Folium: Countries as Named in Their Own Languages via MentalFloss

Folium: Countries as Named in Their Own Languages via MentalFloss

Folium: Countries as Named in Their Own Languages via MentalFloss


Have you ever considered, looking at a map or globe, the names of the countries on it? They’re all in English; understandable to us in our own language. However, have you ever considered what the United States might be called on the map of a country that speaks a different language?


Well, each country has a different endonym; or a name that they call themselves. For the United States the endonym would be the United States. However, in France the United States is referred to as Les États-Unis or in Spanish speaking counties, Los Estados Unidos. The name given to the United States is the United States, yet many other countries have their own name for the United States to grant a better and simpler understanding to citizens when associating names with different countries by giving a name to each in their own language.

“An endonym is the name for a place, site or location in the language of the people who live there. These names may be officially designated by the local government or they may simply be widely used.” – EndonymMap

But, have you consider how they’re different in their native country? How the different names of these different countries vary in spelling, pronunciation, and perhaps meaning in the different dialects that are spoken within these separate countries?

Each country has developed a name in their own language that refers to themselves as well as the other countries around the world in a manner in which they understand in their own language. For example, Finland is called natively Suomen Tasavalta (Republic of Finland), Hungary is called Magyarország, and Greenland, in the native language West Greenlandic, is called Kalaallit Nunaat.

Despite the fact that we have our own names that refer to these countries such as; Finland, Hungary, and Greenland, they have their own names that their people have developed to refer to their country that are complex, identified in their own language. Learning about these endonyms can bring a broad array of knowledge of the language and culture within the country that the original names of these countries originated it before being adapted to the many different languages around the world.

To expand your knowledge of endonyms even further and to learn those of other countries please do consider reading the main article. Also, consider looking into the other links located at the bottom of this article to give further context and facts about endonyms and their usage, along with where and how they are utilized throughout the world.

Ashleigh Slater
LEAF Contributor