Английский текст для чтения – 11

Короткий английский текст для практики чтения и перевода.

European place-names appeared in America beginning with the sixteenth century, when Europeans came to inhabit the New World. The names were brought by the new inhabitants, who moved from the east coast to the west, as more and more people arrived from Europe. Some of the names that appeared on the map at that time were those of English and French kings and queens. Many place-names were given to honour famous, living or dead. Some names are taken from history and literature. There are names taken from geology, others are connected with important events in the life of the people. Here and there, we find a name that was given simply as a joke, but for some reason was never changed.

The first people to arrive in America from Holland built a town that they named New Amsterdam, in honour of the capital of their country in Europe. But forty years later, when Holland was at war with England, the English fleet under the command of the Duke of York appeared before New Amsterdam. The town had no army; the English occupied the town and re-named it New York. And this, as we know, is the name that has remained to this day.

The first people who came to America did not try to invent new names for the settlements and towns they built, but often gave the new place the same name as the place they had come from. Along the east coast of the United States, we find such English names as Plymouth, Cambridge, London, Boston. English names often appear with the word “new” as a prefix: New England, New York, New Britain.

When the first English inhabitants or their children left their homes on the east coast and moved to the tremendous forests and rich lands in the west, they continued the tradition of giving the new place the same names they had left behind. As a result, there are twenty-two towns in the United States that are called London, or New London, eighteen towns named Bristol, many named Chester, Windsor or New Windsor.

It is easy to imagine the difficult conditions this created for the postal service. There are cities named Philadelphia in four states, besides the Philadelphia that is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. This explains the American tradition of writing the name of the state when addressing letters. If the sender does not write the name of the state, he can never be sure that his letter will go to the right address.

From “The Moscow News”