Japanese exonyms

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Japanese exonyms are the names of places in the Japanese language that differ from the name given in the place's dominant language.

While Japanese names of places that are not derived from the Chinese language generally tend to represent the endonym or the English exonym as phonetically accurately as possible, the Japanese terms for some place names are obscured, either because the name was borrowed from another language or because of some other obscure etymology, such as referring to England (more specifically the United Kingdom) as イギリス (Igirisu), which is based on the Portuguese term for "English", Inglês.[1] Exonyms for cities outside of the East Asian cultural sphere tend to be more phonetically accurate to their endonyms than the English exonyms if the endonym is significantly different from the English exonym.

The names for nations and cities that existed before major Japanese orthographic reforms in the Meiji era usually have ateji, or kanji characters used solely to represent pronunciation. However, the use of ateji today has become far less common, as katakana has largely taken over the role of phonetically representing words of non-Sino-Japanese origin. As significant differences exist between the pronunciations of the Chinese and Japanese languages, many of the ateji terms for the exonyms of foreign, non-Sinitic terms are unrecognizable in Chinese, and likewise, since some of the ateji terms derived from Chinese, the aforementioned terms do not match the Japanese on or kun readings for the pronunciation of the given kanji.

Legends:

  • †: Archaic, obsolete.
  • *: Rare.
  • –: Not exist.
  • (Red XN): Not exist. Kept on list for linguistic interest, or to prevent common errors.

Australia[edit]

 Australia Ōsutoraria, Gōshū (オーストラリア, 豪州)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Alice Springs Arisusupuringusu (アリススプリングズ) Alice Springs English
Canberra Kyanbera (キャンベラ) Canberra English
Coral Sea Kōraru Shī (コーラル・シー), Sangokai (珊瑚海 ) Coral Sea English
Melbourne Meruborun (メルボルン) Melbourne English
Perth Pāsu (パース) Perth English
Sydney Shidonī (シドニー) Sydney English
Tasmania Tasumania (タスマニア) Tasmania English
Thursday Island Sāzudē Airando (サーズデー・アイランド), Mokuyōtō (木曜島) Thursday Island English Translation from English
Uluru Ururu (ウルル) Uluru Pitjantjatjara dialect

Austria[edit]

 Austria, Ōsutoria (オーストリア / 墺太利)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Vienna Wīn (ウィーン) Wien German based on German spelling

Belgium[edit]

 Belgium Berugī (ベルギー / 白耳義)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Brussels Buryusseru, Burasseru (ブリュッセル/ ブラッセル) Brussel Dutch
Bruxelles French

Brazil[edit]

 Brazil Burajiru (ブラジル / 伯剌西爾)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Brasilia Burajiria (ブラジリア) Brasília Portuguese
Rio de Janeiro Riodejaneiro (リオデジャネイロ) Rio de Janeiro Portuguese
São Paulo Sampauro (サンパウロ) São Paulo Portuguese

Cambodia[edit]

 Cambodia Kambojia (カンボジア / 柬埔寨)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Phnom Penh Punompen (プノンペン) Phnompenh (ភ្នំពេញ) Khmer
Siem Reap Shiemuriappu (シェムリアップ) Siemrab (សៀមរាប) Khmer
Sihanoukville Shianūkubiru (シアヌークビル) Krongpreahseihnou (ក្រុងព្រះសីហនុ) Khmer

Canada[edit]

 Canada Kanada (カナダ / 加奈陀)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Montreal Montoriōru (モントリオール) Montréal French
Montreal English
Vancouver Bankūbā (バンクーバー) Vancouver English
Victoria Bikutoria (ビクトリア) Victoria English

China[edit]

 China Chūgoku (中国)
English name Japanese name(s) Endonym Notes
not On On reading Name Language
Beijing Pekin (北京) (Red XNHokkyō) Bĕijīng Mandarin transcription based on Chinese postal romanization
Chengdu Chendu (成都) Seito Chéngdū Mandarin transcription based on Mandarin pronunciation
Changchun Chanchun (長春) Chōshun Chángchūn

(长春)

Mandarin
Chongqing Chonchin (重慶) Jūkei Chóngqìng (重庆) Mandarin
Mount Everest Eberesuto (エベレスト / エヴェレスト)
Chomoranma (チョモランマ) Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng

(珠穆朗瑪峰)

Chinese
Chomolungma

(ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ)

Tibetan
Sagarumāta (サガルマータ), Sagaramātā (サガラマーター) Sagaramāthā (सगरमाथा) Nepali
Dalian Dāryen (大連) Dairen Dàlián (大连) Mandarin
Grass Island, Hong Kong (Tap Mun) Tapumunchau (塔門洲) Tōmonshū Taapmùhn Jāu Cantonese transcription based on Cantonese pronunciation
Guangdong Kanton (広東) (Red XN) Guǎngdōng

(广东)

Mandarin transcription based on historical English exonym
Gwong2 Dung1 Cantonese
Guangzhou Kōshū

(広州)

Guǎngzhōu

(广州)

Mandarin
Gwong2 Zau1 Cantonese
Guilin Guirin (桂林) Keirin Guìlín (桂林) Mandarin first name based on Mandarin pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Gveilinz Zhuang
Han River (Hubei) Kankō (漢江) Hàn Jiāng (汉江) Mandarin
Kansui

(漢水)

Hàn Shǔi (汉水) Mandarin
Harbin Harubin

(哈爾浜 / 哈爾賓)

Red XN Hā'ěrbīn

(哈尔滨)

Mandarin
Kharbin (Харбин) Russian
Halbin Hoton Manchu
Hohhot Fufuhoto (呼和浩特)、(*Hohehota (ホーへホタ)) Red XN Hūhéhàotè Mandarin
Kökeqota (ᠬᠥᠬᠡᠬᠣᠲᠠ) Mongolian script
Hong Kong Honkon (香港) (Red XNKōkō) Hēung Góng Cantonese transcription based on English exonym
Macau Makao (マカオ) Ōmon (澳門) Ou Mun Cantonese first name based on Portuguese exonym
Nanjing Nankin (南京) (Red XNNankyō) Nánjīng Mandarin transcription based on Chinese postal romanization
Ningxia Ninshā (寧夏) Neika Níngxià (宁夏) Mandarin
Qingdao Chintao (青島) (Red XNSeitō) Qīngdǎo

(青岛市)

Mandarin Not to be confused with Aoshima, two different islands in Japan spelled with the same kanji
Shaanxi Shānshī Sensei (陝西) Shǎnxī (陕西) Mandarin as the transcriptions for Shanxi and Shaanxi are indistinguishable in Japanese (since the only way to distinguish the two in Mandarin is the tone of the first syllable), it is more common to use the on readings as they are distinguishable from each oher
Shanghai Shanhai (上海) (Red XNJōkai) Shànghǎi Mandarin
Zaon3 He2 Wu
Shanxi Shanshī Sansei

(山西)

Shānxī Mandarin as the transcriptions for Shanxi and Shaanxi are indistinguishable in Japanese (since the only way to distinguish the two in Mandarin is the tone of the first syllable), it is more common to use the on readings as they are distinguishable from each oher
Shenzhen (*Shenchen

(シェンチェン))

Shinsen

(深圳 / 深セン)

Shēnzhèn Mandarin
Tai Po District, Hong Kong Taipō (大埔) Taiho Daaihbou Cantonese based on Cantonese pronunciation
Tianjin Tenshin (天津) (Red XN) Tiānjīn Mandarin based on kanji on reading ten and imitated Chinese shin. Not to be confused with native Japanese word amatsu, written using the same kanji[2]
Tibet Chibetto (チベット) Seizō

(西蔵)

Xīzàng (西藏) Mandarin transcription based on English exonym
(*Bodo (ボド)) Bod (བོད) Tibetan
Urumqi Urumuchi (烏魯木斉)[3] Red XN Wūlǔmùqí

(乌鲁木齐)

Mandarin transcription based on Mandarin pronunciation
Ürümqi (ئۈرۈمچى) Uighur
Xiamen Amoi (アモイ / 厦門 / 廈門) Based on historical English exonym Amoy
Shāmen

(厦門 / 廈門)

Xiàmén (厦门) Mandarin based on Mandarin pronunciation
Ēmen Ē-mn̂g Amoy
Xi'an Shīan (西安) Seian Xī'ān Mandarin
Xinjiang[4] Shinchan (シンチャン) Shinkyō

(新疆)

Shinjang (شىنجاڭ) Uighur
Yangtze River Yōsukō (揚子江)[5] (Red XNYōshikō) 扬子江
(*Chan-gawa チャン川) Chōkō (長江)[6] Chángjiāng

(长江)

Mandarin

For place names derived from the Chinese language, Japanese typically uses the kanji equivalents of the Chinese characters that make up their respective endonyms, albeit with a Sino-Japanese pronunciation called on readings. Some place names, however, also have an approximate pronunciation (or transcription) of a historical English exonym if the area is internationally well-known, such as Beijing and Hong Kong (see above), and such transcriptions tend to be more common than the on readings or the Mandarin transcriptions. Most place names derived from Mandarin also have a Japanese transcription of the Mandarin pronunciation.

One detail to be noted, however, is that for the names of certain districts or areas in Hong Kong and Macau, the pronunciations of the Japanese transcriptions typically try to imitate the Cantonese pronunciation instead of the Mandarin pronunciation.

The Chinese characters for the endonyms above are simplified Chinese characters and will only appear in the table above if they differ from the kanji shinjitai (the current set of Japanese kanji). Most transcriptions above can be either be written either in kanji or katakana. The kanji listed are generally more accurate to the traditional Chinese variants of the endonyms than the current simplified Chinese.

Czech Republic[edit]

 Czechia Cheko (チェコ )
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Pilsen Puruzeni (プルゼニ) Plzeň Czech
Prague Puraha (プラハ), Purāgu (プラーグ), Puraggu (プラッグ ) Praha Czech

Denmark[edit]

 Denmark Denmāku (デンマーク / 丁抹)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Billund Birun (ビルン) Billund Danish
Copenhagen Kopenhāgen (コペンハーゲン), Kubunhaun (クブンハウン) København Danish

Egypt[edit]

 Egypt Ejiputo (エジプト / 埃及)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Alexandria Arekusandoria (アレクサンドリア) al-ʾIskandariyya (الإسكندرية) Standard Arabic
Eskendereyya (اسكندرية) Egyptian Arabic
Alexandria (ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ) Coptic
Rakodī (ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ) Coptic
Alexandreia (Αλεξάνδρεια) Greek
Rakótis (Ρακώτις) Greek
Raˁ-Ḳāṭit Egyptian
Cairo Kairo (カイロ) al-Qāhirah (القاهرة) Standard Arabic
Maṣr (مَصر) Egyptian Arabic
Nile Nairukawa (ナイル河 / ナイル川) an-Nil (النيل) Standard Arabic
Phiaro (ⲫⲓⲁⲣⲱ) Coptic
Iteru Egyptian

France[edit]

 France Furansu (フランス / 仏蘭西)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Cannes Kan'nu (カンヌ) Cannes French
Dunkirk Dankeruku (ダンケルク) Dunkerque French
Lyon Riyon (リヨン) Lyon French
Normandy Norumandī (ノルマンディー) Normandie French
Paris Pari (パリ) Paris French Japanese form adapted from French pronunciation without liaison
Saint-Lo Sanrō (サンロー) Saint-Lô French

Germany[edit]

 Germany Doitsu (ドイツ / 独逸 )
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Berlin Berurin (ベルリン) Berlin German
Bonn Bon (ボン) Bonn German
Cologne Kerun (ケルン) Köln German
Frankfurt Furankufuruto (フランクフルト) Frankfurt German
Hamburg Hamburuku (ハンブルク) Hamburg German
Munich Myunhen (ミュンヘン) München German

Greece[edit]

 Greece Girisha (ギリシャ / 希臘)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Athens Atene (アテネ) Athína (Αθήνα) Greek
Corinth Korinto (コリント) Kórinthos (Κόρινθος) Greek
Crete Kureta (クレタ) Kríti (Κρήτη) Greek
Marathon Marason (マラソン) Marathónios (Μαραθώνιος) Greek based on English exonym
Olympia Olympia (オリンピア) Olympía (Ολυμπία) Greek
Philippi Firippi (フィリッピ) Fílippi (Φίλιπποι) Greek
Santorini Santorīni (サントリーニ) Thíra (Θήρα) Greek
Sparta Suparuta (スパルタ) Spárti (Σπάρτη) Greek Based on English
Thebes Tēbe (テーベ) Thíva (Θήβα) Greek
Thessalonica Tessaroniki (テッサロニキ) Thessaloníki (Θεσσαλονίκη) Greek

Iceland[edit]

 Iceland Aisurando (アイスランド / 愛斯蘭/ 氷州), Hyōtō (氷島)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Reykjavik Reikyabiku (レイキャビク), Reykyavīku (レイキャウィーク) Reykjavík Icelandic

India[edit]

 India Indo (インド / 印度)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Bangalore Bangarōru (バンガロール) Bengaluru (बेंगलुरु) Hindi
Chennai Chen'nai (チェンナイ) Chennee (चेन्नई) Hindi
Ganges Ganjisu (ガンジス) Ganga (गंगा) Hindi
Hyderabad Haiderabādo (ハイデラバード) Haidaraabaad (हैदराबाद) Hindi
Kolkata Korukata (コルカタ) Kolakaata (कोलकाता) Hindi
Mumbai Mumbai (ムンバイ) Mumbee (मुंबई) Hindi
New Delhi Nyūderī (ニューデリー) Naii Dillii (नई दिल्ली) Hindi based on English exonym

Since India is home to many different languages and English is an official language in the country, Japanese exonyms are largely based on the English exonyms. The English exonyms are also familiar to many Indians.

Indonesia[edit]

 Indonesia Indoneshia (インドネシア / 印度尼西亜)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Bali Bari (バリ) Bali Indonesian
Borneo Boruneo (ボルネオ) Kalimantan Indonesian
Jakarta Jakaruta (ジャカルタ) Jakarta Indonesian

Ireland[edit]

 Ireland Airurando (アイルランド / 愛蘭)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Dublin Daburin (ダブリン) Baile Átha Cliath Irish The English name, Dublin, is also often used in Ireland.

Israel[edit]

 Israel Isuraeru (イスラエル / 以色列)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Dead Sea Shikai (死海)[7] Yam ha-Melah (ים המלח) Hebrew Translation of "Dead Sea"
Jerusalem Erusaremu (エルサレム) Yerushaláyim (ירושלים) Hebrew
Nazareth Nazare (ナザレ) Natsrat (נצרת) Hebrew
Tel Aviv Teruabibu (テルアビブ) Tel Aviv (תל אביב) Hebrew

Italy[edit]

 Italy Itaria (イタリア / 伊太利亜 / 伊太利)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Bologna Borōnya (ボローニャ) Bologna Italian
Florence Firentse (フィレンツェ), Furōrensu (フローレンス) Firenze Italian Furōrensu based on English exonym
Milan Mirano (ミラノ) Milano Italian
Naples Napori (ナポリ) Napoli Italian
Rome Rōma (ローマ / 羅馬 ) Roma Italian
Sicily Shichiria (シチリア) Sicilia Italian
Venice Venetsiya (ヴェネツィア), Benetsiya (ベネツィア), Benetshiya (ベネチア), Benisu (ベニス), Venisu (ヴェニス) Venezia Italian Benisu/Venisu from English work of Shakespeare

Japanese exonyms for Italian place names are generally based on the Italian pronunciation rather than English exonyms.

Kazakhstan[edit]

 Kazakhstan Kazahusutan (カザフスタン / 哈薩克斯坦)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Almaty Arumatoi (アルマトイ) Almaty Kazakh
Nur-Sultan Nurusurutan (ヌルスルタン) Nur-Sultan Kazakh

Laos[edit]

 Laos Raosu (ラオス / 羅宇 / 老檛)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Luang Prabang Ruanpabān (ルアンパバーン) Luangphabang (ຫລວງພະບາງ) Lao exonym based on actual Lao pronunciation rather than spelling
Vientiane Bienchan (ビエンチャン) Wīangchan (ວຽງຈັນ) Lao

Malaysia[edit]

 Malaysia Marēshia (マレーシア / 馬来西亜)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Borneo Boruneo (ボルネオ) Borneo Malay
Johor Bahru Johōrubaru (ジョホールバル) Johor Bahru Malay
Kuala Lumpur Kuararumpūru (クアラルンプール) Kuala Lumpur Malay
Penang Penan (ペナン), Tōjō-tō (東条島) Pinang Malay
Putrajaya Putorajaya (プトラジャヤ) Putrajaya Malay

Mexico[edit]

 Mexico Mekishiko (メキシコ / 墨西哥)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Cancun Kankun (カンクン) Cancun Spanish
Mexico City Mekishikoshiti (メキシコシティ) Ciudad de México Spanish based of the English exonym
Puerto Vallarta Puerutobajaruta (プエルトバジャルタ) Puerto Vallarta Spanish
Tijuana Tifana (ティファナ), Tiwana (ティワナ) Tijuana Spanish Tiwana from English pronunciation
Ciudad Juarez Shiudādofuaresu (シウダードフアレス) Ciudad Juárez Spanish

Myanmar[edit]

 Myanmar Myanmā (ミャンマー / 緬甸)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Bagan Bagan (バガン) Pugan (ပုဂံ) Burmese
Naypyidaw Nepidō (ネピドー) Naypyidaw (နေပြည်တော်) Burmese
Yangon Yangon (ヤンゴン) Raankone (ရန်ကုန်) Burmese

The Netherlands[edit]

 Netherlands Oranda (オランダ / 阿蘭陀 / 和蘭)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Amsterdam Amusuterudamu (アムステルダム ) Amsterdam Dutch
The Hague [Den] Hāgu ([デン・]ハーグ) Den Haag Dutch
Rotterdam Rotterdam (ロッテルダム) Rotterdam Dutch

North Korea[edit]

 North Korea [Kita-]Chōsen ([北]朝鮮)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Kaesong Kaijō / Keson (開城) Kaesong (개성) Korean Japanese exonyms are the Sino-Japanese name and the Japono-Koreanic pronunciation respectively.
Mount Paektu Hakutōsan (白頭山), Chōhakusan (長白山) Baegdusan (백두산) Korean Japanese exonyms are the Sino-Japanese pronunciations of the Korean name and the Chinese name respectively.
Pyongyang Heijō / Pyonyan (平壌) Pyŏngyang (평양) Korean Japanese exonyms are the Sino-Japanese name and the Japono-Koreanic pronunciation respectively.
Sinuiju Shingishū / Shiniju (新義州) Sinuiju (신의주) Korean Japanese exonyms are the Sino-Japanese name and the Japono-Koreanic pronunciation respectively.
Tumen River Tōmankō / Tomankan (豆満江) Dumangang (두만강) Korean Japanese exonyms are the Sino-Japanese name and the Japono-Koreanic pronunciation respectively.
Yalu River Ōryokukō (鴨緑江) Amnokgang (압록강) Korean Japanese exonym is based on the Sino-Japanese name, as the river is also in China.

Norway[edit]

 Norway Noruwē (ノルウェー / 諾威)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Oslo Osuro (オスロ) Oslo Norwegian

Pakistan[edit]

 Pakistan Pakisutan (パキスタン / 巴基斯坦)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Islamabad Isuramabādo (イスラマバード) Islamabad (اسلام آباد) Urdu
Karachi Karachi (カラチ) Karachi (کراچی) Urdu
Lahore Rahōru (ラホール) Lahor (لاہور) Urdu

Portugal[edit]

 Portugal Porutogaru (ポルトガル / 葡萄牙)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Lisbon Risubon (リスボン) Lisboa Portuguese

Russia[edit]

 Russia Roshia, Rokoku (ロシア / 露西亜, 露国)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Grozny Gurozunui (グロズヌイ) Groznyj (Грозный) Russian
Sölƶa-Ġala Chechen
Moscow Mosukuwa (モスクワ) Moskva (Москва) Russian
Novosibirsk Noboshibirusuku (ノボシビルスク) Novosibirsk (Новосибирск) Russian
Saint Petersburg Sankutopeteruburuku (サンクトペテルブルク) Sankt-Peterburg (Санкт-Петербург) Russian
Siberia Shiberia (シベリア) Sibir' (Сибирь) Russian
Vladivostok Urajiosutoku (ウラジオストク) Vladivostok (Владивосток) Russian
Volgograd Borugogurādo (ボルゴグラード) Volgograd (Волгоград) Russian
Yekaterinburg Ekaterinburuku (エカテリンブルク) Ekaterinburg (Екатеринбург) Russian

Saudi Arabia[edit]

 Saudi Arabia Saujiarabia (サウジアラビア)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Mecca Mekka (メッカ) Makkah (مكة) Arabic
Medina Medina (メディナ) Madinah (مدينة) Arabic
Riyadh Riyado (リヤド) Riyadh (رياض) Arabic

South Africa[edit]

 South Africa Minami Afurika, Nan'a (南アフリカ, 南亜)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Cape of Good Hope Kēpu Obu Guddohōpu (ケープ・オブ・グッドホープ), Kibouhou (喜望峰) Cape of Good Hope English Translation of "Cape of Hope"
Johannesburg Yohanesuburugu (ヨハネスブルグ) Johannesburg Afrikaans based on Afrikaans pronunciation

South Korea[edit]

 South Korea Kankoku (韓国)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Transcription On reading
Busan Pusan (釜山) Fuzan Busan (부산) first name based on kanji on readings, second name based on Korean pronunciation
Gangnam Kan'namu (江南) Kōnan Gangnam (강남) first name based on kanji on readings, second name based on Korean pronunciation
Han River (Korea) Hangan (漢江) Kankō Hangang (한강) first name based on kanji on readings, second name based on Korean pronunciation
Incheon Inchon (仁川) Jinsen Incheon (인천) first name based on kanji kun readings, second name based on kanji on readings, third name based on Korean pronunciation
Itaewon Itewon (梨泰院) Ritaiin Itaewon (이태원) first name based on kanji on readings, second name based on Korean pronunciation
Jeju Jeju (済州) Saishū Jeju (제주) first name based on kanji on readings, second name based on Korean pronunciation
Pyeongchang Pyonchan (平昌) Heishō Pyeongchang (평창) first name based on kanji kun readings, second name based on Korean pronunciation
Seoul Sōru (ソウル) Keijō / Kyōjō (京城) Seoul (서울) Sōru usually only written in katakana
Kanjō (漢城)
Ireijō (慰礼城)

While most South Korean place names are derived from words in the Chinese language, Japanese can refer to a Korean place name using Japanese on readings (Jeju 濟州 is Saishū さいしゅう in Japanese) or a pronunciation that imitates the Korean endonym name as closely as possible (Itaewon 梨泰院 is Itewon イテウォン or Ritaiin りたいいん in Japanese). Many place names in Korea have at least two of the pronunciations, the first being based on the Japanese on or kun reading and the second being based on the Korean endonym, with the latter being made so that the Japanese could navigate and ask for directions more clearly to native Koreans. Korean-based pronunciations are usually written in katakana.

Spain[edit]

 Spain Supein, Supein, Isupania, (スペイン / 西班牙、 イスパニア)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Barcelona Baruserona (バルセロナ) Barcelona Spanish
Catalan
Basque Country Basuku-chihō (バスク地方) País Vasco Spanish
Euskal Herria Basque
Madrid Madorīdo (マドリード, Madoriddo (マドリッド) Madrid Spanish
Granada Guranada (グラナダ) Granada Spanish
Seville Sebiria (セビリア) Sevilla Spanish

Sweden[edit]

 Sweden Suwēden (スウェーデン / 瑞典)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Stockholm Sutokkuhorumu (ストックホルム) Stockholm Swedish

Switzerland[edit]

  Switzerland Suisu (スイス / 瑞西)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Bern Be-ru-nu (ベルン) Bern German
Geneva Ju-nē-bu (ジュネーブ) Genève French
Lausanne Rō-zan-nu (ローザンヌ) Lausanne French
Zürich Chū-ri-hi (チューリッヒ) Zürich German

Taiwan[edit]

 Taiwan (台湾 / 臺灣)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Transcription of endonym On readings Name Language
Kaohsiung Takao (タカオ) / Kaoshion (高雄) Kōyū Gāoxióng Mandarin Takao is based on the Siraya name for the city.[8] This is not to be mistaken for the Takao District in Kyoto.
Ko-hiông Taiwanese Hokkien
Kô-hiùng Hakka
Kinmen Jinmen (金門) Kinmon Jīnmén Mandarin
Kim-mn̂g-koān Taiwanese Hokkien
Quemoy Kîm-mùn-yen Hakka
Taichung Taijon / Taitson (台中) Taichū Táizhōng

(臺中)

Mandarin transcriptions based on Mandarin pronunciation and Chinese postal romanization respectively
Tâi-tiong-tshī Taiwanese Hokkien
Thòi-chûng-sṳ Hakka
Tainan Tainan

(台南)

Táinán

(臺南)

Mandarin
Tâi-lâm Taiwanese Hokkien
Thòi-nàm Hakka
Taipei Taipei (台北) Taihoku Táiběi

(臺北)

Mandarin transcription based on Chinese postal romanization
Tâi-pak Taiwanese Hokkien
Thòi-pet Hakka
Taitung Taidon (台東) Taitō Táidōng

(臺東)

Mandarin transcription based on Mandarin pronunciation
Tâi-tang Taiwanese Hokkien
Thòi-tûng Hakka

Similar to Chinese exonyms, Japanese can either use a transcription based on Mandarin or the Japanese on readings of the endonym. However there are some Japanese place names that are unrelated to the Chinese name of the place, but are actually based on the Taiwanese aboriginal languages.

Thailand[edit]

 Thailand Tai, Taikoku (タイ, 泰国)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Ayutthaya Ayutaya (アユタヤ) Ayutthaya (อยุธยา) Thai
Bangkok Bankoku (バンコク) Krung Thep (กรุงเทพ) Thai based on English exonym
Chiang Mai Chenmai (チェンマイ) Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่) Thai
Chiang Rai Chenrai (チェンライ) Chiang Rai (เชียงราย) Thai
Hua Hin Hoahin (ホアヒン) Hua Hin (หัวหิน) Thai
Krabi Kurabi (クラビ) Krabi (กระบี่) Thai
Pattaya Pataya (パタヤ) Pattaya (พัทยา) Thai
Phi Phi Islands Pīpī-shotō (ピーピー諸島) Mu Ko Phi Phi (หมู่เกาะพีพี) Thai
Phuket Pūketto (プーケット) Phuket (ภูเก็ต) Thai
Sukhothai Sukōtai (スコータイ) Sukhothai (สุโขทัย) Thai

Turkey[edit]

 Turkey Toruko (トルコ/土耳古)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Ankara Ankara (アンカラ) Ankara Turkish
Cappadocia Kappadokia (カッパドキア) Kapadokya Turkish
Tarsus Tarususu (タルスス) Tarsus Turkish
Istanbul Isutanbūru (イスタンブール) İstanbul Turkish
Izmir Izumiru (イズミル) İzmir Turkish

United Arab Emirates[edit]

 United Arab Emirates Arabu-shuchōkokurempō (アラブ首長国連邦)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Abu Dhabi Abudabi (アブダビ) Abu Dhabi (أبوظبي) Standard Arabic
Dubai Dobai (ドバイ) Dubay (دبي) Standard Arabic

United Kingdom[edit]

 United Kingdom Igirisu, Egeresu, Eikoku, Rengō-ōkoku (イギリス / 英吉利、エゲレス、英国、連合王国)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
Belfast Berufasuto (ベルファスト) Belfast English
Béal Feirste Irish
Cardiff Kādifu (カーディフ) Cardiff English
Caerdydd Welsh
Dover Dōbā (ドーバー) Dover English
Edinburgh Edinbara(エディンバラ), Ejinbara (エジンバラ) Edinburgh English Based on the Received Pronunciation of the name as opposed to the Scots pronunciation
Scots
England Ingurando (イングランド) England English
Glasgow Gurasugō (グラスゴー) Glasgow English
Liverpool Ribapūru (リバプール) Liverpool English
London Rondon (ロンドン) London English
Manchester Manchesutā (マンチェスター) Manchester English
Northern Ireland Kita-airurando (北アイルランド) Northern Ireland English
Tuaisceart Éirean Irish Gaelic
Norlin Airlann Ulster-Scots
Oxford Okkusufōdo (オックスフォード / 牛津) Oxford English Kanji is based on the Chinese name for Oxford wikt:牛, wikt:津
Scotland Sukottorando (スコットランド) Scotland English
Wales Wēruzu (ウェールズ) Wales English
Cymru Welsh
York Yōku (ヨーク) York English

United States[edit]

 United States Amerika, Beigoku, Gasshuukoku (アメリカ / 亜米利加, 米国, 合衆国)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Name Language
California Kariforunia (カリフォルニア), Kashū (加州) California English
Chicago Shikago (シカゴ) Chicago English
Denali Denari (デナリ) Denali English
Golden Gate Bridge Goruden Gēto Burijji (ゴールデン・ゲート・ブリッジ), Kinmon-kyō (金門橋) Golden Gate Bridge English Kimmonkyou is a translation of "Golden Gate Bridge"
Hawaii Hawai (ハワイ) Hawaii English
Hawaiʻi Hawaiian
Hollywood Hariuddo (ハリウッド), Shōrin (聖林) Hollywood English 聖 = holy, 林 = woods
Los Angeles Rosanzerusu (ロサンゼルス) Los Angeles English
New York City Nyūyōku (ニューヨーク) New York City English
Pearl Harbor Pāru Hābā (パール・ハーバー), Shinjuwan (真珠湾) Pearl Harbor English Shinju-wan is a translation of "pearl bay"
Washington, DC Washinton Dīshī (ワシントン DC), Kafu (華府) Washington, DC English

Vietnam[edit]

 Vietnam Betonamu (ベトナム / 越南)
English name Japanese name Endonym Notes
Transcription On reading Name Language
Danang Danan (ダナン),[9] Tanō (沱㶞) Đà Nẵng (沱㶞) Vietnamese first name based on Vietnamese pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Dien Bien Phu Dienbienfū (ディエンビエンフー) Denhenfu (奠辺府) Điện Biên Phủ (奠邊府) Vietnamese first name based on Vietnamese pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Hoi An Hoian (ホイアン) Kaian (会安) Hội An (會安) Vietnamese first name based on Vietnamese pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Haiphong Haifon (ハイフォン) Kaibō (海防) Hải Phòng (海防) Vietnamese first name based on Vietnamese pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Halong Bay Haron-wan (ハロン湾) Karyū-wan (下龍湾) Vịnh Hạ Long (泳下龍) Vietnamese first name based on Vietnamese pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Hanoi Hanoi (ハノイ) Kanai (河内) Hà Nội (河內) Vietnamese first name based on Vietnamese pronunciation, second name based on kanji on readings
Hue Fue (フエ) (will not use the Kanji "化" when pronouced "Fue") Huế (化) Vietnamese
Junka (順化) Thuận Hóa (順化) Vietnamese based on kanji on readings of the old name
HCMC (Saigon) Hōchimin-shi (ホーチミン市) Red XN Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (城庯胡志明) Vietnamese Hōchimin is based on English or Vietnamese pronunciation of Hồ Chí Minh. Saigon is the former name for Ho Chi Minh City, though both names are still used colloquially
Saigon (サイゴン)[10] Saikon (柴棍)[citation needed]

Seikou (西貢)

Sài Gòn (柴棍 / 西貢) Vietnamese

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Why do the Japanese call the UK 'Igirisu'?". RocketNews24. 2015-12-04. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  2. ^ "天津 - Jisho.org". jisho.org. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  3. ^ For place names in mainland China (which excludes Hong Kong and Macau), Japanese exonym kanji is different from the simplified Chinese characters used in the endonym.
  4. ^ "Xinjiang - translation - English-Uighur Dictionary". Glosbe. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  5. ^ Kobayashi, Fusatarō, ed. (1935-09-30). "Yōsukō" ヨウスコウ 揚子江. 世界地名大辞典 (Sekaichimeidaijiten; World toponym encyclopedia) (in Japanese). 3 (2 ed.). Tokyo, Japan: Nankosha. p. 2028. doi:10.11501/1876523. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  6. ^ Kobayashi, Fusatarō, ed. (1932-09-30). "Chōkō" チョウコウ 長江. 世界地名大辞典 (Sekaichimeidaijiten; World toponym encyclopedia) (in Japanese). 2 (2 ed.). Tokyo, Japan: Nankosha. p. 1189. doi:10.11501/1876511. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  7. ^ "死海". 死海 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  8. ^ "Stories Behind Taiwan's Place-Names | Island Folklore". Island Folklore: Taiwanese Tales & Traditions. 2018-12-25. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  9. ^ "ダナン". ダナン (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  10. ^ "Saigon" サイゴン. 世界地名大辞典 (Sekai chimei daijiten / World toponym encyclopedia) (in Japanese). 2. Tokyo: Nankosha. 1932-09-30 [1932]. p. 788. doi:10.11501/1876511. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  • Nelson, Andrew N. (1962) The Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company)

External links[edit]