Italian vs portuguese galera

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Youngfun, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    About this false friend galera: in Italian it means prison, in Portuguese (al least in the Brasilian variety) it means crowd, a lot of people.

    Are they cognate? Do they share the same etymology? If yes, what caused this shift of meaning?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  2. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    Русский
    ... and in both it makes a reference to an antique ship, in which a crowd of imprisoned or enslaved people does a very hard job of rowing in order to make the ship move, right? At least, in Russian this is the only meaning of the word "галера" ("galera").
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  3. SanktGonçalsburg New Member

    PT-BR
    In Brazilian Portuguese too the word galera has the meaning of a rowing prison ship. It's fallen out of use for obvious reasons, but you can find it employed as such in literature. As a native speaker, I've always assumed the "crowd/gang" meaning was derived from the original just for being a group of people/prisoners.
     
  4. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    I'm not sure how the French word "galère" fits in, but it's related to Italian and Portuguese in etymology and slightly in the meanings you have evoked.

    Quelle galère! That tough, really hell, difficult situation to cope with
    C'est la galère! It's hell, awful
    Être dans la même galère To be (all together) in the same slave ship, in the same predicament
    Galérer To struggle, have a real hard time, or work like a slave and find it hard to get ahead
    Les galères Galleys
     
  5. aprendiendo argento

    aprendiendo argento Senior Member

    Premantura - Croatia
    Croatian (Chakavian)
    Galera can also mean a mess in Italian (bagunça in Portuguese): Questa casa è una galera.
     
  6. Montesacro Senior Member

    Roma
    Italiano
    :confused:

    No, it can't.
     
  7. aprendiendo argento

    aprendiendo argento Senior Member

    Premantura - Croatia
    Croatian (Chakavian)
    1ga·lè·ra
    (Dizionario Italiano de Mauro; edizione CD-ROM)
     
  8. Montesacro Senior Member

    Roma
    Italiano
    None of the five definitions listed above means "a mess".

    Are you aware of that?
     
  9. aprendiendo argento

    aprendiendo argento Senior Member

    Premantura - Croatia
    Croatian (Chakavian)
    MESS
    http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/mess
    Pretty close, if you ask me, are you aware of that?
     
  10. Montesacro Senior Member

    Roma
    Italiano
  11. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    I would suggest using another word than mess. The problem with that word is it's so ambiguous in English it could include almost anything ranging from something tangible and dirty, disgusting to a much more figurative meaning of a disorganized topsy turvy lifestyle. It would be more like mess in the latter acception but better find another word to be precise.
    Back to the question of the thread, the meanings of "Galera" in Italian don't seem to me to be that different from what we see in other romance languages like French. I'd suggest chaotic hectic life with a lot of struggling going on, chaos, struggle, pain, nightmare, hard existence, ordeal...
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  12. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Do galea, galera, and galeria have a common origin? What meaning(s) do they share?
     
  13. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Thanks e2-e4 X, simple but efficient explanation!

    Sometimes words in different languages that apparently don't have link in the meanings at all, a little association is enough to make sense. In this case, a ship.
    I had completely forgot about the ship Galera, I've even learnt the different kinds of ships when I was a child.
    Galea and galera yes. Galea was a fonetic mutation.
    Unfortunately I don't have idea of what Galeria means, you have to ask someone more proficient in Italian than me... but Galeria is very common in geographical names.

    @aprediendo argento:
    I wouldn't say galera means mess, but rather is equivalent to "a hell, a nightmare". When you feel to have no freedom, just like a prison.
     
  14. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Speaking of "galería/galerie", I checked the etymology in Spanish (rae) and French (cnrtl). It would appear they both have origins in Medieval Latin galeria meaning "porch, portico, atrium" probably from older Galilaea "church/ monastery porch" or also referring to region of Galilee (country of the Gentiles). People converted at the porch, and you passed through there to enter into the church/christianity. Quite a long evolution of a word, but apparently not related at all to galera<galea (battleship, galley)

    I wonder if the English "gale", derives from galea. Violent storm at sea, high winds... ship, difficulty to get through, hell... I see similarities.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  15. Alderamin Senior Member

    Pt-PT
    In European Portuguese "galera" isn't used with same meaning of Brazilian Portuguese as "crowd" or "group of people".
    For us, the term is a nautical term, meaning a type of ship with origins in the Mediterranean region.
    It's a three or more masts sailing ship rigged with round sails, and it was used in the past for piracy, trade, and war purposes.
    Ben-Hur movie shows the life of the prisoners of war in the galleys, working as rowers.
    The origin of "galera" and/or "galé" (in Portuguese) has sparked controversy.
    Some people say that comes from the Latin word "galea" while others claim it to be derived from the medieval Greek word "galaia" meaning "helmet".
     
  16. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    @merquiades:
    When you talk about "galería/galerie", do you mean the Italian gallerìa* /galle'ria/ ?
    I was talking about galèria* /ga'lɛrja/... a word very common in geographical names, also a literary work of Giovan Battista Marino; but I don't know what it means.

    *Note that both galleria and galeria are written without accents, I only wrote them to indicate the tonic stress.


    BTW, this is the Treccani entry for galera:
    So we have 1a: according the Treccani galera is a variant of galea, and not the other way around as I thought before, and it's the meaning that most European language share (the ship many of you mentioned). Also used to indicate the punishment inflicted to prisoners consiting of rowing the ship.

    1b: For extension, it means the punishment of forced labour, of life imprisonment; therefore in the common language: the punishment of reclusion in a prison.

    1c: Place where is materially and morally pitiful, miserable, unbearable

    Meaning 2 is very rare, I've never heard about that tool...

    @Alderamin:
    Is it possible that Brazilian Portuguese has preserved a meaning of galera that in European Portuguese has lost?

    For me it's funny to hear the summer hit song Ai se eu pego:
    Sábado na balada
    a galera começou a dançar

    I understood it as "Saturday in the club the 'prison' started to dance" :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  17. Alderamin Senior Member

    Pt-PT
    I'm afraid I haven't understood well your question Youngfun.
    The meaning of crowd or group of people that "galera" has today in Brazilian Portuguese never existed in European Portuguese.
    It's true that this word conveys the same meaning - nautical term - in both Portuguese variants, but in Brazilian Portuguese "galera" is used also as "group of people".
    As for the song, I'm sorry, but I don't use to listen Brazilian songs :D, but "Sábado na balada a galera começou a dançar" means "On Saturday, people started to dance at the sound of music".
     
  18. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Salve Youngfun. Thanks for the information on galleria, galeria and galera (galea). I didn't know of the second term.... what could it mean?
    Pronunciation is indeed important between galleria and galeria, the geminate L and stress change everything.
    As for galleria, I only brought it up as per Forero's question about it's link. I definitely discard any relation. Galera seems to fall in line with other romance languages.
     
  19. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Desculpem, galera :)D)
    OMG, 2 missing words in 1 post...
    I haven't the slightest idea :D
    Sorry, I always have the stereotype that words that exist in BP but not in EP are remainders of ancient Portuguese. Well, not always it's like this.
    I've found this thread in the Portuguese forum: galera
    So according to him, galera in the meaning of folk, gang doesn't even come from the ship galera (but from galeria! :eek:) and it's not even related to the other meaning of galera and to the galeras in other languages!
    Do you guys agree with this etymology?
    I thought that this song was a huge summer hit in all over Europe! :eek: Maybe you aren't a youngster. :D
    BTW, now I know what galera means, but the first time I thought about the galera in Italian and I found very strange a song that tells a prison to dance!
    And thanks for correcting me, I don't know why, but I used to confuse balada with boate, dacenteria... and thought that balada meant nightclub/dance club.
     
  20. Alderamin Senior Member

    Pt-PT
    The link that you've found proves that "galera" means group of people in Brazilian Portuguese.
    In European Portuguese we would say "malta".
    I believe "balada", "boate" and "danceteria" are the same as I know by "discoteca" (disco) or a sentimental song. At least, the dictionary I've checked conveys that.
    If there's any difference between these three terms in terms of their purposes, you should ask to a Brazilian member.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  21. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Yes, Alderamin, but are you sure that explanation about the origin of the Brazilian meaning of «galera» is right?

    Btw, I know what galera means, because I asked a Brazilian friend... but before asking her, I thought about the Italian meaning "prison", and so I found very strange a song telling the prison to dance. :D
    :confused:
    I thought they meant the physical place where people dance... and that should be, if «discoteca» in Portugal have the same meaning as in Italy.
    I just confused by your translation «at the sound of music» instead of «in the club/disco».

    I opened a thread about the Italian Galeria in the Italian forum.
     
  22. SanktGonçalsburg New Member

    PT-BR
    "Balada" may be used to refer to the place itself (the "boate" or the "danceteria"), but it can also mean the act of going to such places, or even partaking in any other nighttime social activities. For example, I've seen people refer to LAN parties as "baladas nerds".

    Not long ago, the term most commonly used to refer to nighttime activities in general was "programa". Nowadays, "programa" has become heavily associated with prostitution, so the sentence "vamos fazer um programa" would be perceived as a double entendre by young people.
     
  23. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    I think "program" is common in other languages too, when talking about hanging out.
    But is there any difference between boate and danceteria?
     
  24. SanktGonçalsburg New Member

    PT-BR
    I would use them as synonyms, but I barely use the word "danceteria" at all.
     
  25. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Thanks! Language courses (or better: conversation manual) for tourists very often teach words not used very often!
     
  26. Alderamin Senior Member

    Pt-PT
    Please note that the only thing I know in BR-PT is that "galera" means "crowd of people".
    As for the word "balada" in PT-PT means a "sentimental song", in PT-BR means a "disco".
    Now, I guess you can see my mistake, because for me "balada" means only "balade", a sentimental song, music.
    Also, I believe I should stress that I'm not Brazilian.
     
  27. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Thank you very much Alderamin, for having helped me despite you aren't Brazilian. :)
     

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