Country names in other languages (was: Re: Burma/Myanmar)

From: Karl Pentzlin (
Date: Tue Oct 05 1999 - 09:00:15 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Everson <>

> ... and while "Burma" is not the name of any
> administrative unit of the Union of Myanmar, I recall the Myanmar
> stating that "Burma" was a region, not the whole country. It's like the
> Finnish word for Estonia, "Viro"; in Estonian "Viru" is the northern part
> of Estonia only.

Seems to be a common situation.
My own country (Germany) is called "Deutschland" in German and its language
"Deutsch" - etymologically akin to the English word "Dutch" which is
associated to another country (the Netherlands, who themselves use "Duits"
for "German", not for their own language).
The English name "Germany" - in German, "Germanien" is used only in
historical context to denote a province of the Imperium Romanum, which
roughly coincides with the south/central/western parts of today´s Germany.
adjective "germanisch" denotes the Germanic language group and/or its
historic ancestor people as a whole.
The French name "Allemagne" - in German, there is no "Alemannien", but the
adjective "alemannisch" denotes a German dialect group, spoken in
Switzerland, the utmost southwest of Germany (i.e. the parts adjacent to
France) and the utmost west of Austria.
The Finnish name "Saksa" - in German, "Sachsen" (English "Saxonia") is one
of the 16 provinces ("Länder"), not the one most close to Finland.

This only "BTW", as it is somewhat out of topic.

Karl Pentzlin
AC&S Analysis Consulting & Software GmbH
München, Germany

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