Why do we translate country names

Country names and nationalities in German


In German we use most of the country names without an article, but some with it. It also depends on whether when traveling to a country the preposition to or in correct is. Further problems are the adjective belonging to the country and what the inhabitants of a country are called - this often causes problems even for native speakers.

Here you will learn what to consider when naming countries, residents and adjectives. For quick reference we have put together an overview with the names of all countries, their inhabitants and the associated adjectives. You can test your knowledge in the exercises.

Countries and prepositions

Countries without articles

We use most countries in German without an article. Prepositions, such as out (Origin), in (Position) and to (Direction) are directly in front of the country name.

I'm from Germany.
I live in Germany.
I am traveling to Germany.

Countries with article

We use a few countries in German with an article, e.g. B. Iraq (masculine), Switzerland (feminine), the Netherlands (Plural). In the table below these countries are marked accordingly m / f / pl marked. (A "-" means that the country can also be used without an article.)

The article is in the dative for origin / position and in the accusative for direction. We also use the preposition for direction in.

I come from Iraq / Switzerland / the Netherlands.

Noun on -e get the ending -n in the dative

I live in Iraq / Switzerland / the Netherlands.

Dative: in + dem = in

I am traveling to Iraq / Switzerland / the Netherlands.

Direction: in + Article (Not:)

Preposition "auf" for island states

We often use the preposition for (smaller) island states on, whereby the geographical location as an island is usually in the foreground. When we refer to the state / political situation, is the preposition in more common.

the flora and fauna on the philippines
the Human Rights in the philippines

But it can also happen that a country comprises several islands, one of which has the same name as the country. For example, the state of Malta consists of the islands of Malta, Gozo, Comino (and other uninhabited tiny islands). The preposition on then refers to the so-called island, in Malta refers to the entire country.

We are on vacation on Malta.

We are on the island of Malta.

We are on vacation in Malta.

z. B. a round trip that also includes other islands in the country

Term for resident / adjective

Most countries can be used to derive a resident name and adjective. But the derivatives are so irregular that it is best to look them up or to memorize them.

Country names on -ien
Spain - the chipier/ the spanin/ spanish
Italy - the Italiener/ the Italservant/Italyish
Brazil - the Brasilianer/ the Brasilianian/ brasilianian
Bulgaria - the Bulgare/ the Bulgarin/ bulgarish
Syria - the Syrhe/ the Syrerin/ syrish

For some countries, however, there is no separate name for residents or adjectives. In our list there is then a dash (-). In this case, we help to create the shape for the residents Residents of + country name, and instead of the adjective we say ... from + country name.

the residents of Macau
a souvenir from Macau

List: countries, residents and adjectives

In some countries, even native speakers have trouble giving the correct name for resident or adjective. That's why we've put together a list of countries, residents, and adjectives for quick reference.