Learn the Names of 60 Nationalities in Spanish

Madrid skyline, Gran Vía at dusk
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In Spanish, most of the words for the people who hail from particular countries around the world sound very similar to the word for the country in English. For example, Colombiano is the word for a male person hailing from Colombia and americano is the word a male person from America or the United States.

An interesting distinction that varies from English to Spanish is that words used for nationalities are not capitalized in Spanish while they are in English.

Nationalities Can Be Nouns or Adjectives

As in English, the words for nationalities can be used in Spanish as either adjectives or nouns. An example of the adjective form is "I want an American coffee" or Yo quiero un café americano. An example of the noun form is "He is an American" or Él es americano.

Who You Are Addressing Usually Matters

In Spanish, nouns, and adjectives usually, have a masculine form and a feminine form depending if the person being referenced is male or female. The masculine form is usually used to refer to more than one person of unknown gender. For example, "They are American" would be translated to be Ellos son americanos, which is the masculine plural form.

A majority of nationalities end in -o.The feminine form for nationalities ending in -o is made by changing the -o to an -a. For example, the word griego, which is used to describe a person from Greece, changes to griega when referencing a female.

Another common ending for nationalities is -és. Words ending in -és can be made feminine by changing the ending to -esa. Thus the feminine form of inglés, referring to a person from England, is inglesa.

A Few Nationalities Do Not Change with Gender

There are some nationalities that do not change form with gender.

Nationalities that have irregular endings, such as -ense, as in the word Costarricense, used to describe a Costa Rican, do not have a separate masculine or feminine form. The word remains the same when describing either gender. The same can be said for nationalities that end in -a. These do not change, such as croata for "Croatian," or belga for "Belgian."

The following sampling of 60 countries is listed with the masculine form of the nationality. Use the masculine and feminine rules to change the word depending on the person being addressed and the endings of the nationalities that are given.

Alemania (Germany) — alemán
Argentina — argentino
Australia — australiano
Austria — austriaco
Bélgica (Belgium) — belga
Bolivia — boliviano
Brasil — brasileño
Canadá — canadiense
Chile — chileno
China — chino
Colombia — colombiano
Corea del Norte (North Korea) — nortecoreano, norcoreano
Corea del Sur (South Korea) — sudcoreano
Costa Rica — costarricense, costarriqueño (uncommon)
Cuba — cubano
Croata (Croatia) — croata  
Dinamarca (Denmark) — dané
Ecuador — ecuatoriano
Egipto (Egypt) — egipcio
El Salvador — salvadoreño
Escocia (Scotland) — escocés
España (Spain) — español
Estados Unidos (United States) — americano, estadounidense
Filipinas (Philippines) — filipino
Francia (France)— francés
Gales (Wales) — galés
Gran Bretaña (Great Britain) — británico
Grecia (Greece) — griego
Guatemala — guatemalteco
Haití — haitiano
Honduras — hondureño
la India — indio, hindú
Inglaterra (England) — inglés
Irak, Iraq — irakí, iraquí
Irán — iraní
Irlanda (Ireland) — irlandés
Israel — israelí
Italia (Italy) — italiano
Japón (Japan) — japonés
Marruecos (Morocco) — marroquí
México, Méjico — mexicano, mejicano
Nicaragua — nicaragüense
Noruega (Norway) — noruego
Nueva Zelanda (New Zealand) — neozelandés
Países Bajos (Netherlands) — holandés
Palestina (Palestine) — palestino
Panamá — panameño
Paraguay — paraguayo
Perú — peruano
Polonia (Poland) — polaco
Portugal — portugués
Puerto Rico — puertorriqueño
la República Dominicana (Dominican Republic) — dominicano
Rusia — ruso
Sudáfrica (South Africa) — sudafricano
Suecia (Sweden) — sueco
Suiza (Switzerland) — suizo
Taiwan — taiwanés
Uruguay — uruguayo
Venezuela — venezolano