• Level: Basic Intermediate Advanced
  • Keyword: Speaking

I want to introduce my own country in Japanese! (2)

In I want to introduce my own country in Japanese! (1) we looked at...
・a site called 世界の国旗 (National Flags of the World), which includes some basic information on different countries along with their national flags,
・another site called Kanji Converter, to help people who had trouble with the readings and meanings of the kanji they encountered on 世界の国旗, and
YYNIHONGO's text-to-speech function called 'Read aloud Japanese text', for people who want to know the readings for numbers, or want to listen to audio for the kanji readings.

世界の国旗 (National Flags of the World)

Kanji Converter


Text-to-speech tool

Here, we'll show you some sites where you can find out the meaning and origin of the names of different countries, and some more useful online tools to help you.

Don't you think it would be interesting for the people listening if, when introducing your own country, you could add a bit of information in order to explain in simple terms the history behind the name of your home?

国名の意味・由来 (Country names: meanings/origins)

Here there are explanations for 194 countries in total. Since this site is aimed at native Japanese speakers, everything is written in Japanese.
If you come across a word you don't know, please try using one of the sites shown below, which can provide you with some help as you read.
( These contents are part of "おしえてねドットコム!".)

POPjisyo (Introduction article)

Screen capture of POPjisyo in use

People who find kanji troublesome, or learners who have just begun their kanji study, can use POPjisyo to look up the meanings and readings of the characters they encounter.

Hiragana Megane (Introduction article)

Japanese text with Ruby furigana

This is a tool which overlays Ruby furigana onto the kanji in Japanese text in order to help you read them.

This is a tool which overlays Ruby furigana onto the kanji in Japanese text in order to help you read them.

So... From this site 国名の意味・由来 (Country names: meanings/origins), let's have a look at the origins of the name of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

There you have it, it means "聖なる光輝く島" ("Island of holy shining light")

Do you know the meaning and history behind your own country's name?
Why not try looking it up on 国名の意味・由来(Country names: meanings/origins)?

Let's look at a few more interesting sites concerned with country names and flags.
These are Japanese-language only sites, so you could either use reading tools such as the ones above, or if you are an advanced learner you might enjoy making use of this opportunity to test your skills...

国旗クイズ (National Flag Quiz)

There are quizzes about world flags here, which could make a good starting point for a speech.
How many of the quizzes can you do?
(These contents are part of 世界の国旗 [World Flags])

National flag navi

Aside from some basic facts about different countries, here you can also gather some information on national flags and their origins.

南アジア各国の国旗の意味 (The Meanings of the Flags of Each Southern Asian Country)

Here you can find out about India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives.
(These contents are part of Center for South Asia Studies (CSAS), Gifu Wome's University)

世界の国旗図鑑 (Illustrated Reference Book on World Flags)

On this site, aside from the flag's meaning and origins, you can also find interesting contents such as maps showing each country's position, an aspect ratio of the flags, information on the correct etiquette for hoisting and lowering flags, a section called 世界の国旗占い (World flag fortune-telling) and more. (These contents are part of Sarago, Inc.)

Information on Cambodia

地図 (Maps)

We tried the 世界の国旗占い (World flag fortune-telling). Tomorrow's horoscope was "Angola", apparently.
Here you can find out business fortune, economic fortune, and your luck in love and health.

Last update 2010.05.07

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