Here and there

Today we’re looking at words for here and there is various languages. In standard English there are just two such words: here (close to the speaker), and there (away from the speaker). In some dialects of English, and in other languages, there are three or possibly more: here, there and yonder/over there.

Here are the words for here and there is various languages:

here there over there
French ici là-bas
Spanish aquí, acá allí allá
Italian qui, qua là, lì
Portuguese aqui aí, ali, lá ali, lá
German hier dort, da dort drüben
Irish anseo ansin ansiùd, thall ansin
Manx ayns shoh ayns shen ayns shid
Scottish Gaelic an seo an sin an siud
Welsh yma yno acw
Mandarin 這兒[这儿] (zhèr)
這裡 [这里] (zhèli)
這邊 [这边]
那兒 [哪儿] (nàr)
那裡 [那里] (nàli)
那邊 [那边]
Cantonese 呢喥 (nīdouh)
呢處 (nīsyu)
嗰喥 (gódouh)
嗰處 (gósyu)
Taiwanese chia hia
Japanese ここ [此処] (koko) そこ [其処] (soko) あそこ (asoko)
This entry was posted in Language, Words and phrases.

9 Responses to Here and there

  1. Weili says:

    Wow, I never realized that in Chinese, there is really no word for “over there”. It’s eithere “here” or “there” and anything beyond “there” would be said with specific description like “over the hill” or “around the corner”.

    BTW, is “asoko” in Japanese only written with Hiragana? I just typed “asoko” on my computer and got 彼処.

  2. Mike says:

    彼処 can be pronounced “asoko,” “asuko,” or “kashiko,” so I think hiragana is probably used to enforce the proper reading.
    Also, when the word is written in kanji, it has the connotation of male genitals, which is probably another reason for the kanji being used less often.

  3. Max Pinton says:

    A little off topic, it’s interesting that French doesn’t generally distinguish between “this” and “that,” both being “ce.” I was also surprised that since “his” and “hers” take the grammatical gender of the modified word, they don’t reveal the gender of the possessor. So it’s always “her car,” even if the owner is male.

    You can probably tell I just started studying French …

  4. In Japanese, a more formal way of expressing “here” (i.e. where the speaker is), “there” (i.e. where the listener is) and “over there” (i.e. away from both) is respectively こちら kochira (此方 spelt with kanji), そちら sochira (其方) and あちら achira (彼方).
    The same expressions also mean “this way/ this direction / this person”, “that way / that direction / that person”, “that way/direction/person over there”.
    They also have a shortened, more colloquial form: こっち kotchi, そっち sotchi and あっち atchi, respectively.

    With regard to the Italian adverbs, “over there” is translated by laggiù, which is a compound of là (“there”) and giù (“down”), referring to a distant place, away from both the speaker and the listener. The same adverb also translates “down there”, referring to a low/deep place.
    Furthermore, Italian has two adverbs that are rarely heard today, as they sound a bit archaic: costì and costà. They both translate “there” (i.e. by the listener), but when two different distances are concerned, costì indicates the nearest, costà the farthest. Costà can also bind to giù, forming costaggiù (which is basically the equivalent of the aforesaid laggiù).

  5. Zachary R. says:

    Refering to what Max Pinton said:
    Many words in French are defined by gender. Naturally, you’d identify “son (his)” being masculin, and “sa (her)” being feminin. However, this isn’t applied the same way as in English. French is particular since it emphasizes on liaison, meaning the pronounciation is continuous. Also, unlike English, French defines it according to the noun it describes. For example:
    -Sa voiture [f] (using sa, because “voiture” starts with a consonant and “voiture” is a feminin noun)
    -Son char [m] (using son, because “char” starts with a consonant and “char” is a masculin noun)
    -Son auto [f] (using son, because “auto” starts with a vowel)

    So, it’s never “her car” (if using the word voiture), because son & sa are actually invariable. Good luck with your French :P

  6. Chase Boday says:

    If I may, I’d like to add Russian and Hindi ‘here’ and ‘there’

    Russian: here(place): zdyes’ ; there(place): toot, over there(place): tahm
    here(direction): sju-DAH ; there (direction): tu-DAH

    Hindi: here(place): yahaaN ; there(place) wahaaN
    here(direction): id-her : there(direction) ood-her

  7. Arijit says:

    I am giving you some more

    here there over there

    Bengali Ekhané Okhané Oi je
    Hindi Yanhan Wanhan Woh raha

  8. gee says:

    Are you sure that there is no expression for over there in Chinese? At least in spoken Cantonese there is góbin.

  9. Marcelo says:

    aí = there
    ali, lá = over there