The Literal Translation of Country Names Map

Posted: March 18, 2018
The Literal Translation of Country Names Map

You can't buy a print of The Literal Translation of Country Names Map...yet...but that's probably not such a big deal. Like The World According to Americans, this map is more of a way to get a few chuckles and take a timeout from being bored (i.e., waiting for the Lyft, sitting at the airport, shopping with your wife, attending work) than it is a piece of home decor you'd like to hang.

The Literal Translation of Country Names Map reflects the English name of each country as it translates from that country's own name for itself - so, not necessarily the translation of what we call the country in the US, or maybe even the country's own contemporary name for itself. Example: Spain. Originally "Span" or "Tepan," meaning "Land of Many Rabbits." Example 2: Canada. From the Iroquoian "Kanada," meaning "The Village."

Other notable country translations:

  • New Zealand: "New Sea Land."
  • Chile: "Where the Land Ends."
  • Macedonia: "Land of Tall People."
  • Russia: Two translations, "Land of the Rus," or, my preferred "Swedish Vikings."
  • Mali: "Hippopotamus."
  • Barbados: "Land of the Bearded Ones."
  • United States of America: "United States of America."

If you want to check out where the mapmakers got their translations, you can see a spreadsheet of their research here. You can also view a full, zoomable map here.

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