Having blogged samples of my books on English place names and also examined the etymologies of the nations of the world and their respective capitals I thought it time I cast my net a little wider. As English place names share some links to other tongues it would be interesting to see if any of the elements contributing to our place names could be found elsewhere. Continuing an alphabetical tour of the world and a look at the largest Tajikstan cities.
Dushanbe means 'Monday' in the Persian language - correctly 'second day' - as this was when a large bazaar was held here.
Tursunzoda was originally known as Regar or 'a town on sand' but renamed in 1978 to honour the national poet Mirzo Tursunzoda.
Somoniyon was renamed in 1998 to mark the 1100th anniversary of the Samanid Empire, earlier known as Sardorova after Karakhon Sardorov.
Balkh is related to the Sanskrit for 'Bactrian'.
Note the spellings of the places are English as the piece is written in English.