054 Names of Countries

Learn how to say the names of different countries in Chinese. In this episode, ShaoLan invites top investor Melissa Bethell to join her in London to learn the names of countries such as USA, France, and China.

中 (zhōng) means “middle” or “center.” The character looks like a box with the line down the middle.

国 (guó) means “country.” Inside the box is the character for king (王) with an added stroke (玉) representing “jade.” In Chinese etymology, king + precious jewels + borders = country.

Because the Chinese people believed in ancient times that they are the center of the world, thus the name 中國 (zhōng guó) China!

美国 (měi guó) is the Chinese word for “America”. The first character “美” (měi) sounds like the “me” America. Plus, “美国” literally means “beautiful country.” Listen here for the origins of the word “beautiful.”

英国 (yīng guó) phonetically sounds like “England,” and it literally means “brave country!”

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國 / 国
美國 / 美国
měi guó
The UK
英國 / 英国
yīng guó
中國 / 中国
zhōng guó
美國人 / 美国人
měi guó rén
英國人 / 英国人
yīng guó rén
法國人 / 法国人
fǎ guó rén
中國人 / 中国人
zhōng guó rén
德國人 / 德国人
dé guó rén

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