Here's the Literal Translation of Countries' Names... France's Is Hilariously Awkward


Have you ever wondered what each country’s name translates to in its native language? Well thanks to Maps On The Web, the literal translation behind the names of different countries has now been made easily accessible for everyone.

Using information from the Central Intelligence Agency’s “World Factbook” and the Oxford English Dictionary, provided a detailed map of the world showing each country with its current name below its literal translation.

And the result is rather entertaining.

Some translations are baffling, such as the “Land of Many Rabbits,” better known today as Spain, or “Land of the Men,” the literal translation for Serbia.

However, some countries get their names from natural elements found within their borders.

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Brazil’s name translates to “Red Dyewood,” a tree that is prevalent throughout the region.

And India directly translates to “The Country of the River Indus,” a perfect name for a country that has the Indus River flowing through it.

map of literal translations
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However, other countries have names that translate to words or phrases that don’t seem to make much sense at all.

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For example take Kazakhstan, which literally translates to “Place Where One Stands.”

Or take a look at the African nation of Mali whose name translates simply to “Hippopotamus.”

While the map does feature some entertaining translations, the original interpretation for many European countries is actually quite mundane.

The “Land of the Finns,” “Land of the Scots” and “People from Rome” are all the root translations of Finland, Scotland and Romania, respectively.

And “Northern Way,” “Land of the Czechs” and “Land of the Svear” translate to Norway, the Czech Republic and Sweden, respectively.

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However, some nations have names that give themselves credit where it isn’t necessarily due.

France, a country often mocked for its less than stellar modern-era military record, translates to “Land of the Fierce,” while Burkina Faso, an impoverished country with rampant corruption, literally translates to “Land of Honest Men.”

Take a look at the map above and see what your home country or nation of ancestry translates to.

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