Answers to questions

Question: The place name database contains the term "basic name". What does this really mean?

Answer: The main name or main name is a place name that is recommended for official approval and (or) use if the object does not have an official place name. This is the name that toponymists have found to be the most suitable for the specific object, evaluating all its names known to them.

In some cases, there may be two basic names. If the basic name is different from the official place name (or official name), then it is meant as a recommendation to change or clarify the official place name.

Question: I develop tourist routes. Lakes will also be included as attractions, but some lakes have several names. Can I put only the first name of the lake on my route map and mention the second name in brackets next to the lake descriptions? Should both names still appear everywhere, both on the map and next to the lake descriptions? How could it be more correct?

Answer: The existence of many names for one object is a characteristic phenomenon in Latvia. This is due to objective and "subjective" reasons. Several names arise, for example, if the people living on both sides of the lake have long called it different. The name of a lake can change in the course of history - if a feature changes after which the lake is named (for example, a village is formed on the shore and the lake begins to be called after it), or people's minds change the meaning of which features are important (eg at what time it is important for people what fish are caught there, in another - that the lake is muddy, in another - that an event has happened near the lake, etc.). Variations of names sometimes occur due to typos, transfers from pronunciations, or rewriting of the name in another language. It also happens that in a written source the lake is simply named after the nearest settlement, etc.

We recommend putting the basic name from the Place Names Database first in the tourist map, adding the official name in brackets if it is different (although public officials can recognize the lake). In addition, other popular names for this lake, if any, may be added in parentheses. On the other hand, it would be better to show as many other names as possible in the lake descriptions (avoiding those that are listed in the Place Names Database as erroneous or giving them a note), because tourists may also be interested in peculiar names, they may have read about the same lake somewhere. but under a different name. They may find it interesting that the lake has, for example, 7 names, or even a funny mistake in the name.