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© Endonym Map
© Endonym Map
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This Stunning Map Shows Every Country's Name In Its Own Official Language

Picture of Alice Johnston
Food Editor
Updated: 1 February 2018
Language is an amazing thing, and it’s the many quirks of different languages around the world that make it interesting.

The names of countries is a good example. Why do English speakers refer to Germany as Germany, for example, and not Deutschland as Germans do?

A map showing the endonyms of the world | <a href="http://endonymmap.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">© Endonym Map</a>
A map showing the endonyms of the world | © Endonym Map

There is an explanation. Extonyms are the common names for geographical regions used only outside the location. Endonyms are the names used within the location. Germany is an extonym and Deutschland is an endonym.

This endonym graphic maps out this phenomenon. It shows every country’s endonym written in the official or national language, or in the case of multiple languages being spoken, the most widely used.

Endonyms of Europe | <a href="http://endonymmap.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">© Endonym Map</a>
Endonyms of Europe | © Endonym Map

There are so many in English because around a third of all countries have English as an official language. Other frequently spoken languages include Spanish, French and Arabic.

The creator’s website lists all languages used on the map, as well as detailing errors which will be updated in future editions (so if you have a complaint, head there first).

Endonyms of Africa | <a href="http://endonymmap.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">© Endonym Map</a>
Endonyms of Africa | © Endonym Map
Endonyms of South-East Asia | <a href="http://endonymmap.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">© Endonym Map</a>
Endonyms of South-East Asia | © Endonym Map

For example, in South Africa, English is the language used in government, but it’s Zulu which is spoken most widely. Thus, the name on the map should have been the Zulu name for the country, iRiphabliki yaseNingizimu Afrika.

Explore the map in high resolution on the website or head to Zazzle where you can purchase prints if you really love it.