Making a global addressing standard

In 2013, our co-founders had the crazy idea to split the world into 3 metre squares and assign each one a unique combination of 3 English words. We called it a what3words address.

New to what3words? Watch a short introduction.

To help everyone in the world talk about everywhere, we needed to make what3words available in many more languages. Today, we’re celebrating reaching 50. It means that five billion people can use what3words in their native tongue, and the system is well on its way to becoming a global standard.

This is a celebration of the dedication and expertise that went into this global body of work. For each of the 50 languages, we’ve collected facts and great places to visit straight from our team of language experts, with a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about the process.

Counting to 50

57 trillion squares

When you divide the world into 3 metre squares you end up with 57 trillion. For English and Korean we addressed the entire globe, which meant generating 57 trillion what3words addresses. The other 48 languages cover all land masses and some ocean, which is about 15.6 trillion squares each. That’s a grand total of 864 trillion unique what3words addresses!

1.28 million words

For each new language, we put together a list of unique words that are used to create what3words addresses. For example, Danish and Norwegian have a lot of vocabulary in common, but their what3words addresses don’t share any words so people never end up in the wrong place. 50 languages get us to 1.28 million unique words.

2,000 language consultants

The what3words languages team recruits and trains around 40 native speakers and linguists to work on each wordlist. The consultants are selected from the different regions in which a language is spoken to take into account local culture and dialects. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with over 2,000 consultants.

0 translations

what3words addresses aren’t translated between languages, and each language’s word list is created from scratch. Depending on the complexity of the language, it can take six to 18 months to go from kick-off to release in the app.

The 50 Languages

click to expand all language descriptions

16

Danish

Dansk

17

Norwegian

Norsk

18

Afrikaans

Afrikaans

19

isiXhosa

IsiXhosa

20

isiZulu

IsiZulu

21

Dutch

Nederlands

22

Greek

Ελληνικά

23

Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia

24

Korean

한국어

25

Japanese

日本語

26

Thai

ไทย

27

Chinese (Simplified)

中文

28

Bahasa Malaysia

Bahasa Malaysia

29

Romanian

Română

30

Bulgarian

Български

01

English

English

02

Spanish

Español

03

Russian

Русский

04

Swedish

Svenska

05

Portuguese

Português

06

French

Français

07

German

Deutsch

08

Italian

Italiano

09

Swahili

Kiswahili

10

Turkish

Türkçe

11

Finnish

Suomi

12

Mongolian

Монгол хэл

13

Polish

Polski

14

Arabic

العربية

15

Czech

Čeština

16

Danish

Dansk

17

Norwegian

Norsk

18

Afrikaans

Afrikaans

19

isiXhosa

IsiXhosa

20

isiZulu

IsiZulu

21

Dutch

Nederlands

22

Greek

Ελληνικά

23

Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia

24

Korean

한국어

25

Japanese

日本語

26

Thai

ไทย

27

Chinese (Simplified)

中文

28

Bahasa Malaysia

Bahasa Malaysia

29

Romanian

Română

30

Bulgarian

Български

31

Hungarian

Magyar

32

Hindi

हिंदी

33

Bengali

বাংলা

34

Tamil

தமிழ்

35

Telugu

తెలుగు

36

Marathi

मराठी

37

Hebrew

עברית

38

Urdu

اردو

39

Kannada

ಕನ್ನಡ

40

Malayalam

മലയാളം

41

Gujarati

ગુજરાતી

42

Punjabi

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ

43

Nepali

नेपाली

44

Welsh

Cymraeg

45

Vietnamese

Tiếng Việt

46

Ukrainian

Українська

47

Slovak

Slovenčina

48

Amharic

አማርኛ

49

Odia

ଓଡ଼ିଆ

50

Persian

فارسی

18

Afrikaans

Afrikaans

48

Amharic

አማርኛ

14

Arabic

العربية

23

Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia

28

Bahasa Malaysia

Bahasa Malaysia

33

Bengali

বাংলা

30

Bulgarian

Български

27

Chinese (Simplified)

中文

15

Czech

Čeština

16

Danish

Dansk

21

Dutch

Nederlands

01

English

English

11

Finnish

Suomi

06

French

Français

07

German

Deutsch

22

Greek

Ελληνικά

41

Gujarati

ગુજરાતી

37

Hebrew

עברית

32

Hindi

हिंदी

31

Hungarian

Magyar

08

Italian

Italiano

25

Japanese

日本語

39

Kannada

ಕನ್ನಡ

24

Korean

한국어

40

Malayalam

മലയാളം

36

Marathi

मराठी

12

Mongolian

Монгол хэл

43

Nepali

नेपाली

17

Norwegian

Norsk

49

Odia

ଓଡ଼ିଆ

50

Persian

فارسی

13

Polish

Polski

05

Portuguese

Português

42

Punjabi

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ

29

Romanian

Română

03

Russian

Русский

47

Slovak

Slovenčina

02

Spanish

Español

09

Swahili

Kiswahili

04

Swedish

Svenska

34

Tamil

தமிழ்

35

Telugu

తెలుగు

26

Thai

ไทย

10

Turkish

Türkçe

46

Ukrainian

Українська

38

Urdu

اردو

45

Vietnamese

Tiếng Việt

44

Welsh

Cymraeg

19

isiXhosa

IsiXhosa

20

isiZulu

IsiZulu

what3words around the world

The what3words addresses highlighted on the map are travel tips from the people who worked on the 50 languages. Scroll to discover them and click to find out why they’re special.

what3words available in all national/official languages 

what3words available in at least one national/official language

ابلق.جاودانه.عرفانی///

Language

Persian

Country

Iran

Travel tip

‘The perfect place to spend an afternoon in the Iranian historical city of Isfahan is Naghsh-e Jahan Square with its listed buildings, water fountains and grand bazaar.’

-

Haleh H

50

///ନିୟୋଜନ.ଥାଇପାରେ.ବାହାଘର

Language

Odia

Country

India

Travel tip

‘The beautiful Chilika Lake in Satapada, Odisha is a not-so-famous place to go dolphin watching.’

-

Joydev M

49

///ምድር.ጀግናው.ማር

Language

Amharic

Country

Ethiopia

Travel tip

‘Bahir Dar has some of the best panoramas in Ethiopia. My favorite spot gives you a wonderful view of Lake Tana.’

-

Amon B

48

///vyšívaná.tresky.zvončeky

Language

Slovak

Country

Slovakia

Travel tip

‘The market at Miletičova Street in Bratislava is a big and busy open space where traders offer their home-grown and locally-sourced fresh produce. My favourite is the fermented cabbage stall.’

-

Denisa H

47

///бурмотіти.поділена.отвір

Language

Ukrainian

Country

Ukraine

Travel tip

‘Berdyansk Spit in the Azov Sea is 23 km long. When you find yourself on its tip, it feels like you’re on a real island.’

-

Anastasiia K

46

///hiệntại.giườngngủ.sớmmai

Language

Vietnamese

Country

Vietnam

Travel tip

‘Hike up to this what3words address to discover the Ba Vì mountain range’s pristine beauty. The misty area is home to many rare and endangered plants and animals, and the range is said to have been protected by one of the Tứ Bất Tử (The Four Immortals) for thousands of years.’

-

Huong N

45

///diferion.taenlen.ffisig

Language

Welsh

Country

Wales

Travel tip

‘A favourite place from my childhood is a spot towards the top of Wenallt Hill. It has a spectacular view of Cardiff Bay, and on a clear day you can see across the Bristol Channel. For a youngster, it was a literal broadening of horizons.’

-

Paul C J

44

///भन्छे.राख्दैछ.चरो

Language

Nepali

Country

Nepal

Travel tip

‘I tell everyone who visits Nepal to go to the Swayambhunath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage site.’

-

Sharmila D

43

///ਸਾਦਗੀ.ਮੂੰਗੀ.ਉਬਾਸੀ

Language

Punjabi

Country

Pakistan

Travel tip

‘This spot is on the terrace of Ram Kund Temple in Saidpur, a village near Islamabad. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Rama, who is believed to have lived in the area for 14 years while in exile. The village itself is over 2,000 years old, is famous for its pottery and is a great place to take a stroll.’

-

42

///નિર્વિકારપણું.અંબળાટ.કાવ્યકાર

Language

Gujarati

Country

India

Travel tip

‘The White Desert of Kutch is a magnificent salt marsh that glistens on a full moon night. You’ll find the sought-after Rann Utsav (desert carnival) at this what3words address.’

-

Devashree T

41

///വിജയിക്കും.പരിജ്ഞാനം.ഉണ്മ

Language

Malayalam

Country

India

Travel tip

‘This is my favourite place to go for a dip in Thrissur, and is very popular among beach lovers.’

-

Vidya A U

40

///ಒಳ್ಳೆಯಕಾಲ.ಪ್ರವಾಸವನ್ನು.ಸರಕು

Language

Kannada

Country

India

Travel tip

‘The Musical Pillars Mantapa is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Hampi. The 56 stone pillars emit musical notes when struck with stone or wood.’

-

Subhashri C V

39

رویہ.دھلانا.ٹخنے///

Language

Urdu

Country

Pakistan

Travel tip

‘Lahore is home to some of the most beautiful monuments in South Asia. You’ll find my favourite one at this spot: the Badshahi Mosque.’

-

Rajandeep S

38

להתעשר.לשפוך.נשתדל///

Language

Hebrew

Country

Israel

Travel tip

‘I love hanging out in Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. It’s a great place for shopping, with lots of nice small coffee shops and bars.’

-

Liraz F

37

///खडी.एकमताने.देणगीदार

Language

Marathi

Country

India

Travel tip

‘Lonar Lake, or Lonar Crater, is a National Geo-Heritage Monument. It was created by a meteorite collision around 52,000 years ago and is one of the four known basaltic rock craters in the world.’

-

Swateja J

36

///చూపండి.రకరకాలు.లంగరు

Language

Telugu

Country

India

Travel tip

‘Babai Hotel (Uncle’s Hotel) is a very popular eatery in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, India, known for its steaming idlis topped with butter.’

-

Subhashri C V

35

///வைப்போம்.மாறாக.சாதித்தது

Language

Tamil

Country

India

Travel tip

‘Chennai’s coastline is home to one of the longest urban beaches in the world – Marina beach. My favourite location along the shore sums up the Marina experience perfectly.’

-

A S Ganesh

34

///বৃষ্টিপাত.উত্থান.সমবায়

Language

Bengali

Country

India

Travel tip

‘Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge in West Bengal is a quaint little cafe with a fantastic view of the Himalaya mountain range.’

-

Swati K

33

///मध्यम.लहरों.स्वदेशी

Language

Hindi

Country

India

Travel tip

‘Ambrai Ghat in Udaipur, Rajasthan is my favourite place. You get stunning views of Lake Pichola at this spot, as well as some of India’s ancient palaces and architecture.’

-

Swati K

32

///galamb.rajzolás.érzés

Language

Hungarian

Country

Hungary

Travel tip

‘There are lots of wonderful viewpoints in Budapest, but this one is truly marvellous. It’s the tomb of Gül Baba who was an Ottoman Bektashi dervish poet and companion of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.’

-

Krisztina H

31

///билки.сънува.проби

Language

Bulgarian

Country

Bulgaria

Travel tip

‘My favourite beach spot in my hometown Varna is a quiet place to work from during the day that gets quite lively at night when the bar fills up. Listening to live music on the shore never gets old.’

-

Alexandrina I

30

///hamsie.majoretă.culturi

Language

Romanian

Country

Romania

Travel tip

‘Bâlea Lake is a glacial lake located on the Transfăgărășan road, in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. The view at this spot is incredible, and it’s the perfect place to recharge and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.’

-

Andreea M

29

///berlauk.raksa.hadapi

Language

Bahasa Malaysia

Country

Malaysia

Travel tip

‘I loved sleeping in this open-air kampung house perched on hilltop stilts, surrounded by lush rainforest canopies and a durian orchard – yes you can have durians for breakfast! The mornings are very serene: the mist fades as the sun rises above the hills to the dawn chorus of tropical birds.’

-

Liz M

28

///回望.强力.全景

Language

Chinese (Simplified)

Country

China

Travel tip

‘This spot on Zhan Qiao Pier offers a gorgeous view of the Qingdao seashore in Shandong, China. There is an octagonal pavilion, called Huilan Pavilion (or Billowing Back and Forth Tower) located at the end of the pier where you can learn more about Qingdao’s history.’

-

Annika Q Y

27

///ย่อย.ชาเขียว.แสงดาว

Language

Thai

Country

Thailand

Travel tip

‘My favourite Buddhist temple in Bangkok is Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn). It’s beautiful at night and a great place to watch the sunrise.’

-

Isaya S

26

///こおる。じっせき。つもる

Language

Japanese

Country

Japan

Travel tip

‘Japan has many natural hot springs. This one in the middle of a mountain is at the top of my wishlist to visit.’

-

Mamiko K

25

///핸드폰.협회.사진기

Language

Korean

Country

South Korea

Travel tip

‘This spot in the heart of Seoul gives you a 360 degree view of the city.’

-

Calvin J

24

///arwana.pemanas.teralih

Language

Bahasa Indonesia

Country

Indonesia

Travel tip

‘Bandung has some of the best natural hiking tracks. My favourite, Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda, starts at this spot.’

-

Yoshua Benyamin W

23

///βιολί.καθιστός.αίτηση

Language

Greek

Country

Greece

Travel tip

‘My favourite place to watch the sunset is this café and bar which overlooks Falasarna Beach in Chania, Crete. From here, you can see the sun set into the sea, creating amazing colours in the sky and the water.’

-

Efi M

22

///meetlint.wezens.zaaien

Language

Dutch

Country

The Netherlands

Travel tip

‘You’ll find a unique Amsterdam canal bridge at this spot: the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge. It is open to pedestrians and cyclists, and was made by MX3D over a period of six months using six tons of stainless steel and four welding robots.’

-

Imogen vZ

21

///ngiceliwe.ngimude.niwinile

Language

isiZulu

Country

South Africa

Travel tip

‘Make sure you stop at this viewpoint on Sani Pass, an eight kilometre mountain road that connects Kwazulu-Natal to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The roads climbs to heights of up to 2,876 meters and the scenery along it is incredible.’

-

Viktor H

20

///sigqibe.usebenzisa.umzingisi

Language

isiXhosa

Country

South Africa

Travel tip

‘Tsitsikamma is home to Bloukrans Bridge, which is the highest commercial bridge bungee jump in the world.’

-

Babalwa R

19

///teeketel.vuurpoel.tertvulsel

Language

Afrikaans

Country

South Africa

Travel tip

‘The rock shelters in the Drakensberg are home to some of the most incredible rock art in the world. The paintings and view at this spot are some of my favourites.’

-

Martin M

18

///smell.isvann.sjarmerte

Language

Norwegian

Country

Norway

Travel tip

‘The island city of Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful architecture and scenery. You can photograph an iconic view of the city at this spot.’

-

Elise Aa

17

///havsalt.æbleskiven.heftigt

Language

Danish

Country

Denmark

Travel tip

‘The Island of Bornholm (or The Sunshine Island) is a very popular holiday destination. Dueodde Beach on the southernmost tip is famous for its ultra-fine sand and clear water.’

-

Amalie A V

16

///tušit.končit.mžik

Language

Czech

Country

Czech Republic

Travel tip

‘If you ever become bored of Prague, this is the perfect place to fall in love with the city all over again. The views there are simply stunning.’

-

Katerina K

15

خجول.مبتهجة.خطوتين///

Language

Arabic

Country

Lebanon

Travel tip

‘Balou Balaa, also known as the Cave of the Three Bridges, is a magical waterfall on the Lebanon Mountain Trail. In spring, when the snow melts, the ice water flows through three limestone arcs created by erosion, then down into a sinkhole.’

-

Edwina K

14

///sprawić.garnek.zielone

Language

Polish

Country

Poland

Travel tip

‘You’ll find the 13th century Wieliczka Salt Mine at this what3words address right outside of Krakow. It’s famous for its underground city and chapel, and is said to have the best acoustics of any structure in Europe.’

-

Kiara A

13

///мөнхөд.толбо.дэвшилт

Language

Mongolian

Country

Mongolia

Travel tip

‘If you ever travel to Mongolia, visit the Orkhon Valley, a World Heritage Site. This spot gives you a wonderful view of the Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall, formed by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes about 20,000 years ago.’

-

Altai B

12

///soihtu.jäätee.taikuri

Language

Finnish

Country

Finland

Travel tip

‘Take the ferry from this what3words location in Helsinki to the Suomenlinna sea fortress – a group of islands perfect for sunny strolls and picturesque picnics in the summer.’

-

Maiju N

11

///kanıtın.uslu.kesmek

Language

Turkish

Country

Turkey

Travel tip

‘Near the ruins of the Greco-Roman spa town Hierapolis, you will find Cleopatra’s baths, said to have been a gift from Marcus Antonius. Relaxing in an ancient pool filled with flowers while surrounded by doric columns is out of this world.’

-

Ece S

10

///masoko.kuiongoza.inafikia

Language

Swahili

Country

Tanzania

Travel tip

‘Zanzibar is a fabulous island to visit. Paje beach has the whitest and softest sand with turquoise water that is simply heavenly.’

-

Ida H

09

///salmone.alata.coraggiosi

Language

Italian

Country

italy

Travel tip

‘This spot at the Basilica of Superga gives you an enchanting view of Turin.’

-

Silvia N

08

///ebene.verlieben.urlaubsort

Language

German

Country

Germany

Travel tip

‘The Weinstraße is an 80km route that goes through one of Germany’s wine regions. This spot is a shaded courtyard on an estate with great food and wine, perfect for a summer evening.’

-

Barbara G

07

///vibrer.ramasser.orner

Language

French

Country

Canada

Travel tip

‘A good bagel is like gold to a Canadian. The best and most authentic is a Montreal-style bagel, boiled then baked in a brick oven. My favourite is from this place, which has been around since 1919.’

-

Michael C

06

///acontecimento.contente.joga

Language

Portuguese

Country

Brazil

Travel tip

‘One of the most amazing places I’ve visited in Brazil is Jericoacoara, a fishing village in the Northeast. There are amazing beaches and natural lakes you can swim in, but the best thing I saw there was an impressive tree that, against all odds, has braved the sand, dust, sun and wind.’

-

Bernardo F

05

///vaksam.musketör.stilig

Language

Swedish

Country

Sweden

Travel tip

‘Haväng’s beach presents a breathtaking view over the hill Stenshuvud (the head of Sten the giant) further down the coast.’

-

Agneta J

04

///номер.темный.дымы

Language

Russian

Country

Russia

Travel tip

‘This little garden in the Hermitage Museum is a lovely place to rest and enjoy the beautiful architecture. You’ll need a break after browsing through Empress Catherine the Great’s art collection, as it is often said that if you spent one minute on every art piece, it would take you 11 years to see all of them!’

-

Georgia D

03

///fallado.valora.rocoso

Language

Spanish

Country

Spain

Travel tip

‘In the north of Spain, there’s a small region called Omaña with lots of beautiful landscapes. It has plenty of summits with great views, but the panoramic outlook from La Peñona is my favourite.’

-

Elena G F

02

///readily.mount.bowls

Language

English

Country

United States

Travel tip

‘During the summer locals love hitting the water in kayaks, canoes, and sup boards. Grab a sno-cone from Austin institution Sno-Beach, and then stroll over to this perfect spot for watching people float by.’

-

Selina S

01

50 Languages Gallery

To celebrate this milestone, the what3words design team created a series of 50 typographic artworks. They are based on the what3words address in the travel tip of each language and inspired by an aspect of its culture.

English
Spanish
Russian
German
Italian
Finnish
Mongolian
Arabic
Norwegian
isiXhosa
Greek
Japanese
Bahasa Malaysia
Hindi
Tamil
Hebrew
Nepali
Persian
View all posters

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