I saw these 3 and now I'm confused. Which one is more common? Where are and what for are they used?
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For your question, as a native Chinese speaker, I use 法國。
(For illustration purposes, I have below pronunciations in Mandarin for your references. P: Pinyin, I: IPA)
There seems to be some categories of way we name countries:
Sometimes, we may name some countries with more than one way using rules above.
法國、俄國、英國、美國. These short forms are the most commonly used names for the countries: France, Russia, UK, USA. This may only work if the country's name can be represented with only 1 Chinese character (since Chinese love disyllabic words more than monosyllabic words). Otherwise, we would use rules below.
From personal experience, we don't usually say the full form of names if a short form is commonly used, perhaps except for 俄羅斯 (Russia).
Here are some we don't extract the first character + 國. For example, 意大利 (Italy), 新加坡/星加坡 (Singapore). Singapore may be called 星洲/星島 (Singapore Island). 澳大利亞 may be shortened to 澳洲 (Australia Island). If the sound transcription of the name is already 2 syllables, then we never shorten it.
I have no conclusive answer for the reason of the pattern though.
Note: I don't know French, so names are in English.
法'兰'西 is the phonetic translation of F'ran'ce. And
法国 is actually an acronym of
French Republic, where
共和国 ), which means the first and the second are the exactly same meaning. While
法兰斯 is not commonly used, use
In Taiwan, people mostly use 法國 to call this country. You get more result if you google "法國" than that of "法蘭西共和國". 76400000 vs 356000. 法國 is abbreviation for 法蘭西共和國 which is used on Ministry of Foreign Affair Republic of China. 法蘭西共和國 is used on the headline. While 法國 is used on normal text. This example shows the usage of the words by government in Taiwan. Taiwan Centers for Disease Control uses 法國 on the headline too. This example also shows the usage of the words by government in Taiwan.
Here, I googled it for you: Google Ngram Viewer