Can we translate the expression “droits de la personnalité” or “Persönlichkeitsrechte” into English? Is the notion of “personality” an equivalent of the continental “personnalité” or “Persönlichkeit”? This paper will deal with these questions from the perspective of comparative law. After a brief survey of the uses of the notion “personality right” in some selected civil law and common law jurisdictions, the attention will be focused on the early history and the modern development of this category, with the aim of providing some insight into the distinctive features of the continental idea of “protecting personality”. In the conclusion, two different conceptions of safeguarding personhood in private law will be contrasted, and it will be clarified to what extent the civilian droits de la personnalité should be regarded as an intraduisible.