Aura オーラ
Community Tutor
I've been to France, Italy, and German.
This is a recurring mistake that has happened many times with many different students, and I'm curious about it.

Whenever a student and I are talking about different countries, many of them mistakenly say "German" instead of "Germany." I realize this is a mistake that any English learner could make, but this <em>specific</em> mistake has happened more times than I can count. Is it because these two words only differ by one letter?

English learners, do you <em>think</em> you are pronouncing "Germany" but your tutor/teacher hears "German"? Is it difficult to hear the difference between the two? Do you mix up these two words?

English teachers and tutors, do you have any thoughts about why "German" is often mistakenly used instead of "Germany" when talking about countries and not people and languages?
Jun 23, 2020 10:31 PM
Comments · 10
It's super common where I live, to which I usually say "but you live in Indian". However, that's a technical fallacy. While India is a country, there's no language called Indian, though many people still seem to think so.
June 24, 2020
I see the opposite so often in this forum: “I want to learn Germany.” Ugh. And sometimes people write that they want to learn Dutch when they actually mean German because the German word for “German” is “Deutsch”. I’m like (in my mind): “If you want to learn a language, at least get the name of the language, right!”
June 24, 2020
Miriam,
When it comes to the discussion board, I tend to just glaze over posts that are language partner requests (or hint at it). I never realized how frequently people use the country name instead of the proper word referring to its corresponding language.
June 26, 2020
I just saw this in the forum: „I can teach Spain, my native language“.
June 26, 2020
Thank you for your comments everyone!

John,
I haven't had too many native German speakers as students before, so I probably haven't encountered that mistake from them.
June 24, 2020
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Aura オーラ
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Polish
Learning Language
Japanese, Polish