The words I learned when beginning Spanish for east and west are 'este' and 'oeste', which are basically cognates of their English equivalents.
But I've been told that there are other words to denote east and west: 'oriente' and 'poniente'. How did these words get those connotations? Are there times when you would use these words and not 'este' and 'oeste'?
Also the main words for north and south are 'norte' and 'sur', which again are basically cognates. Are there non-cognate words in Spanish that connote north and south?
Note: there is a follow-up of this question in What are the Spanish words for North and South and how are they different?.