Kotus - verkkojulkaisut

Names of countries in seven languages


Background information about the material, its compilation and content

This website presents, in 7 languages, the names of the independent states of the world and the names of such geographically separate regions that have a country code. The material includes Western Sahara, Palestine, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Antarctica and the 21 republics of the Russian Federation. The material includes the official names of the countries as well as commonly used unofficial names.

Each name is presented on a separate page in Finnish, Swedish, North Saami, English, French, German and Russian.


The primary source for the material on this website is the list of recommendations issued by the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. These recommendations apply to the official UN languages – English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic – but can also be applied to other languages. The conventions for other languages have been taken from reliable sources. The material on this website is based on Maiden nimet suomeksi, ruotsiksi, saameksi, englanniksi, ranskaksi ja saksaksi (The Names of Countries in Finnish, Swedish, Saami, English, French and German), edited by Saara Welin (2003), which in turn is based on Maiden nimet kuudella kielellä (The Names of Countries in Six Languages), edited by Eeva Maria Närhi (1994), cf. the list of sources.

About the names

The website includes both long and short forms of the geographic names, as long as they come from reliable sources. However, in some cases the UN uses only one of the forms, and this is indicated in the text. If there are parallel versions of either form, the one listed first is the official version recommended by the UN. Any linguistic conventions that differ from the UN’s recommendations are indicated in the text.

The names of non-autonomous regions are indicated in the index with an asterisk (*). The webpages of the individual names show the country under which the area belongs in brackets. Since the United Nations has issued no recommendations concerning the names of these regions, their names follow national conventions.

If a language uses an article in conjunction with the name of the country, the article (the; le; la; les, pl.; der; die; das; die, pl.) is indicated in brackets after the name. An abbreviation indicating the gender of the name (m., f., n.) means that no article is usually needed in conjunction with the name.


The material on these pages has been compiled and edited by Minna Salonen, onomastic researcher at the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland. Information systems expert Jari Vihtari created the web application.

Various people from the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland have also been involved in creating the website. Kaarina Vuolab-Lohi, researcher of the Saami language checked the Saami names, onomastic researcher Maria Vidberg checked the Swedish names and Ida Kempinen originally compiled the Russian names in 2006. Kerkko Hakulinen, LPh, an expert on foreign toponyms, commented on the entire material. Peeter Päll, Director of the Language Planning department of the Eesti Keele Instituut, has kindly helped with the Russian names. Samuli Aikio, expert in the Saami language and naming, commented on the Saami material.

The material on these pages was translated by Maria Vidberg (Swedish), Kaarina Vuolab-Lohi (Saami), Linda Brown and Marja Heikkinen (English), Frédéric Fessard, Grégory Fessard and Minna Salonen (French), Klaas Ruppel (German) and Marina Turenkova (Russian).

This website was published on 21 October 2009. Last updated on 22 November 2022.

This website is maintained by the onomastic experts at the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, led by Senior Researcher Sirkka Paikkala.

Please give us your feedback!

© Institute for the Languages of Finland