Παραλία, πλαζ, γιαλός και ακρογιαλιά

Helleno File

Senior Member
English - UK
All words roughly equivalent to English beach or shore. I think I know the first two but am very unsure about # 3 & 4.

Παραλία: Exact translation for English beach but includes the area above the the sand and pebbles. So also translates promenade, a long concrete area for walking ("promenading" or the βόλτα) usually with railings and found in towns with beaches. Also adjective παραλιακός.

Πλαζ: a (very) organised beach with a big expanse of sunbeds etc on the Italian model.

Υιαλός: can be in local place names e.g. Μακρύς Γιαλός. Possibly (??) English shore - where the sea and the sand/pebbles meet. English also has shoreline which is this more precisely.

Ακρογιαλιά: ???

Can anyone help/correct?
 
  • dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    I guess shoreline is the exact equivalent to ακρογιαλιά (also: ακρογιάλι, το) <άκρη+γιαλός.
    Γιαλός corresponds to shore or beach (Μακρύς Γιαλός=Long Beach).
    Ακτή (=coast) is a similar word.
    Παραλία can also translate as beach (Παραλία Μαραθώνος=Marathon Beach).
    Distinguishing between them all can, admittedly, be a bitch.

    Παραλία is a word of ancient Greek origin (παρά+αλς / η αλς, της αλός=θάλασσα).
    Πλαζ is a loan from French.
    Γιαλός & ακρογιάλι/ακρογιαλιά are newer words, kind of informal but in very wide use. Περιγιάλι is also used for a beach that forms a small gulf.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    "Παραλία" also has a broader meaning. The definition of "seafront" by the Cambridge Dictionary renders pretty well the meaning of "παραλία": the part of a town on the coast next to the beach, often with a road along it and a row of houses and shops facing the sea. In this sense it's very close to "προκυμαία".
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    ...
    Distinguishing between them all can, admittedly, be a bitch.
    ...
    Χαχαχα! But that's all very helpful.
    "Παραλία" also has a broader meaning. The definition of "seafront" by the Cambridge Dictionary renders pretty well the meaning of "παραλία": the part of a town on the coast next to the beach, often with a road along it and a row of houses and shops facing the sea. In this sense it's very close to "προκυμαία".
    Seafront is a lovely English word and many thanks for reminding me. I absolutely should have remembered it as it was often used in my family as we lived in a small town next to the sea. We would talk about going to the beach or going "down the seafront" or even colloquially "down the front" which wouldn't make sense unless you knew the town. The "[sea]front" was/is the other side of a very busy road and has a huge grassed area with a cafe and a children's playground. Seafront was exactly what I was thinking about for παραλία.

    We also have the other word seaside which indicates a general location rather than a place, as in "my family lived by/at the seaside", "holidays by the seaside" or "a seaside town". Is that also παραλία/παραλιακός ? Μια παραλιακή πόλη or μια παραθαλάσσια πόλη to introduce another word. A coastal town is a town by the coast but a seaside town has a beach/παραλία that people visit.

    My dictionary gives "quay" for προκυμαία which is a concrete projection into the sea where small, possibly even medium sized boats tie up. Is that right? It could be at the side of a beach but not necessarily.
     

    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    My dictionary gives "quay" for προκυμαία
    Apart from that, προκυμαία is used also the way Perseas writes, a meaning more close to promenade. (Τhe "Και" in Smyrna was such a case in the late 19th-early 20th c.)
    Smyrna_Quay_c._1910.jpg


    "a seaside town". Is that also παραλία/παραλιακός ? Μια παραλιακή πόλη or μια παραθαλάσσια πόλη
    Both are correct.

    "holidays by the seaside"
    We would say "Διακοπές στη θάλασσα" (as opposed to "Διακοπές στο βουνό").
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Thanks for the explanations dmtrs. That's a beautiful illustration of old Smyrna. Makes the fire even more tragic - though the loss of life was disastrous.

    It makes me realise that my explanation of "quay' above is only half right. The scene in Smyrna would also be a quay in English. I realise now that a quay can also be a small part of a harbour and in fact there could be several quays in an an area. In some harbours that have now closed the quays have been improved for public access e.g. Salford Quays to the west of Manchester. A dock is a larger part of a harbour, usually sealed off from the tide by a gate or an inland harbour via a river or more likely a canal such the old Salford Docks or London docks where my grandfather and uncle worked. To be fair I'm not sure the distinctions are always held rigidly. And of course I'm a "landlubber".
     
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