Donor principle

In linguistics, the donor principle refers primarily to the observance of the original spelling of a loanword from the original ("donor") language. This principle applies in particular to the standardization in the receiver language of exonyms when they are used in publications.[1][2]

The term donor principle is sometimes also used for the particular spelling of names of specific products, brands, institutions etc. chosen by their owner, founder, designer, etc., when it clashes with the official spelling rules.[3] This often pertains to the use of capital letters. (e.g. YouTube), for example.


  1. ^ "Exonyms guidelines synopsis" (PDF). EuroGeoNames.
  2. ^ Peter Jordan; Milan Orožen Adamič; Paul Woodman (2007). Exonyms and the International Standardisation of Geographical Names. p. 11.
  3. ^ "The recent history of Dutch orthography (II). Problems solved and created by the 2005 reform". www.ru.nl. Dutch Department, Radboud University, Nijmegen.[permanent dead link]

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