bambino / ragazzino / ragazzo / giovane

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dmj120

Member
English USA
Ciao,

Are these two words interchangable?

Or does un bambino relate more towards a young boy/baby (non neonato), while un ragazzo is meant for an older -adolescent- boy?

Grazie,
Josh
 
  • Koroner

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Or does un bambino relate more towards a young boy/baby (non neonato), while un ragazzo is meant for an older -adolescent- boy?
    Your understanding of the question is right.

    Note the you may also encounter lots of alterate forms involving these two nouns, not only used to express the idea of greater/lower age, but also scorn or other attitudes (ragazzino, for example, may be a young ragazzo but also a ragazzo you feel too immature in spite of his/her age).
     

    dmj120

    Member
    English USA
    Your understanding of the question is right.

    Note the you may also encounter lots of alterate forms involving these two nouns, not only used to express the idea of greater/lower age, but also scorn or other attitudes (ragazzino, for example, may be a young ragazzo but also a ragazzo you feel too immature in spite of his/her age).

    So calling a ragazzo "ragazzino" would be, in affect, saying "a man is acting the a boy" -or- "your not acting your age"
     

    Koroner

    Senior Member
    Italian
    When do they become "uomo" ?
    In my opinion you shouldn't create in your mind a sort of strict ladder where each age has its own "label" (neonato/pupo, bambino, ragazzino, ragazzo, ecc), because unlike Claudine told you, I don't think things are this way.

    Often, more phisically grown-up kids get different names than their same age mates. Some other times it's more an issue of intelligence or good sense that makes you a ragazzo to the community instead of a ragazzino.

    If you are raised up in savage lands, or was forced to live a wild/difficult life than most of your coetaneuos, then it's likely that many will never call you a ragazzino and perhaps will use the noun ragazzo even if you are eight years old (sometimes making this in order to cheer you up).

    I hope you get my point.
    I think that you can ask yourself when you can start calling someone a "man". From which age do you English speakers start?
    I think the answer is: there is no fixed age. It's a matter of when someone (subjective so) thinks that somebody is worth of the name.

    Anyway above 30 years it would look rather ridiculous to call someone a ragazzo since everyone implictly agrees he/she must have developped those qualities that make you a man (moral issues involved).
     

    Koroner

    Senior Member
    Italian
    So it's not really on age, it's on character and lifestyle?
    I'd say a mixture of the three.
    Possibly add his/her story if it's a crucial one.

    I know it may appear complex but it isn't at all. Just use the claudine's guidlines for ages, keeping in mind however that when you come across such words there may be moral/social assessments involved.
     

    claudine2006

    Senior Member
    Italy Italian
    So it's not really on age, it's on character and lifestyle?
    The first definition I gave was referred just to the age.
    But you can use the three words thinking about people's character and lifestyle.
    A man who is 50 year-old can act as a "bambino".
    You can call "ragazzino" an 11 year-old and you'll make him feel adult.
    You can tell a 5 year-old little boy "Sei un ometto (little man)" to tell he's acting as an adult.
     

    Neutrino

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Hello!
    I suppose the above discussion is also valid for the opposit sex?
    I mean the age range etc. for bambina,ragazza, donna...
     

    Londoner06

    Senior Member
    US/English, Spanish
    Greetings!

    I was curious about the correct ranges for the different ages of younger people. More precisely:

    Ragazzo, is is equivalent to the English teenager (11-19)?

    Giovane uomo, is it the same as ragazzo??

    Bambino, how old can a bambino be??

    As you know, in English it's baby => toddler => child => teenager => young (wo)man, etc.

    Grazie, gracias, thanks, ačiu.

    Londoner06
     

    Siberia

    Senior Member
    UK-Wales - English
    Hi Londoner,
    I'll try:
    I'd say bimbo/neonato for a tiny baby
    Bambino for a toddler, child to about 10
    Ragazzo for 11 and over or even adolescente for teenager
    I'd continue to use ragazzo even for a 22/23/24- year-old but that really depends what age the person saying it is!!!!.
    You don't hear Giovane uomo very much as you go from ragazzo to uomo.
    Hope it helps
    Sib
     

    irene.acler

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Hi Londoner,
    I'll try:
    I'd say bimbo/neonato for a tiny baby
    Bambino for a toddler, child to about 10
    Ragazzo for 11 and over or even adolescente for teenager
    I'd continure to use ragazzo even for a 22/23/24- year-old but that really depends what age the person saying it is!!!!:tick:
    You don't hear Giovane uomo very much as you go from ragazzo to uomo.
    Hope it helps
    Sib

    I agree with you!
    "Giovane uomo" is not very common.
     

    Giannaclaudia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Very difficult question, because things are changing.

    Neonato: fino all'anno di vita.
    Bambino: da 1 a 10-11 anni
    Ragazzino/a: dagli 11 ai 13 anni
    Ragazzo/a: dai 14 ai 19 anni
    Giovane (inv.): dai 20 ai .....:confused: 30 anni

    Uomo/donna: oltre i 30 anni.

    Potrei essere smentita in queste mie affermazioni perchè, col prolungarsi dell'età media e il miglioramento della qualità della vita, è variata la percezione delle varie fasi della vita.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Yes, we use the term ragazzo/a also over 40's, but it is a confidential way of speaking among friends or colleagues.

    Actually, I see ragazzo/ragazza used for 20s/30s in the Italian press all the time.

    For example, in the recent stories about the murders in Erba, the husband is often referred to as a "ragazzo", even though he's 26.
     

    infinite sadness

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Actually, I see ragazzo/ragazza used for 20s/30s in the Italian press all the time.

    For example, in the recent stories about the murders in Erba, the husband is often referred to as a "ragazzo", even though he's 26.
    Yes, it's also used, though it is more corrected to use the word "giovane".
     

    Giannaclaudia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Actually, I see ragazzo/ragazza used for 20s/30s in the Italian press all the time.

    For example, in the recent stories about the murders in Erba, the husband is often referred to as a "ragazzo", even though he's 26.


    You are right, Elaine.
    We are so ashamed to grow older that we keep calling each other "ragazzo/a".
     

    Londoner06

    Senior Member
    US/English, Spanish
    Boy, oh boy, I am lucky to have so many excellent Italian insegnanti!

    Knowing how to properly address people in terms of their age is VERY important in any language, as to avoid any offense. :)

    Thanks to all who helped me.

    Londoner06
     
    Actually, I see ragazzo/ragazza used for 20s/30s in the Italian press all the time.

    For example, in the recent stories about the murders in Erba, the husband is often referred to as a "ragazzo", even though he's 26.

    That's true Elaine, but don't forget that we also say "il suo ragazzo" and "la sua ragazza" when we want to talk about boyfriends - girlfriends, without a definite age range.
     

    Raphillon

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In Italian all those terms are not so strictly tied to the actual age. I think this is because of the origin of the words.

    "Ragazza" was originally used for unmarried women, infact "donna" comes from the latin word "domina" which means "ruler": a "ragazza" becomes "donna" when she becomes the ruler of his home.

    Of course now we use those words as an age token, but the range is not so precise.

    Ciao
     

    Cassidy's Mom

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    It's something like that:
    Bambino (age 1-10)
    Ragazzino (age 11-14)
    Ragazzo (age 15-90):D

    My question is how the term "bimbo" would fit into this range of ages. (I like this range because it gives me an idea of which word to use, although I'm aware that there are those who may be more mature/immature than their numerical age suggests.)

    Would "bimbo" be between "bambino" and "ragazzino"?
    What age range more or less for the word "bimbo"?

    Grazie.
     

    giovannino

    Senior Member
    Italian
    To me bambino and bimbo refer to the same age range. The De Mauro entry adds something about the connotations that go with the word:

    bìm|bo
    bambino, spec. con valore vezzeggiativo o affettuoso: salutami i bimbi, un bel b. biondo, i giochi dei bimbi | scherz., iron., come appellativo rivolto a un adulto: b., non fare il furbo!
     

    MPino

    Member
    Italian
    Direi che bambina si riferisce al periodo dell'infanzia (fino al periodo della scuola elementare); mentre ragazzina al periodo successivo (pre-adolescenza). E' diverso rispetto all'inglese child, che se non sbaglio si riferisce sia al periodo dell'infanzia che a quello dell'adolescenza.

    MPino
     

    entrapta

    Senior Member
    Italian
    But sometimes they are interchangeable.... I mean if you say for exaple: she's too young for him, she's just a child = è solo una bambina/una ragazzina.
     

    MPino

    Member
    Italian
    Interessante, entrapta.
    Ritieni che siano intercambiabili anche in italiano?
    Personalmente riserverei "ragazzina" all'età in cui iniziano a svilupparsi i caratteri sessuali secondari; "bambina" all'età precedente. Naturalmente, l'uso nella lingua può variare in base al contesto. Nell'esempio che riporti, l'uso di "child" è retorico, quindi andrebbero bene entrambe le traduzioni, tenendo presente che "bambina" aggiungerebbe più enfasi all'argomentazione!

    MPino
     

    entrapta

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Appunto nell'esempio che ho fatto non ha davvero importanza, soprattutto perché diciamo ragazzina che non è un ternmine proprio serio.
     

    MPino

    Member
    Italian
    Certo. Ritengo a ogni modo che, sebbene i due termini possano essere intercambiabili in alcuni casi (l'esempio riportato è una figura retorica), essi abbiano in generale due domini referenziali abbastanza distinti (sebbene i confini non possano essere tracciati con certezza, visto che si tratta di età della vita).
     

    entrapta

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Va comunque detto che "ragazzina" se non usato iperbolicamente però ha un po' un'accezione particolare, è un vezzeggiativo dunque va distinta da "ragazza".
     

    MPino

    Member
    Italian
    Sono d'accordo. E non può nemmeno essere fatto coincidere con "bambina". Ad esempio, nessuno direbbe "ragazzina" a una bambina di 5 anni. Hai ragione nel dire che spesso il termine è usato come diminutivo, peraltro non sempre in senso vezzeggiativo. Può essere anche spregiativo: "sei solo un ragazzino (=moccioso)!"
    Forse aiuterebbe conoscere il contesto originario in cui il termine è stato trovato!
     

    Okamidog

    Member
    English-United States
    Is it uncommon in Italy to refer to a 20-something year old male as a "ragazzo"? I've heard people do it, but I dont know how common it is. In America, people sometimes call a young adult man a boy, similar to calling a young woman a girl, but it's generally only done in more familiar/informal settings, like somebody you know or are familiar with (like, "that boy I know from college, I've talked to those boys before, he's one of the boys I work with). Talking about somebody in their 20s or early 30s you dont know, especially depending on their looks, it's more common to call them a guy, and its especially more common as a sign of respect. Both young adult males and females are called Giovanotte/Giovannotta commonly in Italian, but are males referred to as "ragazzi" (boys) as common as females are referred to as "ragazze" (girls), or is it like in English where younger terminology is viewed as unmasculine and generally isnt used?

    From what I hear when my family speaks Italian, ragazzo is used equally as common as giovanotte and is basically the equivalent of "ragazza" for young adults. am i correct?

    After 25, I suppose. But it's common to hear "un ragazzo di 28 anni".
    It depends on what he does (if he's married, if he has got a job).

    Is it as common as saying giovanotte?
     
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    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    From what I hear when my family speaks Italian, ragazzo is used equally as common as giovanotte and is basically the equivalent of "ragazza" for young adults. am i correct?
    Your question is not very clear. I can only say that the masculine form "giovanotto/i" is mostly used in an ironic/joking way these days while the feminine form "giovanotta/e" is not used at all.
     

    °Adhara°

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    I can only say that the masculine form "giovanotto/i" is mostly used in an ironic/joking way these days while the feminine form "giovanotta/e" is not used at all.

    Concordo con Pietruzzo. Giovanotto/a è usato solo in modo scherzoso o ironico. Di solito usiamo ragazzo/a almeno fino ai 25 anni, a volte anche fino ai 30.
     

    ohbice

    Senior Member
    Non ho letto tutto il thread ed è possibile che ripeta cose già dette: se non c'è un contesto è abbastanza inutile produrre schemi del tipo "dai 12,3 ai 19,7 anni è un adolescente", poi diventa un giovane adulto e prima è un bamboccio, o un giovanotto, o un poppante o un ragazzino. Mia opinione.
    Ricordo che mio padre mi chiamava giovanotto quando commettevo qualche sciocchezza, e non avevo più di 9 o 10 anni. Allo stesso modo saluto i miei colleghi la sera con ciao ragazzi. Non so ce c'è qualcuno tra loro con meno di quarant'anni, forse uno.
    Ciao
    p
     

    °Adhara°

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Ciao Ohbice,

    si nel thread si dice che è abbastanza elastico come termine, però secondo me può essere utile fare una generalizzazione per far capire come il termine è usato nella maggioranza dei casi. Poi secondo me giovanotto non viene quasi mai usato nella vita di tutti i giorni per indicare un ragazzo, è usato solo in tono scherzoso o nel caso di un rimprovero da parte di un adulto a un ragazzo.
     
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