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Germany In Different Languages Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Culture, History, Intercultural, Language

Allemagne in French. Niemcy in Polish. Germany in English. Deutschland in German. Have you ever noticed how the word ‘Germany’ looks completely different in different languages? Have you ever wondered why that is?

Germany has a very central position in Europe. Furthermore, before it became united it was home to many different tribes and states. This means its name – Germany – varies greatly from country to country today. In fact, its name varies more than that of any other European country.

To illustrate this point, here are six language families, a few languages that belong to each family, and what they call Germany in those languages.

Origin: Old high German

German: Deutschland
Dutch: Duitsland
Afrikaans: Duitsland
Luxembourgish: Däitschland
Yiddish: Daytschland
Japanese: Doitsu

Origin: Latin/Greek

English: Germany
Indonesian: Jerman
Irish: An Ghearm
Romanian: Germania
Swahili: Ujerumani

Origin: Alamanni tribe

Arabic: Almānyā
French: Allemagne
Filipino: Alemanya
Portugese: Alemanha
Welsh: Yr Almaen

Origin: Saxon tribe

Estonian: Saksamaa
Finnish: Saksa

Origin: Protoslavic

Czech: Německo
Hungarian: Németország
Polish: Niemcy
Ukrainian: Niemcchyna

Here is a handy map to show you the above and a few more:

Germany Name European Languages.svg
By ArnoldPlatonOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

I hope this has been interesting and informative. Sometimes simple aspects of language learning lead us into bigger topics. Not only is it interesting to learn what Germany is called in other languages, but doing so inevitably leads you into further reading about Germany’s history. For instance, not only does Germany have lots of different names, but throughout history it has had lots of different flags. Either of these observations could spark curiosity that leads to further education! If you’re interested in learning more along those lines, here’s a post about the history of the German flag to start you off.

What is Germany called in your language?

Bis bald


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About the Author:Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze. I'm half English and half German. I write here because I'm passionate about my languages and my roots. I also work as a translator & group fitness instructor.


  1. Jula keh:

    Origin: Latin/Greek
    Italian: Tedesco

    “Tedesco (or Todesco, or Todisco; plural Tedeschi) is an Italian word for “German”. Etymologically, it derives from Theodiscus, sharing the same root of German “Deutsch”. Both Tedesco and Tedeschi are common surnames among Italians, both in Italy and in the diaspora.” – Wikipedia

  2. Pete Swanson:

    You forgot Italian. Sure, they say Germania for Germany. But the German language is called Tedesco. I’m not sure what group that would fall into.


  3. Allan Mahnke:


  4. Neil Lucock:

    In Russian, the place is called Germanija, but the people are called nemetskii.
    Any idea where the Scandinavian Tysk and the Italian Tedesco come from?


    • Constanze:

      @Neil Lucock Hey Neil! Thanks for your comment. I think the Scandinavian Tysk comes from the old High German ‘Diutisc’. The word Deutsch has the same origin. It just seems Tysk (and Tyskland, the country) uses the last part of the word ’tisc’ while Deutsch/Deutschland uses the first part ‘Diut’.
      The Italian word I am not so sure on! Maybe the team on our Italian blog can help us out there? https://blogs.transparent.com/italian/