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Chinese Lesson: Directions
方位 Fāng Wèi: Direction
The world map is used to help people understand their location in relation to the rest of the world, and the compass is a guiding tool that comes with that. However, I there are some cultural differences that came with learning the new terms. For example, in English we list directions as, "North, south, east, west." But in Chinese, you always list directions in a clockwise manner: "东(Dōng), 南 (Nán), 西 (Xī), 北 (Běi)." East, South, West, North.
Another interesting is that in Chinese, "东 East" and "西 West" always come first when describing intermediate directions. In English, it's the reverse. So, if you were to say "southeast," in Chinese, it would be "东南 (dōng nán)" or literally, "east-south."
世界地图 (Shì Jiè Dì Tú): World Map
In this lesson, let’s learn how to say where a country or region is located relative to another region using "在" and “的." The sentence structure is:
 (1st Country) 在 zài (2nd Country) 的 de (Direction.)
For example, "非洲在欧洲的南方 (Fēizhōu zài ōuzhōu de nánfāng)." This means "Africa is to the south of Europe."
This sentence structure can be applied to other things, not just maps. If I needed directions to the bank, for example, someone might say, "银行在商店的旁边 (Yínháng zài shāngdiàn de pángbiān)." This means, "the bank is next to the shop."
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