D.; the South Korean name "Han'guk" means "Land of the Han," where "han" may have its origins in the native root for "great [leader]" (similar to the title "khan") conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo conventional short form: Kosovo local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo) local short form: Kosova (Kosovo) etymology: name derives from the Serbian "kos" meaning "blackbird," an ellipsis (linguistic omission) for "kosove polje" or "field of the blackbirds" conventional long form: State of Kuwait conventional short form: Kuwait local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt local short form: Al Kuwayt etymology: the name derives from the capital city, which is from Arabic "al-Kuwayt" a diminutive of "kut" meaning "fortress encircled by water" conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy local short form: Kyrgyzstan former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic etymology: a combination of the Turkic words "kyrg" (forty) and "-yz" (tribes) with the Persian suffix "-stan" (country) creating the meaning "Land of the Forty Tribes"; the name refers to the forty clans united by the legendary Kyrgyz hero, MANAS conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic conventional short form: Laos local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao local short form: Mueang Lao (unofficial) etymology: name means "Land of the Lao [people]" conventional long form: Republic of Latvia conventional short form: Latvia local long form: Latvijas Republika local short form: Latvija former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic etymology: the name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. D.) conventional long form: Lebanese Republic conventional short form: Lebanon local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah local short form: Lubnan former: Greater Lebanon etymology: derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho conventional short form: Lesotho local long form: Kingdom of Lesotho local short form: Lesotho former: Basutoland etymology: the name translates as "Land of the Sesotho Speakers" conventional long form: Republic of Liberia conventional short form: Liberia etymology: name derives from the Latin word "liber" meaning "free"; so named because the nation was created as a homeland for liberated African-American slaves conventional long form: none conventional short form: Libya local long form: none local short form: Libiya etymology: name derives from the Libu, an ancient Libyan tribe first mentioned in texts from the 13th century B. conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein conventional short form: Liechtenstein local long form: Fuerstentum Liechtenstein local short form: Liechtenstein etymology: named after the Liechtenstein dynasty that purchased and united the counties of Schellenburg and Vaduz and that was allowed by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1719 to rename the new property after their family; the name in German means "light (bright) stone" conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania conventional short form: Lithuania local long form: Lietuvos Respublika local short form: Lietuva former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic etymology: meaning of the name "Lietuva" remains unclear; it may derive from the Lietava, a stream in east central Lithuania conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg conventional short form: Luxembourg local long form: Grand Duche de Luxembourg local short form: Luxembourg etymology: from the Celtic "lucilem" (little) and the German "burg" (castle or fortress) to produce the meaning of the "little castle" conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region conventional short form: Macau official long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese) official short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese) etymology: name is thought to derive from the A-Ma Temple - built in 1488 and dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen - which is referred to locally as "Maa Gok" - and in Portuguese became "Macau"; the Chinese name Aomen means "inlet gates" conventional long form: Republic of Macedonia conventional short form: Macedonia local long form: Republika Makedonija local short form: Makedonija note: the provisional designation used by the UN, EU, and NATO is the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) former: People's Republic of Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia etymology: the country name derives from the ancient kingdom of Macedon (7th to 2nd centuries B. D.), which existed further north in present-day Morocco; the name derives from the Mauri (Moors), the Berber-speaking peoples of northwest Africa conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius conventional short form: Mauritius local long form: Republic of Mauritius local short form: Mauritius etymology: island named after Prince Maurice VAN NASSAU, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, in 1598 conventional long form: United Mexican States conventional short form: Mexico local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos local short form: Mexico etymology: named after the Mexica, the largest and most powerful branch of the Aztecs; the meaning of the name is uncertain conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia conventional short form: none local long form: Federated States of Micronesia local short form: none former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts abbreviation: FSM etymology: the term "Micronesia" is a 19th-century construct of two Greek words, "micro" (small) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean conventional long form: none conventional short form: Midway Islands etymology: originally named the Middlebrook Islands after the US captain who discovered them in 1859; the name became Midway later in the 19th century and reflects the islands' position in the North Pacific Ocean roughly equidistant between North America and Asia conventional long form: Republic of Moldova conventional short form: Moldova local long form: Republica Moldova local short form: Moldova former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic etymology: named for the Moldova River in neighboring eastern Romania conventional long form: Principality of Monaco conventional short form: Monaco local long form: Principaute de Monaco local short form: Monaco etymology: founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C.) conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar conventional short form: Madagascar local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara former: Malagasy Republic etymology: the name "Madageiscar" was first used by the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco POLO, as a corrupted transliteration of Mogadishu, the Somali port with which POLO confused the island conventional long form: Republic of Malawi conventional short form: Malawi local long form: Dziko la Malawi local short form: Malawi former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland etymology: named for the East African Maravi Kingdom of the 16th century; the word "maravi" means "fire flames" conventional long form: Republic of Maldives conventional short form: Maldives local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa local short form: Dhivehi Raajje etymology: archipelago apparently named after the main island (and capital) of Male; the word "Maldives" means "the islands (dives) of Male"; alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word "maladvipa" meaning "garland of islands"; Dhivehi Raajje in Maldivian means "Kingdom of the Dhivehi people" conventional long form: Republic of Mali conventional short form: Mali local long form: Republique de Mali local short form: Mali former: French Sudan and Sudanese Republic etymology: name derives from the West African Mali Empire of the 13th to 16th centuries A. conventional long form: Republic of Malta conventional short form: Malta local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta local short form: Malta etymology: the ancient Greeks called the island "Melite" meaning "honey-sweet" from the Greek word "meli" meaning "honey" and referring to the island's honey production conventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands conventional short form: Marshall Islands local long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands local short form: Marshall Islands abbreviation: RMI former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District etymology: named after British Captain John MARSHALL, who charted many of the islands in 1788 conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania conventional short form: Mauritania local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah local short form: Muritaniyah etymology: named for the ancient kingdom of Mauretania (3rd century B. C., the name derives from two Greek words "monos" (single, alone) and "oikos" (house) to convey the sense of a people "living apart" or in a "single habitation" conventional long form: none conventional short form: Mongolia local long form: none local short form: Mongol Uls former: Outer Mongolia etymology: the name means "Land of the Mongols" in Latin; the Mongolian name Mongol Uls translates as "Mongol State" conventional long form: none conventional short form: Montenegro local long form: none local short form: Crna Gora former: People's Republic of Montenegro, Socialist Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Montenegro etymology: the country's name locally as well as in most Western European languages means "black mountain" and refers to the dark coniferous forests on Mount Lovcen and the surrounding area conventional long form: none conventional short form: Montserrat etymology: island named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 after the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco conventional short form: Morocco local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah local short form: Al Maghrib etymology: the English name "Morocco" derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names "Marruecos" and "Marrocos," which stem from "Marrakesh" the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name "Al Maghrib" translates as "The West" conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique conventional short form: Mozambique local long form: Republica de Mocambique local short form: Mocambique former: Portuguese East Africa etymology: named for the offshore island of Mozambique; the island was apparently named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as sultan on the island in the 15th century conventional long form: Republic of Namibia conventional short form: Namibia local long form: Republic of Namibia local short form: Namibia former: German South-West Africa (Deutsch Suedwest Afrika), South-West Africa etymology: named for the coastal Namib Desert; the name "namib" means "vast place" in the Nama/Damara language conventional long form: Republic of Nauru conventional short form: Nauru local long form: Republic of Nauru local short form: Nauru former: Pleasant Island etymology: the island name may derive from the Nauruan word "anaoero" meaning "I go to the beach" conventional long form: none conventional short form: Navassa Island etymology: the flat island was named "Navaza" by some of Christopher COLUMBUS' sailors in 1504; the name derives from the Spanish term "nava" meaning "flat land, plain, or field" conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal conventional short form: Nepal local long form: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal local short form: Nepal etymology: the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas apparently gave their name to the country; the terms "Nepal," "Newar," "Nepar," and "Newal" are phonetically different forms of the same word conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands conventional short form: Netherlands local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden local short form: Nederland etymology: the country name literally means "the lowlands" and refers to the geographic features of the land being both flat and down river from higher areas (i.e., at the estuaries of the Scheldt, Meuse, and Rhine Rivers; only about half of the Netherlands is more than 1 meter above sea level) conventional long form: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies conventional short form: New Caledonia local long form: Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances local short form: Nouvelle-Caledonie etymology: British explorer Captain James COOK discovered and named New Caledonia in 1774; he used the appellation because the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland (Caledonia is the Latin designation for Scotland) conventional long form: none conventional short form: New Zealand abbreviation: NZ etymology: Dutch explorer Abel TASMAN was the first European to reach New Zealand in 1642; he named it Staten Landt, but Dutch cartographers renamed it Nova Zeelandia in 1645 after the Dutch province of Zeeland; British explorer Captain James COOK subsequently anglicized the name to New Zealand when he mapped the islands in 1769 conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua conventional short form: Nicaragua local long form: Republica de Nicaragua local short form: Nicaragua etymology: Nicarao was the name of the largest indigenous settlement at the time of Spanish arrival; conquistador Gil GONZALEZ Davila, who explored the area (1622-23), combined the name of the community with the Spanish word "agua" (water), referring to the two large lakes in the west of the country (Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua) conventional long form: Republic of Niger conventional short form: Niger local long form: Republique du Niger local short form: Niger etymology: named for the Niger River that passes through the southwest of the country; from a native term "Ni Gir" meaning "River Gir" conventional long form: Federal Republic of Nigeria conventional short form: Nigeria etymology: named for the Niger River that flows through the west of the country to the Atlantic Ocean; from a native term "Ni Gir" meaning "River Gir" conventional long form: none conventional short form: Niue note: pronunciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee former: Savage Island etymology: the origin of the name is obscure; in Niuean, the word supposedly translates as "behold the coconut" conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands abbreviation: CNMI former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Mariana Islands District etymology: formally claimed and named by Spain in 1667 in honor of the Spanish Queen, MARIANA of Austria conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway conventional short form: Norway local long form: Kongeriket Norge local short form: Norge etymology: derives from the Old Norse words "nordr" and "vegr" meaning "northern way" and refers to the long coastline of western Norway conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman conventional short form: Oman local long form: Saltanat Uman local short form: Uman former: Sultanate of Muscat and Oman etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it apparently dates back at least 2,000 years since an "Omana" is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (1st century A. D.) etymology: named by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand MAGELLAN during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521; encountering favorable winds upon reaching the ocean, he called it "Mar Pacifico," which means "peaceful sea" in both Portuguese and Spanish conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan conventional short form: Pakistan local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan local short form: Pakistan former: West Pakistan etymology: the word "pak" means "pure" in Persian or Pashto, while the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Pakistan literally means "Land of the Pure" conventional long form: Republic of Palau conventional short form: Palau local long form: Beluu er a Belau local short form: Belau former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Palau District etymology: from the Palauan name for the islands, Belau, which likely derives from the Palauan word "beluu" meaning "village" conventional long form: Republic of Panama conventional short form: Panama local long form: Republica de Panama local short form: Panama etymology: according to tradition, the name derives from a former indigenous fishing village and its nearby beach that were called "Panama" meaning "an abundance of fish" conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea conventional short form: Papua New Guinea local short form: Papuaniugini former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea abbreviation: PNG etymology: the word "papua" derives from the Malay "papuah" describing the frizzy hair of the Melanesians; Spanish explorer Ynigo ORTIZ de RETEZ applied the term "Nueva Guinea" to the island of New Guinea in 1545 after noting the resemblance of the locals to the peoples of the Guinea coast of Africa conventional long form: none conventional short form: Paracel Islands etymology: Portuguese navigators began to refer to the "Ilhas do Pracel" in the 16th century as a designation of low lying islets, sandbanks, and reefs scattered over a wide area; over time the name changed to "parcel" and then "paracel" conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay conventional short form: Paraguay local long form: Republica del Paraguay local short form: Paraguay etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river) conventional long form: Republic of Peru conventional short form: Peru local long form: Republica del Peru local short form: Peru etymology: exact meaning is obscure, but the name may derive from a native word "biru" meaning "river" conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines conventional short form: Philippines local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas local short form: Pilipinas etymology: named in honor of King PHILLIP II of Spain by Spanish explorer Ruy LOPEZ de VILLALOBOS, who visited some of the islands in 1543 conventional long form: Republic of Poland conventional short form: Poland local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska local short form: Polska etymology: name derives from the Polanians, a west Slavic tribe that united several surrounding Slavic groups (9th-10th centuries A.
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The coastal town of Morondava in western Madagascar lies directly on the Mozambique Channel.
It is one of the more touristy cities better in Madagascar, which does not mean a huge amount of tourists come.
However, with limited staff and resources, we simply cannot respond to all who write to us.
Submit questions or comments online By postal mail: Central Intelligence Agency Office of Public Affairs Washington, D. 20505 By phone:(703) 482-0623Open during normal business hours.
Madagascar is an island off the southeast coast of Africa.