiland = island

Gebiet = region, district

Gezeichnet = signed, drawn

Herzogthum, Herzogtum = dukedom

Insel = island

Jahr = year

Karte = map, chart

Keyser = emperor

König = king

Königreich = kingdom

Kreis = circle, district

Küste = coast

Land = country, land

Meer = sea, ocean

Meerbusen = bay, gulf

Meerenge = strait, channel

Meile = mile, league

Mittag = South

Neu = new

Nörd = North

Nördlich = northern

Nördlicher Polarkreis = Arctic Circle

Ort, Ohrt = region, place

Ost = East

Ostindien = East Indies

Östlish = eastern

Ostsee = Baltic Sea

Preußen = Prussia

Provinz = province

Reich = empire, kingdom

Schloß = castle

Staat = state, country

Stadt, Statt = city

Stille Meer = Pacific Ocean

Straße = street, strait

Süd = South

Südlich = Southern

Südsee = South Sea

Sund = sound, strait

Tafel = table, chart

Verbessert = improved

Vereinigt = united

Vereinigten Staten = United States

Wald = forest

Wasser = water

Welt = World

Compiled by www.MapsAndArt.com

Latin

Adjacens = adjoining

Aqua, ae = water

Auctor, is = author, cartographer

Borealis, -e = northern

Caelavit = engraved by

Caelestis, -e = celestial

Chalcographus = engraver

Chersonesus = peninsula

Chorographica, -ae = geography

Cognitus, -a, -um = known

Comitatus = county

Compendiosus, -a, -um = abridged

Confinis, -e = adjacent

Continens, -entis = neighboring

Delineavit = cartographer

Descriptio, -ionis = map

Dicio, -ionis = dominion, sovereignty

Ducatus = dukedom

Editus, -a, -um = published

Emendatus = corrected

Excudit, Excud, Exc. = printer or publisher

Fecit = engraver

Flumen, Fluvius = river

Geographicus, -a, -um = geographical

Heres, Heredis = heir, successor

Impensis = publisher

Imperium, -ii = empire, dominion

Incidit, incidebat = engraver

Instruavit = engraver

Insula, -ae = island

Invenit = cartographer

Lacus = lake

Litoris = coast

Locus, -i = place, district

Mappa, -ae = map

Mare, -is = sea, ocean

Meridionialis, -e = southern

Mundus, -i = the world

Novissimus, -a, -um = newest

Occidentalis, -e = western

Oceanus = ocean

Officina, -ae = published or printed by

Oppidum = town

Ora = border, coast

Orbis, -is = globe, earth, world

Pagus = village, province

Pars, Partis = part, region

Pinxit = drew, painted

Privilegium, cum privilegio = indicates copyright

Provincia = province

Regio, -ionis = line, boundary

Regnum, -i = kingdom, dominion

Scripsit = indicates lettering engraver

Sculpsit, sculp., sc. = engraver

Sumptus, -us = publisher

Tabula, -ae = map

Terrestris, -e = terrestrial

Totus, -a, -um = all, entire

Tractus = district, region

Universalis, -e = universal

Urbs, Urbis = city

Vicinus, -a, -um = nearby

Compiled by www.MapsAndArt.com