Etymology and names
The name “Galati” is derived from the Cuman word galat. This word is borrowed from the Arabic word qal’at, meaning “fortress”. Other etymologies have been suggested, such as the Serbian galac. However, the galat root appears in nearby toponyms, some of which show clearly a Cuman origin, for example Gălățui Lake, which has the typical Cuman -ui suffix for “water”. Another toponym in the region is Galicia, with its town of Halych, locally associated with the jackdaw (Kawka, Halka). Other similar place names are Galich, Russia and Galatia in Turkey. Gaul might be a derivation from Galatia, thus suggesting a Celtic origin. A similar pattern occurs with the Celtic-sounding word, Ligures, referring to “Caladaa” (a city of the Ligurian or Genoan territories). Although possible, a Celtic origin is, nevertheless, unlikely. Galati translates to:
Greek: Γκαλάτσι (Galatsi); German: Galatz; Hungarian: Galac; Polish: Gałacz; Turkish: Kalas; Bulgarian: Галац (Galats); Ukrainian: Галац (Galats) and Russian: Галац (Galats).
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