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Continuing the Combination Vocabulary and Geography Approach
Learning the Spanish names for European countries can be somewhat of a challenge. Students will be familiar with Portugal, España, and Francia, but what and where is Chipre? Which people speak a language known as letón? This article continues the quest to help students enrich their Spanish vocabulary while exploring the map of Europe.
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European Country and Nationality Data for Vocabulary Practice with "Factoid"
Language: alemán (German)
Factoid: Dominated in the west by the Alps and by the Danube River valley in the east.
Belgium - Bélgica
Language: alemán, francés, neerlandés (German, French, Dutch)
Factoid: Belgium is a federal state divided into three regions that speak Dutch, French, and German.
Bulgaria - Bulgaria
Language: búlgaro (Bulgarian)
Factoid: In the heart of the Balkans, its east coast borders the Black Sea.
Cyprus - Chipre
Language: griego, inglés (Greek, English)
Factoid: The largest island in the Mediterranean, situated to the south of Turkey.
Czech Republic - República Checa
Language: checo (Czech)
Factoid: Became independent in 1993 with the breakup of Czechoslovakia.
Denmark - Dinamarca
Language: danés (Danish)
Factoid: Denmark consists of the Jutland peninsula, some four hundred islands, eighty-two of which are uninhabited.
Estonia - Estonia
Language: estonio (Estonian)
Factoid: The northernmost of the Baltic states. It obtained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Finland - Finlandia
Language: finés, sueco (Finish, Swedish)
Factoid: A land of lakes and forests, well-known for its breathtaking natural beauty.
France - Francia
Language: francés (French)
Factoid: The largest country in Europe by land area.
Germany - Alemania
Language: alemán (German)
Factoid: The most populous country of the European Union.
Greece - Grecia
Language: griego (Greek)
Factoid: At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, situated in the extreme south of the Balkan Peninsula.
Hungary - Hungría
Language: húngaro (Hungarian)
Factoid: The Hungarian language is quite different from its neighbors, most closely related to Finland and Estonia.
Ireland - Irlanda
Language: Irlandés, inglés (Irish, English)
Factoid: Ireland has undergone an economic resurgence from a primarily agricultural nation to one the the technological centers of Europe.
Italy - Italia
Language: Italiano (Italian)
Factoid: Italy’s geography is essentially mountainous except for the Po River Valley.
Latvia - Letonia
Language: letón (Latvian)
Factoid: Situated on the Baltic coast, Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Lithuania - Lituania
Language: lituano (Lithuanian)
Factoid: The southernmost and most populous of the Baltic states.
Luxemburg - Luxemburgo
Language: francés, alemán (French, German)
Factoid: Known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, it is a tiny country situated between Belgium, France, and Germany.
Malta - Malta
Capital: La Valeta
Language: maltés, inglés
Factoid: Consists of a group of seven islands situated in the center of the Mediterranean Sea.
Netherlands - Países Bajos
Language: neerlandés (Dutch)
Factoid: Known as the Low Countries, the Netherlands occupy an area at or below sea level.
Poland - Polonia
Language: polaco (Polish)
Factoid: Poland is rich in natural minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper.
Portugal - Portugal
Language: portugués (Portuguese)
Factoid: Portugal is a country rich in the history of navigation and discovery.
Romania - Rumanía
Language: rumano (Romanian)
Factoid: The Romanian language, like others in the south of Europe, is derived directly from Latin.
Slovakia - Eslovaquia
Language: eslovaco (Slovakian)
Factoid: Became an independent state in 1993 with the division of Czechoslovakia.
Slovenia - Eslovenia
Language: esloveno (Slovenian)
Factoid: Became an independent state in 1991 when Yugoslavia divided.
Spain - España
Language: espańol (Spanish)
Factoid: Spain is now a constitutional monarchy with a two-house parliament.
Sweden - Suecia
Language: sueco (Swedish)
Factoid: Sweden is the most populous of the Nordic countries.
United Kingdom - Reino Unido
Language: inglés (English)
Factoid: The United Kingdom consists of England (Inglaterra), Wales (Gales), Scotland (Escocia), and Northern Ireland (Irlanda del Norte).
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Go Beyond Europe
Part 1 of this series will teach your students the Spanish names of countries beyond Europe.
Teaching Spanish: Vocabulary Practice with European Countries
Learning the Spanish names for countries, languages, and nationalities is a good vocabulary builder for Spanish students. This series is a vocabulary-building list of world countries along with some interesting "factoids" on each.