Off topic: Order of cardinal directions in your language
Thread poster: Port City

Port City
New Zealand
Japanese to English
+ ...
Oct 19, 2015

Welcome to the Fun with language forum! This forum is part of the Translator playground: a place for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills. See the announcement here.

Need a quick break from work? In this forum translators and language professionals can share quotes about translation, tongue twisters and word plays, translation challenges, etc.

All are welcome to participate and to add new items to this and the other areas of the Translator playground; have fun with it! If you need help or would like to propose an addition to the Translator playground, contact site staff through the online support system.

Hi there,

I'm curious about the order of cardinal directions (ex., North, South, East and West) used in different languages.

In Japanese, it's East, West, South and North, while I've seen East, South, West and North (clockwise starting from East) used in Chinese.

What's the order in your language? Thank you for your input in advance.icon_smile.gif


Zohor Ouamara
Local time: 00:25
English to French
+ ...
Order of cardinal directions in algeria Oct 19, 2015


In Algeria the order of cardinal directions is East,West, North and South


Francisco Vare
Local time: 01:25
Polish to Spanish
+ ...
In Spanish... Oct 19, 2015

...we have Norte (N), Sur (S), Este (E) and Oeste (W), N-S-E-W for us.


Local time: 00:25
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In Portugal Oct 19, 2015

In Portugal we say North, South, East and West.

I had no idea there was a different way of saying this.


Barbara Pozzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:25
German to Italian
+ ...
In Italian Oct 19, 2015

... we say North, South, West and East.


Port City
New Zealand
Japanese to English
+ ...
Thank you! Oct 20, 2015

Thank you for your input.

It's quite intriguing to see that different languages use a different word order while we all share the same concept. If you know the order in a language not shown thus far, you are welcome to share with us.

Lastly, thank you again to those who have contributed.


Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:25
English to Indonesian
+ ...
order of direction Oct 20, 2015

In Indonesia (my area), the order is East, South, West, North.
Because childhood song taught us in our kindergarten: east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, north, northeast.


Christina Baier  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:25
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
not sure if there is a special order in German Oct 20, 2015

Spontaneously I thought of North, South, West, East,

but when I looked it up on the Internet, I found N,E,S,W quite often (=klockwise), many times NSEW and some times NSWE.

[Edited at 2015-10-20 08:26 GMT]


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »

Order of cardinal directions in your language

Advanced search

Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search