Names of Countries

  • Flaminius

    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Japanese names of countries such as Finland, Botswana and Liberia are written in katakana because they are basically foreign words.

    By the way, welcome to the forums, Tim. :)


    New Member
    Hello, new to this forum.
    Many names for countries in Japanese can be written in Kanji and Katanaka.
    I think the reason is many of the below examples were "Kanjified" before the use of Katakana became more widespread but now almost 100% of the time Katakana is used for most western countries (and several Asian ones, too).

    England: 英国 (Eikoku) / イギリス (Igirisu) -> England is, for better or worse, most often reffered to by Japanese these days as "English" or "Igirisu" rather than イングランド (Ingurando.)

    America: 米 (Bei/Amerika) / アメリカ

    Spain: 西班牙 (Supein) / スペイン

    France: 仏蘭西 (Furansu) / フランス

    etc. etc.


    Senior Member
    Wao, Great, Nicol.

    印度 Indho India came to my mind when I saw your 'etc etc'. :)

    I am new here as well, though, welcome to the forum!