An interesting fact is that most of the names on the political map of the world (be it in Russian, English or any other language) do not correspond to the names used by the inhabitants of the designated territories. In the material below, we have collected the most interesting differences in common and real names of states.
♥ BY TOPIC: The most expensive paintings in the world and why they cost so much: TOP-50.
TOP 10 countries, whose real names are radically different from the generally accepted ones
Indeed, most of us do not pay much attention to the correctness of the place names used. We still buy real Ceylon tea, although the island, like the country, has been called Sri Lanka for half a century, we have not recognized the name of the state Myanmar for 30 years and continue to stubbornly call it Burma, linguistically we are reducing the Kingdom of the Netherlands to two Dutch regions, etc. … Nevertheless, finding out the correct names of some states is not only useful for general development, but also quite curious.
♥ BY TOPIC: The deepest holes in the world.
As you know, the unification of the Germanic lands happened quite recently in a historical perspective, and therefore the neighbors still call this state in accordance with the nicknames of those tribes with which their ancestors had more contact. So, the French call the country Allemania, the Russians – Germany, the Finns – Saxo, the Danes – Tiskland, the Ukrainians – Nimechina, the Poles – simply Germans, and Icelanders call it Piskaland. In international circulation, the English name Germany is used, but the citizens themselves call their state no other than Deutschland.
♥ BY TOPIC: Famous artists of the “freak circus”: people with amazing anatomical disabilities.
To call the state Greece in the presence of an orthodox Hellene is almost as offensive as to call the city Odessa in the presence of a native Odessa citizen. Although, in fact, in the very antiquity that all the inhabitants of the country dream about, there were no Hellenes. The inhabitants of Corinth considered themselves Corfinians, and the Athenians lived in Athens. However, subsequently, all the territories developed by the Greeks, with the light hand of Herodotus, really began to be called Hellas, and the inhabitants – Hellenes. But then there were the Romans, who did not care deeply about all the merits of the creators of the ancient civilization. It was they who introduced the name Greece into circulation, which is used in different versions by the whole world today, except for the Greeks themselves, who still call their country Hellas (Ελλάδα).
♥ BY TOPIC: What animals and birds live the longest on the planet: Top 10.
El Maghreb (Morocco)
The history of the emergence of the generally accepted name of this state is remarkable in that it is a typical example of the European colonialists’ disregard for local names. The abbreviated self-name of the country is El-Maghreb or the Kingdom of Maghreb, which roughly translates as “west” and is easily explained by the geographical location of the state on the northeastern coast of the African continent. The French, having colonized this territory, named it simply by the name of one of the largest cities – Marrakesh.
♥ BY TOPIC: The tallest people on Earth in history + video.
The origin of the generally accepted name “Armenia” is in many ways similar to the Dutch history and is associated with the name of the region Armi, while the Armenians themselves name the country Ayastan (Հայաստան) in honor of Hayk – the commander, according to legend, in 2492 BC. who defeated the Babylonians.
♥ BY TOPIC: Top cities in the world: 28 places with the highest living standards.
Nihon or Nippon (Japan)
The East is a delicate matter, and it can be quite difficult to understand the etymology of the names of Asian countries. However, in the case of “the place where the sun rises” everything is more or less clear. In fact, this phrase familiar to a Russian-speaking person is the real name of the State of Japan, which is written in kanji hieroglyphs and pronounced as “Nihon koku” or “Nippon koku”. This was the name of the island state by representatives of the Chinese Sun dynasty, for whom the sunrise geographically began from Japan, and then the Pacific Desert stretched. The Japanese use the name Nihon for the most part in everyday life, while Nippon can be seen in official documents.
♥ BY TOPIC: Why the dollar is called the buck is indicated by the $ symbol and other interesting facts about the American currency.
Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland)
Even if the world’s largest island is not an independent state, its presence in this list is justified by a rather original generally accepted name. According to one of the versions, the Norwegian Viking Erik the Red, who organized the first settlements here and wanted to lure as many compatriots as possible, came up with the name of the harsh cold area “green land” (Greenland or Grønland in Danish). The self-name of the island is Kalaallit Nunaat, which can be translated as “Land of the Kalaalits” (Kalaalits are a tribe of local Eskimos).
♥ BY TOPIC: Swiss Guard, or why the Pope can only be guarded by immigrants from Switzerland?
United Kingdom (UK)
The most difficult situation with names has developed on the British Isles, where a person who is not particularly interested in geography can get completely confused. Here are England, and Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, and two Ireland, one of which is North, and the second is for some reason not South, but if we add Australia, Canada and many small state formations, whose inhabitants are, in one way or another, subjects of the British crown, then it becomes quite difficult to put the whole administrative division in your head.
Perhaps it’s worth starting with the UK. This is how most people around the world, including Russian-speakers, call the state, which consists of four main territories: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, to be absolutely precise, Great Britain is more of a geographical name denoting the largest island in the country, but only England, Scotland and Wales are located on it, while Northern Ireland is located on another island along with its neighbor – the usual Ireland.
The political name, which should be used (but is used quite rarely) in international circulation – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or, for short, the United Kingdom. Among other things, the British themselves are aggravating the problem. For example, at the Olympic Games, they act under the name Great Britain, while including athletes from Northern Ireland on the team. At the same time, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own national football teams, flying their flags to the accompaniment of different anthems in international FIFA and UEFA competitions.
♥ BY TOPIC: How to pronounce Xiaomi in Russian and what does this word mean.
Another rather complex state formation, the basis of which is the Kingdom of the Netherlands with three islands included in it: Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten, as well as the Netherlands itself. At the same time, the Netherlands itself also has three Caribbean islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, as well as the main European part, in which, among others, there are the provinces of South and North Holland. However, all over the world, this multinational, complex state is still regularly called Holland, referring to all of its citizens as Dutch, including those who have never left their island in the Caribbean and have never seen Holland itself.
As in the case of the British, the Dutch government did not show much activity in this matter – the country was designated as Holland at international summits, sports, economic forums, etc. However, at the beginning of 2020, it was decided to end the linguistic confusion at the legislative level, and the Netherlands finally abandoned the Holland brand.
♥ BY TOPIC: Space velocities: how fast do you need to fly to leave the Earth, planetary system and galaxy?
Here the situation is strictly opposite to that in the Netherlands. The Georgians themselves call the country Sakartvelo only after one of the regions of Kartli, which played a decisive role in the economic and cultural development of the state. The English-speaking international community calls the country Georgia, which is most likely associated with St. George, in whose honor the Georgians have erected several hundred churches and consider him their patron.
The Russian-language name Georgia, presumably, has its roots in Persian sources, where these territories are called “land of wolves” – Gurjistan. And in Armenian the country sounds like Vrastan, which can be translated into Russian as “Upper Country” (Georgia is located strictly to the north of Armenia).
♥ BY TOPIC: Who has the most followers on Instagram – 40 most popular accounts.
Joseon and Hanguk (North and South Korea)
As is the case with most other states, the rest of the world has no interest in the internal Korean political cuisine and the peninsula is easily divided along the 38th parallel into North Korea (DPRK) and South Korea. The only problem is that the Koreans themselves do not recognize any division and both halves consider the other half to be temporarily annexed by the damned capitalists or no less damned communists. Actually, the very name Korea, derived from the name of the Koryo empire (which united the peninsula until 1392), is also not used by the Koreans themselves.
North Korea’s self-name is Joseon, which can be translated as “Country of Morning Freshness.” In turn, in the south, Korea is called Hanguk or Taehanmingguk, and the division into the southern and northern parts follows the same principle as in the DPRK: in the north, Bukhan (Northern Khan), in the south, respectively, Namkhan (Southern Khan).
♥ BY TOPIC: 7 famous symbols you might not know about
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Despite the fact that the active development of the New Zealand islands by Europeans began only a couple of centuries ago, a single original name for this state does not exist in nature, although they are trying to find it in every possible way. The fact is that the Maori who lived here before the advent of the colonialists did not, of course, have any political borders and political maps, and their territories were limited to the shores of the islands, each of which had its own name (and it could be radically different from the name that was used for this territory is neighbors).
Nevertheless, the current international name of the country New Zealand does not suit the New Zealanders very much – it turns out that the largest state in Oceania is named after the not most prosperous, to put it mildly, southwestern province of the Netherlands, the reason for which was the nationality of the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman, by name which, by the way, is named also neighboring Tasmania.
The most acceptable option for restoring historical justice is considered the name Aotearoa, which roughly translates as “Land of the Long White Cloud”, but opponents of the renaming note that until the middle of the 20th century, the Maori themselves called this exclusively the North (one of the two main) islands of New Zealand.