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  5. "This path goes southwest."

"This path goes southwest."


June 16, 2017



How is southwest pronounced?


なんせい, according to my dictionary


It's written as a composite just like southwest yet they chose a different word for it. Is this just a leftover from before Kanji made it to Japan, or does it hold any meaning?


みなみ & にし are kun readings of 南 & 西, native Japanese words for "south" & "west". なん & せい are on readings, loans from Chinese. Compound words more often use on readings.


If the sentence is emphasising the direction of the path why is it に instead of へ?


Visiting this answer in stackexchange should help. Note that while へ is the direction particle, it is more vague and tends to be focused on the journey. に is more direct and in this case that is what the example is attempting to convey.


I remember my Japanese teacher asking me to say "I throw garbage in the bin". I tried using へ、and she told us that would be messy because that means I throw it towards the bean. に would imply into the bin.

So I think that へ is a general direction, に is an exact location and まで is about the journey


But southwest is the direction... With に, it could be interpreted that the speaker intends to go to the southwest region of a country, state, village, etc.


Actually, in that linked page I did not find the answer to why 南 gets ヘ as particle while 南西 gets に as particle. And that is the real issue here, I believe.


Because you are not headed southwest. It is asking where southwest is, but it is not saying that you are headed southwest.


The path goes southwest. That is the sentence here. I too am puzzled by why we use に here and not へ。

Southwest is a general direction. It's relative and does not represent a discreet location or even a well defined area. If I go southwest from Newcastle-upon-Tyne I could end up in Consett, Manchester, Cardiff or (with an aeroplane ) El Paso. If I head south west from Tokyo I won't reach any of those places.

That being said, a path does have to go to (and through) defined locations, so is THAT why it's に rather than へ? Because it is a path?




The four corner directions also have special animal names , soutwest being hitsujisaru ( sheep with monkey) . I am wondering how often these are used. Anyone know? The others are northeast - ushitora (cow with tiger), southeast - tatsumi (dragon with snake) and northwest - inui ( dog with pig).




I read in Human Japanese that へ is always used for compass directions. Is that so?


I thought Japanese tended to use E/W before N/S instead of the other way around? Should 西南 be legit here?

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