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Old 08-24-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Sorry if this has been done before, but I'm a bit of a language geek so I find this stuff interesting.

What are some country names in other languages, i.e. languages other than that of the country itself, that differ significantly from the country name that is used in most other languages?

For example:

Polish
Italy = Włochy (as opposed to Italia, Italy, Italie, etc.)
Germany = Niemcy (as opposed to Deutschland, Allemagne, Germania, etc.)

Finnish
Russia = Venäjä
Sweden = Ruotsi
Estonia = Viro
Germany = Saksa

Any others?
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Mandarin Chinese names of countries are the suffix -gwo (country) preceded by some nominator that reflects the original country, usually applying just the first phonetic. For example, E-gwo for England, De-gwo for Germany, etc. China is Jung-gwo, for "center country". For countries known to China for many centuries, there will be a traditional name for it, but I don't remember what they are, say, for Japan, Korea, etc.

===

In Hungarian, the suffix -orszag means country, so:
Magyarorszag = Hungary, "country of the Magyars"/ When it was a kingdom, it was Magyarkiralysag.
Lengyelorszag = Poland
Nemetorszag = Germany
Olaszorszag = Italy
Ormenyorszag = Armenia
Egyesült Államok = United States
Egyesült Királyság = United Kingdom

Finnish and Hungarian are not Indo-European languages, so they have very few cognates with the other European languages.


The Italian word for German is "Tedesco", presumably from the root for "Teutonic". The Finniish Saksa for Germany is logical, from Saxony.

Netherlands, which means "low countries" in English, is often simply the local vernacular for 'low country' in the applicable country, such as Pays Bas or Paises Bajos.

The English names for India and Egypt are based on old Latin names for the regions, which now call themselves Bharat and Misr. Most other moderen languages also use the Latin-influenced monickers.

Portugal is probably the only European country that is spelled the same in virtually every language.

Perhaps the most curious phenomenon was when Ivory Coast demanded that everybody in the world use the French spellling Cote d'Ivoire, and sure enough, everyone did, even the Americans who steadfastly refuse to use metric. Maybe we can get the Ivorian government to ban war and poverty, too, and see if everybody obeys.

Last edited by jtur88; 08-24-2012 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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In Spanish:

Italy: Italia
Germany: Alemania
England: Inglaterra
USA: Estados Unidos
Greece: Grecia
France: Francia
Netherlands: Holanda


I could go on forever but i gotta go now :P
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:32 PM
 
14,743 posts, read 30,318,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
Polish
Italy = Włochy (as opposed to Italia, Italy, Italie, etc.)
You got me! Exactly what I was thinking. No "Ital" root, whatsoever. And they sent us a Pope??? Even the Japanese refer to an Italian person as an "Italiajin."
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieLL View Post
In Spanish:
Netherlands: Holanda
Actually it would be Países Bajos, Holanda it's a region of the Netherlands, that in english is Holland.

Last edited by chascarrillo; 08-24-2012 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Mandarin Chinese names of countries are the suffix -gwo (country) preceded by some nominator that reflects the original country, usually applying just the first phonetic. For example, E-gwo for England, De-gwo for Germany, etc. China is Jung-gwo, for "center country". For countries known to China for many centuries, there will be a traditional name for it, but I don't remember what they are, say, for Japan, Korea, etc.
And America is Mei-guo which translates as "Beautiful country."

There are a couple of places in the U.S. that have "native" Chinese names:

San Francisco = jiu jin shan = Old Gold Mountain
California = jia zhou = "increasing state"

However, other West Coast cities like Los Angeles (luo shan ji) and Seattle (shi ya tu) are mere attempts at transliteration.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:26 PM
 
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Well the word French in Irish is Fraincise and the word rat in Irish is francach so people sometimes mix them up and when asked what rat was in Irish, they would say Fraincise which is the word French and when asked what French was in Irish, some people would say francach which is rat. Its not a big deal but basically it is like calling French people rats. It only happens sometimes and dont take offence to this French people. Its just a simple mistake. I thought you would like to know
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:29 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Oh, just remembered another one:

In Turkish, Greece is "Yunanistan." In fact, many of its neighboring countries end in -stan: Bulgaristan, Gürcistan [Georgia], Ermenistan [Armenia].

Speaking of Armenia, in its own language it's called "Hayastan."

And Georgia, in Georgian, is "Sakartvelo."
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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In Norwegian:

Germany: Tyskland
Greece: Hellas
United Kingdom: Storbritannia‎ (stor = great)
Côte d'Ivoire: Elfenbenskysten (elfenben = ivory and kysten = coast)

Norway: Norge (or Noreg)
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:18 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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The name for the Uk in French is really really weird.
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