So, many country nationalities are written by adding +jin to the country name like Itaria-jin イタリア人 , Oranda-jin オランダ人, Kanada-jin カナダ人, Supein-jin スペイン人 , etc.

but there are some like american who can be written 米国人 Beikokujin or アメリカ人 Amerikajin.

And some others you only commonly find it with an original name like ドイツ人 Doitsujin or 中国人 Chūgokujin. How about countries like these last ones. Can they also be written country name + jin or it's only valid to call them with their original names?

  • I don't understand your question. Are you wondering what countries can be called both by the imported foreign name (such as Amerika) and what countries can be called with Japanese names (such as Beikoku)?
    – a20
    Sep 14, 2018 at 18:02
  • 1
    ドイツ and 中国 are both the names of the countries, and so ドイツ人 and 中国人 are no different than the first you list. Similarly, 米国 is a valid (if uncommon) name for America as a country. There don't seem to be any differences between the three groups you list.
    – Sjiveru
    Sep 14, 2018 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


Your understanding is halfway correct. But, your last paragraph is a little misguided.

German people in Japanese are described as ドイツ人 because Germany is ドイツ from Deutschland, which is the German word for Germany.

Chinese people are 中国人 because China is 中国{ちゅうごく}, which is the Japanese 音読{おんよ}み rendering of the Kanji for China (中国 or 中國, if traditional Kanji are employed).

(The United States of) America can be represented with two words: the loan word アメリカ, or the 音読み-derived reading of 米国. アメリカ is obvious, but 米国 exists because of the 当{あ}て字{じ} for rendering the word America: 亜米利加. The 米 was preserved to make the word 米国, which also means America.

Therefore, whether you use アメリカ人 or 米国人, it is still the same pattern.

That means that, just like the other groups you mentioned, they all follow the pattern:

country + 人

  • 1
    Good answer, but I would also include why アメリカ人 is also 米国人.
    – ajsmart
    Sep 14, 2018 at 21:06
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    Done, sort of. I'm really bad at explaining that point.
    – psosuna
    Sep 14, 2018 at 21:31

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