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Bob Viking
13th Jun 2014, 03:28
Why is it that some people insist on referring to a country as the ...?!
For instance the Yemen or the Ukraine. Are they correct in doing so?
BV

mikedreamer787
13th Jun 2014, 03:37
Well, The Netherlands has always been "The Netherlands".

I've heard Ukraine referred to as "the" many years before
all the shit started, so maybe its a Russki thing I dunno.

"The Yemen" is wrong pure and simple. Its Yemen period.

Off topic but what gets up my nostril is when I hear, for
example, "the Speedbird XXX" or "the Singapore XXX" by
their respective drivers spoken on VHF comms.

Bob Viking
13th Jun 2014, 04:06
For some countries it makes perfect sense. The peoples republic of ... Or the democratic republic of ... Etc sound fine. The two I mentioned in my first post just seem weird.
BV

jolihokistix
13th Jun 2014, 04:07
Me, I'm from UK... er...

mikedreamer787
13th Jun 2014, 04:10
I was born in the Oz myself.

Lon More
13th Jun 2014, 04:22
The Netherlands has always been "The Netherlands".

de Nederlanden translates as the Low Countries, most people just use Nederland now, singular in Dutch, Netherlands, plural in English.
The USA, the UAE, the Maldives, los malvinas - so it's not just an English language thing.

mikedreamer787
13th Jun 2014, 04:31
I think its a plurality thing Mr More.

One says "the UK" "the USA" "the
Lesser Antilles", but one does not
say "the Britain" "the England" or
"the China".

I thought it is "The Netherlands"
but fair enough.

"The Yemen" sounds plain silly. In
the bad old days "the Yemens" in
fact referred to North and South.

indiscipline_girl
13th Jun 2014, 05:05
If Miss Teen South Carolina says 'The Iraq' that's good enough for me.

watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww

barry lloyd
13th Jun 2014, 07:19
Mikedreamer 787:

I've heard Ukraine referred to as "the" many years before
all the shit started, so maybe its a Russki thing I dunno.

Not Russki, 'cos strange as it may seem, there's no word for 'the' in Russian.

FlyMD
13th Jun 2014, 08:06
The article in front of "United States of America" is actually spelled "duh..."

True story!

Solid Rust Twotter
13th Jun 2014, 08:35
Careful now, your prejudice is showing...

radeng
13th Jun 2014, 08:41
Aren't most the ones called 'The People's Republic of...' or 'The Democratic People's Republic of...' anything but democratic or the people's?

Ancient Mariner
13th Jun 2014, 08:45
Barry Lloyd: Not Russki, 'cos strange as it may seem, there's no word for 'the' in Russian.

There is no "the" in Norwegian either. Our definite article is a suffix, en, ei or et.
Norwegian, the new world language!
Per

Pinky the pilot
13th Jun 2014, 09:13
Aren't most the ones called 'The People's Republic of...' or 'The Democratic People's Republic of...' anything but democratic or the people's?

Yes; Something which appears to be lost on the western apologists/sympathisers for the regimes concerned.:rolleyes:

ExXB
13th Jun 2014, 09:34
And then there is der Schweiz and la Suisse, but Switzerland and Confoederatio Helvetica. (Not sure about Italian and Romansch)

Tankertrashnav
13th Jun 2014, 09:43
In French the names of all countries are preceded by the definite article, either le or la. There is a very simple rule to determine the gender, if the name ends in an 'e' the country is feminine, eg La Suisse, La Chine, etc. Otherwise it's masculine, eg Le Portugal, Le Bresil etc. No idea who thought that one up, but that's the way it is.

Re Russian, even quite accomplished English-speaking Russians often skip the article without thinking, eg "I went to supermarket yesterday". I think Polish and most other Slavonic languages are the same, but cant vouch for it.

pax britanica
13th Jun 2014, 10:08
I was told by the friendly lady in Marks and Sparks deli that she was from Ukraine, or 'ookrahn' as she pronounced it in suitably slinky Slavic style. Definitely no 'the ' involved and Russian and Ukraine languages are different but based on similar structure so I doubt they have a word for 'the ' either.

Of course they have bigger problems than how they country is named these days and I hope for their sake things get sorted out sensibly there.

Linguistic oddities abound in all parts of the world with country names and nationalities and it is often rather arbitrary , Why is it Czech Republic and not Czechia for example. It is Argentina not the Argentine ( alright I know they are just '****** Argies to some of [email protected]

I lived in Bermuda for many years and they were most offended if anyone referred to them as Bermudan not Bermudian with an 'I' ; as if anyone from just about anywhere would know this about a country that is less than 20 square miles in area and almost invisible on maps of the world.

And of course. as is so often the case it is us Brits who are the worst of all -how on earth do non Brits know whether to refer to us as UK, The UK, either in full, Britain, Great Britain, who Britons are, Scots or Scottish, where Ulster and NI are .

The World Cup should through up a few fun moments too as the more sporting end of the media fraternity struggle with place names, peoples names and the names of the countries -will any of them get the full name of Uruguay right ?

PB

DevX
13th Jun 2014, 14:33
Oi pax! You missed out the Welsh! :(

Checkboard
13th Jun 2014, 15:28
"The" - Definitive article, in this context used as a function word to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out.

Thus "Ukraine" (u-kraina), which is variously interpreted as "edge" or "country" or "borderland", was known as "The Ukraine" when it was one of the Soviet Socialist Republics - but when it became a unitary state in it's own right, with the proper name of "Ukraine" then the "the" no longer became correct.

For instance - there are many "lake districts" - but there is none well known in England, which is referred to as "The Lake District". If that area acheived independence, and kept the same name, it would become the country referred to as "Lake District".

Pom Pax
13th Jun 2014, 16:54
La France?

Carbon Bootprint
13th Jun 2014, 17:12
No one has mentioned The Gambia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gambia), probably the only one of the countries discussed so far that officially includes it in its title?

probes
14th Jun 2014, 06:47
Utopia, on the other hand, would be referred to as 'a'. Interesting.

surely not
14th Jun 2014, 09:44
I was always taught that apart from States wishing to present their dictatorships as liberal, The Peoples Republic of ..... etc, the only Country which has the 'The' as an official part of its name is 'The Gambia'.

ExXB
14th Jun 2014, 09:48
In French the names of all countries are preceded by the definite article, either le or la. There is a very simple rule to determine the gender, if the name ends in an 'e' the country is feminine, eg La Suisse, La Chine, etc. Otherwise it's masculine, eg Le Portugal, Le Bresil etc.


As with everything in French there are exceptions:

Le Mexique and Le Mozambique, for example.

Tankertrashnav
14th Jun 2014, 16:23
Thanks - I never knew about those two :ok:

I always had trouble with genders when doing French at uni so I asked a French guy how they knew them instinctively. He replied that he always thought of any item as having masculine or feminine characteristics, which helped.

"So you think of "une bicyclette" and "une voiture" as feminine?"

"Of course, naturally"

"So what about "un vlo" and "un auto"?

"Bof"!

Stupid language!

olympus
14th Jun 2014, 16:41
I always had trouble with genders when doing French at uni so I asked a French guy how they knew them instinctively. He replied that he always thought of any item as having masculine or feminine characteristics, which helped.

The French for vagina is le vagin. ie masculine. I ceased to take French seriously when I learned that.

mixture
14th Jun 2014, 19:03
I always had trouble with genders when doing French at uni so I asked a French guy how they knew them instinctively. He replied that he always thought of any item as having masculine or feminine characteristics, which helped.

As with most things in French, it comes down to practice. You either lacked the patience required, or your teacher was not strict enough !

But with gender, as this analysis shows (http://www.fourmilab.ch/francais/gender.html), keeping an eye on the endings of words can help the learner on their way and focus you on learning the exceptions.

stevef
14th Jun 2014, 19:34
Shetlanders don't care for their location being called The Shetlands. Calling it The Shetland Islands or Shetland Isles may stop you being broad-sworded to death in Da Noost during Up Helly Aa . :8

ExXB
14th Jun 2014, 20:20
Many of my French friends admit they don't know it any better than we do. So they fake it, just like we do. Lleeaaa is my favourite word !!!

k3k3
14th Jun 2014, 23:07
In German, a girl (das Mdchen) is neuter...:sad:

Capetonian
14th Jun 2014, 23:43
Spanish is more logical :
Las tetas
........ but el coo ...... maybe not so logical.

svhar
15th Jun 2014, 00:38
In Spanish you can choose from whatever suits your taste.

Las tetas, los senos etc.
La vagina, el coo etc.
El pene, la polla etc.

ExSp33db1rd
15th Jun 2014, 07:44
........keeping an eye on the endings of words can help the learner on their way and focus you on learning the exceptions.

You can remember all that lot ?

unstable load
15th Jun 2014, 09:06
The French for vagina is le vagin. ie masculine.

Aimed at the target audience?:D

Wetstart Dryrun
15th Jun 2014, 09:19
'The Gambia'?

...you gotta know when to hold 'em

wets

Haraka
15th Jun 2014, 09:22
Without wishing to contribute too much to thread drift I wonder if somebody could clarify this one?
At skool I was taught that there was a country in South America called Argentina, the inhabitants of which we called Argentinians.
During the little misunderstanding of 1982 these same people were now called "Argentines" in the media.
I have also heard the term "The Argentine".

What's the correct term , or are both acceptable?

ATNotts
15th Jun 2014, 09:33
The Soloman Islands (A country which is a full member of the UN!!!).

Capetonian
15th Jun 2014, 09:41
I don't think anyone has mentioned 'the Lebanon' which is what we were taught it was called at school, along with 'the Argentine'.

G-CPTN
15th Jun 2014, 14:21
At skool I was taught that there was a country in South America called Argentina, the inhabitants of which we called Argentinians.
During the little misunderstanding of 1982 these same people were now called "Argentines" in the media.
I have also heard the term "The Argentine".

What's the correct term , or are both acceptable?
Argentina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentina#Name_and_etymology)

olympus
15th Jun 2014, 14:26
I don't think anyone has mentioned 'the Lebanon' which is what we were taught it was called at school, along with 'the Argentine'.

When I lived there, we (the expats and incidentally the locals) called it 'Lebanon'.

Um... lifting...
21st Jun 2014, 06:46
'The Gambia' in 'The Republic of The Gambia' actually refers to the river, not the wee bit of land that surrounds it to keep it in place. Flew over it once. Took about 20 seconds.

Odd little country. Senegal surrounds it except for where they let the river out into the Atlantic.

As for 'The Sudan', you'd have to know what that means for it to make sense.

farsouth
21st Jun 2014, 07:00
The Gambia' in 'The Republic of The Gambia' actually refers to the river, not the wee bit of land that surrounds it to keep it in place. Flew over it once. Took about 20 seconds.

Does that mean it was a wide river, or a narrow country?? ;)

jolihokistix
21st Jun 2014, 07:38
DPRK or The DPRK? :E

Um... lifting...
21st Jun 2014, 09:16
Both, I think. 20 seconds was exaggeration for effect, however, the route of flight depicted in the two lower links is 231 statute miles in length from Bissau to Dakar. The real overflight time was but a few minutes.

http://images.nationmaster.com/images/motw/africa/gambia_pol88.jpg

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=oxb-dkr&MS=bm&MR=30&MX=540x540&PM=*

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=oxb-dkr&MS=wls&MR=30&MX=540x540&PM=*