Countries, Nationalities and Languages in English

International Flags

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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 the correct pronunciation. 

Countries and Languages are both nouns.

Example: Countries

Tom lives in England.
Mary traveled 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 is repeated twice.

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 is not the same in the case of The United States.
  • All countries, languages, and nationalities are always capitalized in English. This is because the 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.

Pronunciation Chart

Pronunciation File Country Language Nationality
One syllable
France French French
Greece Greek Greek
ends in '-ish'
Britain English British
Denmark Danish Danish
Finland Finnish Finnish
Poland Polish Polish
Spain Spanish Spanish
Sweden Swedish Swedish
Turkey Turkish Turkish
ends in '-an'
Germany German German
Mexico Spanish Mexican
The United States English American
ends in '-ian' or '-ean'
Australia English Australian
Brazil Portuguese Brazilian
Egypt Arabic Egyptian
Italy Italian Italian
Hungary Hungarian Hungarian
Korea Korean Korean
Russia Russian Russian
ends in '-ese'
China Chinese Chinese
Japan Japanese Japanese
Portugal Portuguese Portuguese

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.
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Countries, Nationalities and Languages in English." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 27). Countries, Nationalities and Languages in English. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Countries, Nationalities and Languages in English." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 2, 2023).