So...I had the same question as Lng52, and I have read the answer that kirakrakra gave, but I still do not understand...I know that ο βορράς is the noun "north" so why is it not the word that is used in this phrase? What is βόρεια? Based on the presence of the plural article τα in the sentence and kirakrakra's answer, I am assuming that it is the plural of βόρειος, but if it is an adjective, why is it used in the phrase "The compass points north"? Does Η πυξίδα δείχνει προς τα βόρεια literally mean "The compass shows toward the northerns"? Is that simply how it is said in Greek? (Based on my knowledge of Greek so far, I would have guessed that the phrase should be Η πυξίδα δείχνει προς τo βορρά).
There are many nouns for north
βορράς, ο is a noun, officially used for the north direction of a compass, shortened B. Αληθής βορράς/ True north
βόρεια, τα is the adverb of the adjective βόρειος/ north, northern, used as a substantive: οι άνεμοι που φυσούν από τα βόρεια/ the winds which are blowing from north
βοριάς, ο north, maybe colloq.
I would translate: The compass points north as Η πυξϊδα δείχνει βορρά and
toward north as προς το βορρά/ or προς τα βόρεια/ or προς το βοριά
Hmm, I think I understand better now- it is interesting that Greek can use an adverb in this phrase...I am glad I understood "toward north" correctly as προς το βορρά...if I want to use the alternative with προς τα βόρεια I think I will have to interpret it in my mind as "toward the northerly" (at least for the purpose of my own understand). Anyway, σ'ευχαριστώ!
@mizinamo Then the phrase in Greek should be updated/improved according to what kirakrakra says, no?
I think not, as I think she has misinterpreted how "north" works in this sentence in English.
"I am going north" means "I am going towards the north" -- "north" is an adverb there, not a noun, and the sentence is not parallel to "I am going house" (which would be nonsense).
Similarly, "the compass points north" (adverb) does not mean the same thing as "the compass shows the north" (noun).