Difference between “sojourn” and “journey”

When you take a journey, you travel from one place to another. The distance may be covered in a matter of few hours, or it may take several days or months. A journey may or may not involve a brief halt or stop somewhere along the way. The original meaning of ‘journey’ was a day’s travel.

*The two drove like crazy and completed the journey in five hours.

As for the word ‘sojourn’, first, let’s deal with the pronunciation. The ‘o’ in the first syllable is like the ‘o’ in ‘hot’, ‘got’, and ‘pot’. The ‘j’ that follows is like the ‘j’ in ‘jam’, ‘jack’, and ‘job’; the final ‘ourn’ is like the ‘urn’ in ‘burn’ and ‘turn’. The stress is on the first syllable ‘so’. A ‘sojourn’ is a not a journey of any kind. When you sojourn somewhere, you stay in that place for a short while; the stay is usually temporary. The word is mostly used in formal contexts.

*Dravid sojourned at his brother’s home on his way to Mumbai.

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Feb 12, 2008


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