Here is why England is called England in English and Angleterre in French. I’ve also included a few other useful UK country name translations such as Scotland and Wales to French with audio.
How to say England in French
The French word for “England” is “Angleterre“.
It’s almost unrecognizable to anyone who doesn’t speak French. Why the big difference between English and French?
Country Name: England to French Translation
Sometimes the names of countries are the same or similar across other spoken languages.
Canada, for example, sounds virtually the same in every language.
Then there’s “England,” which is spelled like it is in English in some European languages like German, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian.
In other languages, “England” doesn’t quite sound the same as it does in English, but it’s still recognizable, even if you don’t speak that other language.
Can you recognize these? “Englanti” (Finnish), “Engeland” (Dutch), or “Englandi” (Icelandic.)
You might be interested in reading: 100 Country Names +Their Nationalities In French: Masculine Or Feminine?
England & Angleterre = Land of the Angles
At first glance, “England” and “Angleterre” look unrelated; however, if you dig a little deeper, you begin to see a connection.
The English word England comes from Old English, Engla land, which like the French word, “Angleterre” means “land of the Angles.”
Over the course of time, the “a” from “Engla land” was dropped from the old English word, something that linguists call haplology.
In some languages, the word for England sounds very similar to the French word.
In Romanian, Polish, Russian and Greek, for example, the word for “England” all sound similar to “Anglia.”
Who were the Angles?
The Angles, along with the Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians, were Germanic tribes originally from current-day northern Germany, Denmark and Holland.
Together, they formed a very powerful group and were the main Germanic tribes that invaded Britain in the 5th century, forming Anglo-Saxon England.
Some historians believe the Angles were called the Angles because of the area they originally inhabited, the Anglia Peninsula (Angeln in modern German, Angel in Danish).
ANGLO-SAXON word origin
The term “Anglo-Saxon” combines the names of the Angles and the Saxons and was first used around the 8th century.
Other words in the English language are also named after the Angles, including:
In French, there are just as many words related to the Angles.
Why was England named after the Angles and not the Saxons?
Theoretically, England could have become “Saxonland” or “land of the Saxons” instead of Engla land, then England. How and why England was named after the Angles tribe and not the Saxons is not known.
Naming places after the people that inhabited lands common, and many places, not just England, were named this way.
For example, Paris was named after a Gallic Celtic tribe called the Parisii, who lived on the banks of Paris’s Seine river during the Iron Age and through the Roman era.
France was also named after a Germanic people who invaded and inhabited the area. They were known as the Franks and France was originally called the Frankish Kingdom.
The Saxon name isn’t completely gone. It lives on in names such as Wessex, Sussex, Essex, and Middlesex which were named after the old Saxon kingdoms and the people who inhabited them: West Saxons, South Saxons, East Saxons, and Middle Saxons.
The Saxon people also gave birth to the Scottish Gaelic word for England, “Sasainn.” And an English person is “Sassenach” in Gaelic and “Saesneg” in Welsh.
Let”s move on to some other useful UK and Great Britain country names in French.
Other useful UK country terms.
How to say English in French!
How to say the United Kingdom in French!
How to say Great Britain in French!
How to say Wales in French
“Pays de Galles,” “country of the Galles.”
The second language spoken in Wales is Welsh which is called “Gallois” in French.
How to say Scotland in French
How to say Church of England in French
The other term for the Church of England is Anglican church which in French is “l’Église anglicane.”
Here’s how to pronounce Anglicane in French.