From The Hobbit,
The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill—The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it—and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another.
As I understand, we can refer to any part of a hill below the top but above the foot of the hill as side of the hill. Another word for this is hillside.
I just started reading a translated version of The Hobbit, the one I got several years ago (around the time the LOTR Trilogy was still in theaters), and to my dismay, one of every two or three sentences was mistranslated one way or another in my opinion. But that is not my question here.
My question is about the term shoulder of the hill.
Tolkien's the side of the hill was translated into the shoulder of the hill. Considering other difficulties that arose because the translator's choice (she chose the word "เนินเขา" in Thai for hill--meaning small mountain, but could also mean hillside too), I think it is fair in this case to translate side of the hill as shoulder of the hill. But I still think that side of the hill and shoulder of the hill are not quite the same thing anyway.
But maybe I might be wrong. Maybe, to native speakers, "side of the hill" refers to exactly the same part or the same area of a hill as "shoulder of the hill". I am interested in the meaning and usage of both terms in English. (Please do not mind about the translation, I provide it as background information of my curiosity only.)
Do they refer to the same area? Or do they have subtle differences in meaning?