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Colombia vs. Columbia—Which Is Correct?

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Well, it depends on what you’re referring to. Continue reading to learn when you should use “Colombia” and when you should use “Columbia.”

Colombia or Columbia
It’s not uncommon for people to incorrectly spell the country’s name as “Columbia.”
  • Colombia refers to a country located in South America.
  • Then there’s British Columbia, Columbia University, District of Columbia (DC), and several other towns and cities named Columbia.
  • Last summer we visited several countries in South America, including Columbia and Brazil.
  • Last summer we visited several countries in South America, including Colombia and Brazil.

What’s the Difference Between “Colombia” and “Columbia”?

Incorrectly spelling Colombia (the country) as Columbia is not just a mistake that happens to novice English learners. This has been a mistake that celebrities, news channels, and well-known corporations have made.

Columbia or Colombia?
Colombia’s flag consists of three horizontal stripes of yellow, blue, and red.

Some people are also under the assumption that Colombia is the Spanish spelling whereas Columbia is the English spelling. This is incorrect. The only correct spelling of the country is Colombia (its original variant).

Columbia, however, is correct when referring to the following places:

  • British Columbia
  • District of Columbia
  • Columbia (several towns and cities across the US)
  • Columbia University
  • and many other places around the world.

Basically, if you’re writing about the South American country, use Colombia. Almost any other location, and it’s most likely Columbia.


“Colombia” or “Columbia”

Don’t feel discouraged if you sometimes get the two different spellings mixed up. Many people do. Even if you’re familiar with the distinctions, typos happen. If you want to avoid these mistakes, try LanguageTool. This text editor can correct spelling and grammar mistakes whether you are writing in English, Spanish, or more than 20 other languages. Try it out!


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