Hebrew lesson - countries and languages

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Nov 11, 2017 21:07
It's been a long time since I wrote an entry here, especially a Hebrew lesson. So I guess it's about time!
This time I want to speak with you about names of countries and languages in Hebrew.
When I learn a new language I always have this thought of "why do I need to know how this and that country is called in so many languages?", but sometimes the same country has such a different name between different languages that you don't have a choice but to learn it. For example, in English you say "Germany", in Portuguese it's "Alemanha" while in German it's "Deutschland".
The same way, some names of countries (and the languages which are spoken in them) are different in Hebrew than in English.

So let's start -
The first country I want to mention is the one I think is most different (and also I don't know any other language that calls this country this way) and it's France.
In Hebrew France is called צרפת- tsarfat, and French is called צרפתית - tsarfatit.
Another country with a quite different name is Greece:
יוון - yavan, and Greek: יוונית - yevanit
We also have Egypt: מצרים - mitsra'im and India: הודו - hodu
Spain is called ספרד- sfarad, and Spanish: ספרדית - sfaradit
China is called סין - sin, and Chinese is סינית - sinit.
Cyprus is קפריסין - kafrisin.
The USA is called ארצות הברית - artsot ha-brit (and in acronym: ארה"ב - arhab).
and the UK is called הממלכה המאוחדת ha-mamlacha ha-me'ukhedet. Although I mostly hear people call it אנגליה -angliya or בריטניה -britanya.
In Hebrew we use the name Holland for the Netherlands and we also call Dutch הולנדית - holandit.
Poland is פולין - polin and Polish: פולנית - polanit.
While Italy: איטליה - italya is not that different, it's important to note that in the name of the language and the people from there a k is added: Italian is called איטלקית - italkit and someone from Italy is called איטלקי - italki.
Some more countries: Libya: לוב - luv, Yemen: תימן - teyman, Jordan: ירדן - yarden,
Saudi Arabia: ערב הסעודית - arav ha-sa'udit, Switzerland - שווייץ - shva'its,
Sweden: שוודיה - shvedya, Norway: נורווגיה - norvegya.

As well, I will note that while we do call Iran the same, jews who came from Iran are called פרסים - parsim (from פרס - Paras: Persia).
As well, who came here from Georgia are still called גרוזינים - gruzinim (from Gruziya).

The names of the continents are quite like those in English (this is the division of them I'm used to):
אפריקה - afrika ,אמריקה - amerika, אירופה - eropa, אסיה - asya, אוסטרליה - ostralya

And of course, I can't end this entry without speaking about Isarel.
So we call Israel ישראל - Israel (the s is pronounced as s and not as z).
Hebrew is called עברית - ivrit, our capital city, Jerusalem, is called ירושלים - yerushala'im and we are in המזרח התיכון - ha-mizrakh ha-tichon - the Middle East.
It's important to note that we call Israel הארץ - ha-arets (literally: the country). therefor you will hear people say things like:
?מאיפה את\ה בארץ - from where are you in Israel?
Also we have the terms:
לרדת מהארץ - to leave Israel (used for Israeli jews who go living somewhere else)
לעלות לארץ\ארצה - to come to live in Israel (עולים חדשים. Jews who come to live in Israel). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah

Have a good weekend = )