May 14, 2010
One trick I do is to use language translators online. Basically these will allow you to put in a word in English, such as “mountain” or “tall”, and translate it into a language of your choice.
Using http://www.freedict.com/onldict/fin.html I typed in “mountain” under the English to Finnish section. I got back “vuori”. I could name my mountain range the Vuori Mountains. If I need a second mountain range I can look up “tall”. It came back “korkea”. If I were to name the range the Tall Mountains, it would sound lame; the Korkea Mountains sounds a lot more exotic and interesting.
Another trick is if you stick to a particular language you can develop a theme in your names. Most languages have a similar sound and style to their words and by sticking to the same language you can add that style and sound to your world. If you have a culture or region that is similar to our Russia, using an English to Russian translator will give you names that fit into your culture.