When we introduce ourselves, the countries we come from and our nationalities are important. To say nationalities in Chinese, we get to learn the names of countries first.

The Chinese word for nation/country/kingdom is 国家(guójiā).国(guó) is used many times to indicate a country.

How to Say China in Chinese?

China is called “中国”(Zhōngguó)in Chinese. It literally means “Central Kingdom”.

What are the Names of other Nations in Chinese?

Basically, there are two ways how the names of countries are formed in Chinese: one way is to have the indication word “国“(Country/Kingdom) at the end of the names; the other is more or less the translation of the pronunciation of the countries.

Nations with “国“ at the end

Not so many countries fall into this category. The major ones are

美国 měiguó     USA (literally meaning “Beautiful Country”)
英国 yīng guó   UK (England)
法国 fàguó        France
德国 déguó       Germany (Deutschland)
俄国 éguó          Russia
泰国 tàiguó       Thailand
韩国 hánguó    South Korea

Phonetic Translation of the Nation Names

A lot of nation names are simply the phonetic translation of the names in their own languages. Here are some examples:

意大利       yì dà lì         Italy
加拿大       jiānádà       Canada
日本           rìběn           Japan
印度           yìndù           India
荷兰           hélán           the Netherland (Holland)
丹麦          dānmài        Denmark
挪威          nuówēi         Norway
澳大利亚  Àodàlìyǎ    Australia
马来西亚  mǎláixīyà  Malaysia

Greece is 希腊(xīlà)in Chinese. The Chinese name does not seem to have anything to do with Greece at first, but if you get to know that Greece is called “Hellas” traditionally, the Chinese name 希腊(xīlà )makes total sense!

How to Say Nationalities in Chinese?

It is super easy to say nationalities when the country is clear. Adding 人(rén) at the end of the country makes its nationality. So, there you go:

中国 + 人        Zhōngguó rén         Chinese
美国 + 人        měiguó rén              American
英国 + 人        yīngguó rén             British
法国 + 人        fǎguó rén                French
德国 + 人        déguó rén                 German
俄国 + 人        éguó rén                    Russian
意大利 + 人    yìdàlì rén                  Italian
加拿大 + 人    jiānádà rén              Canadian
日本 + 人        rìběn rén                  Japanese
印度 + 人        yìndù rén                  Indian
荷兰 + 人        hélán rén                  Dutch
希腊 + 人        xīlà rén                      Greek


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