Madagascar : Continent of the Malagasy
Madagasikara : Kôntinantan'ny Malagasy

    Ny fifandraisana eo amin'ny anaran-tany MADAGASIKARA sy ny anaran'ny mponina ary ny teniny, MALAGASY, dia hazavaina toy izao.

Voalohany, ny Litera D sy ny litera L dia mifanova eo amin'ny endrika sasantsasany. Hitantsika matetika eo amin'ny fitenim-paritry ny Nosy izany : vady / valy, fady / faly, anjavidy / anjavily. Hitantsika any Amerika avaratra izany ao amin'ny Rakibolana Dakota sy Lakota, izay ny teny mitovy hevitra dia tsy miovaova afa-tsy ny litera D na L. Ampiharintsika àry izany fikisaham-peo izany : MADAGASIKARA lasa hoe MALAGASIKARA.

Faharoa, MALAGASIKARA, atao izany hoe, MALAGASY KARA ; tsaroana amin'izany ny teny Persanina na Arabo قارة izay midika ho Kôntinanta. Tsy mazava raha avy amin'ny Persa na ny Arabo ny anarana. Eo amin'ireo tranga roa ireo, ny nosy rehetra fantatry ny mpanamory azy ireo, Chypre hatrany Kômôro, Sri Lanka hatrany Baléares, dia vao miara-mandrakotra ny ampahenin'ny Nosy. Tsy mahagaga raha io Nosy farany io no heverina ho kôntinanta.

Araka izany, ny teny Madagasikara dia atao hoe Kôntinantan'ny Malagasy.


    The relationship between the name of the country, MADAGASIKARA (Madagascar in English), and the name of its inhabitants and their language, MALAGASY, is explained as follows

Firstly, the letters D and L can be exchanged in certain situations. We see it frequently in the dialects of the Island : vady / valy (spouse), fady / faly (forbidden), anjavidy / anjavily (heather). We see it also in North America, where Dakota and Lakota dictionaries have lists of words with identical meaning and a spelling difference from D to L. Let us apply that exchange : MADAGASIKARA becomes MALAGASIKARA.

That exchange is in fact documented in several situations:

  • In the Filipino language, the Great Island's name is spelt both Madagaskar and Malagaskar.
  • On June 8th, 1699, Maryland's Governor Blakiston wrote to Secretary Vernon: "... Capt Shelly that brought those buccaneers, which was to the number of eighty or ninety passengers from Malagaskar, was cleared from New York about ten months ago".

Secondly, MALAGASIKARA is in fact MALAGASY KARA ; one can recognize in the ending the Persian or Arabic word قارة which means continent. It is unclear if the name comes from the Persians or the Arabs. Either way, we note that the combined areas of all the islands known to these navigators, from Cyprus to the Comoros and from Sri Lanka to the Balearic Islands, barely amount to one sixth of the Great Island's area; small wonder that they viewed it as a continent.

Thus, the word Madagascar means Continent of the Malagasy.


Updated on 2013/08/16