Random Person: “Where are you from?”

Me: “New Zealand.”

RP: “Sorry, where?”

Me: “New Zealand.”

RP: “Ah, the Netherlands.”

Me: “Nooooo, New. Zealand.”

This is one of many variations of conversations I’ve had way too many times while travelling. To alleviate the language (yay kiwi slang) and accent barrier, I’ve started to learn how to say New Zealand in the native language of the country I’m in. And those who you say it to will appreciate your tiny bit of effort.

The following is how to New Zealand is pronounced in 58 of the world’s top 100 most spoken languages (source). I’d love to get this list to 100. At the bottom of the page is a list of the 42 languages I haven’t worked out yet. If you know any, email jub@tikitouringkiwi.com. You’re awesome.

1MandarinXīnxīlánChina, Taiwan, Singapore
2SpanishNueva ZelandaHispanic America, Spain, United States, Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara, Pacific islands
3EnglishNew ZealandAustralia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Singapore, Philippines
4HindinyoojeelaindIndia, Fiji, Nepal
5ArabicnywzilandaNorth Africa, Western Asia (Middle East), East Africa
6PortugueseNova ZelândiaAngola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste
8RussianNovaya ZelandiyaRussia, former Republics of the Soviet Union, Mongolia
9JapaneseNyūjīrandoJapan
10PunjabiNi’ūzīlaiṇḍaPunjab region (India, Pakistan)
11GermanNeuseelandAustria, Belgium (Eupen-Malmedy), Germany, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, South Tirol (in Italy)
12JavaneseSelandia AnyarJava (Indonesia)
13XhosaNyu ZilendSouth Africa
14MalayNew ZealandIndonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore
15KoreannyujillaendeuNorth Korea, South Korea
16TeluguN’yūjilāṇḍAndhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry (India)
17Vietnamesequần đảo Tân tây lanVietnam
18FrenchNouvelle-ZélandeBelgium (Wallonia, Brussels), Canada (particularly Quebec, New Brunswick and Eastern parts of Ontario), France, Switzerland, Francophone Africa, French Caribbean, French Polynesia, various islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
19MarathiN’yujhīlam̐ḍaMaharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat (India)
20TamilNiyūcilāntuTamil Nadu, Karnataka (India), Puducherry (India), Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius
21BelarusianNovaja ZielandyjaBelarus
22SwedishNya ZeelandSweden and Finland
23TurkishYeni ZelandaTurkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria
24ShonaNyuzirendiZimbabwe
25ItalianNuova ZelandaItaly, Switzerland, San Marino
26ThaiNiwsīlænd̒Thailand
27GujaratiN’yūjhīlēnḍaGujarat (India)
28BasqueZelanda BerrialNorthern Spain
29HmongNew ZealandLaos and neighbouring areas
30PolishNowa ZelandiaPoland, USA, Germany, United Kingdom, Belarus, western Ukraine, Lithuania
31KannadaN’yūjilyāṇḍKarnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra (India)
32Malayalamn’yūsilānṟKerala, Lakshadweep, Mahé (India)
33SundaneseSelandia BaruJava (Indonesia)
34HausaNew ZealandNigeria
35BurmesenayuujelaanBurma
36ArmenianNor ZelandiaArmenia Georgi and Russia
37UkrainianNova ZelandiyaUkraine
38YorubaIlu Niu silandiiNigeria, Benin and Togo
39SwahiliNew ZealandKenya, Tanzania, Uganda
40UzbekYangi ZelandiyaUzbekistan
41AmharicnīwizīlanidiEthiopia
42IgboNew ZealandNigeria
43RomanianNoua ZeelandaRomania, Moldova
44AzerbaijaniYeni ZelandiyaAzerbaijan and Northern Iran
45CebuanoNew ZealandCentral and Southern Philippines
46DutchNieuw ZeelandBelgium (Flanders, Brussels), Netherlands and Suriname
47KurdishZelanda Nû“Kurdistan”, northern Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria
48Serbo-CroatianNovi ZelandSerbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro
49NepaliN’yujilyāṇḍaNepal and neighbouring areas, Sikkim, (India)
50Khmernou ve l se lngCambodia
51SomaliNew ZealandSomalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Yemen
52HungarianNew ZealandHungary and areas in neighbouring countries
53GreekNéa ZilandíaGreece, Cyprus
54KazakhJaña ZelandïyaKazakhstan
55ZuluE-New ZealandSouth Africa
56CzechNový ZélandCzech Republic
57Haitian CreoleNouvèl ZelannHaiti
58AfrikaansNieu-SeelandSouth Africa

Bengali, Wu (Shanghainese), Urdu, Persian/Farsi, Cantonese, Minnan hua, Pashto, Chamorro, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Tagalog, Maithili, Sindhi, Fula, Oromo, Manipuri/Meitei, Chichewa, Malagasy, Saraiki, Santali, Sinhalese, Bambara, Assamese, Madurese, Magahi, Dogri, Marwari, Chewa, Kinyarwanda, Akan/Twi, Khasi, Tswana, Hebrew, Kinyarwanda, Kokani, Ilokano, Quechua, Kirundi, Hiligaynon, Uyghur, Balochi, Mossi, Konkani, and Persian/Farsi.


I’ve travelled a fair bit, but looking at this list…well, I’ve hardly travelled. I haven’t heard of a lot of these languages! I’ll forever be from New Zealand!