Go to the homepage of this German Course Chapter 2: Talking about yourself University of Portsmouth
2.5 Nationalities

Nouns of nationality
Click here to listen to the phrases!The German construction for saying which nationality you are is different from in English. Whereas English uses an adjective - i.e. "I am English" -, German uses a noun without a different article - "Ich bin Engländer" (literally: "I am Englishman").

And just as there are different words for "friend" depending on the gender of the person concerned, you would need to employ the feminine version of the noun if the person being described is a woman - "Ich bin Engländerin" (literally: "I am Englishwoman"):

Where are you from? I'm from...
Woher kommen Sie?  ich bin Brite
  ("I'm British (male)")
Woher ist Anne?  sie ist Britin
  ("She is British")
Woher kommt Urs?  er ist Schweizer
  ("He is Swiss")
Woher bist du?  ich bin Schweizerin
  ("I am Swiss (female)")

Nationality table
Listed below are the nouns of nationality for the countries which we have encountered so far. Note that:

  • The vast majority of feminine nouns end in "-in". The major exception is an important one however - "die Deutsche" ("the German woman").
  • With a few exceptions (der Ungar, der Israeli, der Zypriot), the names of male inhabitants listed below either end in "-e" or "-er". This is a little misleading however. For as we shall see in Chapter 11, the masculine nouns that end in "-e" can in fact take a number of endings depending on the case that they are in and whether they are preceded by an article. For the moment we have given you the endings that you will need to translate "He is a ..."
  • The word for a German man - "der Deutsche" - is an adjectival noun. This type of noun will also be discussed in Chapter 11.

  Country Male Inhabitant Female Inhabitant
The Andorran flag Andorra Andorraner Andorranerin
The Australian flag Australien Australier Australierin
The Belgian flag Belgien Belgier Belgierin
The Brazilian flag Brasilien Brasilianer Brasilianerin
The Bulgarian flag Bulgarien Bulgare Bulgarin
The Chinese flag China Chinese Chinesin
The Danish flag Dänemark Däne Dänin
The German flag Deutschland Deutscher Deutsche
The British flag England Engländer Engländerin
The Estonian flag Estland Este Estin
The Finnish flag Finnland Finne Finnin
The French flag Frankreich Franzose Französin
The Greek flag Griechenland Grieche Griechin
The British flag Großbritannien Brite Britin
The Indian flag Indien Inder Inderin
The Irish flag Irland Ire Irin
The Icelandic flag Island Isländer Isländerin
The Israeli flag Israel Israeli Israeli
The Italian flag Italien Italiener Italienerin
The Japanese flag Japan Japaner Japanerin
The Canadian flag Kanada Kanadier Kanadierin
The Colombian flag Kolumbien Kolumbianer Kolumbianerin
The Croatian flag Kroatien Kroate Kroatin
The Latvian flag Lettland Lette Lettin
The Liechtenstein flag Liechtenstein Liechtensteiner Liechtensteinerin
The Lithuanian flag Litauen Litauer Litauerin
The Luxembourg flag Luxemburg Luxemburger Luxemburgerin
The Maltese flag Malta Malteser Malteserin
The Macedonian flag Mazedonien Mazedonier Mazedonierin
The Mexican flag Mexiko Mexikaner Mexikanerin
The Moldovan flag Moldawien Moldawier Moldawierin
The Monegasque flag Monaco Monegasse Monegassin
The New Zealand flag Neuseeland Neuseeländer Neuseeländerin
The Dutch flag die Niederlande Niederländer Niederländerin
The Norwegian flag Norwegen Norweger Norwegerin
The Austrian flag Österreich Österreicher Österreicherin
The Polish flag Polen Pole Polin
The Portuguese flag Portugal Portugiese Portugiesin
The Romanian flag Rumänien Rumäne Rumänin
The Russian flag Russland Russe Russin
The British flag Schottland Schotte Schottin
The Swedish flag Schweden Schwede Schwedin
The Swiss flag die Schweiz Schweizer Schweizerin
The Slovakian flag die Slowakei Slowake Slowakin
The Slovenian flag Slowenien Slowene Slowenin
The Spanish flag Spanien Spanier Spanierin
The South African flag Südafrika Südafrikaner Südafrikanerin
The South Korean flag Südkorea Südkoreaner Südkoreanerin
The Czech flag die Tschechische Republik der Tscheche die Tschechin
The Tunisian flag Tunesien Tunesier Tunesierin
The Turkish flag die Türkei der Türke die Türkin
The Ukranian flag die Ukraine der Ukrainer die Ukrainerin
The Hungarian flag Ungarn Ungar Ungarin
The American flag die USA (US-)Amerikaner (US-)Amerikanerin
The British flag Wales Waliser Waliserin
The Cypriot flag Zypern Zypriot Zypriotin

Test yourself!
You can test yourself on your knowledge of German words for nationalities by clicking on the two bars below:

Weiter!Chapter 2.6: Conversation: Im Café

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