How Many Countries In The World?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by aglomarsale, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. aglomarsale

    aglomarsale Well-Known Member

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    I googled it and it says 196, but I suppose every country has its own definition. I thought its 20?? Last time I saw, I thought Africa was a country? With smaller states like Algeria inside it. I'm quite confused. I'm posting this thread because I want to know how many countries you think are there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  2. B3N

    B3N Active Member

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    There are 196, Africa is a continent, like Europe or Asia... The definition of a country is a nation with its own government, which 196 do.
     
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  3. aglomarsale

    aglomarsale Well-Known Member

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    Oh ok. Most people think Africa is a country, so i did too.
     
  4. kevin.charb81

    kevin.charb81 Well-Known Member

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    We’re doomed
     
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  5. saltychipz#3569

    saltychipz#3569 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you confused that with South Africa , which is a country
     
  6. aglomarsale

    aglomarsale Well-Known Member

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    I thought Africa was the biggest country in the world. Now I realize that its made up of many. South Africa included
     
  7. Jonne1184

    Jonne1184 Member

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    Please tell me you are joking.
     
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  8. aglomarsale

    aglomarsale Well-Known Member

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    No? Most people here are unaware that Africa is a continent. I am very surprised to find this. Most of my friends and the people here in my city whom I've interacted with feel the same.

    How do education centres outside the US teach geography? I'm curious to know. Here not too much priority is given.
     
  9. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    Countries on a map is basically one of the first thing's we're taught. Higher levels of Geography will refer to case studies in specific countries often, so knowing where they are is pretty useful. In history too, it's very important, especially when learning about European empires and colonisation. It's kind of something that gets constantly referred to because it's important in shaping your understanding of various aspects of different subjects.
     
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  10. fanta1682002

    fanta1682002 Well-Known Member

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    five great oceans seven great
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  11. fanta1682002

    fanta1682002 Well-Known Member

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    Africa is a continent
     
  12. Jonne1184

    Jonne1184 Member

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    We had tests about different continents and its countries. In case of Africa we were given a map with only borders and numbers in them had to name all countries with their capital cities. I think some major rivers were also to be named. I remember that well as I used FS2004 for preparing for that. Virtual flying through Africa was quite the fun method of learning its geography.
     
  13. Pennywise

    Pennywise Active Member

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    Einstein was so right.
     
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  14. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    Not much, I can't write the name of every US State in an unlabeled map (and shamefully enough I'd even struggle with some eastern european countries, an many African and middle eastern countries) but the definition and distinction between continent, nation, and local "national subdivisions" (for example here in Italy regions, "region capitals", and "provinces") is pretty clear. Also we studied some other nation's systems as part of history lessons or law lessons (for example the US's state systems), but not much emphasis was put on some important things IMO, such as the European Union and the British "countries within a country system" because of that it's pretty common to hear "British" and "English" as if they meant the same thing, although if you tell a Scottish that he's English I'm sure he wouldn't be too happy :)

    It's pretty bonkers to think a decently big community of people is unaware of the fact Africa is not a nation but a continent, but IMO it's not you to blame, if anyone never teached you international geography it's hardly your fault. Also I'd be lying in saying some people here don't struggle to differentiate between America and U.S. and using the two terms as they meant the same thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  15. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Whoa there. You're giving the US a bad name. Nobody I know or have ever met would think that Africa is a country. I too hope you're having us on. If not, all hope is gone. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  16. paulmurphy_88

    paulmurphy_88 Well-Known Member

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    Are you 12?
     
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  17. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    At primary school we learned the Geography of the Netherlands at the age of 10, then the next year Europe was covered and in the last year the rest of the world. I do not remember how much time was spent on Africa but we definitely learned it is a continent. We did not get as many details as from other parts of the world, in that time few people were travelling abroad then and even fewer went somewhere by airplane. What you say does not really surprise me. At least many Dutch people think in the US you have not really a good idea where you can find the Netherlands and what the capital is, not speaking about smaller town. To be honest, playing TSW gives me sometimes new insights in the geography of the USA. At school they taught us it is one single country, which is small part of the story of course.
     
  18. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    All the countries of the world in alphabetical order…

    Aardvarkland, miss a few, Zebranistan.

    The moral of this thread is never stop learning. Be inquisitive and don’t think of learning as something only educational establishments permit. There is an abundance of fascinating information available online and in libraries in weird old papery things called books. There’s also observation of the world around you. When you see something you don’t quite understand, head for Google and find a place to read up on it. Wikipedia is usually a good place to start. I am constantly having to Google things because I can’t stop learning. I just don’t remember the facts that well, so am also constantly relearning things as well.

    I wonder how many countries don’t have trains? Hmmm…
     
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  19. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    Pop quiz: Out of the 196 official countries, what specific thing connects Switzerland and Nauru? No Googling!
     
  20. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    The power of friendship
     
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  21. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    Nope. The answer is that neither of them have official capital cities. Yaren (Nauru) and Berne (Switzerland) are de facto capitals where the seats of government are but they are not officially recognise as capital cities.
     
  22. -PjM-

    -PjM- Well-Known Member

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    * Cough

    :love:
     
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  23. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was in Iceland not too long ago, and they manage quite well without trains. They have good roads and short hop planes. Only one decent sized city, so I doubt they'll ever see a train.
     
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  24. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the late night guys do a lot of these "street quizzes". Can be quite embarrassing. :D
     
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  25. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Dovetail Special Projects Staff Member

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    Go easy please folks. The original poster freely confessed to being surprised at the number of countries in the world. The USA educates on a fairly insular level when it comes to geography and it's not uncommon for people to believe that Africa is only a country. No need to be flaunt superior geographic knowledge, try and be just a little more understanding.
     
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  26. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    It's no surprise that some people don't know about world matters (geography, history etc) When they're taught the one country system that some countries have (the US isn't the only one)
    But hey, you're on the internet. Google and Wikipedia are things (along with Youtube and a lot of other free resources you can use to crosscheck facts)
    But as someone else above said, you should NEVER stop learning. I would add to this, never feel ashamed or embarrased to admit you just don't know. It's likely not completely your fault that you don't and I once got a job by saying "I don't know, but I'll damn well find out!"
     
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  27. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. I can be a bit condescending at times. And for that, I apologize.

    But, as a former teacher, I have to disagree about your impression of US education as being " insular ". Social Studies, which includes history, geography, world affairs and related subjects, is pretty universal in school districts. Quality may vary, as it does everywhere, because we have 50 different state curricula. And you can always find anecdotal examples of nescience in the US, UK and everywhere else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  28. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Dovetail Special Projects Staff Member

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    My intent wasn't to suggest inferiority, rather that the US is that big that I've noticed a tendency to look inward more than outward.
     
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  29. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    Education in US seems a lot less standardised, schools in different states seem to be very different, whereas in the UK at least there's the National Curriculum which makes things pretty much uniform across the whole country in terms of what people are taught.
     
  30. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    No, we wouldn't. :)
     
  31. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    In Scotland we're taught (basic, i.e. countries and the world map) geography from around 6-7 years old (can't fully remember tbh, was a long while ago), but we do learn from an early enough age.

    When younger it's mostly basic, Things such as, the world map, countries, the earth (the layers, atmosphere, volcanoes, climate, jungles, etc.), later going in more detail into these things.

    Geography becomes grouped with the other 'Social Subjects' (History, Modern Studies (Politics and such)) for a while after this, but split up again later.

    So Geography is very well taught here, at least.

    Also, The UN has 193 member nations, with 2 non-member observer states, the Holy See (Vatican City), and the State of Palestine.

    That makes 195.

    When you actually dive deeper, there are more;

    Firstly, Scotland, England & Wales are still Countries, under the Union. (Anyone wants to dispute this, read a book, look at the legality, it's true.), so that adds 3 (Northern Ireland would take the place of the UK). Up to 198.

    Now, on to more difficult, situations.
    • Taiwan (Republic of China) is not recognised by the UN, and considered represented by China (The People's Republic of), however operates as a sovereign nation.
    • The Cook Islands & Niue are both self-governing, but in free association with New Zealand. We'll call them countries for the sake of it.
    (201 Nations)

    The following are all countries recognised by at least one UN Member, and are not members or Observers:
    • Western Sahara
    • Northern Cyprus (Turkish Republic of)
    • Republic of South Ossetia
    • Republic of Abkhazia
    • Republic of Kosovo
    The following are not recognised by any Member or Observer States, only other non-recognised nations:
    • Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic
    • Republic of Artsakh
    And this nation is recognised by nobody:
    • Somaliland
    So by these definitions it's up to 209.

    It goes on for a while, and I won't bore you with it, but to simplify;

    • UN Members + Observers (195)
    • + England, Scotland & Wales (198)
    • + The others listed (209)
    • + If I kept searching it would keep going up (?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
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  32. KiwiLE

    KiwiLE Well-Known Member

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    There's always one....:|
     
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  33. aglomarsale

    aglomarsale Well-Known Member

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    No, 23.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  34. aglomarsale

    aglomarsale Well-Known Member

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    DTG Natster could you please lock this thread? I've embarrassed myself too much.

    EDIT: don't mind this message, sorry for the confusion. No need to lock this thread. I'll just not read it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  35. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    You can aim similar criticism at British people who refer to the USA as America, which is not just one continent, but two, each containing many different countries.
     
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  36. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    Tbh, that's not really a point of confusion in my experience. Most people understand from context that 'America' or 'American' refers to the USA or people from it. At least that's the case in my life at least, I don't think there's ever been a time where I haven't been able to tell if someone has meant the country or continent(s), there's almost always context clues that make it reasonably obvious, to me at least, I'm sure others may struggle a bit more with picking up implied context. In my experience though, 'US' and 'America' are used interchangeably and doesn't really cause any confusion.

    When referring to things on a wider scale 'North America', 'Central America' and 'South America' will generally be used, or 'Latin America', we will refer to 'The Americas' when referring to the whole lot.


    As far as I can tell, again I can only comment for myself, the use of US and America interchangeably is just language being used differently rather than a point of confusion.
     
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  37. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    Most people know that the Americas are North & South America, with many being able to specify Central America, the Carribbean islands and able to note at least a few countries.
    Many are at least able to point Latin America out.

    "America" is just a term in the English speaking world for the United States itself. The US does it as well.
     
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  38. -PjM-

    -PjM- Well-Known Member

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    Not at all, there's no need to feel like that. While there was initial amusement from those who presume that everyone "knows these things" it's sparked some interesting posts afterwards.

    And as the video that I linked above shows, your not alone. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  39. Calidore266

    Calidore266 Member

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    Not just random people on the street, but celebrities on camera. Here's Drew Carey in a classic Whose Line Is It Anyway moment.



    So don't feel bad. If you remember the important practical things, like paying rent on time, you're one up on me.
     
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  40. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I am sure when Trump was touting "Making America Great Again" he wasn't talking about anywhere other then the US. "America" when referring to the country of the USA is a valid shortening that most people will understand, and given I have never heard anyone ever say they're going to "North America", but rather state which of the countries they're flying to I doubt there's much ambiguity in that reference
     
  41. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, of course, we Americans use "US", " USA " and " America " interchangeably. Just think of songs like "America The Beautiful" or " God Bless America ".
     
  42. simongilford

    simongilford Well-Known Member

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    An interesting piece of geographical trivia I read recently:

    Q. With which other country does France share it's longest border?

    A. Brazil.

    The colony of French Guyana in South America is officially a department of France.
     
  43. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, it's a strange yet delightful remain of Colonial Borders, and is quite a good trivia question.

    It also means that the European Union has territory on the American (Continental) Mainland, meaning it has territory in Europe, (South) America and Africa (Spain has pockets of land here), meaning that - excluding Islands & Military Bases, the "European" Union is on 3 continents.

    That's a right trick question to throw someone off in a quiz! Maybe JD could throw that one in when the next quiz is on :)
     
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  44. fabristunt

    fabristunt Well-Known Member

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    Is this topic some kind of joke I'm too European to understand?
     
  45. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    No, some people really have just had rubbish education (or didn't pay attention, either way)
     
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  46. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

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    To be pedantic, it's French Guiana. Guyana is on the other side of Suriname and not a part of France.
     
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