I carefully studied the etomology of "homeland" when the Department of Homeland Security was created. The word "homeland" does not occur often, in any language, it is of course available as a translation to English from some languages, but of course it smacks of the USA Patriot Act, and former president bush's creation of war propaganda using the word "homeland", it's from the "terroris lexicon".
That's true, but he didn't claim that it was invented for The Patriot Act—just that it was repopularized after falling out of common use. I remember feeling the same way, and I still cringe whenever I hear/read it. The 1950s was a long time before, and that was a decade that surely freshly remembered the patriotism of WWII. The term implies prideful nationalism, which always makes me feel pretty uncomfortable.
Folks, there is nothing wrong with being proud of your country! "This land is your land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Island, from the redwood forests, to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me." -- Woody Guthrie song -- The trouble is, when the government tries to be too big and run everything and regulate not only behavior, but THOUGHT, and poke their big nose into everything we do, including what we eat and how much we drink! Government should serve the people, not the other way around, agreed?
Homeland is a very German word. The Nazis didn't invent it, but they were quite fond of it. This is because one of the connotations is of ethnic purity. The have been several small movements to get the United States government to stop using the term, but they haven't gotten very far.
Good question Barbara. Your question from way back when up the top of this discussion is a good one too. I know DL programmers hand enter possible answers (most probably to get verbs and prepositions correct because even the best translation programs cannot yet be relied upon to do this accurately). Like you though, I wonder if for nouns they employ a generic synonym list to lessen the task: eg mother / mum / mom etc. It would explain some of the odd answers they accept :)
This native New Englander would say "motherland". I remember learning as a kid that for some countries you say "motherland", some "fatherland", but this could have been childish invention rather than fact.
Whoa, just checked out the Wikipedia articles on Fatherland, Motherland, and Homeland. Seems that at least in the US, these terms have some political charge, though apparently not so much in my neck of the woods.
For many, "fatherland" was ruined as a word by the Nazis; I suspect this is why the U.S. chose "Department of Homeland Security" -- and "motherland" sounds "too soft" (in their opinion). That and the general trend of gender-neutral language in English (at least in North America).
Looks like Latin borrowed patria from Greek pretty early on.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=patriot: 1590s, "compatriot," from Middle French patriote (15c.) and directly from Late Latin patriota "fellow-countryman" (6c.), from Greek patriotes "fellow countryman," from patrios "of one's fathers," patris "fatherland," from pater (genitive patros) "father" ...
In Greek, we have a very frequent use of the word "patritha" (πατρίδα) ("th" is pronounce like in "thus" not like in "theory") which I guess is the equivalent word for patria in Spanish and homeland in English. Patritha can not be rendered as just country or nation, since it is almost always used with a sentimental charge, primarily pride or a holy-like commitment to what this nation represents (or used to). Sometimes, mostly for emphasis, it is referred to as "metera patrida" (μητέρα πατρίδα), which has the connotation of "motherland". Apart from the latter, all other notions (patria, patriotic, patriarchic, father etc.) derive from the ancient word pater (πατήρ) which means father (pateras in modern Greek, where pater is addressed only to an Orthodox priest).