I saw this in many places but want to ask my question in a specific example.

In Wikipedia article on European Central Bank there is a section Preceded by 17 national banks

  • National Bank of Austria
  • National Bank of Belgium
  • Central Bank of Cyprus
  • Bank of Estonia
  • Bank of Finland
  • Banque de France
  • Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Bank of Greece
  • Central Bank of Ireland
  • Banca d'Italia
  • Central Bank of Luxembourg
  • Central Bank of Malta
  • De Nederlandsche Bank
  • Banco de Portugal
  • Bank of Slovenia
  • National Bank of Slovakia
  • Bank of Spain

Intuitively I can understand that Banca d'Italia means Bank of Italy but why it is written in Italian? Why in French or Dutch not in English?

Another question id why "Banca d'Italia" in Italian but Bank of Spain in English?

  • 1
    Possibly because, for example, Bank of Greece is actually Greek: Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος, short ΤτΕ. There's not much point in writing that in an English Wikipedia page. Nov 13, 2013 at 2:39
  • There is not much point to write Deutsche Bundesbank neither.
    – TIKSN
    Nov 14, 2013 at 11:16

1 Answer 1



The list "Preceded by 17 national banks" on the English Wiki-page includes links to articles on the individual banks. The titles in this list repeats the titles of those articles.

For some reason the individual pages on the French, German, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese bank have the name in the national language as title, while the the other pages have the name in English.

Th article on the German bank "The Deutsche Bundesbank (German for German Federal Bank)"

But the article on the Estonian bank: "The Bank of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Pank)"

Of course these articles should have had the English name as a title. The only reason I can think of why they have not, is that these articles were written at a different set of people.

Some of these writers may have been influenced by the official EU practice of always using national names for member state institutions.

Also, any map of the EU produced by the EU will give name the states in their official languages, like this.


The official EU way to write the names of country specific institutions in the union is to use the name in the official language(s) of the country. This is because all official languages of the member states are also official languages of the EU.

The list for Euro-zone countries would then be:

EDIT: as stated on Wikipedia: European Central Bank

  • Nationale Bank van België / Banque Nationale de Belgique
  • Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Eesti Pank
  • Central Bank of Ireland
  • Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος (Bank of Greece)
  • Banco de España
  • Banque de France
  • Banca d'Italia
  • Kεντρική Τράπεζα Κύπρου / Kıbrıs Merkez Bankası (Central Bank of Cyprus)
  • Banque centrale du Luxembourg
  • Bank Ċentrali ta' Malta
  • De Nederlandsche Bank
  • Österreichische Nationalbank
  • Banco de Portugal
  • Banka Slovenije
  • Národná banka Slovenska
  • Suomen Pankki – Finlands Bank
  • 1
    This implies the answer to the question is "Wikipedia is wrong", but doesn't actually give it. As Wikipedia is English, presumably it should give the English names first followed by the name in the national language.
    – Andrew Leach
    Nov 13, 2013 at 7:11
  • 1
    No, it merely says the Wikipedia way may not match the official EU way of writing.
    – GEdgar
    Nov 13, 2013 at 13:56
  • @AndrewLeach Yes the names should be given in English first. The list mentioned by the asker is a reference list to articles on the individual banks, and repeats the titles of those articles. For some reason some of these articles have the name in the national language instead. Nov 13, 2013 at 15:17
  • 1
    Wikipedia is supposed to reflect common usage, so it should title the articles based on what English speakers actually call them in practice. If newspapers and financial reports, for instance, are inconsistent in how they name them, then it would "correct" for Wikipedia to follow suit.
    – starwed
    Nov 13, 2013 at 15:26
  • Guys, this is not about Wikipedia at all. My question is more general this is just an suitable example. I saw this for many places. I tend to believe that if an article is in English it should contain all words in English. As a supportive information it can have translation and transliteration also.
    – TIKSN
    Nov 14, 2013 at 11:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.