French vocabulary: Different Nationalities and Countries in French
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French vocabulary: How to Say Different Nationalities and Countries in French

french nationalities vocabulary

Today we’ll go through French vocabulary related to countries and nationalities. This article will help you properly introduce yourself and talk about nationalities and countries in French.

Some Quick Reminders

Here are some other things to consider when talking about continents, countries, and nationalities in the French language.

  • First, it's quite easy because the French word for each nationality is directly derived from the name of the country or continent and these are mostly cognates. For example, in English, we would refer to someone living in Canada a Canadian. In French someone who lives in Canada would be referred to as “Canadien(ne).”
  • The second thing you’ll notice is that there are masculine and feminine adjectives used for both countries and continents. But some countries have one word to refer to both masculine or feminine.
  • The final thing to note is that when you are writing these nationalities out in French, you’ll need to capitalize the proper noun, but never the adjective. For example, writing out Asian in French would be capitalized, but if you were referring to a type of Asian, it’s lower case.

With these in mind, here is a table for the continents and their nationalities:

French Vocabulary: The Continents

EnglishFrenchNationality
AfricaAfrique (Ah-freek)Africain(e)
AntarcticaAntarctique (an-tar-tik)
AsiaAsie (ah-zee)Asiatique
AustraliaAustralie (os-tra-li)Australien(ne)
EuropeEurope (ö-rop)Européen(ne)
North AmericaAmérique du Nord (Ah-may-reek du nord)Nord-Américan(e)
South AmericaAmérique du Sud (Ah-may-reek du sud)Sud-Américain(e)

While some people argue that there are only five or six continents, getting all seven is easier for learning. What’s also worth noting is Antarctica doesn’t have a specific nationality associated with them.

If you ever need to refer to those living in Antarctica you can always say “les gens qui vivent en antarctique” (people who live in Antarctica.)

In other instances, conversations can go much like this:

John: “Bonjour Mari, comment se passent tes vacances? Où êtes-vous allé.”

Hi Mari, how is your vacation going? Where did you go?”

Mari: “Salut John! Je suis allé en Australie. Les australiens ici sont tres gentille.” 

Hi John! I went to Australia. The Australians here are very kind.

French Vocabulary: Countries & Nationalities

While the list of continents is short, the list of countries is extensive and tough to cover in a single post. To put it in perspective not only do the countries have specific nationalities but even particular cities have nationalities. 

This list by no means cover all but we tried to include the more popular countries and their nationalities. With this in mind, remember that whatever nationalities you hear outside of this list have the same rules applied to them as I mentioned above.

EnglishFrenchNationality
AlgeriaAlgérieAlgérien(ne)
BelgiumBelgiqueBelge
BrazilBrésilBrésilien
CanadaCanadaCanadien(ne)
ChinaChineChinois(e)
EgyptEgypteEgyptien(ne)
England AngleterreAnglais(e)
FranceFranceFrançais(e)
GermanyAllemagneAllemand(e)
IndiaIndeIndien(ne)
IrelandIrlandeIrlandais(e)
ItalyItalieItalien(ne)
Japan JaponJaponais(e)
Mexico MexiqueMexicain(e)
Netherlands Pays-BasNéerlandais(e)
Poland PolognePolonais(e)
PortugalPortugalPortugais(e)
RussiaRussieRusse
Spain EspagneEspagnol(e)
SwitzerlandSuisseSuisse
United StatesÉtats UnisAméricain(e)

We’ve also included a sample dialogue below. 

Johann: “Bonjour Elizabeth, ravie de vous rencontrer. Je viens d'Allemagne, d'où venez-vous?” 

Hello Elizabeth, great to meet you. I’m from Germany, where are you from?

Elizabeth: “Salut Johann, je suis ravi de vous rencontrer aussi. Je viens du Mexique. Qu'est-ce qui vous a amené ici pour étudier en Espagne?”

Hi Johann, it’s nice to meet you too. I came from Mexico. What brought you here to study in Spain?

Johann: “Je suis venu ici parce que beaucoup de mes amis suisses m'ont recommandé d'étudier ici. Je voyage beaucoup comme vous pouvez le voir.” I came here because many of my Swiss friends recommended I study here. I travel quite a lot as you can tell.

Elizabeth: “Oh wow! J'ai toujours voulu aller en Suisse. De toute façon, il semble que vos amis avaient raison. Cet endroit est agréable à vivre et j'adore la ville aussi!”
Oh wow! I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland. Either way, it seems like your friends were right. This place is nice to be and I love the town too!

Conclusion

Nationalities and countries are bound to come up sometime during conversations. Make sure you’re equipped with the right words to say it. 

Where are you from and how would you introduce yourself and your nationality? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author Eric Burdon

Eric S Burdon writes for a variety of websites covering a wide range of topics. His interests include culture and language among so many others.