Endonym Map

Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Maps in the News | 3 comments

Endonym Map

The Endonym map titles the countries on it with the native names in the native language of that country. Sort of. This map is a work in progress, an attempt to do that as accurately as possible by the person in charge on Endoymmap.com, who welcomes your comments. (Thanks to my friend Marcia for leading me to this map.)

Endonyms are a bit complex and very interesting. You can read more about them here http://basementgeographer.com.

About Endonyms (from http://endonymmap.com/)

An endonym is the name for a place, site or location in the language of the people who live there. These names may be officially designated by the local government or they may simply be widely used.

This map depicts endonyms of the countries of the world in their official or national languages. In cases where a country has more than one national or official language, the language that is most widely used by the local population is shown.

Some world language facts:

  • The most common official or national language in the world is English, with 86 countries or territories. These jurisdictions represent roughly one-third the number of total countries and approximately 30% of the planet’s land area.
  • After English, the most common official languages are French, Spanish and Arabic.
  • Combined, these four languages are used officially in 157 countries, about two-thirds of all countries. The small corner maps on the poster below show where these languages are used.


I see great possibilities with this map, especially in the fantasy category. I want to make a world of my own and assign illegible and calligraphic names to each of the places.

What would you do with this idea?


  1. From Aotearoa, New Zealand, all the best! I’ll look forward to seeing it when it’s finished. Unfortuately the Maori didn’t have a written language so you’ll have to use English to write the name. :)

    • Oh dear, I don’t read that well at this hour of the morning . . . I thought you were doing your own! I much prefer the idea of a fantasy map! Or a map of the brain with fantasies labelled as well as a few darker spots . . . like those dim dark recesses of my mind where my reading skills hide at 7:00 a.m.!

  2. Sweet! Your fantasy map idea sounds awesome. I look forward to seeing it.

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