On your way to Septentrio

What is meant by the word Septentrio and how does it inspire high-accuracy navigation?

“That” refers to the name of the company: Septentrio. Is the stress on the last syllable or the stress on the middle syllable?

In fact, the name of our company derives from Latin. We still use a lot of Latin expressions such as de factoanno dominiterra firma and lingua franca. Like many Latin words, the word Septentrio found its way into the English language. The word septentrional to indicate a northerly direction has diminished in more recent. In early French maps Canada is described as “L’Amerique Septentrionale”. The word was also used frequently in Spanish maps up until the beginning of the 20th century.

To find out the origin of the name, look into the night sky. In the Northern Hemisphere, one constellation is visible to everyone on a clear night. Its main body consists of 7 stars, and points at the most important navigation feature in the Northern night sky, the Polar star. The name which you give to this constellation depends almost entirely on the region or the culture in which you grew up. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the constellation is known as “The Plough” while in North America, it is known as the “Big Dipper”.

It is known by more imaginative names in certain European countries. In German and Dutch, it is known as the "Great Bear" (Großer Bär, Grote Beer), although in Dutch some also call it the "Sauce pan" (Steelpannetje). But it’s the Finnish who have the best name for it: "Salmon Net" (Otava). The Ancient Romans called it the Seven Oxen or in their vernacular Latin, Septentriones; septem being seven in Latin. 

So now you know the secret : you say | sepˈtentriːəʊ | – with stress on the 2nd syllable.

Septentrio North
Showing the North or Septentrio on an old map (source: compass museum)