23 March 2011

ColOmbia is not ColUmbia!

Hello all,

Ryan Wallace from the Colombia Travel and Living blog is an English expat in Colombia that is falling in love with our country one post at the time... he was kind enough to let me reproduce his entry about " ColOmbia or ColUmbia" , a common mistake made by english speaking people, especially in North America...every time I hear it I try to correct it, but there's just too many people confusing " Columbia" with 'ColOmbia" , so here it is , hoping it reaches as many people as possible :)



Columbian Vacations

Colombia. With an 'O'.
Of all the misconceptions about Colombia, there is one that seems as though it will always remain pervasive and almost impossible to change; a dark cloud looming over the country that may never be cleared. For decades, Colombians have sought to teach us English-speakers the truth about their country, but to little avail and the problem remains. On this blog, though, we’re dedicated to spreading the good word about this beautiful country and attempting to correct the mistaken ideas that haunt the country as a whole – especially this particular one. The problem?
As a writer on this blog I see plenty of evidence of this misspelling. I see searches for “Columbia Vacations”, “Beaches in Columbia”, “Columbia Hotels”, and many more. From our English-language perspective, it’s easy enough to understand the mistake. After all, the country’s name is derived from Italian explorer and discoverer of the Americas, Cristoforo Colombo, a name that is pretty much always Anglicized in our schoolbooks as Christopher Columbus. On top of this, the US city Columbia, South Carolina is named after the same explorer, as is Columbia University in New York, leaving us with the simple conclusion that the country, too, must be spelt the same way.
Not so. What is now known as the Republic of Colombia was named as such in 1886, after Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda used Colombia conceived of the name Colombia as a reference to the countries of the New World. Because of this, Colombia the country is spelt with an ‘O’ in whatever language you’re speaking.
So if you know anyone who’s still searching for “Columbia Vacations”, or “Columbia Holidays”, be sure to tell them right away to correct themselves before they actually get here. Not only will Colombians be very happy they can spell their country correctly, we’re also pretty sure if they book a Columbia vacation expecting the beautiful beaches they’ll find here in Colombia, they’re going to be sorely disappointed.


  1. I love this post! :-)
    I am tired, tired, tired of correcting people! I will be retweeting this more than once. :-)

  2. :) good post I did a similar one as well on my blog.