Teaching Spanish: Vocabulary Practice with European Countries
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.
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).
Go Beyond Europe
Part 1 of this series will teach your students the Spanish names of countries beyond Europe.