Countries that Got Their Names from Foreign Language

Did it ever cross your mind that where 193 United Nations (UN) member states got their names? Yes, searching for the answers? We have made it easy for you by preparing a list of countries that got their names from a foreign language. So, it is time to discover some surprising and absorbing language facts from all around the world.


Many sources claim that the country got its name from the Sanskrit word Avagana meaning Afghan. The term Avagana is believed to be derived from the Sumerian name of the Badakshan region – Ab-bar-Gan – Mountainous Country. As per an ancient Persian translation, Afghan roughly translates to ‘wailing’ or ‘moaning.’


The silver ornaments that the natives used to wear smote the Spanish explorers who first invaded the country. Thus, they named the country on a Spanish word argentine that means ‘the land of the silver river.’


The word Canada is believed to have adapted its name from the Huron-Iroquois word Kanata, which means a ‘village’ or ‘settlement.’


Cuba is roughly at the centre of the Caribbean Sea. It is believed that the country may have got its name from the Taino word Cubanacan, which roughly translates to centre place.


The equator runs through the northern part of the country, which is why it is assumed that the country has the Spanish name that means equator.


It is alleged that the English name for Germany is loosely based on the Roman Germania. Even though the origin is not that well scripted, but it is suggested that it is derived from the Germanic gari, meaning lance, and man, meaning people.


The deep coastal waters found around the country may have given it its name Honduras because the Spanish term hondura means deep water.


A Greek and Latin term India means ‘the country of the River Indus.’ Though the term Indus probably originated from the Sanskrit word sindhu, meaning ‘the sea.’


The snowy peaks of Mount Lebanon may have given Lebanon its name. The term Lebanon is adapted from a Semitic word lavan, which means ‘white’ or ‘whitish.’


In ancient times Malta was famous for its honey. So, it is believe that the word Malta may have come from the ancient Greek term melitta, meaning ‘bee’ that is known to produce meli or ‘honey.’


This ever-so-popular Asian country got its name from the Sanskrit word Sim̄hapura, which means ‘Lion City’, which breaks into sim̄ha (lion) and pur (city).


The word Ukraine is believed to have come from Russian term okraina, meaning ‘land on the edge.’ Thus, it is a ‘borderland’ derived from u (beside) and kray (edge), which signifies a region between the populated lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the west and the open steppes of Russia and Asia to the east.

Wrap Up

Languages play a pivotal role in our lives. Not only have they given us a medium to communicate with each other, but languages have given us identities – be it our name or the country we live in. This is why it is said that people need to be well-prepared when traveling overseas. Get language translation service from reputed service provider to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Call 888-670-3369 to know more about translation service.

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