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Thread: Countries that have a different name in your language

  1. #1
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    Countries that have a different name in your language

    Are there a countries or nationalities that have a different name in your language than in other languages? (not including countries like "United states" which are different in every language) What is their origin? In Hebrew, for example:

    France - צרפת Tsarfat. From the bible.
    Spain - ספרד Sfarad. Same
    Yemen - תימן Teiman. Same
    Egypt - מצריים Mitsrayim. Obviously from the bible.
    Greece - יון Yavan. Pretty similar to Arabic and Aramaic, but they pronounce it Yawan. Its origin is from the city Ionia.

    As far as nationalities go, one I can think of is Italian איטלקי Italki. Not sure what's the origin of the added k, but it doesn't exist in any other nationality in Hebrew.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    France --> «Γαλλία» (ɣa'lia, f) from the Latin Gallia (the land of the Gauls). The French people, persistently remain Gauls for us--> «Γάλλος, -λλίς/-ίδα» ('ɣalos, the male citizen of France, ɣa'lis- and colloquially ɣa'liða - the female one).
    Les Grecs sont étonnants dans l'adversité - François Pouqueville

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    I think Hungary is the most variously named country in Europe, for example:

    English - Hungary, Spanish - Hungría (thru ME Greek Oungroi) - from Latin Ungari
    German - Ungarn, Bulgarian - Унгария (Ungaria) - from Latin Ungari
    Turkish - Macaristan (i.e. country of Magyars, from Hung. Magyarország)

    All these words (except Turkish, of course) orginate from Turkic Ονόγουροι > Latin Hunuguri. Turkic word is from Ancient Turkic оn ogur, on oguz (ten ogus tribes).


    In Russian language 'China' has initial k instead of ch lor s ike in most other European languages: China - Китай (Kitai). The reason is that to Russian this name came thru Turkic languages, and to other European - thru Latin directly from China (Marco Polo and Qin dynasty =>sino...).
    Last edited by Maroseika; 30th December 2011 at 11:50 AM.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Some examples from Hungarian:

    Magyar – Hungarian
    Olasz – Italian
    Lengyel – Polish
    Német – German

    The names of the states derive from these adjectives by adding the word ország ("country"):

    Magyarország – Hungary
    Olaszország– Italy
    Lengyelország – Poland
    Németország– Germany

    Some examples from other languages:

    Włochy – Italy in Polish
    Węgry – Hungary in Polish (the words Węgry and Hungary have the same origin)
    Deutschland – Germany in German
    Österreich – Austria in German
    Nemecko - Germany in Slovak (and similar words in other Slavic laguages)
    Maďarsko – Hungary in Slovak and Czech
    Rakúsko – Austria in Slovak
    Last edited by francisgranada; 30th December 2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Addition

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    In Turkish:

    Yunanistan = Greece (Land of Ionians)
    Mısır = Egypt
    Fas = Morocco
    Cezayir = Algeria
    Beyaz Rusya = Belarus

    And Polish Language is called: Lehçe

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallino View Post
    Beyaz Rusya = Belarus
    This is just a calque - White Russia.

    And Polish Language is called: Lehçe
    How came this old Slavic ethnicon penetrated in Turkish? Maybe since the epoch of Polish-Turkish wars of the 17th century?
    In fact, Pole and Lehçe mean exactly the same - inhabitants of waste plot or virgin soil.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    In Lithuanian many countries are called differently than in other Indo-European languages. Poland is called Lenkija
    Germany- Vokietija, Hungary Vengrija. Hungary is Wegry in Polish, too. Italia in Polish is Wlochy.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Maroseika View Post

    How came this old Slavic ethnicon penetrated in Turkish? Maybe since the epoch of Polish-Turkish wars of the 17th century?
    In fact, Pole and Lehçe mean exactly the same - inhabitants of waste plot or virgin soil.
    I don't know how/when it entered Turkish, but your suggestion is possible. In the history books, the Polish territories are referred to as Lehistan. But we don't use this term today. The country is called Polonya.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    More country names in Lithuanian: Prancuzija for France, Suomija for Finland, But Finland is called Suomi in Finnish, anyhow.
    As per Lehistan there is a legend that the Polish nation originated form Lech, one of the three Slavic brothers, Lech, Czech and Rus.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Also in Turkish:

    1. Algeria: Cezayir

    "Cezayir" comes from the Arabic word "cezîra" which means "peninsula".

    2. Egypt: Mısır

    Before Islam, its name was "Kemet" which means "black country". After Islam, this country has been called: "mısır".

    "Mısır" consists of 3 letters; "Mim" (M), "Sad" (S), "Ra" (R)

    Each letter represents a historical period of the country. Egyptian people had big difficulties. Arabic equivalent of difficulty is meşakkat. So, first letter "M" comes from "meşekkat". They had born with these difficulties. Arabic equivalent of bearing with difficulty is sabretmek. So, second letter "S" comes from "sabretmek". As a result of having big difficulties and bearing with them, they prospered. Arabic equivalent of prosper is refaha kavuşmak. So, the final letter "R" comes from "refah". So, Mısır means "meşakkat - sabır - refah".
    Last edited by snoopymanatee; 30th December 2011 at 6:53 PM.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    France - צרפת Tsarfat. From the bible.
    Spain - ספרד Sfarad. Same
    How could France and Spain be in the bible(Old Testament)?

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by terredepomme View Post
    How could France and Spain be in the bible(Old Testament)?
    You doubt that Pyrenees excisted in the Bible epoch? Sfarad, mentioned in the Old Testament, is supposed by some scholars to mean that peninsula.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Latvian:
    Russia - Krievija (after the ancient East-Slavic tribe Krivich bordering with ancient Letts).


    Finnish:
    Russia - Venäjä (after Veneti, ancient name for tribes identified by some scholars as predecessors of Slavs)
    Estonia - Viro
    Last edited by Maroseika; 30th December 2011 at 8:09 PM.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Sfarad, mentioned in the Old Testament, is supposed by some scholars to mean that peninsula.
    By that peninsula you mean the Iberian peninsula?
    Then how do they call Portugal?

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    In Bulgarian, country names don't differ from the ones in English (unless they have to be translated - United States, United Kindom), the only possible exception is China, which is Китай.

    As for nationalities, Albanias are sometimes called арнаути (arnauti), Hungarians - маджари (madzhari), Romanians - власи (vlasi)

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Greeks call ourselves «Ἐλληνες» ('Elines) and our country «Ελλάς» (E'las, f.) or colloquially, «Ελλάδα» (E'laða, f.). The name - according to Hesychius and Aristotle - derives from the tribe of «Σελλοὶ» (Sĕl'lœ) who were also known as «Ἑλλοὶ» (Hĕl'lœ) and «Ἕλλοι» ('Hĕllœ) and lived around the oracle of Dodona in Epirus, in northwestern Greece. For the Classicist nerds (like myself), Hesychius writes: «Ἑλλοὶ, Ἔλληνες οἱ ἐν Δωδώνῃ καὶ οἱ ἱερεῖς» (Hellœ are called the Greeks (Hellenes) of Dodona, and the priests). Why this specific name spread and prevailed over e.g. the Homeric «Δαναοὶ» (Dănā'œ), and what is its etymology, remain obscure.
    The rest of the world calls Greeks as:
    1/ Greeks, Grecques, Greci etc (with the exception of the Norwegians if I'm not mistaken) after the first encountering of the Latins with the Greeks of the Greek colony of Cumæ in southern Italy, near Naples. The Greeks of Cumæ called themselves «Γραικοὶ» (Græ'kœ) because their colony was established by the inhabitants of the city of «Γραῖα» ('Grǣă) in Bœotia; «Γραικοὶ» > "Græci";
    2/ Yunanlar, Yawani, Yavanim, after the first encountering of the Persians with the Ionians who colonised western Asia Minor.
    Les Grecs sont étonnants dans l'adversité - François Pouqueville

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by terredepomme View Post
    How could France and Spain be in the bible(Old Testament)?
    Most likely that these weren't their original meanings. Only in medieval times the connection was made. I should point out that in medieval Hebrew Germany was called Ashkenaz (who was Japeth's grandson), but that name didn't stick and in modern Hebrew it's called גרמניה Germanya. Another country with a special name in Hebrew is India - הודו Hodu. It was also mentioned in the bible in the book of Esther describing the borders of the Persian kingdom (from India to Cush)

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Czech:

    Germany - Německo (from němý - mute)
    Austria - Rakousko (from castle Ratgoz, today's name is Raabs)
    Hungary - Maďarsko (from magyar)
    Latvia - Lotyšsko
    Lithuania - Litva
    Greece - Řecko
    Last edited by ilocas2; 30th December 2011 at 10:46 PM.

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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    Finnish:

    Sweden – Ruotsi (from the Roslagen region of Sweden)
    Germany – Saksa (< Sachsen)

    Maroseika already mentioned Venäjä (related to the tribal name ​Wend) and Viro, which comes from the Virumaa area of Estonia.

    While the Soviet Union still existed, Finnish was one of the few European languages that translated the entire name, rather than just the “Union” part: they called the USSR Neuvostoliitto (< neuvosto, “council, soviet” + liitto “union”).


    Welsh has unique names for all the British Isles nations:

    Wales – Cymru
    England – Lloegr
    Scotland – Yr Alban
    Ireland – Iwerddon (cognate with Irish Ériu, etc.)

  20. #20
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    Re: Countries that have a different name in your language

    I should point out that in medieval Hebrew Germany was called Ashkenaz (who was Japeth's grandson)
    So when they said "Ashkenazi" they literally meant "Germans?"
    Now I see the link between "Sfarad" and "Sepharadim." Quite interesting.

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