November 30, 2009

Bei Dong Nan Xi 北东南西

With all these Chinese lessons, we now know all the directions!

Bei 北 means north.
Dong 东 means east.
Nan 南 means south.
Xi 西 means west.

These directions come in handy when learning Chinese cities and provinces. So many of the locations of the provinces can be identified if I can remember these directions. For example, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, and Guangxi. While I don't yet always remember these locations, I can at least get a head start on finding the provinces by remembering my directions.

Also, if you ever play mahjong (and I mean the real version here in China) you'll need to know your directions in order to make a sequence of tiles (run of 3). While in the states we often say, "north, south, east west" here in China the order (at least in mah jong) is "bei, dong, nan, xi (north, east, south, west)."


xiao aodaliya ren said...

Hey, I've noticed in many mahjong games that they use a different symbol for East. It's the same character as the one for Tokyo when written in hanzi. Are they different words? Or is one simplified hanzi and the other traditional?

Unknown said...

I haven't noticed the East character on other mahjong sets. I pay closer attention the next time I play the game.

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