Wien or Vienna, the capital city of Austria, in different languages
The city by the Danube

Vienna, the capital of Austria, has a rich history that is reflected in its name across various languages. In German, the city is called “Wien,” which is believed to have Celtic origins. The Celtic word “Vindobona” is often cited as the possible root, meaning “fair village” or “white settlement.” As the Romans occupied the area, they Latinized the name to “Vindobona.” We are not sure about this etymology. In English, Vienna, as in other languages, is a straightforward adaptation of the German name. But the neighbors disagree:

The Hungarian name for Vienna is “Bécs“. It is thought to have originated from Avar or Proto-Turkic but without any clear source. We know it was borrowed by Croatian and Serbian “Beč“.

Other languages from the former Yugoslavia and the former Austro-Hugarian Empire, Slovenian, Vienna is called “Dunaj.” a word from Proto-Slavic *Dunavь “Danube”. Important note: the Danube in Slovenian is Donava.

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