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11 Countries whose original names are different from those we know from maps

The names that we know of the countries do not always correspond to the originals given to them by the native peoples of those places. We’ve already written about popular countries like Japan and Finland, and now we decided to talk about less obvious territories like Greenland or Armenia.

O awesome.club prepared yet another compilation with examples of how countries are actually called by their natives.


The name Österreich comes from archaic German and means “eastern kingdom”. The word “Austria” is the Latinized version of the country’s original name. Because of her, by the way, a little confusion arose, since Ost in German it means “East” and austere in Latin, “south”.


The origin of the word “Armenia” derives from the ancient name of the region, Armi. According to another version, the toponym arose thanks to the name of the Urartian king Aram. Be that as it may, the name Armenia itself has nothing to do with these words and sounds like Hayq🇧🇷 In the Middle Ages, the country was called Hayastan🇧🇷 The origin of this name also has several versions. One of them is related to the name of the mythological leader of the Armenians, Haiko, who, according to legend, defeated the army of the Babylonian king Bel, in 2492 BC.



In different languages ​​of the world Germany is called in different ways: Germany – in French, saksa — in Finnish, tysksland — in Danish, Niemcy– in Polish, Germanija– in Russian. The Germans themselves call their country Deutschland🇧🇷 According to one version, the word goes back to the proto-Germanic word Þeodisk , “connected to the people”, and referred, above all, to the language. In other languages, the name of the country came about thanks to the names used to designate the tribes that lived in these territories. The French called them Alemanni, the Danes — tiksesthe Finns — Saxons, &c.


The name Greenland (“Green Land”) was coined by the Viking Erik the Red — who with this name hoped to attract as many new residents as possible, although the severe northern island can hardly be called “green”. In Greenlandic the country is called Kalaallit Nunaat — “Land of the Kalaallites”, one of the Greenlandic Eskimo peoples.


The official name of the country is al-Mamlakâtu al-Maġribiyya — the Kingdom of the Maghreb, for short — el-Magrib🇧🇷 “Maghreb” in Arabic means “where the sun sets”, which is quite logical given its geographical location on the northwest coast of Africa.

The name Morocco comes from French, the language in which the country was called maroc, word derived from the name of the capital, Marrakesh, which probably comes from the Berber amur akush — “land of god”.

northern Ireland

North Korea

In Korean, the name of the country is choson and the word does not contain a root meaning “north”. In general, the division into North Korea and South Korea exists only in foreign languages. In Korean, country names have nothing in common, “South Korea” in Korean is hangul🇧🇷

The name choson it existed long before the arrival of Kim Il-sung and the Korean War — that was the name of the dynasty under which the country flourished. Furthermore, the word choson, written in Chinese characters, means “Land of Morning Freshness”. That’s why they decided to retake that name when two new countries appeared on the map.


The official name of Wales is Cymru 🇧🇷 comes from the word kom-brogi which means “countrymen”. The word “Wales” originated from the Old English name of the Gallic tribe that inhabited these territories.


The country’s name derives from Norse words svea and rike — “kingdom of the ‘Swede’ – and in Swedish it sounds like Sverige 🇧🇷


In Gaelic, Scotland is called by the beautiful name of “Alba”. The ancient Greeks, and after them the Romans, called the entire island we know as Great Britain Albion🇧🇷 Soon, the name was adopted only for the territory of modern Scotland. The word alba it is associated with a root meaning “white” or “hill”. This name probably originated from the white cliffs of Dover. The official name of the country in English — Scotland — has a lower pitch. the Greek word skotos it is translated as “darkness”. The derived name skot it was given to the tribes of invaders who lived in these lands.

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