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100+ French Names For Nationalities, Countries & Languages

100+ French Names For Nationalities, Countries & Languages

Names for Nationalities, Countries and Languages

Names for countries, nationalities and languages in French are not complicated but require the knowledge of a few guidelines and rules. This page provides tables with vocabulary of names for over one hundred countries with corresponding language and nationality adjectives.

French Names For Nationalities, Countries & Languages

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Notes on names of countries, nationalities and languages

Country names have a gender

There are two key aspects to note about the names of countries in French. Firstly, all countries are preceded by the definite article (le, la, les).

Hence, France is la France and Canada is le Canada.

The second point to know is that most feminine countries end in the letter -e while masculine counties end in other letters.

For example, la Suisse (Switzerland) and le Bésil (Brazil). There are exceptions, however. Le Mexique (Mexico) ends in an -e and is masculine.

There are few countries which do not take a direct article. These tend to be island nations: Singapour (Singapore) and Cuba and Haïti (Haiti).

If you want to say, “I’m going to + masculine country”, use the preposition au. For example, Je vais au Canada (I’m going to Canada).

If you want to say “I’m going to + feminine country”, use the preposition en. For example, Je vais en France (I’m going to France).

If you want to say, “I’m going to + plural country”, use the preposition aux. For example, Je vais aux États-Unis.

Nationalities follow adjective rules

Nationalities are adjectives and follow the agreement rules for adjectives. This page covers French adjective agreement rules extensively.

If a nationality ends in a consonant, simply add an -e to make it feminine. For example, americain/americaine (American) and allemand/allemande (German).

If the masculine form of an nationality ends in -e, the feminine form is the same. Some examples are belge (Belgian), russe (Russian) and suisse (Swiss).

Many nationalities which end in -ien in the masculine form end in -ienne in the feminine form. Examples are vietnamien/vietnamienne (Vietnamese), italien/italienne (Italian) and indien/indienne (Indian).

Some nationalities have completely different forms in the masculine and feminine forms. For example, grec/greque (Greek).

There is one more aspect to note about nationalities. The French write nationalities when used as an adjective in the lower case.

For example, un homme français (a French man) or un homme anglais (an English man). However, when using the nationality of the form of a noun, the French use the upper case. For example: un Français (a Frenchman) or un Anglais (an Englishman).

Image of globe

Language names are based on the masculine adjective

The names of langauges are almost always the masculine form of the adjective associated with the country’s nationality.

For example, the adjective for English in the masculine form is anglais. Hence, l’anglais is name of the English language.

The same applies to French. Français is the masculine form of the adjective for the nationality. Hence, the name of the langue is le français.

The French write names of languages with in the lower case. There are a few exceptions to this guideline where the names of languages differ from the country’s nationality adjective in the masculine form.


  • la tagalog: official Filipino language; nationality adjective: philippin/philippine
  • le thaï: language of Thailand; nationality adjectives: thaïlandais/thaïlandaise
  • le khmer: Cambodian language; nationality adjectives: cambodgien, cambodgienne
  • le ourdu: language of Pakistan; nationality adjectives: pakistanais/pakistanaise


The continents in French are all feminine. Adjectives for continents are also included in the table below. In English, one can say Latin American in addition to South American.

In French, Latin American is latino-américain in the masculine form and latino-américaine in the feminine form.

Note that Australia is both a country and a continent. On the countries and languages section below I’ve included it in the Asian table.

North Americal'Amérique du Nordnord-américain(e)
South Americal'Amérique du Sudsud-américain(e)

North & Central America

The following are country names, nationalities and languages for countries in North America and Central American.

Throughout many years of teaching, we’ve found that many students have a very difficult time with the pronunciation of Les États-Unis (the United States).

We have included a quick video going over this pronunciation under this table.

L'Amerique Du Nord (North America)
CountryFrench NameNationality (m/f)Language
United Statesles États-Unis d’Ameriqueaméricain(e)l'anglais
Mexicole Mexiquemexicain(e)l'espagnol
Canadale Canadacanadien(ne)l'anglais, le français
Guatamalale Guatamalaguatémaltèquel'anglais
El SalvadorLe Salvadorsalvadorien(ne)l'anglais
Panamale Panamapanaméen(ne)l'anglais
HaitiHaïti haïtien(ne)le créole
Dominican Republicla République dominicainedominicain(e)l'anglais
Belizele Bélizebélizien(ne)le créole, l'anglais
Nicaraguale Nicaraguanicaraguayen(ne)l'anglais
Hondurasle Hondurashondurien(ne)l'espagnol
Bahamasles Bahamasbahaméen(ne)l'anglais

South American

For South America (l’Amerique du Sud) you will see that almost every country has Spanish (l’espagnol) as its official language. The big exception is Brazil, where the official language is Portuguese (le portugais).

L'Amerique Du Sud (South America)
CountryFrench NameNationality (m/f)Language
Brazille Brésilbrésilien(ne)le portugais
Colombiala Colombiecolombien(ne)l'espagnol
Perule Pérupéruvien(ne)l'espagnol
Boliviala Boliviebolivien(ne)l'espagnol
Chilele Chilichilien(ne)l'espagnol
Venezuelale Vénézuela vénézuélien(ne)l'espagnol
Ecuadorl'Équateur (m)équatorien(ne)l'espagnol
Paraguayle Paraguayparaguayen(ne)l'espagnol
Uruguayle Uruguayuruguayen(ne)l'espagnol


One easy aspect to learning the European coutries is that all of the countries surrounding France are feminine: la Belgique (Belgium), l’Allemagne (German), la Suisse (Switzerland), l’Italie (Italy) and l’Espagne (Spain).

L'Europe (Europe)
CountryFrench NameNationality (m/f)Language
Francela Francefrançais(e)le français
Spainl'Espagne (f)espagnol(e)l'espagnol
Switzerlandla Suissesuissel'allemand, le français, l'italien
Italyl'Italie (f)italien(ne)l'italien
The Netherlandsles Pays-Basnéerlandais(e)le néerlandais
Belgiumla Belgiquebelgele français, le flamand
Germanyl'Allemagne (f)allemand(e)l'allemand
Englandl'Angleterre (f)anglais(e)l'anglais
Irelandl'Irlande (f)irlandais(e)l'anglais
Portugalle Portugalportugais(e)le portugais
Greecela Grècegrec, grecquele grec
Russiala Russierussele russe
Polandla Polognepolonais(e)le polonais
Denmarkle Danemarkdanois(e)le danois
Norwayla Norvègenorvégien(ne)le norvégien
Swedenla Suèdesuédois(e)le suédois
Finlandla Finlandefinlandais(e)le finlandais
Hungaryla Hongriehongrois(e)le hongrois
Serbiala Serbieserbele serbe
Romaniala Roumanieroumain(e)le roumain
Bulgariala Bulgariebulgarebulgare

Middle East

For the Middle East, note that Israel does not take a direct object. Hence the name for Israel is simply, “Israël“.

Le Moyen Orient (Middle East)
CountryFrench NameNationality (m/f)Language
Syriala Syriesyrien(ne)l'arabe
Lebanonle Libanlibanais(e)l'arabe
Saudi Arabial’Arabie Saodite saoudien(ne)l'arabe
United Arab Emiratesles Émirats Arabes Unisémiratl'arabe
Iraql’Irak iraquien(ne)l'arabe
Iranl’Iraniranien(ne)le perse
Pakistanle Pakistanpakistanaisle ourdou
Turkeyla Turquieturc, turquele turc


Note that for India (l’Inde) we put the language as Hindi (le hindi). While this is the official language. the country has a long list of local languages in addition to the common usage of English.

L'Asie (Asia)
CountryFrench NameNationality (m/f)Language
Chinala Chinechinois(e)le chinois
Japanle Japonjaponais(e)le japonais
South Koreala Corée du Sudcoréen(ne)le coréen
Thailandla Thaïlandethaïlandais(e)le thaï
Laosle Laoslaotien(ne)le lao
Cambodiale Cambodgecambodgien(ne)le khmer
Vietnamle Vietnamvietnamien(ne)le vietnamien
the Philippinesles Philippinesphilippin(e)la tagalog
Malaysiala Malaisiemalaisien(ne)le malais
SingaporeSingapoursingapourien(ne)l'anglais, le chinois, le malais
Indial'Indeindien(ne)le hindi
Nepalle Népalnépalais(e)le népalais
Mongoliala Mongoliemongol(e)le mongol
New Zealandla Nouvelle-Zélandenéo-zélandais(e)l'anglais


The following table has a column for the languages of African countries. This column is difficult to fill in as many African countries have scores of spoken languages.

In most of Africa, the countries use the languages of the formal colonial aggressors (mostly English and French) as well as local tribal languages.

L'Afrique (Africa)
CountryFrench NameNationality (m/f)Language
South Africal'Afrique du Sudsud-africain(e)l'anglais, l'afrikaans, le zulu
Nigeriale Nigerianigérian(e)le hausa, l'anglais
Ivory Coastla Côte d'Ivoireivoirien(ne)le français
Cameroonle Camerouncamerounais(e)le français, l'anglais
Senegalle Sénégalsénégalais(e)le wolof , le français,
Moroccole Marocmarocain(e)le français, l'arabe
Algerial'Algériealgérien(ne)le français, l'arabe
Tunisiala Tunisietunisien(ne)le français, l'arabe
Libyala Libyelibyen(ne)l'arabe
Sudanle Soudansoudanais(s)l'arabe sudanais

Let’s review the nationalities:

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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