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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Nora here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Arabic questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What do country names look like in Arabic?
Don't you want to know how your country is pronounced in Arabic? Let's see some of the popular ones:
First, let's see some African country names:
Algeria /الجَزائِر / al-ǧazāʾir
Morocco / المَغرِب / al-maġrib
South Africa / جَنوب أفريقيا / ǧanūb ʾfrīqyā
Madagascar / مَدغَشقَر / madġašqar
Ghana / غانا / ġānā
Egypt / مِصر / miṣr
What about Egypt’s name, miṣr? It sounds pretty different from English!
Now, let's see some European and Asian country names:
Syria / سوريا / sūryā
Lebanon / لُبنان / lubnān
Palestine / فَلسطين / falasṭīn
Iran / إيران / ʾīrān
Pakistan / باكِستان / bākistān
India / الهِند / al-hind
Malaysia / ماليزيا / malīzyā
Indonesia / إندونيسيا / ʾindūnīsyā
Russia / روسيا / rūsyā
China / الصين / al-ṣīn
Japan / اليابان / al-yābān
Turkey / تًُركيْا / turkyā
Greece / اليونان / al-yūnān
Italy / إيطاليا / ʾīṭalyā
France / فَرَنسا / faransā
Spain / أسبانيا / ʾasbānyā
Germany / أَلمانيا / ʾalmānyā
UK / المَملَكَة المُتَّحِدَة / al-mamlakah al-muttaḥidah
What about these two? They sound very different:
Austria / النِمسا / an-nemsa (this word has Slavic origins)
Hungary / المَجَر / al-magar (which is another word for “Hungarian”)
Now let's see some country names in the Americas and the pacific.
America / أَمريكا / ʾamrīkā
US / الوِلايات المُتَّحِدَة الأَمريكيَّة / al-wilāyāt al-muttaḥidah al-ʾamrīkyyah
Canada / كَنَدا / kanadā
Mexico / المِكسيك / al-miksīk
Colombia / كولومبيا / kūlūmbyā
Brazil / البَرازيل / al-barāzīl
Argentina / الأَرجَنتين / al-ʾarǧantīn
Australia / أُستُراليا / ʾusturalyā
New Zealand / نيوزيلندا/ nyūzīlandā


Other than that, many country names in the world are very similar between Arabic and English. You might have to add an "al-" before it or an "a" sound after it, but all in all, they sound pretty similar.
Pretty interesting, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
Bye! إلى اللقاء(ʾilā al-liqaāʾ)

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