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Lesson Transcript

Jessi: Country, Nationality, Language. Hi everyone and welcome to appendix lesson #11.
Naomi: In this lesson, we will go over the names of some countries, nationalities and languages.
Jessi: So first, let’s go over the names of some countries. Most country names in Japanese are written in Katakana and some resemble the original name. You will see what we mean when you hear them. The first country name we will look at is Canada. How do we say this in Japanese?
Naomi: カナダ (Kanada)
Jessi: Hmm so this one sounds almost the same.
Naomi: Umm.
Jessi: Let’s try another one. How about America?
Naomi: アメリカ (Amerika)
Jessi: This one sounds pretty close too.
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Jessi: Now, how about a name like Australia?
Naomi: オーストラリア (Ōsutoraria)
Jessi: Umm, it somewhat resembles it but it’s not as close as the first two. So in all of these cases, the sounds of Japanese are used to pronounce the country names. How about the name for the United Kingdom?
Naomi: イギリス (Igirisu)
Jessi: Now, we are getting into some names that sound rather different from the original and another example. Let’s look at the name for Germany.
Naomi: ドイツ (Doitsu)
Jessi: This one uses the original name in German instead of the name in English. So, to English speakers, it might not be recognizable at first. So, as you can see, it varies when it comes to foreign country names. Sometimes they sound similar and sometimes they hardly sound the same at all. Now, some Asian country names use Kanji. Of course, Japan is one of them. What is the Japanese name for Japan?
Naomi: 日本 (Nihon). You sometimes hear the name (Nippon) used but (Nihon) is more common name in daily conversation.
Jessi: Right. How about the name for China?
Naomi: 中国 (Chūgoku)
Jessi: And how about the name for Korea?
Naomi: 韓国 (Kankoku). But this refers to South Korea.
Jessi: Right. And of course we can’t get to all of the countries here but if you check the lesson notes, you will find a much more extensive listing. And if you don’t see your country on that list, don’t hesitate to ask us over on our website. We will let you know.
Jessi: Once you know the country name, it’s very easy to say the word for a person from that country or one’s nationality.
Jessi: That’s right. To say one’s nationality, you add the word
Naomi: 人 (jin)
Jessi: Meaning person to the name of the country that they are from. So let’s try some examples. For example, I am from America. So let’s see how we can say American. First, the name of the country
Naomi: アメリカ (Amerika)
Jessi: And to that, we add the word 人 (jin).
Naomi: アメリカ人 (Amerika-jin)
Jessi: This means American person. So just remember that it’s the country name plus 人(jin). Let’s try another example. Naomi sensei is Japanese. So let’s try saying that word. Japan is
Naomi: 日本 (Nihon)
Jessi: And you add the word 人 (jin).
Naomi: 日本人 (Nihon-jin)
Jessi: Japanese person. Great, so how about one more. What’s the name for the UK again?
Naomi: イギリス (Igirisu)
Jessi: Add 人 (jin) and we get
Naomi: イギリス人 (Igirisu-jin)
Jessi: English person. So have you got that part down? Now, let’s take a look at how to say the names of languages like English and Japanese. In almost all cases, you just add the word
Naomi: 語 (go)
Jessi: Which means language to the name of the country. So let’s try a few examples, starting with Japanese. Do you remember the name of Japan and Japanese now? It’s
Naomi: 日本 (Nihon)
Jessi: And to that, we add the word for language 語 (go).
Naomi: 日本語 (Nihongo). This means Japanese language.
Jessi: Since you are studying the Japanese language, this one is really important to know.
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.)
Jessi: Okay. Let’s try a few more. How about Chinese language, the word for China is
Naomi: 中国 (Chūgoku)
Jessi: So the word for Chinese language is
Naomi: 中国 語 (Chūgokugo)
Jessi: Right. And one more. How about Spanish?
Naomi: The word for Spain is スペイン (Supein). So the word for Spanish language is
スペイン語 (Supeingo).
Jessi: Right. Have you got the hang of that so far? Now what major language haven’t we covered so far?
Naomi: English.
Jessi: Right. The word for English language is actually an exception to this rule. Naomi-sensei, what’s the word for English language?
Naomi: 英語 (Eigo)
Jessi: That’s right. The word 英語 (Eigo) is used to refer to the English language in general. For countries where English is spoken, we don’t use the country name. So there is no アメリカ語 (Amerikago) or イギリス語 (Igirisugo). It’s all referred to as 英語 (Eigo).
Naomi: Right.
Jessi: So remember, the lesson notes include a lot more country names. So make sure to check it out.
Naomi: That’s all for this lesson.
Jessi: See you next time.
Naomi: じゃ、また。(Ja, mata.)