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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.
Irish: An Ghearmáin
Welsh: Yr Almaen
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.