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Thread: Kinds of walls

  1. #1
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    Kinds of walls

    Portuguese distinguishes between:

    parede: an inner wall that is an integral part of a building;
    muro: an outside wall used for separation between properties, estates or fields, not part of the building itself;
    muralha: a defensive wall, like a city wall

    I checked that Spanish makes the same tripartite distinction: pared, muro, muralla. But in English the basic word is the same in all cases, wall.

    I'm curious to know if other languages make these distinctions too, or other distinctions, between kinds of walls.

    Thanks in advance.
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Hebrew:

    parede: קיר (kir)/כותל (kotel)
    muro: גדר (gader)/ חומה (Homa)
    muralha: חומה (Homa)

    For the second one, I am not sure I understand the meaning. Is it like a fence?

  3. #3
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    There's a different word for fence, but yes, it is similar to a fence. A wall that goes around a yard or a field. Basically, a wall that encloses an open space. The Berlin Wall was called Muro de Berlim in Portuguese, for instance. (The Great Wall of China is called Grande Muralha da China.)
    Last edited by Outsider; 25th May 2008 at 2:56 PM. Reason: grammar correction, and added the word 'field'
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    You're correct that, by and large, English has only one word. I recall reading shopping centre leases where, in order to describe the extent of the property being let, it was necessary to talk of the inner face of externals walls, and one half of internal walls dividing the shop unit from the next shop unit, and the whole of any wall entirely within the shop unit, and so on!

    There is a Scottish word (possibly in use in the north of England as well) to describe something similar to Outsider's muro, namely dyke (anyone familiar with the late Frankie Howerd will no doubt be muffling titters now, but there is no connection with the alternative usage to describe ladies of a particular sexual persuasion). Dykes are hand-built stone walls used to separate fields or to surround a property, usually in rural communities. The dykes are extremely hardy (very old dykes are still standing, and in good condition) despite, in the traditional methodology, being constructed without any form of mortar or cement (such dykes being referred to as dry-stane (i.e. stone) dykes).

    So in "Scottish" English we do have one alternative for wall.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    In Italian:
    parete and mura like spanish parede and muralha.
    muro can be like the spanish muro but it's also the external wall of a building.
    muraglia: high and big wall
    muraglione:sustaining wall
    tramezzo:inner wall thinner than parete. it can be also made of wood.
    muretto: low wall used to separate properties and fields
    Last edited by franz rod; 25th May 2008 at 6:11 PM.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    For anyone interested, I'm about to open another thread on a related but distinct subject.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by franz rod View Post
    muro can be like the spanish muro but it's also the external wall of a building.
    Yes, upon reflection that also applies to Spanish and Portuguese. There isn't always a strict distincion between parede and muro, in any case.
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Esperanto captures the idea in different ways:

    vando, septo: thin internal wall or other divider, separating a space (used for example to speak of a cell wall, a wall between rooms in a house, a divider between train compartments).

    muro: indoor or outdoor wall, either freestanding or supporting a structure.

    mureto: a short muro.

    murego: a large, thick muro (castle wall, city wall, Great Wall of China).

    There are some other words, as well, with specialized meanings.
    Nizo "Kiel malvarma akvo por suferanto de soifo, tiel estas bona sciigo el lando malproksima." Salomono

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    Portuguese distinguishes between:
    parede: an inner wall that is an integral part of a building;
    muro: an outside wall used for separation between properties, estates or fields, not part of the building itself;
    muralha: a defensive wall, like a city wall
    I checked that Spanish makes the same tripartite distinction: pared, muro, muralla.
    In Spain, the common usage today is:
    Pared: the surface of an inner or outer wall of a building, rather than the wall itself.
    Muro: a wall enclosing an area, or the structural outer wall of a large or monumental building. Muro de carga: supporting wall. Muro de contención: retaining wall.
    Tabique: an indoor partition
    Muralla: the wall of a city or a castle, etc. Lienzo (de muralla): a curtain wall.
    Murallón: a huge wall, such as the retaining wall of a river dam.
    Dique: a dyke as in Holland, or a dock

    Where the walls have ears, the eaves may drop

  10. #10
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    In French you have parois, mur and muraille.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    In German you could use Mauer for all these meanings but it is possible to diversify:

    - Zwischenmauer (or) Trennmauer = 'wall-that-separates' = parede
    - Mauer (or) tragende Mauer = (the latter, of course) 'wall-that-bears-(weight)' = a wall that is crucial to the construction and many times, but not necessarily so, is an outside wall = muro (could also be a 'weight-bearing wall' inside the building but is clearly differentiated from the 'Zwischenmauer' which you may crash without any consequences to stability)
    - Stadtmauer = 'city wall' = muralha

    So it is possible to express the same meanings in German, roughly (only that all of them contain the element 'Mauer - wall').

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Sokol, I'm pretty sure a parede is simply a Wand.
    Learn to stop arguing once you have won.

  13. #13
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizo View Post
    vando, septo: thin internal wall or other divider, separating a space (used for example to speak of a cell wall, a wall between rooms in a house, a divider between train compartments).
    Septo exists in Portuguese as a technical term (used in biology, anatomy, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Miguel Antonio
    Tabique: an indoor partition
    We use the word tabique in Portuguese too, I think with the same meaning.

    (There is, of course, also the elegant word biombo, in both Spanish and Portuguese... )
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Arabic:

    parede/muro: حائط (Haa'iT)
    muralha: جدار (jidaar)
    Learn to stop arguing once you have won.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by elroy View Post
    Sokol, I'm pretty sure a parede is simply a Wand.
    For me it isn't (but this means also Austrian German, you could be right for Germany - that I don't know): Wand for me is simply the name for a wall (any wall) surrounding a room - so 'Wand' as such is just the 'thing' where you hammer nails in to hang up pictures, or where you drill in screws to fasten furniture.

    The term 'Wand' as such for me has absolutely no meaning as to wether it's an outside wall or not, and as a son of a mason I am completely sure that masons (at least in Austria, or at least in its northern parts) definitely use 'Zwischenmauer' for parede ('Trennmauer' also would be understood).

    Of course, once again, I can't be sure if the meaning as described by me is universal to the German speaking countries, or if this is an Austrian speciality.

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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Assuming that parede means the same thing as pared in Spanish, a parede is exactly what you have just described as a Wand.

    I wasn't contesting your Mauer-related expertise, but I think perhaps you have misunderstood the meaning of parede.
    Last edited by elroy; 30th May 2008 at 1:14 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    In Czech:
    Most common words for wall are: zeď (muro). Meaning accented: made of hard materials as bricks or concrete... Best fits for: outside (not necessarily) wall of house/building; less often – fencing wall (cf. ohrada). Berlínská zeď (Zeď), Velká Čínská Zeď. Slightly irregular grammar: zeď (sg. NOM.) zdi (GEN., DAT., pl. NOM...); zdí (pl. GEN.)...

    Stěna (parede).Meaning accented: a face of wall (follows that mainly inside). Best fits for: Na stěně visí obraz (there hangs a picture on the wall); břišní stěna (abdominal wall).

    Less common words for wall are: příčka (of +-hard material), přepážka (of +-light material, maybe only (lower part) partially separates),(parede).Meaning accented: 'wall-that-separates (crosswise)' (e.g. rooms in a flat). Somewhat builder’s/waller’s terminology.

    Hradby/hradba (city wall, castle wall). (muralha)
    Cimbuří (castle high defensive wall (especially with meandering “crown”)). Ambit. (muralha)
    Ohrada mural/wall fence. Meaning accented: more “content” of it (e.g. park or cemetery or garden) than the wall itself (zeď ). (muro) (meaning of "fence" = plot)


    Palisáda (pole) stockade. (muralha)
    Hrazení (muralha)


    Fortna/fort military defensive building (long), landed up with earth so it looks as long mound. (muralha)
    Val, násep long mound.


    In Lithuanian:
    Siena(parede). (also means (state) boundary)
    Mūras/mūrai (muro, muralha) (these words IMHO seems to be of foreign origin).
    Last edited by kusurija; 28th May 2008 at 6:34 PM. Reason: "zeď " added after "ohrada" explanations
    Su pagarba: 薬屋 (S úctou: kusurija) As I'm too poor in English, please repair my mistakes. Prašau pataisyti, jei ką netiksliai parašiau.

  18. #18
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by kusurija View Post
    Palisáda (pole) stockade. (muralha)
    Paliçada in Portuguese, and empalizada in Spanish, are fences or defensive walls made with sticks.
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  19. #19
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    Paliçada in Portuguese, and empalizada in Spanish, are fences or defensive walls made with sticks.
    Yes this (palisáda) word came from Romance family of languages, I guess.
    Su pagarba: 薬屋 (S úctou: kusurija) As I'm too poor in English, please repair my mistakes. Prašau pataisyti, jei ką netiksliai parašiau.

  20. #20
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    Re: Kinds of walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Miguel Antonio View Post
    In Spain, the common usage today is:
    Pared: the surface of an inner or outer wall of a building, rather than the wall itself.
    Muro: a wall enclosing an area, or the structural outer wall of a large or monumental building. Muro de carga: supporting wall. Muro de contención: retaining wall.
    Tabique: an indoor partition
    Muralla: the wall of a city or a castle, etc. Lienzo (de muralla): a curtain wall.
    Murallón: a huge wall, such as the retaining wall of a river dam.
    Dique: a dyke as in Holland, or a dock
    Another one:

    Tapia: an outdoors wall closing a property with no roof.

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