Countries, Nationalities and Languages in English

International Flags
International Flags. Jill L Wainright / EyeEm

Sometimes people say, "She speaks France." or "I am from French." This is an easy mistake to make as countries, nationalities, and languages are very similar. The chart below shows the Country, Language and Nationality of many major countries from around the world. You will also find sound files to help with correct pronunciation. 

Countries and Languages are both nouns.

Example - Countries

Tom lives in England.
Mary travelled to Japan last year.
I'd love to visit Turkey.

Example - Languages

English is spoken around the world.
Mark speaks fluent Russian.
I wonder if she speaks Portuguese.

Important Note: All countries and languages are always capitalized in English. 

Nationalities are adjectives used to describe where a person, type of food, etc. is from.

Example - Nationalities

He drives a German car.
We went to our favorite Japanese restaurant last week.
The Swedish prime minister is coming next week.

Click on the link below to hear the correct pronunciation of each group of nationalities. Each group of words are repeated twice.

Important Note: Unlike other adjectives, all nationalities used as adjectives are capitalized in English.

Important Notes

  • All country names are unique. They are not similar to language or nationality names.
  • Language and nationality names are often, but not always similar. For example: French - the language, and French the nationality are the same in the case of France.. However, English - the language, and American - the nationality are not the same in the case of The United States.
  • All countries, languages and nationalities are always capitalized in English. This is because country, language and nationality names are proper names of countries, languages and nationalities.

Pronunciation Files for the Chart

It's important to learn the correct pronunciation of countries, languages and nationalities.

People need to know where you are from! For help with pronunciation, click on the links below for different groupings of countries, nationalities and languages. 

One Syllable
Ends in 'ish'
Ends in 'ish'
Ends in 'ian' or 'ean'

Pronunciation Chart

Pronunciation FileCountryLanguageNationality
One syllable   
 FranceFrenchFrench
 GreeceGreekGreek
ends in '-ish'   
 BritainEnglishBritish
 DenmarkDanishDanish
 FinlandFinnishFinnish
 PolandPolishPolish
 SpainSpanishSpanish
 SwedenSwedishSwedish
 TurkeyTurkishTurkish
ends in '-an'   
 GermanyGermanGerman
 MexicoSpanishMexican
 The United StatesEnglishAmerican
ends in '-ian' or '-ean'   
 AustraliaEnglishAustralian
 BrazilPortugueseBrazilian
 EgyptArabicEgyptian
 ItalyItalianItalian
 HungaryHungarianHungarian
 KoreaKoreanKorean
 RussiaRussianRussian
ends in '-ese'   
 
 ChinaChineseChinese
 JapanJapaneseJapanese
 PortugalPortuguesePortuguese

 

Common Mistakes

People speak Dutch, but live in Holland or Belgium
People live in Austria, but speak German. A book written in Vienna is Austrian, but written in German.
People live in Egypt, but speak Arabic.
People in Rio have Brazilian customs, but speak Portuguese. 
People in Quebec are Canadian, but they speak French.