Poor German, Tysk, Allemand, Deutsch people. They're always reffered to differently.
It's probably worst in Slavic languages. немец etc comes from the same root as 'mute' (today: немой) – because the foreigners couldn't speak in an understandable language. (back in those days, they used to call us Swedes, Danes etc. the same word too).
"Nijemci" in Croatian. Root word is "nijem" (mute), but mute people are "nijemi", whereas Nijemci ends in "ci" (read "tsi")
Wow, Russian is one of my native languages, but I had never thought about it. It actually does make sense, thanks for pointing that out, that's pretty interesting!
Also interesting: Diutisc originally means "belonging to the people", much like the origin of the word Inuit.
German < Middle High German < Old High German < Proto-Germanic > Old Norse > Old Swedish > Swedish
And it used to mean "human", strange that you use it for a nation you are'n
Speaking of that... The name Sweden and it's variants (Sverige/Schweden/Suecia etc) goes back on the same etymological root as the third person reflexive pronoun "sig", with the meaning "one's own kin, ourselves". It's not all too uncommon to refer to oneselves as just "people". :)
I've also noticed that the three Finnish related languages in Scandinavia (Finnish "Ruotsi", Estonian "Rootsi", and Sami "Ruoŧŧa") are similar ... ultimate origin is proto-indo european word which means "Rowing". So in these languages, Sweden's name refers to a country where people like to row, perhaps a reference to the Vikings who first came to these countries in rowboats.
Yes, AFAIK the general theory is that the name stems from Roden, the coastal areas of Mälardalen, which were to provide rowers when fleets were assembled for raiding the Baltic coasts in pre-christian times.
Another interesting tidbit: The Swedish word "sax" (scissors) may also come from this root. The word "seax" in Proto-German was used to refer to a variety of long knives which the Saxon tribe used, and is likely where the tribe got its name.
Also of note is the Scottish word "Sassenach" which they used to refer to English-speaking people, and likely also comes from this root.
Saksalainen to be specific, Saksa is Germany ;) But you are right about the origin of the word (sachsen in German = saxon in English).
This one is the real mystery. In Latvian, it's "Vācija". A few other minority languages (including "vakja" in Sami) are similar. It's thought that this was the word the Baltic people used to refer to Vikings. The name may have originated from a 6th century Swedish tribe called Vagoths. It's been theorized that the origin is an Indo-European word "wek" ("speak"), and also the root of the Latvian word "vēkšķis". If true, it's yet another reference to the foreign language of the German tribes which would have been incomprehensible to the Baltic peoples.
Don't forget those ones: tedesco (italian), alemán (español), alemão (portuguese)...! They have a lot of name, hahahahaha!!
Here is a Wiki that explains the whole thing! It seems that there are 6 major root words for the names of Germany in various languages. Deutsch, German, Alemani, Saxon, Niemcy, and Vācija (Latvian) ... the last one seems to be related to a similar word in Lithuanian, but the origin is unclear. Alemani was the name of a southern German tribe in what is today Alsace-Lorraine, and likely the term meant "all men" or "foreign". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Germany
The spanish and portuguese ones resemble the french one. Tedesco however is original. That's great!
Looove this thread, for the longest time I've pointed out the Germany has a bagillion names. Everyone else thinks I'm just thinking too much into it. Lol
Google translate claims that you can use tysk to mean "square" or boring person. Is this true? It's just reaaally funny to me. Poor german's. XD
Never heard that. I even took a look in Google translate myself and at the bottom I found this suggestion: squarehead = 'tysk, skandinav, dumhuvud', is that what you meant? Insulting expression to say the least! :D
this leaves me wondering where the English took the name German from? we in Romanian say both german and neamt (spelled neamtz)
The Latin word "Germania" which means Neighbor. The word is actually a Celtic loan word, but refers to the fact that the primitive Germans bordered the Roman Empire.