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  5. "イギリス"


Translation:The UK

June 4, 2017



This should be "England," shouldn't it?


I believe England is イングランド . So「私は」イギリス人です is "I'm British" and 「私は」イングランド人です is "I'm English". The English language is 英語 "eigo". This is irregular compared to:

日本 (Japan) 日本人 (Japanese person) 日本語 (Japanese language)

中国 (China)  中国人 (Chinese person) 中国語 (Chinese language)

韓国 (Korea) 韓国人 (Korean person) 韓国語 (Korean language)

オランダ (Netherlands) オランダ人 (Dutch person) オランダ語 (Dutch language)

イタリア (Italy) イタリア人 (Italian person) イタリア語 (Italian language)

カナダ (Canada) カナダ人 (Canadian)

アメリカ (The US)  アメリカ人 (American)

ニュージーランド (New Zealand) ニュージーランド人 (New Zealander)

オーストラリア (Australia) オーストラリア人 (Australian)

So I can assure you it's not usually this complicated, although that may be because National identity is complicated in the UK, with all スコットランド人 (Scots), ウェールズ人 (Welsh), and アイルランド人 ([Northern] Irish) there.

To any Spanish speakers triggered by アメリカ "America" used for the US, rather than the continent, please bear in mind that the Japanese call the Netherlands オランダ "Holland" because they learned European geography from the Portuguese, not us.


That makes a lot of sense, thank you


The kanji for "England" in "eigo" used to be used instead of this katakana, but it's been replaced with this now. Lots of Japanese words are being replaced with English loanwords even though there's already a word for it ;w;


Yes, although in some cases this makes sense: アメリカ is more intuitive for Americans to identify with than 米国. We're doing it in English too.

For instance, Côte d'Ivoire and Timor Leste are no longer officially known by their English names The Ivory Coast or East Timor. Instead they prefer to use their French and Portuguese names, respectively, even in official use in English.

Don't hold your breath for "Nihon" to catch on just yet... we're still pretty terrible at pronouncing foreign names.


Actually, most people in general have trouble pronouncing phomenes (sounds) that don't exist in their native language. Take for example hard TH and soft TH. Some languages don't have those sounds, so they wouldn't know how to make them on their own. Thus, naturally they would replace them with sounds they can make, such as /d/ and /s/. This is called negative phonological transfer---basically a foreign accent.


Im English and we dont say "Cote d'ivorie" lol we say Ivory Coast. We know its known as that, but we also know Germany is Deutche, but we still call it Germany.


I've always believed that it was known formally as Cote d'ivorie. Deutschland is still Germany in English though.


Here in America we call it Cote D'Ivoire, although that may be because I'm in a French class...


Thank you, but yes, England is part of the UK, not synonymous with it.


I don't think this is much an issue as mostly English people would say they they're イギリス and others would be more specific: for example the Scots could say they're スコットランド人 anyway.

This probably stems from most British sailors visiting Japan historically being English. This is the same reason that The Netherlands is often called "Holland" as it was sailors from the Eastern provinces (North and South Holland) that first travelled to many places (back when people identified more with their state than country).


Very interesting to know why the word starts with "i". Even though the sound for "igirisu" is far from "inglês"


Though the first sound is closer to inglês, l/r is switched and consonants always come with a vowel (except 'n' but they skipped it), so "gi" for 'g', "ri" for 'l' , "su" for 's'.


Do you think the irregularity comes from the confusion between UK vs British vs English etc?


Yes. The average Japanese person definitely does not know the difference between the three (and most English speakers who aren't from the UK don't know the difference either... I only learned from having to teach about the UK to my Japanese students).


Why is the UK so confusing anyway? It's not like it's the only country that's divided into smaller states, but it's the only one that seems to give people so much trouble, with the possible exception of the Netherlands.

(And yes i know the proper term is "constituent countries" but c'mon, same diff)


An example of what I still find confusing, in terms of identity, is what I should call a person from the UK. I would call them based on their "constituent country" of origin (Welsh, Scottish, English). But shouldn't they all be called a term based on the UK if that's their "main" country? How about we call everyone British? But Northern Ireland isn't located on Great Britain, so would we still call them British? From what I understand, calling someone from Northern Ireland "British" or "Irish" might actually be a sensitive issue.


I dont like to be called British, if im English, its annoying, like calling a Canadian; American, because they're from the American continent.


As a spanish speaker I'd like to know why the translation for Mexico is メキシコ. Probably is the way is said in english and no better way to translate the "x". But if translated directly from spanish it'd be メ匕コ. There could also be another word written or said like that already and is done to avoid conflict but I doubt is the case.


It depends on the language that was used to originally tell Japanese people the name of the country. The Portuguese were some of the first traders to come in consistent contact with the Japanese, and in Portuguese "x" sounds like "sh", so メキシコ most likely came from Portuguese.


In Spanish we call it "Holanda" as well. And we say «A British girl» (An English girl sounds a little bit complicated)


Actually イギリス is english. Not British. Britain is the same as the uk. Having watashi wa ingurandojindesu means your actually saying 'i'm an england person' which makes no sense. It should be watahi wa igirisujindesu 'im english' as igirisu means english. Not british. And for some reason they have it as meaning 'the UK' which is the same as british. Im british, but id never say im scottish. And i doubt the katagana for scotland translates as 'the UK' or british. Its as bad as saying the katagana for any country in europe, be it France, italy etc, translates as europe. They need to fix this and change the translation from 'the uk' to 'english'.


This is not an error. This is the word that they use to mean "the UK" even if the sound of it came from the Portuguese pronunciation of the word "English". They add the character for person after each country name to mean a person from that country. That is just how they do it. You cannot use English rules to make sense of a different language. You do not translate individual word by individual word, so when you see country name + person character, you then translate to the common form used in English. Beware that the katakana is used for foreign words, not necessarily words that we would use for the same thing. They use a different word for the English language now.

Look at the word "Germany", in France they call this country "Allemagne" and Germans themselves call their country "Deutschland."


In Italy, Germany is called Germania, but German people are called "tedeschi", which is an entirely different word that actually came from the name of their spoken language, "theodisce" (means "of the common people), from which derived their own word "deutsch".

Great Britain is called "great" in order to (or so it is believed) distinguish it from the Bretagne (in France) where the British found haven when fleeing from the Viking invasions. They found shelter there and called it after their homeland, most likely how was named New York and hundreds of other places.

Probably not interesting for anybody but me, I reckon... ^_^'


England is also part of the UK, like Scotland and Northern Ireland


Yes, but Japanese also has different words for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Scroll up to kelsi602's answer to s.aguii at the top of this page.


no, it is The UK, UK


Nope, not really. I don't know how to explain why but all I can tell that it's not.

Have you heard about "English Loan words" in Japanese? The English words was change to another whole meaning. I think there's a video about it. Go check it out.


Uk and england are 2 different things


True, but this word means "the UK".


It's Britain, but I think it sounded like "English" in english. Maybe the Japanese associated Britain / British as "those folks who speak English" and used "English" to call those group of people? I am just making up a story.


No. In fact it should be 'english'. Theres a few wrong. They have ice translated as ice cream. And america translated as the US. Weird right


Just in case: England is a single part of the UK. Great Britain is the island containing England, Wales and Scotland. The UK is the nation containing Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Jesus Christ, you don't get to lecture people about this when you call Deutscheland "Germany", Zhongguo "China" and Nippon "Japan". Give it up, let other languages make up their own name for other countries.


That's not lecturing about the names of places, that's explaining that England is not the same as the UK


Yes, Japanese has separate words for all of those except for Great Britain which seems to use the same word as UK and when you think of it, the nation that was Great Britain expanded and became the UK. Scroll up to Kelsi602's explanation to s.aguii please at the top of the page.


It's not about the name, it's about using one country as a blanket term for many. It's like calling all of europe France because France happens to be part of it.


It's more like if フランス entered the Japanese language as the word for "France", but then at a much later date some other countries came into union with France under the new name of "the Union of European Socialist Republics", however Japan didn't get round to changing their word from フランス to something else because France was the main component country in the union and Japanese people understood to interpret the word they were using to now apply to this larger entity. ^^

At the time the Japanese originally adopted the word イギリス from the Portuguese word "Inglez" during their contact with the Portuguese arriving in Japan, I'm sure the word back then meant "England" (or "the English") in a more correct sense than it does now. They probably just never felt the need to update their word イギリス to a different sounding word.


Now, they have a separate word for England:

It is as if they borrowed the word for French (français) for a United group including France after it expanded to include some more countries. So think of it as short for English created group of countries?

Just "English" sounded out in Japanese. (That is why it is in Katakana, because it is borrowed from another language.) The language of English is an actual Japanese word, 英語 (eigo) or is that Chinese? Okay, the Kanji comes from Chinese, but the pronunciation is Japanese.

Do you realize how unrecognizable it would be if they actually used the Japanese words for united and kingdom? What makes the UK the only kingdom that has united itself with others? Perhaps there were united kingdoms in Asia as well and that would be confusing. Think of the US which is the United States of America, and Mexico is actually the United States of Mexico. There are a lot of countries with the word "united" in them. It is very cumbersome and long to say "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"
which is グレートブリテン及び北アイルランド連合王国

Here is the wikipedia article about the UK in Japanese. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AE%E3%83%AA%E3%82%B9


イギリス is saying English... So when people are saying that it's wrong because they have a completely seperate word for the country, they don't realize that it's the equivalent of saying England instead of English.

I'm currently living in Japan and there are many words which are borrowed directly from the Portuguese language because of when they came to Japan (ex: bread is universally known as パン here). The Portuguese word for English is Inglês. Because it's more difficult to go from an "n" sound to a "gi" sound for the Japanese tongue, they forfeit the "n" sound and change it to イギリス. If they included the "n" it would be インギリス, which sounds almost exactly how it should.

They're using this word because they recognize England as the CAPITAL of the UK. I have a friend that is from N. Ireland, but prefers to be called British because that's what his nationality is labelled as on his birth certificate and passport. That being said, he's from Great Britain and because the capital of GB is England, Japan uses that to talk about the whole of the UK. They use アイルランド for anyone from the Republic of Ireland.


Deutschland. Not Deutscheland. Please.


England is my City


Oh my god it actually accepts "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" as an answer that's amazing


Thinks of Hetalia terminology


I think "British" should count as a correct answer as well as English or the U.K.


Sorry, you need 人 to turn it into British.

English is a different word in Japanese.


It'd be "Britain" or "Great Britain", not "British".


False friends here should be called Super False friends


How to pronounce???


igirisu <-- Just like how it's spelled.


Why is there " above one of the characters and what does it do?


Voiced consonant. Turns "k" sound into "g" sound; "h" sound into "b" sound essentially. If you put your hand on your chest and say "k" or "h" sounds, you won't feel any vibration. If you say the voiced consonant sounds "g" and "b" you will feel vibration on your chest.


For reference, the symbol is called a dakuten, and indicates that the consonant should be voiced (e.g. バス = basu = bus)

(The handakuten is the circular symbol in letters like パ or ぱ, and is used to turn the consonant sound h into p instead (e.g. パン = pan = bread).


They're called diacritic marks, I think. They're used in other languages as well and modify the base letter/character.


Igirisu kinda mentions England not The United Kingdom.


They have another word that sounds even more like England for England and they attach (jin) to that to make an Englishman. Scroll up to Kelsi602's explanation to s.aguii at the top of the page. I think of this borrowed word as short for "English created group of countries also known as the UK".

Keep in mind that the Japanese word for the English language sounds like eigo.


There is an article about but for the tr;dl

The UK (England, Scotland, Wales, North Ireland) - イギリス England - イングランド You could say グレートブリテン for Great Britain as in the the island's name. But that's like saying マンハッタン (Manhattan) when you say you're from New York (county and/or city).



The UK = 4 countries. That are "united" as one kingdom = The United Kngdom People = British

Same as America. 50 states that are "united" = The United States (The US) People = American

It's not too difficult, just we British and Americans are having problems with the 'united' part though. (^^;)

Scotland will probably break the union and go independent and I can't blame them. (although I'm a Londoner)

But just remember The UK as イギリス, which the famous Union Jack


Do you speak "Igirisu" or just swallow the u at the end like usually here?


See this question on the Japanese Language Stack Exchange site for more info: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1095/what-are-the-rules-regarding-mute-vowels-u-after-s-and-i-after-sh

Still, there's a rather simple rule of thumb that can point you to most of the places where muting may occur (and in most of them it does occur, most of the time :)). It goes like this:

  1. The vowel must be a short i or u.
  2. The consonant before the vowel must be voiceless:
    /k/, /s/ (also includes しゅ), /t/, /h/ (ふ and ひ), and maybe also /p/ (though it seems rarer).
  3. The vowel must be at the end of a word, or followed by another voiceless consonant.

This explains why you see muting in sukoshi and hikari but not in sugoi and bikkuri.

Another useful thing to remember is that you can't have two muted vowels in a row, so in words suki and tsukushita not all vowels that match rule 1-3 become mute.


I always hear the "u" pronounced. You can listen to different native speakers say it on Forvo.


If this is UK, I'm wo deribg if anyone knows what England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are?


イングランド - England

スコットランド - Scotland

ウェールズ - Wales

北アイルランド (kita airando) - Northern Ireland




ok duolingo, time for a history lesson. why is the uk so different than most other countries?


Then what is the UK in katakana?


Scroll down as this is answered.


Why was 'England' accepted when the answer should be 'UK'?


From jisho.org:



1. United Kingdom; Britain; Great Britain​ Usually written using kana alone, From Portuguese “Inglez, Inglês”


2. England​ Usually written using kana alone, Colloquialism

It's a colloquialism resulting from people's lack of knowledge about geography. In general Duolingo doesn't accept slang, but the contributors seem to think enough Japanese people refer to England as イギリス that they've decided to accept it as an answer.


English = igirisu


English language = eigo

Scroll up and down for more


doesn't have japanese articles?


Foreign words are written in Katakana, the other characters that we learned are called Hiragana. Then there is kanji which are more like the Chinese characters. What do you mean by articles? If you are talking about the definite article “the”, which is required with this country name in English, the Japanese language does not use that.



The UK is correct but UK (without "the") is also correct


I think you can drop the "the" when using UK as an adjective, but as the name of a country I don't think it would be correct to drop it. See this WordReference thread: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/in-the-uk-vs-in-uk.2182310/


I'm still confused on the sound it makes, I don't hear "UK" at all

  • 1213

Generally, the Japanese refer to the UK as the English, hence i-gi-ri-su. It's important to note that writing in katakana is still a translation, not a transliteration.


Correct ! Most Japanese are not aware of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. They think it is all Igirisu.


This should be 'english' not 'the uk'. I keep leaving messages by touching the little flag every time this comes up, but I don't think me alone will get it fixed, so i think if more of us flag it, they may actually fix it. I mean its not like they would teach that 私はイギリス人です means 'im an the uk person' would they....would they? Lol. No, it means 'im an english person, so clearly イギリス means english. So everytime this question comes up, if we keep flagging it, then they may finally fix it.


No, you cannot change the language from here. The word that sounds like English does not mean English, but it is used to mean "the UK" and yes in the past it was used for Great Britain and before that for England, but those two now have their own words. There is nothing to fix. What is a "sombrero" in English? It is a specific type of hat worn in Mexico, but "sombrero" in Spanish is their general word for hat - any hat. The same sounding word can mean different things in different languages. Think of it as "that country in which people speak English."


There is way too many comments here to read them all but seriously, looking at the options, nothing looks like igirisu. This was bogus and ruined my perfect streak. Never in my life have i heard of igirisu or the uk referred to as such.


Then you learned something new.

Dictionary: https://jisho.org/search/igirisu


So while learning the japanese language, im supposed to know what the japanese call something, before being taught it and being marked wrong for never having known prior to the question? Seems unfair


There's nothing wrong with getting an answer wrong. Duolingo is learning by doing. When you get a question "wrong", it shows you the correct answer, and all questions you get wrong are repeated at the end of the lesson until you can answer them correctly. If you're here to learn the language, then hopefully you've learned something through the repetition. If you're here to play a game and get streaks and points, then you have to learn how the system works to get those achievements.

There are dictionary-style hints for all translation questions which can be accessed by clicking on the words you're being asked to translate. There are no hints for multiple choice questions, but you can always check words you don't know in a dictionary to avoid getting new words "wrong" if you find that demotivating.


This should be "England"...


Why? The word came from the Portuguese word for "English" not "England". People from the UK also speak English, so they still use it as the country grew and changed names. Now there is another word for "England".


"English" as in 「イギリス人」please amend to include this an option.


As a word on its own, イギリス refers only to the country. If they were to stretch it to add "English" as an accepted alternative, people who answer by guessing "English" might not realise this instead is the name for the country "the United Kingdom" (rather than it being "English" as either the name of the language or the adjective).

イギリス人 is the name of the county イギリス with the suffix 人added to it. It's not that イギリス has itself become an adjective within the word. イギリス is a noun.

Just my opinion on it anyway. ^^


in イギリス人 the 人 (jin) = person, right?

I understand that igirisu is "a transliteration of the Portugese word for "England," but refers to the entire United Kingdom." (to quote from Hashi - Tofugu)

so イギリス人 = a british/english person いえご/英語 = the english language (or is that igirisu now as well?) イギリス = the whole U.K ?

*my head is starting to spin with confusion


England is イングランド

English person is イングランド人

イギリス is the UK

イギリス人 is a UK person, but we don't say that in English, so we are stuck saying "British person".

I heard that the English language 英語 is pronounced eigo in Japanese. (えいご)

Remember that when a word is borrowed from another language, it is often used to mean something more specific. (like that English country)


Could i just put UK?


I think the UK is necessary.


What's the difference between "the UK" and "the British" in Japanese? cuz I put "the British" and got it wrong..


イギリス (igirisu) - the UK (name of a country)

イギリス (igirisujin) - the British (people from that country)


Since the UK has gone by so many different names over the years (U.K, England, Britian, etc.) I usually just say whatever. I typed in Britain to see if it works and although they said there was a "typo" they still passed it


The UK hasn't "gone" by different names over the years. It's people using the names incorrectly as though they're interchangeable.

England is just England. Wales is just Wales. And Scotland is just Scotland. England and Scotland together is Britain. All three countries together is Great Britain. And all three countries together along with Northern Ireland is the United Kingdom. So someone from N.Ireland can say they're from N.Ireland and/or the UK, but they can't say they're from (Great) Britain.


This should be england. This is as bad as saying the answer for フランス is europe. Its the same with the answer for アイス which they have as ice cream, and not just ice. And アメリカ as the US, and not america. Its weird right? I think we should just hammer these ones with error reports every time they come up so they actually fix them.


Actually, my bad, it should actually be 'english' not england' but u get my point.


You can report errors that Duolingo has missed, but you cannot change which words the language actually uses to mean other things These are actually correct for that language. Duolingo cannot correct the words used in those languages. Only their own country can do that. We do it in English too. We take words from other languages and use those words to mean something different sometimes.

イングランド is "England".

Just think of the borrowed word as meaning that country where people speak English. It was originally used for England, but they continued to use it for Great Britain and now for the UK. Now, they came up with other words for England and Great Britain.


or British is just as correct


イギリス is a place and "British" are people, so that wouldn't be a correct answer for this question. There's a similar discussion started by NickMarsto1 if you check the other comments on this page.


I spelled the geographical name of britain and got it wrong; Britannia


I think ブリタニア would be more accurate for Britannia.


"The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". My translation of イギリス isn't good enough? ^^;


That's outwardly correct :-) but too correct for Duolingo XD

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