Introduction

The Working Group on Exonyms was formed in September 2002, as recommended by resolution 4 of the Eighth Conference (Berlin, 27 August-5 September 2002). The need for such a group had also been expressed at earlier discussions (Frankfurt am Main, 2000 and Berchtesgaden, 2001). The Working Group on Exonyms is part of the UNGEGN (United Nation Group of Experts on Geographical Names).

UN resolution on exonyms

Current work plan: Various conference resolutions now exist on the treatment, use and reduction of exonyms in the context of geographical names standardization and effective UN communication. The Working Group is developing its work plan to encourage progress in addressing these UN resolutions.

Definitions agreed:

  • Endonym: Name of a geographical feature in an official or well-established language occurring in that area where the feature is located.

  • Exonym: Name used in a specific language for a geographical feature situated outside the area where that language is spoken, and differing in its form from the name used in an official or well-established language of that area where the geographical feature is located.