Why is Moskva called Moscow in English?

moscow name

Ironically, it’s because the rest of the world uses versions that are closer and more faithful to the city’s original name than Russians themselves.
First things first: In case you didn’t know, Russians never call their capital city Moscow. For us, it is not the French Moscou or the German Moskau and none of the other European variations either. It’s Moskva (Москва), with an emphasis on the second syllable. If you want to hear what it sounds like, there is an audio recording on Wikipedia.
English speakers are actually aware of this word on some level already. For example, they use it in the name for the Moskva River, which runs through Moscow. But why is the city and river’s name one word in Russian and two words in English?

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Press Photo
Find out where to try fried smelt, delicious meat pies and the most doughnutty doughnuts in the city.
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russian easter pastry


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Few people today remember that well-to-do believers in Old Russia once served 48 dishes - to match the number of days of the Lenten fast.

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Alexey Filippov/Sputnik
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Svetlana Pavlova/TASS
He raises three children, teaches Chinese, and blogs – all in record-breaking low temperatures.
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Here’s a look at some of Moscow’s most iconic train stations.

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