There are beautiful stories and meanings behind every country’s name. Well, there should be! Etymology is an interesting subject of its own, add some geography to it and you will be amazed to find out how astonishing and weird the meanings of some countries’ names are.
While you may know the meaning of your country’s name, other countries’ names remain a mystery to all of us. To unravel the mystery, Credit Card Compare created an insightful map in which they visualized the literal translations and meanings of every country’s name. Let’s break that down by continents. And hey, if the images are too small, just zoom in a little or open them in a new tab, they are in high resolution.
How countries get their names and the trend behind this is fascinating. Nearly every country on the planet is named after one of four things: a directional description of the country, a feature of the land, a tribe name, or an important person, usually male.
Most of the time, a country will get its English name as follows: if settlers or traders arrive at a place there will use the name of the tribe that inhabits the place or use the tribe’s name itself. Sometimes when the settlers want to conquer the place they arrive at, they will usually name the land after their leader or something that resembles their own land.
Of course, not every country will have the same name in different languages. To get the true meaning of a country’s name, you will have to translate it into its original language first. This can be particularly tricky and confusing. Tracing down very distinct and sometimes long-forgotten languages makes it a difficult task to pull off.
Germany is such an anomaly. It doesn’t keep the same meaning when translated into different languages; it translates very differently. Deutschland, Allemagne, Tyskland, Saksa, Németország: All over the world, Germany is known by different names. This is largely due to the tribal history of Germany, as other civilizations and people came to associate certain words with the people who resided in the area.
To view the full map in one very big image click [here].
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