Monday, January 03, 2005

NJ: Germany

I was asked why Germany is called Germany in English, while it's called Deutschland by the people there. So here's the trivia for you:

(abbreviated from )
Italy is pronounced Italia in Italy. Spain is pronounced Espania in Spain. Israel is pronounced Yisrael in Israel. Paris is pronounced Parie in France. Jerusalem is pronounced Yerushaliyeem in Israel. Rome is pronounced Roma in Italy. And to top it all off, Germany is pronounced Deutschland in Germany. If it's called Deutschland, then why do we call it Germany? If it's called Roma, then why do we call it Rome, if it's called Espania, why do we call it Spain, etc?

Well, the short story is that when we first took the names into English they sounded like what they were in the language we took them from, but over time, since the sounds of languages change, the words become more and more different. The reason Germany has nothing to do with Deutschland is because we got it from Latin Germania, the name the Romans gave to roughly that part of Europe, rather than what the people occupying the area called it. The deutsch part means people if you go way back.

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