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2005/06/12

クロカル超人の北欧案内 Scandinavia とNordicの違いは

以前から気になっていたことのひとつをあるHPで見つけました。Scandinavian とNordic の違いです。以下はScandinavica.comからの引用。
Scandinavian and Nordic
What exactly is "Scandinavia"? and what are the "Nordic countries"? is there any difference between these two terms?

The difference between being Scandinavian and Nordic

Have you ever been corrected in Finland when you called a Finn "Scandinavian"? Or perhaps this has happened to you in Iceland? Is Denmark a Nordic country? Are the Danes actually Scandinavians?

Although in the rest of the world the words "Scandinavian" and "Nordic" are happily used in similar manner and are interchangeable, in northern Europe they are not. Europeans love to magnify even the smallest difference between neighbouring countries and you will probably be corrected if you don't use the words in their appropriate context. The problem comes when even northern Europeans can't agree themselves on the meaning of "Scandinavian" and "Nordic"...

Where is Scandinavia?

Greeks and Romans were the first to write about Scandinavia. They had a vague knowledge about what they called "an island on the edge of the civilized world", populated by the barbarian tribes from Germania.

Geographically speaking, the Scandinavian peninsula is a territory shared by Norway, Sweden and northern Finland. The Scandinavian countries would therefore only be Norway and Sweden.

Linguistically, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish have a common word called "Skandinavien" which refers to the ancient territories of the Norsemen, and for most people in these three countries "Scandinavia" consists only of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. This one is considered to be the most commonly accepted definition of "Scandinavia".

However, Iceland was also a Norse territory and Icelandic belongs to the same linguistic family than Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. And so does the Faroe islands. Therefore, you will find some people for which Scandinavia is Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

And finally, Swedish language is also spoken in Finland and reciprocally, Finnish and Sami languages are spoken in Sweden and Norway. Again, we have a new definition of Scandinavia, which would include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.

Culturaly and historically, the north of Europe has been the political playground of the kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Finland was a part of the kingdom of Sweden and Iceland belonged to Norway and Denmark. Besides a common history, politically and economically these five countries have followed a similar model known as the Nordic welfare state since the 20th century. One more time, these five countries are perceived as an unity by some and therefore called by the same name: "Scandinavia".

What are the "Nordic countries"?

In such a state of linguistic and geographical confusion, the French came to help us all and invented the term "Pays Nordiques" or "Nordic Countries", which has become the most standard term to bring together Scandinavia, Iceland and Finland under the same umbrella.

The creation of the Nordic Council in 1956 gave us another new word to define the cultural affinity of our five countries: "Norden". Norden is commonly used in the Nordic countries, although this term is rather unknown in English.

The Baltic countries and Greenland

The Baltic countries are the three young Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Neither the Baltic countries nor Greenland are considered as Scandinavian or Nordic. However, there is a close relation between the Nordic countries and the Baltics and Greenland:

The Baltic republics have been strongly influenced, culturally and historically, by the Scandinavian countries. Lithuania, Latvia, and particularly Estonia, are very proud of the cultural heritage received from Scandinavia and there is a wish for close co-operation on both sides of the Baltic sea.

The same applies to Greenland, a territory which is closer to America than to Europe, but that belongs politically to the kingdom of Denmark. Half of Greenland's historical and cultural heritage is Scandinavian and therefore these strong ties often bring Greenland together with the Nordic countries.

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