Family names are part of the history of each nation. They contribute to the social contract which binds citizens together in a society. So when we look carefully at the most common surnames in Europe, we approach identities in the way they appear the most real and pure.
Words of Europe
Umberto Eco once said in a now famous sentence that “the language of Europe is translation”. He is probably right, as Europeans may need to go past their linguistic differences so as to share common experiences. At the same time, words in every language express much more than the same generic ideas. Many words are just untranslatable and express a part of a specific culture and history. Getting to know other words in other languages is a way to improve one’s perception of the world. This section thus tries to provide an insight into the rich European linguistic patrimony. Let’s play on words!