I’m currently working on a document about security in Africa, and particularly in Southern Africa, which is translated as Afrique australe in French. Austral dates back to 1372 and comes from Auster, which, in Roman mythology, is the name of the Southern wind. This is also where the name Australia (Terra Australis) comes from.
In Roman mythology, the other winds are: Aquilo (North), Eurus (East) and Favonius (West). In Greek mythology, they are called Notus (South), Boreas (North), Eurus (East) and Zephyrus (West).
Windmill photo by Today is a good day

By | 2009-05-13T09:33:29+00:00 May 13th, 2009|Words|2 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Lesley May 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Septentrional is an interesting one too.

  2. Xavier Kreiss May 14, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Interesting stuff! Aquilo has practically disappeared, except in the archaic French word aquilon. Zephyrus has given us zéphyr.
    “Tout vous est aquilon, tout me semble zéphyr”…
    Then we have Boreas – from where we get “boréal” as in the aurora (borealis).
    But what has become of the others ? Do they survive in any (even vestigial) form?
    I agree with Lesley: septentrion and septentrional are splendid.
    Something to do with a constellation, according to

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