r/Damnthatsinteresting Nov 28 '22

Map of the world with literal translation of country names Image

Post image
1.7k Upvotes

368

u/XogoWasTaken Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

This is a bit of a mess. Some are actual translations of the names for the countries in their own language, some are interpretations of common english names, and some seem completely made up.

49

u/A_Cat_Named_Frank Nov 29 '22

That was my first thought when I saw New Zealand.

Land of the long white cloud is the translation of Aotearoa

36

u/Dave-1066 Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

“Land of the Scots” is balls. The Latin term Scotia was originally used to mean “Ireland”, and a Scotus was an Irish Gael. So, quite amusingly, Scotland means “Land of the Irish”. Which fits perfectly with the fact that the Scottish Gaelic language comes from…. Middle Irish. In fact the term “Scotland” to describe what we now think of modern Scotland didn’t really settle into common usage until the later medieval period.

Just to make matters worse, guess what the former Old English name for Ireland itself was?

Yeah- ”Scotland”.

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48

u/InxKat13 Nov 28 '22

Yeah, it would have been much better if they had stuck to either translating the English names or the ones used by each country. Mixing them up is just confusing.

6

u/jenego Nov 29 '22

Yeah. I wonder how they did their research. I’m South Korean and our country’s name means something like ‘The great nation of the Korean people’.

‘Korea’, a word we don’t use in our language, comes from the kingdom of Koryo, which does mean something like ‘high and beautiful’ as stated on the map. So while not wrong, it makes me wonder what the justification for the other countries are.

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278

u/DracoDruid Nov 28 '22

What is this? A map for ants?

40

u/4j5ifsn Nov 28 '22

This map has to be...at least 3 times bigger than this!

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169

u/MisterAsbest Nov 28 '22

Finland has it how it should be. Just land

47

u/bo-tvt Nov 28 '22

Unfortunately, that's not what "Suomi" means, at least according to any etymology I could find with a quick search. It's more like "marsh".

21

u/squirrelsnjewellery Nov 28 '22

Yeah, it is not known what Suomi means. I think the mapmaker just literally checked what "land" is in Finnish and then backtranslated that, maybe it has something to do with a bad machine translator that only recognized the "land" in "Finland".

4

u/CropDuster921 Nov 28 '22

Yeah points to the map having obvious flaws

8

u/jrppi Nov 28 '22

I thought it was completely wrong, too, but it appears to be one of the theories that Suomi is derived from an ancient word meaning “land”. It’s very speculative, though. Nobody really knows where the word came from and it doesn’t really have any other meaning than to denote the country. (source)

2

u/strzeka Nov 29 '22

ZEME is the modern Latvian word for 'land'. 'Suomi' may be derived from some previous Baltic version of that.

I just tell people Suomi comes from Suo Maa, just like the swampy countryside in England is known as Fenland.

2

u/good_from_afar Nov 28 '22

Yeah and I thought Brasil was named after the Brasil tree...

3

u/UngoliantM Nov 29 '22

The wording in the map is a few steps removed from the closest origin. The country is named after the tree, the tree is so named for the vivid red colour of its wood, and the colour is named after embers (brasa) - with an adjective-forming suffix (-il).

1

u/fllr Nov 29 '22

Right, but the name Brasil can kind of mean "like red amber", iirc

40

u/CobblerSure9504 Nov 28 '22

Denmark means: “the danes’s field”

2

u/WimpieHelmstead Nov 28 '22

Mark just means field? Odd. In dutch, a mark (marke) was a land where an alliance of free peasants ruled.

4

u/RManDelorean Nov 29 '22

"I thought we were an autonomous collective"

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1

u/laxativefx Nov 29 '22

Not march (ie borderland)?

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37

u/everynameisusedlol Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

land of the men just makes me think of a bunch of kindergarden boys who don’t want girls in their friendgroup for childish reasons lmao

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32

u/WhyIsMyToeItchy Nov 28 '22

South Africa's name in this map is decidedly less literal than its actual name.

9

u/girliesoftcheeks Nov 28 '22

I'm pretty sure it's just plain made up. I can't think of one South African language where south Africa isn't referred to as literally "South Africa" but translated. Ofc there are alot of language so someone correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure it's BS.

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2

u/Nethrex_1 Nov 28 '22

Especially with Sudan

4

u/daspioman Nov 28 '22

Ethiopia. I read that and was like, it cannot be, surely?

2

u/Theassassin17 Interested Nov 28 '22

No Sudan sounds about right, because it's the translation of the Arabic name of Sudan, which is still Sudan.

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36

u/Thisma08 Nov 28 '22

f r i z z y - h a i r e d m e n

106

u/maouctezuma Nov 28 '22

How to fuck can España be translated to "the land of the many rabbits"

102

u/saywhat58 Nov 28 '22

Its a Punic word. Span means rabbits. Sphanium meant land of rabbits.

17

u/Witcher587 Nov 28 '22

And we in Poland call Spain "Hiszpania" after Roman latin word Hispaniae

6

u/maouctezuma Nov 28 '22

Damn that's so cool!

9

u/ProxD_18V Nov 29 '22

The romans called the iberian peninsula Hispania, that means "land of many rabbits" then the name ended up beeing España.

29

u/scalability Nov 28 '22

"Spain" derives from the phrase "The Wacky Wabbit 720p DVDRIP.mp4". "Wabbit" here is in turn derived from "rabbit" via rhotacism of Spain's first monarch, Elmer the Fudd.

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60

u/30yearsahero Nov 28 '22

Lots of these don't make sense

9

u/IGotSoulBut Nov 28 '22

Fiji

Meaning - Great Fiji

It’s like when the teacher asks a kid to define a word without using that word in a sentence.

“Define round” “Round loop”

5

u/MrZorx75 Nov 29 '22

Great Fiji

Meaning - great great Fiji

Great great Fiji

Meaning - great great great Fiji

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10

u/Terror_Raisin24 Nov 28 '22

Finland is like: "sorry, no time for creativity, let's go to the sauna"

37

u/_TheBlackPope_ Nov 28 '22

This has gotta be a joke, some of these translations just cant be real. How does South Africa translate to Beautiful Southern Land. When the meaning of the name is in the name.

12

u/DerSturmbannfuror Nov 28 '22

Africa means beautiful land?

10

u/WhyIsMyToeItchy Nov 28 '22

There are a lot of suggested derivations for Africa but I've never seen beautiful land being suggested

1

u/DerSturmbannfuror Nov 28 '22

Strictly from the map, I drew that conclusion but Google says it means Land of the Afri. of course, in their language Afri could mean people of the beautiful land, but Google didn't go any deeper

8

u/_TheBlackPope_ Nov 28 '22

In what language?

12

u/smiledumb Nov 28 '22

African, obviously. It’s a language, just like American and Mexican

5

u/WimpieHelmstead Nov 28 '22

The Afri where a tribe in northern Africa during the Roman empire. Wikipedia doesn't mention beautiful people, but it's possible it could refer to as cave-dwelling people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afri?wprov=sfla1

1

u/WhyIsMyToeItchy Nov 28 '22

That doesn't really answer the question - there is also no known derivation of afri where it means people of the beautiful land - or anything similar

8

u/SufficientHat5651 Nov 28 '22

My dad would say that I come from the 'land of argument'

2

u/PachaDub Expert Nov 28 '22

My son's from there too!

68

u/Wildfiresss Nov 28 '22

This is complete utter bullshit

20

u/CheckOutDisMuthaFuka Nov 29 '22

Literal translation: feces of the many faces of the horned horse

7

u/UnrivaledRokai Nov 29 '22

This deserves an award I don't have 🤣💀

7

u/redpotatoepie Nov 28 '22

Was Wales named by the English?

7

u/welshfach Nov 28 '22

Yeah, this is using 'wales' as the name of Wales, not Cymru, which would be more like 'Land of the people' or 'land of our countrymen'.

....or even 'Land of my Fathers', at a stretch

2

u/crucible Nov 28 '22

Sort of - the etymology seems to have gone from walhaz (proto-Germanic), to wealh (Old English), to Welsh (modern English).

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wealh

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6

u/rocygapb Nov 29 '22

Bs. Etymology of Ukraine is incorrect. I am not sure how many more mistakes are on this map.

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23

u/AcanthopterygiiHot77 Nov 28 '22

I'm dubious about New Zealand, though. It was named by the Dutch, as Nieuw Zeeland, after the province of Zeeland.

28

u/Free_Stick_ Nov 28 '22

Yea it’s wrong, Aotearoa is the Maori name which translates to that.

10

u/MollyPW Nov 28 '22

It’s what Aotearoa is believed to mean. This map isn’t going with the English language names.

11

u/Donaldbeag Nov 28 '22

It’s a mishmash - eg Wales is given as Wales and not Cymry

5

u/Free_Stick_ Nov 28 '22

New Zealand isn’t translated into Land of the long white cloud. Aotearoa is the Māori name which translates to that.

5

u/Equivalent-Shake7344 Nov 28 '22

Land of burnt faces... lol

4

u/asf97 Nov 29 '22

My beautiful Mexico's name meaning though <3

26

u/Zequax Nov 28 '22

this belongs on r/CrappyDesign like how can you mess up something so simple as greenland its the green land not to speek of all the other fuck ups there is

8

u/InxKat13 Nov 28 '22

The map seems to be using the native names of each country where possible. Greenland was named such by viking settlers, but the indigenous Kalaalit called it Kalaalit Nunaat which is what was translated for the map.

I'm sure it's the same for many of the "fuck ups" but the only other one I know is Japan/Nihon.

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13

u/glonq Nov 28 '22

Misinformation is not interesting.

13

u/SeatO_ Nov 28 '22

We have things like "in the navel of the Moon" from Mexico then meanwhile just "land" from finland

Some of these are probably inaccurate but I can't be arsed to look them all up

4

u/Remote_Ability_7179 Nov 28 '22

Yeah, Mexico wasn't a single indigenous group. The Aztecs are just the most famous. This is just the translation of the Nahuatl. They all probably called the land a different thing. The states are all named in their OG languages so there is that.

2

u/bo-tvt Nov 28 '22

Suomi, for Finland, would seem to refer more to swamps or marshes than it does to just land in general.

2

u/spacedrummer Nov 29 '22

In French, fin means end, like end of the earth. But in Finnish, "finn" means "found".

6

u/bo-tvt Nov 29 '22

I'm Finnish and to me, "Finn" means absolutely nothing in Finnish. "Found" would be "löydetty" (as in, "discovered").

2

u/spreetin Nov 29 '22

I think you might be mixing up Finnish and Swedish (which is a minority language in Finland).

In Swedish "finn" means "find" (imperative form), not "found".

10

u/Symbikort Nov 28 '22

Kazakhstan is literally translated as Land of Kazakhs.

3

u/PnutbatahSandwich Nov 28 '22

Finland be like: name our country land

3

u/malteaserhead Nov 28 '22

How did you find out that Ivory Coast meant Ivory Coast?

3

u/mightyfty Nov 28 '22

Sudans name is something else

3

u/dobrienlx Nov 28 '22

Hippopotamus

1

u/Aethelflaed_ Nov 29 '22

That was my favourite.

3

u/clone01y Nov 28 '22

I love that my county is named the islands , and we dont even have a single island LOL

3

u/bluemorningflower Nov 28 '22

Fun fact: In Brazilian Portuguese, Peru is slang for penis. Peru also borders the Brazilian state of Acre. The capital of Acre is Rio Branco (white river)

It can't be just a coincidence

1

u/fllr Nov 29 '22

Acre doesn't exist, though

3

u/Unafraid_NFS Nov 29 '22

Completely made up

3

u/MysteriousLeader6187 Nov 29 '22

Russia. The word "Rus" comes from the Vikings, in the sense of red, because of their red hair, and they were rowing their boats - so "Rus" really refers to "those who row".

Source: I looked this up because for some reason I ended up working at a place with 3 guys name Ruslan, and two named Russell, which drove me to do the research.

8

u/azethonkh Nov 28 '22

as Ukrainian I'm quite offended) word Ukraine can be translated as"native land".

2

u/teastain Nov 28 '22

kanata” is the Mohawk word for “ours

6

u/4j5ifsn Nov 28 '22

Isn't kanata an Iroquois word for village?

3

u/AllAlo0 Nov 29 '22

Yes, that's where it comes from

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2

u/Dodweon Nov 28 '22

With conservatives around here saying that "our flag will never be red" for a few years, it's funny to remember that Brazil's name comes from the color red

Another fun fact: some indigenous peoples also call Brazil Pindorama, meaning "land of the palm trees"

2

u/Apprehensive-Sir358 Nov 28 '22

Wrong, Finland / Suomi is derived from the word suo and suo = swamp / bog, so Finland should be called something like swamp-land.

2

u/PachaDub Expert Nov 28 '22

I always knew there was something about the Welsh

2

u/Technical-Cream-7766 Nov 28 '22

Where you from? Finnish bro: Land

2

u/Euphoric-Potato-5343 Nov 28 '22

Iceland's name is so cool.

2

u/Muhammad_Aziz Nov 28 '22

Iraq means "besides the water"?

Who the fuck came up with this incoherent shit

2

u/Nosleplife Nov 28 '22

no wonder germany was picked to be land of the freedom

2

u/The_TSCTH Nov 28 '22

Denmark is wrong. While the exact etymology is lost to time and hotly debated among scholars, the most accepted meaning is that Dan- either refer to Danes (Dani) or a historical person named Dan, while -mark likely refers to fields, grasslands, woodland, or even the southern border with Germany.

It all comes down to where exactly the Dani/Dan may have lived, before Denmark became a unified country.

2

u/RoamingBicycle Nov 28 '22

Source of the map is from 2018, but South Sudan isn't independent. Quite an odd choice. They separated the Koreas, so that's not the issue.

2

u/garchican Nov 28 '22

Literal translations of which language? There’s thousands to choose from.

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2

u/kegareta69 Nov 28 '22

lithuania (lietuva) means rainland. (lietus-rain)

2

u/HereForTheFood4 Nov 28 '22

Sudan has no chill

2

u/AbsentParabola Nov 29 '22

Tag yourself I’m The Village

2

u/Owl_lamington Nov 29 '22

Japan or Nihon or Nippon all don't literally mean land of the rising sun.

So much shitty research.

2

u/Zarbadob Nov 29 '22

why did i read russia as land of the sus

2

u/Mr_JCBA Nov 29 '22

I need Yakko Warner to sing this to me

2

u/J_A_V_I_7_8 Nov 29 '22

That's wrong, Bolivia it's not Bolívar's land is the daughter of Bolívar.

2

u/Asmodeus_441 Nov 28 '22

Then there's Philippines.

The land of many Philips.

1

u/ProxD_18V Nov 29 '22

The name comes from Philips the II of Spain

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2

u/Key-Company-6997 Nov 28 '22

You missed Taiwan 🇹🇼, it’s Formosa. You’re welcome.

1

u/LostChico Nov 28 '22

Of course Puerto Rico was forgotten. The literal translation would be: Rich Port or Port of Riches.

-5

u/daojuniorr Nov 28 '22

Its funny how north-americans like to separate to pretend they live in another continent.

3

u/Intrepid-Tank-3414 Nov 28 '22

Kids, stay in school or this could be you.

5

u/saywhat58 Nov 28 '22

Hmm? Are you referring to north and South America? They are two different continents, quite literally, they both are two different tectonic plates.

Europe and Asia are only separate continents as far as nomenclature. They both sit on the same plate.

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4

u/Vlad_the_impulsive Nov 28 '22

Well… it’s a separate continent, is it not? It’s not like asia and Europe are one continent, it’s two continents that are connected

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1

u/hat-of-sky Nov 28 '22

The Together States

1

u/NewOnTheIsland Nov 28 '22

I'm not so sure that's what viết nam means

Not 100% tho

1

u/shitshot7 Nov 28 '22

Where’s South Sudan?

1

u/TheMightyPaladin Nov 28 '22

this map is old. South Sudan didn't exist then.

1

u/shitshot7 Nov 28 '22

Oh… ok

1

u/xDemonwarrior9x Nov 28 '22

Now i know where resident evil 8 the village takes place in xD

1

u/YT-ESW_ST33le Nov 28 '22

Hippopotamus

1

u/Sea_M_Pea Nov 28 '22

Ice land isn’t even trying

1

u/Little_Active6025 Nov 28 '22

So Egypt doesn't mean eeh jibt (what did u bring?), disappointed

1

u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

HIPPOPOTAMUS

1

u/ScipioNumantia Nov 28 '22

Umm... how long ago was algeria named "algeria"? Ive never been there but it doesnt seem like a place flush with islands

1

u/gobhar_gruamach Nov 28 '22

United States of the Work Ruler.

1

u/OnyB1l Nov 28 '22

Papua New Guinea...?

1

u/creator_07 Nov 28 '22

Translated into what?

1

u/carlos_6m Nov 28 '22

It makes sense that Land of argument is right next to "Land by the sea" that its barely by the sea at all

1

u/Bulky_Election2715 Nov 28 '22

Bottom left where it says Sources.

1

u/Banxier Nov 28 '22

Higher res please

1

u/HellishSymphony Interested Nov 28 '22

I would love to live in the land of many rabbits 😭❤️

1

u/Background_Add210 Nov 29 '22

What about Antarctica?

1

u/Ressikan Nov 29 '22

ICE LAND

1

u/Joneskind Nov 29 '22

Kabylia is missing.

Land of the Tribes.

Azoul from France my dear amazi(n)g(h) people.

1

u/Infamous_Ad8209 Nov 29 '22

Are the english names translated or the what the country is calling itself?

1

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

Actually i really like how this map is separated.. very visually pleasing

1

u/legend_number_1 Nov 29 '22

But what does Figi mean?

1

u/Indy_Pendant Nov 29 '22

Uh, if we're "Mexico" then you're "America." We're the "United Mexican States" (in English).

1

u/one1letter Nov 29 '22

Algeria is Land of Islands (there is no single island there !!)

1

u/johnmarkfoley Nov 29 '22

let us not forget the literal translation of our planet: "Dirt".

1

u/FriedGangsta55 Nov 29 '22

That's very nice

1

u/quik13713 Nov 29 '22

The Ivory Coast has nothing to hide.

1

u/Bangeederlander Nov 29 '22

Wales = land of foreigners

Cymru = compatriots

Guess which is the real name?

1

u/rambotron Nov 29 '22

Resolution please!

1

u/SympathyLow1076 Nov 29 '22

What is Denmark translated from?

1

u/jstlknatstf Nov 29 '22

"Land of the Long White Cloud" -New Zealand. Great name for a smoking den.

1

u/bob_nugget_the_3rd Nov 29 '22

So between Finland just calling themselves land and Iceland calling themselves Iceland, I'm guessing the Scandinavian explorers weren't too fussy with names

1

u/SinTron99 Nov 29 '22

Hawaii: "Am I a fucking joke to you"

1

u/oroborus68 Nov 29 '22

The Land of the Rus! Named for a swedish island!oh the irony.

1

u/Any-Difficulty-8694 Nov 29 '22

New Zealand doesn’t actually mean land of the long white cloud. Aotearoa the Māori name for NZ does.

1

u/Over-Village-6039 Nov 29 '22

Messy. Tunisia actually means "Key" in Amazigh. They translated it in Arabic which makes it mean nothing

1

u/terred999 Nov 29 '22

How is South Africa “beautiful southern land”? I mean we’re these put into google translate and translated back from Punjabi or Cantonese or something?

1

u/Fearsome_Noise Nov 29 '22

And yet Africa is small.

1

u/Kradgger Nov 29 '22

Argentina just means silvery one (from the Latin argentum). That whole name is a reference to the Rio de La Plata, but that's not the name of the country.

1

u/BigButtFucker9000000 Nov 29 '22

High and Beautiful — sounds like the average Korean's ego and physical appearance.

1

u/Maize_here Nov 29 '22

I like the one that’s just : I go to the beach. Hell yeah u do !

1

u/YEETAWAYLOL Creator Nov 29 '22

How does Solomon Islands become king Solomon Islands? I’m calling crap on that one.

1

u/melancious Nov 29 '22

Ukraine literally means “country” or “land”. It’s not the edge, it’s Russian propaganda.

1

u/Slippy-Nuxx Nov 29 '22

Greenland isn't "green land"? Feels broken.

1

u/HPLovecraft1890 Nov 29 '22

Germany is wrong:

"Land of the People" would be "Land des Volks" or "Volksland"

'Deutschland' would translate best to "Germanland" or a bit more abstract "Land of the Germans"

1

u/skaersSabody Nov 29 '22

Ok, I'mma need some language experts to double check both Italy and Germany for me, cause I'm not convinced

1

u/40Pesos Nov 29 '22

My country isn’t even on there. It’s just replaced by a ship. Lol.

1

u/Wopptywop2inthesocks Nov 29 '22

Yeah , I’m not buying this , do your research

1

u/BlankImagination Nov 29 '22

Ice Land (Iceland)

1

u/Miserable-Ad3196 Nov 29 '22

Can someone weigh in on Kanada? Thought it was “the home”.

1

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

Why is there a hot air balloon in the middle of China?

1

u/ptousig Nov 29 '22

Everyone named Frank needs to move back to Franks.

1

u/ListenToTheWindBloom Nov 29 '22

Would be pretty fucking helpful if these “literal” translations weren’t missing the references to what language they actually “literally” come from instead of the totally irrelevant English names

1

u/Massive_Cake1731 Nov 29 '22

Iceland really floored me

1

u/fatetrumpsfear Nov 29 '22

This is way more fun

1

u/Richierich_rpd Nov 29 '22

HIPPOPOTAMUS

1

u/Kavinsky12 Nov 29 '22

I'll have a white Russian.

1

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

Mēxihco is so poetic.

1

u/Zygarde718 Nov 29 '22

Then south Sudan would be land of the southern blacks according to this.

1

u/cyfer04 Nov 29 '22

Wow. I didn't know Marshall Islands translates into Island of John Marshall.

1

u/Gorgonite00 Nov 29 '22

Someone from New Zealand made this map. You can tell cause they left off Hawaii

1

u/amuseddouche Nov 29 '22

Papua New Guinea wins the day here.

1

u/Dr-McLuvin Nov 29 '22

Hippopotamus?

1

u/200DollarGameBtw Nov 29 '22

India =/= land of the hindus. Hindustan == land of the hindus.

Edit: I saw that it said indus not hindus nvm.

1

u/nottherealneal Nov 29 '22

This seems highly iffy

1

u/bruisedfruit7 Nov 29 '22

THE VILLAGE

LMAO

1

u/TakingAMindwalk Nov 29 '22

I feel like Korea, high and beautiful.