Language Country names in Kanji

By JREF · Mar 11, 2013 ·
  1. JREF
    This is an overview over selected country names as spelt in kanji (ateji).

    Country names in Japanese are usually spelt in katakana, as they were often translated from other languages, such as English, Portuguese or Spanish. Neighbouring Asian countries, as well as nations of historical significance to Japan, are spelt in kanji (China, Korea, the USA, etc.). Some countries have more than one name: England (英国 Eikoku) is often called イギリス (Igirisu), the USA (米国 Beikoku) is simply referred to as アメリカ (Amerika), Germany (独国 Dokukoku) is usually called ドイツ (Doitsu) and France (仏国 Fukkoku) フランス (Furansu).

    The kanji employed in most foreign country names are ateji (当て字; 宛字, lit. “assigned characters”) which represent native or borrowed words phonetically, regardless of the meaning of the Chinese characters. They are marked with (a) in the table below.

    KanjiKana - RomajiCountry
    豪州; 濠洲オーストラリア - Gōshō or OsutrariaAustralia
    墺太利 (a)オーストリア - OsutoriaAustria
    白耳義 (a)ベルギー - BerugīBelgium
    伯剌西爾 (a)ブラジル - BurajiruBrazil
    勃牙利 (a) ブルガリア - BurugariaBulgaria
    柬埔寨; 柬蒲寨 (a)カンボジア - KanbojiaCambodia
    加奈陀 (a)カナダ - KanadaCanada
    中国ちゅうごく - ChūgokuChina
    丁抹 (a)デンマーク - DenmākuDenmark
    埃及 (a)エジプト - EjiputoEgypt
    仏国ふっこく - FukkokuFrance
    独国どくこく - DokukokuGermany
    英国えいこく - EikokuGreat Britain
    希臘 (a)ギリシャ; ギリシア - GirishaGreece
    印度 (a)インド - IndoIndia
    衣蘭 (a)イラン - IranIran
    伊太利亜 (a)イタリヤ - ItariaItaly
    日本にほん; にっぽん - Nihon; NipponJapan
    韓国かんこく - KankokuKorea
    墨西哥 (a)メキシコ - MekishikoMexico
    蒙古もうこ - MōkoMongolia
    捏巴爾 (a)ネパール - NepāruNepal
    和蘭 (a)オランダ - OrandaNetherlands
    波蘭 (a)ポーランド - PōrandaPoland
    葡萄牙 (a)ポルトガル - PorutogaruPortugal
    羅馬尼亜 (a)ルーマニア - RūmaniaRomania
    露西亜; 魯西亜 (a)ロシア; ロシヤ - Rossia; RossiyaRussia
    南阿共和国 (a)なんあきょうわこく - NanakyōwakokuSouth Africa
    西班牙 (a)スペイン - SupainSpain
    瑞西 (a)スイス - SuisuSwitzerland
    瑞典 (a)スウェーデン - SuēdenSweden
    泰国たいこく - TaikokuThailand
    土国どこく - DokokuTurkey
    米国 (a)べいこく - BeigokuUnited States of America
    越南 (a)えつなん - EtsunanVietnam

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