Land / Country map vs. street map

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by vince, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    In your language, is there a difference in the word "map" for the two phrases?

    In English they are the same word, obviously.

    It always threw me off how in French you can't say "une carte de la ville", you have to say "un plan de la ville". What's the difference? They're both maps! It would be unusual to hear the phrase "city plan" unless you were a professional city planner interested in the various land allocations and zoning of a city.
  2. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    Both plán and mapa can be used for "city map".

    IMO plán is commoner, maybe because the cities are planned (mostly and usually).

    But there is only mapa světa/Evropy/Francie/... (map of the world/Europe/France/...).

    Plán Francie (plan of France) is understood "the French plan", like in "The plan of France was not to intervene in Mali" (the French plan for Mali).

  3. Словеса Senior Member

    In Russian, they're the same (карта мира, карта города). The word "план" ("plan") may be used for maps of even smaller locations, like a hundred meters wide and long. The French usage that you told of does not throw me off, I feel the two are really different: the goal of one is to provide practical information valuable for a fixed number of taks, and incidentally they use straight lines all the time, the goal of the other is to follow strange turns of the real world and to provide generic information for a certain field of tasks; one assumes planar thinking, the other assumes spatial thinking; one needs to deal with problems of translation between coordinates on the sphere and coordinates on the plane, the other does not; one deals with conscious human activity, the other deals with something that readers don't have direct involvement in. So, for me, the difference is natural.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    If ypure asking about city plan map - in hebrew it is different than e.g. roads map.
    city plan map is תוכנית מתאר tochnit mit'ar, description plan (better put description blueprint or suggestion blueprint)
    regular map is מפה mapa.
  5. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member


    Country map = "carta" (geografica)
    City map = "pianta" or "mappa"
  6. Perseas Senior Member


    Country map: «χάρτης» /'xartis/ . For ex. The map of Greece = ο χάρτης της Ελλάδας.
    Street map: «οδικός χάρτης» /oði'kos 'xartis/
  7. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    In Swedish both a map of a city or a map of a country/world is the same, en karta, en stadskarta (a city map)or en gatukarta (a street map), en karta över Frankrike (a map of France). There was a word stadsplan (today detaljplan) but it means a zoning (land-use) plan of a city.
  8. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    I'm not sure that's entirely true.
    As both French & English are not so different :
    A street map is by definition a plan of the streets in a given area or town.
    Source Collins English Dico...

    A plan
    in this context is a detailed map. for example "a street plan"
    Source on-line Oxford Dico.
  9. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    I feel that it would be very unusual to go to a bookstore or travel agency and ask, "Can I get a plan of Dublin?" or "Where can I find a city plan?" IMO the only place you can get a city plan is in a municipal library or city hall. I've asked for city plans before, and that's when I wanted to know what would happen to a farm that was recently sold to developers, or where a proposed new road would go. If I want to know how to get from Santa Clara Avenue to Peach Street, I look for a city or street map.

    Perhaps this is North American English usage.
  10. Dymn Senior Member

    Catalan, Catalonia
    In Catalan, plànol means "city map" and mapa "land / country map". I guess it also happens in other Romance languages, as in French.
  11. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hi Vince,
    What you say about "everyday usage" holds true for Europe too. I was highlighting that by definition (in any dictionary) plan & map have a similar distinction to that used in french. That what is usual in french is not commonly used in English, okay. But the définitions are not that different.
  12. Holger2014 Senior Member

    Country map = Landkarte (Land = land or country, karte = card or map)
    Street map = Stadtplan (Stadt = town or city, Plan = plan)

Share This Page