Forewords: I'm not associated, in any way, with the party I'm going to ask about.

I simply proposed an edit to a question, and it's not a huge deal (it could be easily refused) but it made me wonder: why someone should decide to translate the proper noun of a foreigner party, and what is the general consensus on it?

In the question I'm referring to, the name Movimento Cinque Stelle (which, I stress again, it's a proper brand noun, like Facebook or Michigan or Ferrari) is been translated with Five Star Movement, which is something which AFAIK does not exists, even if it seems en.Wikipedia too has decided to call it that way.

So, what should be the general rule for the group? I find it confusing, tbh, 'cause even in "real life" some parties are translated, some are not, and not only in English but in other languages as well...

  • Isn't this a bit like claiming that "Italy" doesn't actually exist, it's just what English-speaking people have decided to call "Italia". – David Richerby Mar 16 '18 at 16:51

Providing an English translation of a party name makes the post more accessible to anyone not deeply familiar with the country you are talking about.

As you noticed, most foreign media uses translated party names. So someone who is just casually following Russian politics from mainstream media reporting will be more familiar with the name United Russia than with the English transcription of the Russian name Yedinaya Rossiya or even in the original Cyrillic writing Единая Россия.

Therefor my recommendation would be to mention the English name of a party at least once when talking about it. But even if you use the English name throughout your post, mentioning the official name once can be useful for search optimization and to prevent you from being incomprehensible in case of a mistranslation. An easy way to do this is by writing the other name in parenthesis the first time you use your preferred form. Examples:

The Movimento Cinque Stelle ("Five Star Movement") is a party which...

The Five Star Movement of Italy ("Movimento Cinque Stelle") is a party which...

  • 1
    Agreed. I would only add that the acronyms, specially for political parties, should be in the original language, since this definitely makes it easier to identify the party in foreign language documents. In fact I think this is the rule that wikipedia follows, for example: The Five Star Movement (Italian: Movimento 5 Stelle [moviˈmento ˈtʃiŋkwe ˈstelle], M5S) is a... (source). – armatita Mar 6 '18 at 13:28
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    It seems to be also a language thing. People always wrote "Forza Italia" instead of "Forward Italy" or "Let's go Italy" because apparently the English translation doesn't really sound like a party name is suppossed to sound (I guess). And with "Movimento Cinque Stelle" it's the other way around (maybe too difficult to memorize). I personally prefer M5S as abbreviation (which works in Italian as well as English). – Trilarion Mar 9 '18 at 17:10

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