What does your nations name mean

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,764
Portugal
I think i mentioned it but still / I do know that the Turkish word for orange (the fruit) is portokal, in Greek it's portokali, and in my own native Bulgarian - portokal ( both transliteration from Greek and Cyrillic alphabet). The names of the fruit in Arabic and Farsi sound very similar. I presume Ottomans took the name of the fruit from Arabic and thus the presence of Ottoman Turkish loanwords (i suppose there are such) in modern Greek and Bulgarian languages. Just an oddity / an interesting observation. EDIT: oh, the Romanian word is portocal / apparently all Romance languages as true descendants of the Latin detest with passion letter K :)
I googled when I saw "portucale", because the Romanian word for oranges is "portocale" (and it's sometimes -rarely- mispronounced "portucale").



Also, the word for the colour orange is "portocaliu". Is "orange" (the colour) only "oranzhev" in Bulgarian?
Quite curious, and I don't recall to have you heard about it.

So “Portugal” almost means oranges in Turkish, Romanian, and… Greek! Probably with Arabic origin?

By the way, “orange” in Portuguese is “laranja”, similar to the Spanish “naranja”, to the Italian “arancia”. The French word is equal to the English, German, and equal or similar to other Germanic languages. All this words have clearly the same origin. My Portuguese dictionary says that the origin of the word is Persian, trough the Arabic, “naranj”.

We have here clearly two different words, with different paths.
 
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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
4,024
Western Eurasia
The Turkish also got the word portakal from Italian (probably brought there by Italian merchants...). This fruit (citrus sinensis) first appeared in Istanbul around the early 18th century, so it is relatively recent.

The word for bitter orange (citrus aurantium ) and also for the color orange is turunç in Turkish, it is a much older Persian loanword, and that fruit was already known since the middle ages.
When this newer type of sweet orange appeared there, they originally also called it portakal turuncu, that is Portuguese turunç.

To make things more complex, in modern Persian the word turunj refers to the bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia)

And the name bergamot is actually a corrupted Italian form of the Turkish word "bey armudu" ="prince's pear"
Everything is interrelated :D
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,764
Portugal
When this newer type of sweet orange appeared there, they originally also called it portakal turuncu, that is Portuguese turunç.
That seems to imply that Portuguese oranges were exported in high numbers to “Turkey”/Balkans in this period.
 
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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
4,024
Western Eurasia
That seems to imply that Portuguese oranges were exported in high numbers to “Turkey”/Balkans in this period.
as I understand the "original" orange fruit from where the word orange comes from (laranja/naranja etc, or in Hungarian narancs for example) was actually the bitter orange, this was introduced by the Arabs to the Mediterranean, including Andalusia in the middle ages.
But later on it were the Portuguese traders who introduced the new sweet orange trees to Europe from China during the age of discoveries. I'm not sure probably then these new sweet orange trees were already cultivated in different South European countries (Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, southern France?) in the 16-17th century, but because it were the Portuguese who brought this new sweet variety first to the market, it kept the "Portuguese" adjective to differentiate it from the older bitter orange.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,764
Portugal
as I understand the "original" orange fruit from where the word orange comes from (laranja/naranja etc, or in Hungarian narancs for example) was actually the bitter orange, this was introduced by the Arabs to the Mediterranean, including Andalusia in the middle ages.
But later on it were the Portuguese traders who introduced the new sweet orange trees to Europe from China during the age of discoveries. I'm not sure probably then these new sweet orange trees were already cultivated in different South European countries (Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, southern France?) in the 16-17th century, but because it were the Portuguese who brought this new sweet variety first to the market, it kept the "Portuguese" adjective to differentiate it from the older bitter orange.
We can learn something every day! Thanks!
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,229
Bulgaria
Yes, it makes sense, so the fruit was named after the country. The word is present in some Italian dialects i read. It looks that the mystery is solved. Thanks @Tulun!

The etymology section. It is "the apple from China" in Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,061
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
why do many European countries have completely different name in English and local language.
Names of a place, country, group, nationality, etc. in foreign languages used by other people are called exonyms. Names in the local language(s) of a place or country are called endonyms:

An[1] exonym or xenonym is an external name for a geographical place, a group of people, an individual person, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only outside the place, group, or linguistic community in question. An endonym or autonym is an internal name for a geographical place, a group of people, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only inside the place, group, or linguistic community in question; it is their name for themselves, self-designated, their homeland, or their language.
Marcel Aurousseau, an Australian geographer, first used the term exonym in his work The Rendering of Geographical Names (1957).[2] The term endonym was devised subsequently as an antonym for the term exonym.[citation needed]

Exonyms exist not only for historical-geographical reasons but also in consideration of difficulties when pronouncing foreign words.[1]
So:

1) All European countryies outside of the UK and Ireland have non English languages.

2) Their names in their own non English languages are their endonyms.

3) Names for those European countries in all non natives languages, including English, are exonyms.

4) It is possible for the endonyms and exonyms for a country to be identical, and there are many examples where they are identical.

But:

5) it is also possible for the endonyms and exonyms for a country to be different identical, and there are many examples where they are different.

So that explains why the English language name of a no English speaking European country is often different from the native name of that country.

One European country, Germany, has names in other countries that have five main totally different sources:

Because of Germany's long history as a non-united region of distinct tribes and states before January 1871, there are many widely varying names of Germany in different languages, perhaps more so than for any other European nation. For example, in the German language, the country is known as Deutschland from the Old High German diutisc, in Spanish as Alemania and in French as Allemagne from the name of the Alamanni tribe, in Italian as Germania from the Latin Germania (although the German people are called tedeschi), in Polish as Niemcy from the Protoslavic nemets, and in Finnish as Saksa from the name of the Saxon tribe.
And there are probably a lot of other countries who names don't come in only two forms but come in three or more forms with different sources in different countries.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,855
Athens, Greece
as I understand the "original" orange fruit from where the word orange comes from (laranja/naranja etc, or in Hungarian narancs for example) was actually the bitter orange, this was introduced by the Arabs to the Mediterranean, including Andalusia in the middle ages.
But later on it were the Portuguese traders who introduced the new sweet orange trees to Europe from China during the age of discoveries. I'm not sure probably then these new sweet orange trees were already cultivated in different South European countries (Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, southern France?) in the 16-17th century, but because it were the Portuguese who brought this new sweet variety first to the market, it kept the "Portuguese" adjective to differentiate it from the older bitter orange.
It seems that how we call them in Greek corresponds with the countries of origin: "portokali" for the sweet orange (from Portugal), "nerantzi" for the bitter orange (from the Spanish naranja).

So yes, your explanation makes a whole lot of sense.
 
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