The city was named after the Geats (Swedish: Götar varied: Geatas, Gautar, Goths, Gotar, Gøtar, Götar), the inhabitants of Gothia, now southern Sweden—i.e., "Geat Castle". The river on which the city sits is the Göta Älv or Gothia River. Göta borg "Gothia Fortress" is the fort on the Göta River, built to protect the port, which was intended to be Sweden's commercial window to the west.
In Dutch, Scots, and English, all being languages with a long history of being spoken in this trade and maritime-oriented city, the name Gothenburg has traditionally been used for the city as in the Gothenburg Film Festival. The French form of the city name is Gothembourg but in the French texts, the Swedish name Göteborg is more frequent. Gottenburg can also be seen in some older English texts. These traditional forms are now sometimes replaced with the use of the Swedish Göteborg, for example by the Göteborgsoperan and the Göteborg Ballet. However, Göteborgs universitet, previously designated as Göteborg University in English, changed to the University of Gothenburg in 2008. The municipality of Gothenburg has also reverted to the use of the English name in international contexts. Other old variations in Swedish are Götheborgh, and the more common, Götheborg. One English text written in the late 15th century states the name as "Guthaeborg".
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