Greece

Aleco

Senior Member
Norwegian
I wonder... Why have almost every language 'Greece' (Or something related) as Greece's name? On Greek it isn't similar at all...

Norwegian:
- Hellas

Danish:
- Grækenland
 
  • Maja

    Senior Member
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:

    Greece - Grčka (Грчка)
    Greek noun - Grk (Грк) m. / Grkinja (Гркиња) f.
    Greek adj. - Grčki (Грчки) m. / Grčka (Грчка) f. / Grčko (Грчко) n.
     

    Thomas F. O'Gara

    Senior Member
    English USA
    In Chinese: xila (pronounced, more or less, see-laa). Comes from "Hellas."

    Arabic: Yunan. The term is at least as old as the Koran. I don't recall what it came from, though. Maybe somebody else can advise.
     

    Samaruc

    Senior Member
    Valencià/Català, Castellano
    In Valencian-Catalan:

    Greece: Grècia
    Greek: grec (masc.sing.), grega (fem.sing.), grecs (masc.pl.), gregues (fem.pl.)

    However, you can also find the word "Hèl·lade" for the continental Greece (although it is not commonly used) and some more common adjectives like "hel·lènic, hel·lenístic...".
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Thomas F. O'Gara said:
    Arabic: Yúnán. The term is at least as old as the Koran. I don't recall what it came from, though. Maybe somebody else can advise.
    This is correct (I made a very slight correction to show that the "u" and the "a" are long vowels). We say al-yúnán اليونان for the country, al-yúnániyyún اليونانيون for the people "the Greeks", and also the first word (al-yúnán).
    But there's another word for Greeks in Arabic, which by the way sounds much like the English word : al-Ighríq الإغريق , which is the name of the Ancient Greeks (i.e. not used for the Modern ones).
    Also, for the Romans fo Byzantion (who were Greek, no?) they are ar-Rúm الروم .

    As for the origin, I searched a bit and couldn't come to a very certain information. But I found in one of the greatest Arabic books of History, the one of Ibn Khaldun a paragraph stating the relation between the three of them (al-yúnán, al-ighríq, ar-rúm) as decendants of Yáván (who's mentioned in the Bible, according to the author, as a son of Yafith (?) son of Ham) whose name was arabized as yúnán,

    وإن الشعوب الثلاثة من ولد يونان: فالاغريقيون من ولد أغريقش بن يونان، والروم من ولد رومي بن يونان، واللطينيون من ولد لطين بن يونان .
    A rough translation : the three peoples are sons of yúnán : the Greeks (ighríq) are the sons of Ighríqish son of yúnán, the Romans are sons of Romi son of yúnán, the Latins are sons of Latín son of yúnán.


    * Please excuse any mis-transliteration of the names. Thank you.
     

    werrr

    Senior Member
    Czech:

    Greece - Řecko
    Greek noun - Řek m. / Řekyně f.
    Greek adj. - řecký m. / řecká f. / řecké n.

    It's not so different what it seems. We just replaced Latin "gr" with Czech specialness "ř".
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Yunan comes from Ionia. Iota when pronounced has, sometimes a little 'Y' sound before it (Yiota i.e.). Those who got our name by the Romans who frist encountered some Hellenes (hey I'm doing my best here!) called Γραικοί (Graikoi, Graeci in Latin) from Boetia (just north of Attica-where Athens is) who migrated to Italy, call as something similar to Graecia, Graecus.

    Ionia is the name Greeks gave to the coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey) which was filled with Greek city-states. Those first encounted those Hellenes chose a form of "Yunan".

    I am generilising a bit of course :)

    We had other names too and maybe they are the reason behind "Rum" etc (I am thinking of as calling ourselves "Romioi" from "Romaioi = Romans" since, as citizens of the Byzantine Empire we were all Roman citizens and Hellenes had become (courtesy of the Church) a term meaning 'pagan' but I don't know for sure)
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    In Romanian:

    Grecia = the country
    greaca = the language
    grecesc = adj.
    grec (m.) grecoica (f.) = person from Greece

    In Swedish:

    Grekland = the country
    grekiska = the language
    grekisk = adj.
    grek (m.) grekina? (f.) = person from Greece

    :) robbie
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    Whodunit said:
    Are you sure? I think in Russian (грех) it means "sin". The Russian word for "Greek" should be "grek" (грек).
    So, it all comes down to which vowel you decide to eliminate. ;)

    Grekh> Grek (Грек) > Greek
    Grekh > greh (грех) > sin

    I'm no too serious about this as Grekh would indeed probably be the "western" way of transcribing the Russian word грех into latin writing.
     

    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    Hebrew: יוון (yavan).

    Yavan (Javan) is also a Biblical character - Japheth's son and Noah's grandson, mentioned in Genesis 10. Yavan (Greece) is not the only country to be named after a descendant of Noah mentioned in the very chapter. Examples: Ashkenaz (ancient name of Germany), Mizraim (Egypt), Canaan (roughly where today's Israel/Palestinian Authority), etc.
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Skatoulitsa that's a relief! Or else we'd have to stop using "Germania", "Elvetia" (Switzerland), "Holland", "Gallia" (France) etc :)
     

    parakseno

    Senior Member
    Romanian, Romania
    In Romanian we say...

    Greece - Grecia, Elada (Elada is more often used when refering to Ancient Greece)
    Greek (man) - grec, elen (the first one more often used)
    Greek (men) - greci, eleni
    Greek (woman) - grecoaică, elenă
    Greek (women) - grecoaice, elene
    Greek language - limba greacă, limba elenă, elină


    (Hi hi, seems that this is my 100th post here... what nicer way to celebrate it than talking about my favourite language?!:p)
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    In Chinese it's 希腊 / 希臘 Xīlà Greece, have nothing to do with any other name for Greece but its origin is Cantonese hei1 laap6 - transliteration for Hellas.

    (sorry for the cross-post but the above is only a portion of my post in the Arabic forum)

    Japanese:
    ギリシャ - Girisha

    Korean:

    그리스 - Geuriseu (Gŭrisŭ)


    You can see the written forms here (and otehr languages as well)
    http://www.geonames.org/countries/GR/other-names-for-greece.html

    These questions about what a country, a company is called could be answered using Wikipedia. Not sure if the original posters actually manage to read and absorb the answers? Wictionary is another resource to find other words in various languages.

     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    So, it all comes down to which vowel you decide to eliminate. ;)

    Grekh> Grek (Грек) > Greek
    Grekh > greh (грех) > sin

    I'm no too serious about this as Grekh would indeed probably be the "western" way of transcribing the Russian word грех into latin writing.
    It's a consonant, not a vowel. The pronunciation of these sounds is quite different despite the English language mix-up about K and KH (Russian K and X).

    K is the same as the English K but unaspairated but KH (Russian X) is a German CH, Spanish J, Sctottish Ch. "The Western way" is not only English, mind you, Germans, Dutch, Spanish have no problem distinguishing these sounds and would use different letter combinations.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Hebrew: יוון (yavan).

    Yavan (Javan) is also a Biblical character - Japheth's son and Noah's grandson, mentioned in Genesis 10. Yavan (Greece) is not the only country to be named after a descendant of Noah mentioned in the very chapter. Examples: Ashkenaz (ancient name of Germany), Mizraim (Egypt), Canaan (roughly where today's Israel/Palestinian Authority), etc.
    Just noting that like the Arabic, Turkish, Sanskrit, and Persian words, Yavan is apparently related to Ionian...

    Seems that all the ancient cultures to the east of Greece use some variation of "Ionia" while the cultures to the west of Greece generally use some variation of "Greece"...

    (The far eastern countries of Asia are different since they would've had less contact with Greece historcally...)
     

    Ilmo

    Member Emeritus
    In Finnish the name of the country is Kreikka.
    A Greek, man or woman, also as an adjective, is kreikkalainen.
    It is possible to say kreikatar of a Greek woman, though it is not usual.
    The language Greek is in Finnish kreikka (without a capital initial) or kreikan kieli (=the Greek language)
     

    avalon2004

    Senior Member
    UK- English/Spanish
    Greek obviously has a host of words for Hellenic-related things:

    Greece: Ελλάδα (Ελλάς) [eládha]
    Greek language: Ελληνικά/Ελληνική [eliniká]
    Greek person (male or female): Έλληνας [élinas]
    Greek woman: Ελληνίδα [elinídha]
    Greece as a nation/Hellenism: ελληνισμός [elinismós]
    Greek (adjective): ελληνικός [elinikós]
    Greek speaking: ελληνόφωνος [elinófonos]
    "Greekness": ελληνικότητα [elinikótita]
     

    Lemminkäinen

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    While the name of the country is indeed Hellas in Norwegian as noted in the original post, the adjective and other related words have the "Greek" stem:

    Greek (adj.): gresk
    Greek - native (n.): greker
    Greek - language (n.): gresk
     
    In polish:

    Greece - Grecja
    Greek language - (język) grecki
    Greek man - Grek
    Greek woman - Greczynka
    Greek men - Grecy
    Greek women - Greczynki
    Grek nation/greek people - Grecy
    Greek (adj.) - grecki
    "Greekness" - greckość
     

    gigi1

    Member
    Greek Greece
    In Chinese: xila (pronounced, more or less, see-laa). Comes from "Hellas."

    Arabic: Yunan. The term is at least as old as the Koran. I don't recall what it came from, though. Maybe somebody else can advise.
    One of the first "tribes" that came and lived in Greece as almost is known now where called Ίωνες (Iones), I think that Yunan comes from that and yes it is pretty old (I think the Phoenicians used to call us like that) and still in those areas we are called like that.
    The western Greek comes from the other name we had Γραικοί (Greki), but I don't know which came from which (Greek -> Γραικοί or Γραικοί ->Greek)
    I can't understand how the chinese one came out though (Xila (if x is pronounced ks)in greek means woods/logs)
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Gigi look at my post #15 in this thread. And the Chinese, if you thing of the pronunciation (this table may help you understand it a bit) comes from Hellas.

    Ionians can be described as a group, not a "tribe" by the way :)
     

    gigi1

    Member
    Greek Greece
    Gigi look at my post #15 in this thread. And the Chinese, if you thing of the pronunciation (this table may help you understand it a bit) comes from Hellas.

    Ionians can be described as a group, not a "tribe" by the way :)
    I must be more careful in reading the threads :)
    And you are right about the tribe thing, but that's the word that came to me (group would be easier but didn't came to my mind).
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    I'm surprised to see that the name of Greece in Nahuatl seems as Norweigan
    Weir isn't it?
    Well the name is Helenoyan

    and Greek.- Helenia (Nationality)

    About a greek thing.- it'll be.- helenotecatl or helenatl. depend of the thing.

    I supposed the word comes form the spanish Helénico. A word also resambling a greek thing.

    Does it work equal in Norweigan?

    Thank you
     

    MarX

    Banned
    Indonesian, Indonesia
    In Indonesian, Greece is called Yunani.

    Orang Yunani: (a) Greek (person)
    Bahasa Yunani: Greek language

    We don't have no grammatical genders. So a male and a female Greek are both Orang Yunani.


    In Georgian, Greece sounds very different from every other language, eh?



    MarK
     

    deine

    Senior Member
    Lithuania - lithuanian
    Lithuanian:
    Graikija (country)
    graikas (person-male)
    graikė (person-female)
    graikų kalba (Greek language)
     

    Nizo

    Senior Member
    Greek obviously has a host of words for Hellenic-related things:

    Greece: Ελλάδα (Ελλάς) [eládha]
    Greek language: Ελληνικά/Ελληνική [eliniká]
    Greek person (male or female): Έλληνας [élinas]
    Greek woman: Ελληνίδα [elinídha]
    Greece as a nation/Hellenism: ελληνισμός [elinismós]
    Greek (adjective): ελληνικός [elinikós]
    Greek speaking: ελληνόφωνος [elinófonos]
    "Greekness": ελληνικότητα [elinikótita]
    These same words in Esperanto are:
    Greece: Grekujo [official, traditional], Grekio [common]
    Greek language: la greka (lingvo)
    Greek person/Greek man: greko
    Greek woman: grekino
    Hellenism: helenismo
    Greek (adjective): greka
    Greek speaking: grekparolanta
    "Greekness": grekeco, heleneco
     

    federicoft

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In Italian, as said before, it is Grecia (country) and greco (adjective).

    However we also say ellenico to mean Greek or related to Greece.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Indeed, in also Portuguese there are learned synonyms of these words, which are sometimes used in literature:

    Greece = Grécia = Hélade
    Greek = grego = heleno (ethnicity)
    Hellenic = helénico (adjective)
    Hellenistic = helenístico
     
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