English Vocabulary: Countries, Nationalities, and Languages

countries-nationalities-smallOne big vocabulary and pronunciation problem in English is knowing how to pronounce the English names of countries, nationalities, and languages. In today’s lesson, I’ve organized the words into categories that can help you remember them better.

You can also practice your pronunciation of the country and nationality words.

-IAN / -EAN

Country Nationality Language
Argentina Argentine/Argentinean Spanish
Australia Australian English
Bolivia Bolivian Spanish
Brazil Brazilian Portuguese
Cambodia Cambodian Cambodian
Cameroon Cameroonian French/English
Canada Canadian English/French
Chile Chilean Spanish
Colombia Colombian Spanish
Ecuador Ecuadorian Spanish
Egypt Egyptian Arabic
El Salvador Salvadorian Spanish
Estonia Estonian Estonian
Ethiopia Ethiopian Amharic
Ghana Ghanaian English
India Indian Various
Indonesia Indonesian Indonesian
Iran Iranian Persian
Italy Italian Italian
Jordan Jordanian Arabic
Korea Korean Korean
Lithuania Lithuanian Lithuanian
Nigeria Nigerian Ibo, Hausa etc.
Panama Panamanian Spanish
Peru Peruvian Spanish
Romania Romanian Romanian
Syria Syrian Arabic
Ukraine Ukrainian Ukrainian

-AN

Notice that some of these words end in -IAN, but the “I” is silent.

Country Nationality Language
Afghanistan Afghan Persian-Pashto
Belgium Belgian French/Flemish
Costa Rica Costa Rican Spanish
Cuba Cuban Spanish
Dominican Republic Dominican Spanish
Germany German German
Guatemala Guatemalan Spanish
Haiti Haitian French/Creole
Honduras Honduran Spanish
Kenya Kenyan Swahili
Malaysia Malaysian Malay/Malaysian
Mexico Mexican Spanish
Morocco Moroccan Arabic/French
Nicaragua Nicaraguan Spanish
Norway Norwegian Norwegian
Paraguay* Paraguayan* Spanish
Puerto Rico Puerto Rican Spanish
Russia Russian Russian
South Africa South African Afrikaans, English, etc.
United States American** English
Uruguay* Uruguayan* Spanish
Venezuela Venezuelan Spanish

* There are two ways to pronounce the syllable: GWAY (like “way”) and GWAI (like “eye”).

**Although “American” is the most common way to refer to someone from the U.S., I recognize that this can be considered offensive to citizens of other countries in North America, Central America, and South America. So sometimes it’s better to say “from the U.S.” instead of “American.”

-ISH / -CH

Country Nationality Language
England English English
Finland Finnish Finnish
Denmark Danish Danish
Netherlands/Holland Dutch Dutch
France French French
Ireland Irish Irish/English
Spain Spanish Spanish
Sweden Swedish Swedish
Poland Polish Polish
Turkey Turkish Turkish
Wales Welsh Welsh/English

-ESE

Country Nationality Language
China Chinese Chinese
Japan Japanese Japanese
Portugal Portuguese Portuguese
Taiwan Taiwanese Chinese
Vietnam Vietnamese Vietnamese

OTHER

Country Nationality Language
Czech Republic Czech Czech
Greece Greek Greek
Iceland Icelander Icelandic
Iraq Iraqi Arabic
Israel Israeli Hebrew
New Zealand New Zealander English/Maori
Pakistan Pakistani Urdo
Philippines Filipino Tagalog/Filipino
Qatar Qatari Arabic
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabic
Switzerland Swiss Swiss
Tajikistan Tajik Tajik (Persian)
Thailand Thai Thai

 

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