In Norwegian it's 'Nederland'. I hope the Swedes will follow one day. I think much of the confusion also arises from the fact it's officially called in dutch 'Koninkrijk der Nederlanden', which is suddenly plural and has nothing to do with the current three other constituent countries in the Caribbean. It's a matter of taste I guess.
We call our country 'Nederland' ourselves as well, so it makes sense that you do to if it's pronouncable. I find it very interesting in this course how languages translate country and city names even if they're perfectly pronouncabe. Like København (Köpenhamn in Swedish). In Dutch the word for havn/hamn/harbour is 'haven' so it would make sense to call it Kobenhaven, but we call it Kopenhagen instead (with the nice hard Dutch 'g'). I guess all these names have historical reasons. Very few countries pronounce 'Paris' to rhyme with 'sea' even though that's what the french do and it's easily pronouncable.
As discussed above, over the last 20 years in the UK, people have been transitioning from the incorrect use of Holland, to the Netherlands. In the last five years, we've also been correcting ourselves further and dropping the 'the' from the start of countries such as Ukraine, Netherlands, Gambia, etc. I wondered if this has started happening in Swedish too? ie Is Nederländer rather than Nederländerna the truly correct form now?
Some countries have taken formal positions on their English names. Ukraine prefers “Ukraine”, not “the Ukraine”. As you mention. The Gambia, however, prefers “The Gambia”, not “Gambia”.
This has not happened in the Netherlands. The Dutch government and Dutch law are silent on this issue, which is one of style. It is correct English usage to use "the Netherlands".
Although I knew it was a province within, I though it was also an accepted translation for the whole country in English, but apparently it's only an informal one. In portuguese we call the country 'Holanda'. I thought this would be common elsewhere. Not sure what other latin language countries call it.
I am Dutch and honestly, I really don't mind when people refer to my country as 'Holland', and I don't know anyone who does. We even call our own country Holland from time to time, for example when cheering for the national football team ("hup Holland hup!", meaning something like "let's go Holland let's go"). On the internet there seem to be quite of Dutchies disliking the term 'Holland', but for some reason I never get to meet them in real life.
According to Google Translate the translation for the Netherlands is "Os Países Baixos" in Portuguese and in French it's "les Pays-Bas". Both are literal translations for "de Lage Landen" (the Low Countries), an old name for the lowland area in northwestern Europe that forms the catchment area of the Lower Rhine, the Lower Meuse and the Scheldt. The present-day Netherlands comprises most of this area.
As Joel said it's "nether" as in "lower situated", which in geographical terms means vertically lower since we're mostly below sea level. Otherwise it would much sooner have been the Southlands or something. The Dutch word 'neder' (which isn't used in everday speech anymore, only in petrified expressions like Nederland, nederlaag, vernederen etc.) implies something inferior, nor something southern since south isn't inherently worse than north and low is in our everday speech worse than high. It's like the opposite of the highlands, it's the lowlands, which is why we've got the festival Lowlands ;)
That should be accepted, since it's inferred in the sentence that it's your own father (and English uses possessives more than Swedish, so it's reasonable to add them when translating from Swedish into English, but not when translating from English into Swedish). I'm adding that translation now.
Unfortunately, it's not a very fascinating etymology. There used to be a bunch of countries in the lowlands, they were called "the netherlands" because of their geography. Ultimately, and as they came to merge administratively, the name essentially lost its geographical meaning and turned into the name of the kingdom instead.
I personally don't have a problem with any of the names. But then, I was born in the province called South-Holland. I find the English word Dutchman very old-fashioned. It makes me think of Neanderthals, old tribes running about in The Netherlands and Germany. Maybe we could change Dutchman to Hollander?