Le Marche in English: you will find online many different English translations for this Italian region. Marche, Le Marche, Marche Region, or The Marches: which version is correct?

As I often receive questions about this topic, and after an interesting discussion about it, I decided to share the information I collected through research.

First, I would like to separate two aspects: the grammar from the facts. I’m not a linguist, but I know that grammar rules don’t leave much space for interpretations. On the other hand, facts aren’t always black or white, especially if we consider the human perspective and the Latin culture. Sometimes, these facts can overcome “scientific” explanations, and leave behind common senses or indisputable grammar certainties.

The History: the only Italian region in the plural form, not only in the grammar sense.

First of all, let’s consider that Italy hasn’t been “Italy” for that long, the country’s unification occurred in the nineteenth century.

The name of the Marche region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Fermo and Camerino. Le Marche was nominally part of the Papal States, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes.

Le Marche is a region in the plural also from other perspectives. It’s incredible how many differences you can find in the region’s “personality”: in its several landscapes, food, people, and traditions.

Le Marche Italy Map

The Italian Grammar

If we consider just the Italian grammar, “le” is the definite article; it means “the” in English, so it’s in lowercase. Italians say “la” Toscana, “la” Puglia, etc.

As the Marche region is the only Italian region in the plural form, the article is also in the plural, so it’s “le” Marche.

“Le” in Italian texts isn’t capitalized (unless at the start of a sentence or in a title), and it’s not part of the name.

So, if we translate it from Italian to English, it would be “Marche” or “Marche” region, with the article “the” in lowercase.

I think everybody could agree with that. But the actual facts are not as rigid as the Italian grammar.

The facts

Just go to Google and search for the Marche region… you’re going to find so many different variations, many from the most reliable websites or fonts, like Lonely Planet, The Guardian, New York Times, and also official channels of the Marche Region.

You can find:

  • Le Marche

(“Le” in uppercase, as part of the region’s name, not translated. It’s one of the most used ones)

  • The Marches

(with verbs in the singular and in the plural form: “The Marche is” and “The Marches are”)

the marches are ny times in english

  • Marches

(idem)

Le marche in english pronunciation 2

I also have many official books published along the years with different versions of the name.

The only translation that we can say that is definitely incorrect is “Brands”, a clear episode of “lost in translation” verified in 2020, done by a not famous font.  Marche in Italian also means “brands”, but of course has nothing to do with the Italian region.

The origin of the facts: Le Marche in English

In this case, I don’t think it’s easy to find one specific reason, with an author and a date. Probably the fact that Le Marche is the only region with its name in the plural form has influenced this diversity.

Could it be an initial human error during the translation in another country? Could it be a result of different decisions taken during the years?

Who knows it?

I’ve seen many expressions in other languages with unbelievable origins: it’s so interesting because it also narrates a history, a single episode, or an external influence.

If you have any reliable information about this origin, I would be happy to add it to the article.

So… which is the correct English translation of the Italian region ‘Marche’?

I contacted in 2018 the Marche Tourism social media team, the most reliable font for this case, and this was the official answer:

“Noi abbiamo scelto la traduzione Le Marche e per uniformità utilizziamo sempre questa dicitura. Ci sono, come dici tu, anche altre opzioni che non possiamo però considerare sbagliate perché si tratta di una trasposizione diversa in un’altra lingua. Decidi tu cosa preferisci usare.”

“We have chosen the translation “Le Marche” and for uniformity, we always use this term. There are, as you say, also other options that we cannot consider wrong because it is a different transposition into another language. You can decide what you prefer to use.

Marche tourism EN

How to pronounce Le Marche?

It sounds like [leh ˌmarkeh] or [markeh]; You can listen to the correct pronunciation below, registered by a local friend:

Why do I often use “Le Marche?

So, as we can see,  it’s not about personal opinions or personal translations. I decided to use predominantly “Le Marche”, as it’s one of the most common names but you can also find just “Marche” in my posts, depending on the context.

Which is the correct English translation for the Marche region in Italy 1

As its name, this region is wonderfully in the plural. You could be surprised with the region’s diversity: mountains, nature, ancient villages, green hills with all shades of green, a crystal- clear coast, art, culture, food, and traditions. Believe me, it’s also not easy to find just a few adjectives to describe such extraordinary people. You need to organize an in-depth trip to discover and feel it. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Le Marche, as I did.

Marche Italy Map

marche italy maps

Map Details

Other articles:

Did you like this post? If so, like the Wonderful Marche Facebook Page or Instagram:  I will bring you with me on my local adventures! Share it with your friends and let’s keep in contact!

Hotels in Le Marche Italy

Are you planning a trip to Le Marche? Check out the list of hotels in Le Marche and book it now!

le marche hotels

About the author Juliana de Brito

Hi, my name is Juliana and It’s nice to e-meet you!

I’m an expat who decided to live in the Marche Region and I’m extremely passionate about it.

Would you like to know more about me and about what binds me to this region?

Just check out the video below.

marche italy video