Does this mean compass as in the tool for direction or compass as in a straight-edge and compass?
CLUE: this is a lesson about geography.
A tool for direction. La bàn is a sino-vietnamese word: la means net (of all the directions), and bàn, a plate. A la bàn is a plate with directions inscribed.
I'm pretty sure it's the tool for direction
I want to buy ONE compass, isnt it?
"A compass" sounds more natural and is an acceptable translation.
Just about to post that.
Reading: luópán (Cantonese lo4 pun4, Hokkien lô-pôaⁿ)
I did not know the word la bàn... it said la desk...
that was my first reply, then I realized that bàn by itself is table or desk. la bàn is compass. I'm sure I may never use this word in Vietnamese though. With GPS, who needs a compass....
My comment was more meant to critisise that the duolingo wordlist showed me the translation "la desk" for "la bàn". That should be corrected (or has been done so, I think).