like do english counties have a different name in portuguese? what is the smallest town another nation would bother to translate? if its all based on historical stuff would a new town created today be called the same worldwide?
Very much the old vs modern that fashion, isn’t it? I think older names seem lodged as the Anglicised while stuff that was adopted/learned more recently gets an attempt to keep the local pronunciation.
As ccb says I tjonk it will be colonisation. Previous generations of Middle Classes wanted to show their superiority by covering up foreigners but now they want to look cultured.
It also seems to be selective when the native naming is used and when the anglicised one is. For example, it wasn’t until long after I moved to Nijmegen that I learned that in English it’s called Nymegen (from a British bank statement, no less), but I have never once seen it referred to by that spelling in any English media.
Most of these are surely just mis-pronunciations of the local names that have been around so long that they have become the customary way of referring to places in English.
You can see how Livorno>Legorno>Leghorn, especially amongst generations of people who’d not seen it written down. The naming/spelling of places even in England was pretty fluid if you go back a few hundred years.
It’s less likely to happen with places that the English speaking world has come into regular contact with more recently.