Name Translation Chart: Compare Names Across Languages

Name Translation Chart: Compare Names Across Languages

Jumping between US and foreign records? Figure out how your ancestor's name may appear in another language with this name translation chart.

William? Guillaime? This name translation chart will help you sort out first names across different languages.

Researching your ancestor in different countries? Languages often have their own versions of first names, and these variations can trip you up. Some translations are obvious, such as Mary to the German Marie. But you might not immediately recognize others, such as William to the French Guillaume. This name translation chart lists how twenty of the most common first names in English translate across five languages. Simply find your ancestor’s name, then move left or right along the chart to determine how that name might have “translated” into a different language.

By studying the different ways in which your ancestor’s name might appear, you can broaden your research horizons and more easily find ancestors in records.

EnglishGerman/DutchLatinFrenchPolishNorwegian
AndrewAndreasAndreasAndréAndrzej, JędrzejAnders, Andreas
CatherineKat(h)arinaCatherina/EcaterinaCatherineKatarzynaCaterina, Kat(h)arina
CharlesCarl/KarlCarolusCharlesKarolCarl/Karl
EdwardEduardEduardusÉdouardEdward, Edek, EdzioEdvard
ElizabethElisabethElisabethaÉlisabethElżbieta, IzabelaElisabet, Isabel
GeorgeGeorg, JürgenGeorgiusGeorgesJerzy, JurekGeorg, Gøran/Jørn, Jørg(en)
James/JacobJakobIacobus, IacomusJacques, JacobJakub, KubaJacob/Jakob
JaneJohannaIoannaJeanneJoanna, JaninaJoana, Johanna, Janne
JohnJohann/HansIoannes/IonathanJeanJan, Janek, JanuszHans, Ivan, Jan, Johan(n)
JosephJosefIosephusJosephJózefJosef
LawrenceLorenz, Laurenz, LaürntLaurentiusLaurentLaurencjusz, Laurenty, WawrzyniecLars, Laurits/Lauritz, Lorens
Lewis/LouisLudwigLudovicus, AloysiusLouisLudwik, AlojzyLudvig
MargaretMargaretaMargaritaMarguerite/MargotMałgorzata, MałgosiaMargareta, Marit, Margit
MatthewMatthäusMatthaeusMatthieuMaciej, MateuszMathias, Matteus
MaryMaria/MarieMariaMarieMaria, MarzenaMaria, Maiken
MichaelMichael/MichelMichaelMichelMichałMikael, Mikkel
MichelleMichaelaMichaelaMichèleMichalinaMikaela
NicholasNikolaus, NicklausNicolausNicolasMikołajNiklas, Nils
WilliamVilhelm/WilhelmGulielmusGuillaumeWilhelmVilhelm

This chart comes from The Family Tree Factbook, a quick-reference guide to key genealogical facts, figures and strategies. The handy Factbook contains hundreds of the most useful genealogical information, from great genealogy websites to tips for DNA research. You’ll also find quick guides to naming traditions, immigration records and US history and geography. Its durable cover makes it an excellent research companion as you travel to the library, archive or even cemetery.

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