Great Britain is named great to distinguish it from Brittany, whose inhabitants, emigrating from Britain, formed a Kingdom in Armorica. Brittany was (arguably) illegally annexed to France in the 16th century, but it still maintains national culture and language, which are related to the Celts of Great Britain. Sorry for the long comment but ja, Storbritannien är stort! ;)
Somehow all countries are ett words, yes. At least whenever you say things like Mitt Tyskland 'My Germany', they will reveal themselves as neuter. Other geographical names work the same way, like names of cities, even the ones that have common gender form such as Kapstaden, 'Cape Town', it will still be Mitt Kapstaden when someone writes a book about it. Obviously staden is common gender. But Kapstaden is not.
This goes for all countries and cities, but e.g. Östersjön, 'the Baltic sea' is common gender.
I know Australia is quite far away from everyone else, making us easy to forget haha! But how would I say Australia, or Australian? It's great to say he is Greek/Spanish/French/etc. But I'd love to know how to say where I'm from.. If anyone could tell me that'd be much appreciated! thank you! :)
It's Australien, and Han är australiensare and for her, either australiensare or australiensiska. For things: En australiensisk bok 'An Australian book'. Ett australiensiskt vin 'An Australian wine'. There's also a word australisk. I'd probably say den australiska regeringen 'the Australian government'. I'm not sure how those words distribute, really, if anyone else has better insight, please enlighten us!
While we're thereabouts, for New Zealand, which we call Nya Zeeland, it's nyzeeländare/nyzeeländska and nyzeeländsk.
Nope, Storbritannien is both a political and a geographical term in Swedish, but what's confusing is that it is used to mean both Great Britain and the United kingdom.
The formal way of referring to the country is Förenade konungariket Storbritannien och Nordirland but it's usually shortened to Storbritannien even in formal texts. Colloquially we often call the whole lot just England, but the correct way of referring to the country in Swedish is actually Storbritannien.
Interesting to hear. What you described as your formal description is correct for the UK but not for GB. However, a vast number of Brits would fail to identify the difference it can easily be forgiven. The second part about referring to the UK as just England is a little sad to hear though (especially for a Welsh person).
Exactly, that's one reason we take care not to use it that way in the course. (we don't teach the word England in the course, only Storbritannien).
The reason that Storbritannien means both GB and UK in Swedish is that only experts use the term "Förenade kungariket". It's rarely used in the press and even more rarely, if ever, in the ordinary spoken language. It's also a confusing term since it isn't obvious which kingdom it refers to.
A bit of an exaggeration don't you think, most of the world was never under the British. Even the large parts of the world which did become part of the British empire were not typically invaded 'countries' as we understand the current divisions of the world. They were often tribal lands and kingdoms which were sadly carved up by Europeans from multiple countries.
Okay, I have a question. I answered 'is great britain great' out of cheekiness and it got accepted. Now, in English we use 'great' mainly in the figurative sense, rarely the literal sense, and we use 'big/enormous/massive/humongous' to speak of physical ideas (cf. "it's a great business" vs "it's a big business").
So my question is, is 'stor' used to mean the figurative sense as well in Swedish? t.ex "det är en stor (= bra) idé!"?