north, south, west, east

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by jana.bo99, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo
    Slovenian: sever, jug, zahod, vzhod

    Croatian: sjever, jug, zapad, istok

    German: Norden, Osten, Sueden, Westen
  2. germandelsur Senior Member

    Spanish: norte, este, sur, oeste.
  3. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Italian: nord, sud, ovest, est.
  4. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Finnish: pohjoinen, etelä, länsi, itä

    We also have separate names (i.e. not compounds of the ones above) of ordinal directions, like northeast etc:

    northeast = koillinen
    southeast = kaakko
    southwest = lounas
    northwest = luode
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Portuguese: norte, sul, oeste, este/leste.
  6. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Romanian: nord (miazănoapte), sud (miazăzi), vest (apus), est (răsărit).
  7. tie-break Senior Member

    Français : nord, sud, est, ouest.
  8. kiyama

    kiyama Senior Member

    Catalunya, català
    Catalan: nord, sud, est i oest
  9. Cosol Member

    Italiano - Italia
    North: 北
    Pinyin: běi;
    Yale (Cantonese): baak1

    South: 南
    Pinyin: nán
    Yale: naam4

    West: 西/酉
    Pinyin: xī
    Yale: sai1

    East: 东/東
    Pinyin: dōng
    Yale: dung1

    By the way the standard way to teach them is 东南西北.
  10. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    In Dutch
    noord, zuid, oost, west

    In Russian
    норд, зюйд, ост, вест
    (at least, if I understood well, only/mainly in the maritime jargon)


  11. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    bắc, nam, tây, đông.
  12. Walden New Member

    Latvia, Latvian
    In Latvian:
    north - ziemeļi
    south - dienvidi
    west - rietumi
    east - austrumi
  13. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    Indonesian, too:

    southeast = tenggara
    east = timur
    northeast = timur laut
    north = utara
    northwest = barat laut
    west = barat
    southwest = barat daya
    south = selatan


  14. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Panjabi: /uttar/ /dakkhan/ /pachhim/ /purab/

    Hindi: /uttar/ /dakshin/ /pashchim/ /purab/

    Urdu: /shimaal/ /januub/ /magrib/ /mashriq/
  15. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    No, 酉 is not a character for "west." It's a different character with its own meanings and a pronunciation. ;) You may want to check a Chinese dictionary, for example, here.

    Japanese in the order of the character, the Japanese word and the Sino-Japanese
    North: 北 kita (hoku, boku)
    South: 南 minami (nan)
    West: 西 nishi (sai, zai, sē)
    East: 東 higashi (tō)

    The standard way to enumerate directions is; 東西南北 (tōzainamboku).
  16. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    Capitals are mandatory.
  17. larosa Member

    Hungary, Hungarian

    North: észak
    South: dél
    East: kelet
    West: nyugat
  18. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    Hi Frank!
    You are right, these words are used in the nautical jargon only.
    The common words (nouns) are: север (north), юг (south), запад (west), восток (east)
  19. deine Senior Member

    Lithuania - lithuanian

    šiaurė, pietūs, vakarai, rytai.
  20. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    Do the last two have any relation to "evening" / "morning"?
  21. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Yes, (in Lithuanian) vakaras(sg.)=evening/vakarai(pl.)=west
    pietus(sg.)=dinner/pietūs(pl.)=south (šiaurė(sg.) is neutral in this point)
    In Czech:
  22. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    Roger that, ačiū ;)
  23. ukuca

    ukuca Senior Member

    Istanbul - Turkey
    Turkish - Turkey
    Turkish: kuzey, güney, batı, doğu
  24. Piotr_WRF Senior Member

    Polish, German
    Polish: północ, południe, zachód, wschód.

    Północ means also midnight and południe noon.
    Zachód słońca is also sunset and wschód słońca is sunrise.
  25. pickypuck Senior Member

    Badajoz, Spanish Extremadura
    Extremaduran Spanish
    Esti / Ehti.
    Oesti / Oehti.

    Those are the Extremaduran words.
  26. Abbassupreme

    Abbassupreme Senior Member

    California, U.S.
    United States, English, Persian
    In Western Persian (the Tehrani dialect), transliterated into the Latin script:

    north- shomaal
    south-jonub, nimruz (even though "nimruz" also means "midday"/"noon", it also apparently has the meaning of "south")
    east-sharq, khaavar
    west-gharb, baakhtar
  27. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Yes, you're right. Probably introduced by the tsar Peter the Great who himself studied shipbuilding and navigation in Amsterdam for 4 months.

    Ukrainian closely follows the Polish model
    північ (pivnich - north), also means midnight
    південь (pivden' - south) - also means noon
    захід (zahid - west)
    схід (s'hid - east)
  28. yannalan Senior Member

    france, french, breton
    reter east
    kreisteiz, su south
    kornog west
    hanternoz, nord north

    In french you can hear "midi" instead of "south" sometimes
  29. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Arabic: Shamal, Janoob, Gharb (gh= French r), Sharq.
  30. poul Member

    Danish - Denmark
    Danish: Nord - Syd - Vest - Øst
  31. Ulfus Member

    Põhi, Lõuna, Ida, Lääs

    northeast = Kirre
    southeast = Kagu
    southwest = Edel
    northwest = Loe
  32. Han86 Banned


    North - tsafon
    South - darom
    East - mizrakh
    West - ma"arav


    North - garpyo
    South - taymno
    East - madnHo
    West - maArpo


    North - shamaal
    South - janoob
    East - sharq
    West - gharb
  33. sean de lier

    sean de lier Member

    Manila, the Philippines
    Philippines (Tagalog, English)
    North = Hilaga
    South = Timog
    East = Silangan
    West = Kanluran
  34. Mizhanah New Member


  35. halfminded

    halfminded Member

    Estonian, Estonia
    Just to avoid any misunderstandings... I just noticed that in the heading of this topic these words are in different order than Ulfus posted...;)
  36. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    Burmese (transliteration)

    North : myaw?
    South : taoN
    East : ëshe?
    West : ?ë naw ? ( ?= Glottal stop; -N = nazalised vowel )


    North : kaskazini
    South : kusini
    East : mashariki
    West : magharibi
  37. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:

    east - istok
    west - zapad
    north - sever
    south - jug.
  38. Mac_Linguist Senior Member

    English and Macedonian
    In Macedonian:

    North — Север
    South — Југ
    East — Исток
    West — Запад
  39. Revontuli

    Revontuli Senior Member

    In Turkish:

    and as in Finnish(my favourite language=):

    northeast = kuzeydoğu
    southeast = güneydoğu
    southwest = güneybatı
    northwest = kuzeybatı
  40. axakin New Member

    Spain, Spanish and Basque
    Basque (euskera) : Iparralde, hegoalde, mendebalde, ekialde
  41. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    I think it is idiomatic in English to say north-south-east-west. I will therefore disregard the headline and use N-S-E-W in the following.

    Modern Greek
    N: βόρειος [vórios]
    S: νότιος [nótios]
    E: ανατολικός [anatolikós]
    W: δυτικός [ðitikós]

    nouns (with def. art. – masc. ο [o], fem. η )
    N: ο βορράς [vorás]
    S: ο νότος [nótos]
    E: η ανατολή [anatolí]
    W: η δύση [ðísi]

    Ottoman Turkish
    N: şimal
    S: cenup
    E: şark
    W: garp

    The latter are all adaptations of Arabic (cf. #29) whereas those given in #23 are of Turkish origin. These Arabıc words are practically never used in today’s Turkey.

    -written in Latin letters, standard being in Arabic letters)
    N: ximal (the x reflects the same letter as the one used in pinyin)
    S: jenub
    E: xerikh
    W: gherib

    I never tried out how an Uyghur would react to the Modern Turkish words. I’ll do it one day. Most of them he would probably not recognize at all because they are neologisms in Turkish. Only kuzey, “north”, seems to have an existence in other Turkic languages.

    adjectives and nouns
    N: septentrionalis - septentrion
    S: meridianus - meridies
    E: orientalis – oriens
    W: occidentalis –occidens
    :) :)
  42. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Not meridionalis...?
  43. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    Well, Latin is not my mother tongue, and I am a bit short of adequate dictionaries where I am for the moment. It does look a bit strange with meridianus, I admit, but I am pretty sure I have come across the word in this acceptation. According to the etymology in Le Petit Robert (s.v. méridional), meridionalis is supposed to be Late Latin.

    I think I’ll have to leave the question open. :eek:
    :) :)
  44. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    So what means
    (N.) borealis and
    (S.) australis?? then? :eek:
  45. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    There is another question which needs to be addressed in connection with this thread: Which are the specific reasons for knowing the directions?

    I thought of this when looking at the Greek forms – they are all neologisms in Modern Greek except one: east. Wouldn’t there be a religious reason for knowing where east is? That would trigger the conservation of the word through the centuries. The other directions are less important, and so, they are left to “dry up” as words. Those people who did need them, especially seamen, would use words belonging to their “trade”. In Greek tradition – from the Middle Age until modern times – the language of their “trade” would be Italian. No wonder that a word like πουνέντες [punéndes], “west” – from Italian ponente, of course – has entered the Modern Greek lexicon. In fact, we are talking about winds, , and according to Ancient Greek tradition there were eight of them, see The so-called “Wind Tower” in Athens actually contained a water clock.

    That’s a good question! The directions of the sky are so mixed up with the winds that I wonder if there is a clear-cut distinction between them. One should probably consult a large Latin dictionary like Lewis & Short. Latin borealis seems to me primarily to be a wind. But I may be wrong.

    It is highly interesting that Finnish, cf. #4, can fill out with specific names all the octogon constituting the “WindTower”.

    In islamic tradition, the directions of the sky are somewhat more important than in the Eastern Orthodox Church. For the “compulsory” prayers you have to find out where Mecca is. For this you’d probably need all directions depending on where you live in the world. Symptomatically, languages spoken primarily by Muslims have taken over the Arabic terminology. In #26, however, I see double forms, obviously due to the fact that Persian enjoyed a long literary existence previous to Islam.

    A conclusion from these remarks would be that the etymology of N-S-E-W in various languages can give quite a few cultural indications. As it stands, lists of words being used in various languages – most of which will remain unknown to most of us – don’t tell us anything but a sequence of letters.

    Language is also cultural history!
    :) :)
  46. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    So, it seems, that in most Slavic languages most similar are: North - sever and South - jih/юг(...,...). Moreover, these has not clear meaning (other, than that one). Whereas East and West has names showing idea of rising Sun or sunset in one or other way. Polish is slight exception, but I have to say, that in Czech in archaic speech we also used simillary: to the North - na půlnoc (means to the midnight) or in South direction: směrem poledním (means direction to the midday).
    Maybe someone knows, how is North and South in Sanskrit?
  47. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    Are you sure you didn't get Timog and Silangan the other way around?
    I mean Timog = East and Silangan = South?
  48. dinji Senior Member

    Borgå, Finland
    Swedish - Finland

    North - tsafon / in the Bible also s'mol 'left'
    South - darom / in the Bible also yamin 'right'
    East - mizrakh from a root z.r.k 'shine' // in the Bible also qedem 'forward'
    West - ma"arav from a root ' ".r.b 'sunset, evening' / in the Bible also also yam 'sea'
  49. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    And in Swedish:

    nord (or norr)
    söder (syd)
    öster (öst)
    väster (väst)
  50. dinji Senior Member

    Borgå, Finland
    Swedish - Finland
    For the sake of symmetry of the forms norr and nord should switch places:
    (norr originates from < nordr)

    Note also other remnants of the case system:

    nordan 'from/beyond north'
    sunnan 'from/beyond south'
    östan 'from/beyond east'
    västan 'from/beyond west'

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