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West Africa or Western Africa?

English translation: Hey Yuri!

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10:41 Oct 1, 2001
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: West Africa or Western Africa?
There is no context to speak of, the phrase appears in a text I am proof-reading (a translation from Japanese). It is a subtitle to a photograph that says simply:
Storehouses
The granaries of Western Africa.
My instinct tells me it should be West Africa or western Africa, but now that I've started second-guessing myself, I can't decide....
Yuri Geifman
Canada
Local time: 12:01
English translation:Hey Yuri!
Explanation:
My faithful Collins indicates that there appears to be no diffence between the two.
Certainly I would call it West africa, if talking of the specific geographical and political area, whereas I would say "western" if distinguishing it from eastern Africa, or northen Africa.
Just think - when talking of Tunisia and Algeria do you say North Africa or northern Africa. I say the former. It's the same.

I would make the caption read "granaries in western Africa" or "West African granaries".

"The granaries of Western Africa" makes it sound like some monumental thing or as if it's all of the granaries there are there.
Angela


I prefer the second version myself
Selected response from:

Angela Arnone
Local time: 18:01
Grading comment
Somebody squashed my question, and I am unsquashing it to give you Kudoz because I think it was a legitimate inquiry. I don't see why it should be any less deserving of Kudoz than "I love you" in different languages...
2 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5Hey Yuri!
Angela Arnone
4 +1West Africa
Mary Worby
4 +1Western Africa
Luciana Miquelino
5west Africa
Sven Petersson
4West or Westernesetiago
4western Africa
jgal


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
West Africa


Explanation:
That ole' Google search trick!

West Africa: 527,000 results
Western Africa: 34,600 results

Go for West - then you don't have to worry about whether to capitalise it or not!

HTH

Mary


    Reference: http://www.google.com
Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 164

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marian Greenfield
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
west Africa


Explanation:
"west Africa" is some 15 times more common than "western Africa" (Google).


    My geriatric brain.
    Reference: http://www.google.com
Sven Petersson
Sweden
Local time: 18:01
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 156
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Western Africa


Explanation:
In the Longman Dictionary,
Western: of or belonging to the West part of world or of a country.
I believe the picture in your text is talking about the sorehouses, the granaries in the West part of Africa, so it should be Western.
Among the countries in the Western Africa, there are Benin, and Bukina Faso.
I hope that helps,
Luciana


    Reference: http://www.supertravelnet.com/welcome.cgi?country=14_0_3&sys...
Luciana Miquelino
Brazil
Local time: 15:01
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Atacama: As shown in an Atlas search also,it's West Africa.
20 mins
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Hey Yuri!


Explanation:
My faithful Collins indicates that there appears to be no diffence between the two.
Certainly I would call it West africa, if talking of the specific geographical and political area, whereas I would say "western" if distinguishing it from eastern Africa, or northen Africa.
Just think - when talking of Tunisia and Algeria do you say North Africa or northern Africa. I say the former. It's the same.

I would make the caption read "granaries in western Africa" or "West African granaries".

"The granaries of Western Africa" makes it sound like some monumental thing or as if it's all of the granaries there are there.
Angela


I prefer the second version myself



    English mother -tongue speaker
Angela Arnone
Local time: 18:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 58
Grading comment
Somebody squashed my question, and I am unsquashing it to give you Kudoz because I think it was a legitimate inquiry. I don't see why it should be any less deserving of Kudoz than "I love you" in different languages...
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
western Africa


Explanation:
"western Africa" refers to all the countries within the western region of Africa, whereas "West Africa" is a country (also called "Republic of West Afrcia" or "West African Republic").


    Reference: http://www.unhcr.ch/refworld/maps/africa/westafrica000811.pd...
jgal
Local time: 18:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 112
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10 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
West or Western


Explanation:
Hi Yuri.
First of all your question is very interesting and so the answers produced (this is my mote to write this to you)
I think the usage is important, so, talking in general, I prefer West Africa. However, I'd say "granaries in western Africa" or "in West Africa" both would be right. I think the comment about western as thought in opposition to eastern,etc. is correct. REalize West may be both an adjective or a noun, while western is only an adj.(except for the films)

esetiago
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