The make of a sword:

Oriental Sword:

Blade - The metal from the top of the sword to the tsuba. Oriental swords are usually single-edged, and extremely sharp. The blade can be either straight, or slightly curved, or even moderately curved.

Tsuba - Can be either round or square, and comes in many different designs. This is what keeps your hand from slipping up onto the blade when you thrust, and can offer protection to your hand when parrying with another weapon.

Handle/Grip - This can be either metal or wooden, or in my case, tape, and this is what houses the tang. Naturally, this is what you hold the sword by. Handles can be long enough for only one hand, or have really long handles. Some swords, like the odachi, have handles long enough to fit five of your fists around. Most standard katanas have hand-and-a-half handles. That is, you can use them effectively with one hand or two. Note that Tai Chi swords, while still oriental, are generally double edged and single-handed.

Tang - This is a continuing of the blade, but it gets more narrow so as to fit into the handle. This is the heart of the sword. If the tang breaks, the sword is screwed! A good "full" tang will extend the entire length of the handle and be as close to the width of the blade as possible and still have the handle sturdy. A sturdy tang is how swords can withstand clashing against other weapons. A good sword can withstand clashing against a mace or even an axe (although this has a lot to do with the quality of the blade steel, also), but don't go bashing your sword against a tree to see how tough it is; for a samurai to have hit a tree with his sword would have been a travesty!

Endcap - This is at the very bottom end of the sword, and functions for decoration, and to help hold the sword together.

European Sword:

Blade - Usually heavier and thicker than an oriental blade, unless it is a rapier or something. (By the way, why don't we call people who use rapiers "rapists?") European swords typically have two cutting edges.

Guard - Again, this is the part that stops your hand from slipping up the blade when you stab. Broadswords and such usually only have a cross guard, that is, two pieces of metal that simply serve to stop your hand. But sabers and rapiers can have elaborate hand guards that cover the front of your fist and can be used for blocking without losing a hand.

Handle/Grip - Same as with oriental swords, metal or wood, and holds the tang.

Tang - same as with oriental swords, the blade smalling down and continuing through the handle.

Pommel - this is the endcap of a European sword. It can be round, and have a jewel in it. It is also used for decoration, primarily.

Do note that today, if you want a quality sword you can really use, it is possible to get swords made from high carbon steel with full tangs that are welded to the guard/tsuba and pommel/endcap. These swords are fairly high quality. Also, carbon steel will hold an edge better than stainless steel, to my knowledge, although I have a stainless steel sword that had a pathetic tang and broke. So I took the good stuff and electrical tape and made a tape handle. Naturally, my sword is full tang now, and while the blade is stainless steel, it has held up against big axes and heavy maces, not to mention other swords. It is a Tai Chi sword, for your information.