A matter of point of view

A same geographic place, the Baltic sea in English, but multiple designations. The Latvian and the Lithuanian people say Baltic sea (in Latvian baltijas jūra, in Lithuanian baltijos jūra). On the other hand, the Estonian people talk about the western sea, Läänemeri, when they sea the Baltic. On the opposite bank, they say the Eastern sea: Östersjön in Sweden, Itämeri in Finland, Østersøen in Denmark or Ostsee in Germany.

This difference in names still exists in our contemporary languages regarding the Baltic sea. It can be surprising when we compare the situation to the Mediterranean sea, which all bordering countries call the same. Indeed the Roman when they settled all around this sea thus united the names. Originally, the Mediterranean was the Big Green (wȝḏ-wr) for the Egytian, the Western sea (Hinder sea) in the Bible, etc. With the Roman Empire, this sea ended up being at the center of the known lands, that is to say in latin medius (middle) and terra (land). Such a phenomenon did not occur around the Baltic sea.

Source: article from the Inalco, Région de la mer Baltique une “Méditerranée du Nord” ? by Katerina Kesa

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