centro sociale

musiqsoulman

Member
Italian - Italy
hi all, i wanted to ask you if there's a name in english for "centro sociale"

i know it probably doesn't exist, but would you call one if you had to?

thanks
 
  • DesertCat

    Senior Member
    inglese | English
    Can you explain what you mean by centro sociale?

    If it's literally a social center we do have these types of places where people can gather for various activities but they would generally have a distinct name. It may also be called a recreation center.
     

    DesertCat

    Senior Member
    inglese | English
    I just thought of another one: community center

    But, without more information, I don't know if these have the
    same meaning as the Italian.
     

    rya00

    Member
    italy, italian
    Hi, I need the translation of the same word but it seems there's some confusion here.."centro sociale" is a place, usually occupied without police or government permission (the people staying there don't pay rent or anything basically) where militants, or politically aware groups, gather to discuss about issues and in some case prepare demonstration and revolt acts...For those of you knowing Milan like "Leoncavallo" once. Would you say "squat" or something similar?
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    In the past, I've coined this gloss: "far-Left-cum-anarchist squatter community". I don't believe there is a one-on-one equivalent in English for this culturally-embedded term.
     

    rya00

    Member
    italy, italian
    Dear GavinW,
    How would your suggestion exactly translate in Italian "Comunità abusiva/illegale o di occupanti anarchici e di estrema sinistra" would do it? How does the use of the word "-cum" works in coining glosses? thanks a lot and I hope you don't mind my questions!
     

    Salegrosso

    Senior Member
    Verona (Italy)
    I think squat is a good translation for centro sociale,
    both in the sense of the place, the location (a house, a former industrial building, and so on) where guys live without or with partial permission,
    and in the larger sense of the group, the community of guys living and/or referring to that place, as a political subject.

    But I'm Italian, it's better waiting for the opinion of some English native speaker.

    Bye,
    Salegrosso.

    EDIT: Sorry Gavin, I didn't see you are British! So do you think squat is not the same of centro sociale?
     

    rya00

    Member
    italy, italian
    Dear Salegrosso,
    I don't know if this is the right part of the forum to stress this point, but I'd like to underline that also in italian we use the term "squat" but it is slightly different from "centro sociale"; maybe we are poaching in the political nuances...but with "squat" in italian we refer mainly to an illegally occupied place where people live (they sleep,they cook...etc etc), while "centro sociale", especially way back in the Seventies, was mainly the center of great political awareness, of political activists, at least in the Far-left activists' intentions and point of view.
    Just to let the non-natives (of Italy) know.
    Ciao
     

    Salegrosso

    Senior Member
    Verona (Italy)
    Yes, Rya00, I agree with your distiction.

    I'd like to know the opinion of English because sometimes it happens that an English word is used by Italian people with a slightly different meaning than the original one.

    So it could be (but I don't know wheter or not) that our concept of centro sociale is translated in English with the word squat, even if among Italian people squat has another meaning.
     

    Salegrosso

    Senior Member
    Verona (Italy)
    I found this (interesting) link on the internet
    http://www.socialcentresnetwork.org.uk/
    where it seems there are many aspects close to the Italian centri sociali, there are occupied social centre against capitalism, Indymedia, etc.
    and there is the explicit distinction between "squatted" and "legal" social centres:

    (From that website: )
    Despite there being a tradition of social spaces in occupied buildings (also known as squatting), the recent upsurge in (legal) social centres has come about in the last five years. List of current UK social centres, either squatted or legal

    However, probably the history of the Italian centri sociali is older and different than that of movements in other countries. So it could be that there isn't a specific exact translation of our centro sociale.

    Bye,
    Salegrosso
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    rya00: yes, your translation is accurate. Yes, the difference between squat and centro sociale is important in English, I think. There is no stated connection between "squat" (in English or Italian) and the political activities of a centro sociale. However, Salegrosso's link seems to suggest that "social centres" exist in England too with the same features as centri sociali; if this is true (I haven't cjecked out the link...), I would still have hesitations in using "social centres" -- I don't think they are well-known enough, and I don't think they are such a well-established feature of British social and political life. But I could be wrong.

    rya00: far Left-cum-squatter: the "-cum-" is the Latin prepoisition, used in English to combine two terms (like "and"). HTH.
     

    Salegrosso

    Senior Member
    Verona (Italy)
    Thank you Gavin for your answer!
    What is established now is, at least, the clear distinction between squat and centro sociale, both in English and in Italian.

    If you have time, try to check out the link...

    EDIT: I add this (English) links:
    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/03/364596.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_centre
    Have a look.

    At the end of the story, I can say that:

    1. Social centre is a good translation (the original question of this thread!),
    at least in a context where readers are involved people.

    2. In English, the expression social centre is not as well-known and common as in Italian the expression centro sociale is (Gavin's remark).
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you have time, try to check out the link...
    Yeah, I did in the end, and decided that social centres are mixed (including community centres) and do not share the radical tradition they have in Italy. So I would still go with piedi di piombo when it comes to using this term as a translation. My 2 cents' worth. Ciao for now.
     

    Salegrosso

    Senior Member
    Verona (Italy)
    Complimenti Gavin, you used piedi di piombo perfectly as a native speaker! :)

    I am realising as well that the situation is like that described by you, that is, abroad there was a different, less radical tradition than in Italy.
    However, I think that today, after Seattle, Genova, No Logo, Indymedia, there is a global feeling which is both in centri sociali italiani and also abroad.

    Ok, stop for me as well.

    Bye bye,
    Salegrosso.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    abroad there was a different, less radical tradition than in Italy.
    There have been radical traditions in other countries too, but they are not always expressed by the same phenomena. In London in the '70s there was quite a radical situation, but there was nothing corrsponding exactly to the Italian centro sociale.e
     

    Salegrosso

    Senior Member
    Verona (Italy)
    There have been radical traditions in other countries too, but they are not always expressed by the same phenomena. In London in the '70s there was quite a radical situation, but there was nothing corrsponding exactly to the Italian centro sociale.e
    Hi Einstein, I agree with you.
    In my post that you quoted I was just trying to summarize what Gavin said about social centres, and not about politics in general, but it's better to quote him directly:

    Yeah, I did in the end, and decided that social centres are mixed (including community centres) and do not share the radical tradition they have in Italy. So I would still go with piedi di piombo when it comes to using this term as a translation. My 2 cents' worth. Ciao for now.
    Bye bye!
    Salegrosso.
     

    xeno....

    Senior Member
    Uk.
    English
    A squat in English is some unofficially occupied dwelling usually by homeless. A community centre is a place where members of the community go for advice, social activities etc. THere is no link between the two in English as far as I am aware.
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Centri Sociali. This is a phrase I have seen in several news reports lately. Here's just one example: (about a candidate for sindaco)
    ma è sostenuto da liste politiche e di partito, ...... dai centri sociali e dai sindacati più estremi.

    I had a feeling it means more than the sum of its two parts, so I looked it up and found this rather unenlightening explanation:
    http://www.ecn.org/rukola/centri_sociali.htm

    Are "centri social" political organizations? or does the "center" refer to a place where people gather? I just feel I am missing a big part of understanding this otherwise simple phrase. Thanks!
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I think the previous threads give a reasonable idea of what a "centro sociale" is. They are generally left-orientated, but are not all very highly politicised and the more radical ones are not necessarily violent. The Italian right is now in difficulty and is resorting to all kinds of propaganda, especially the prejudice that centri sociali are populated by drug-addicts and terrorists.
    I wouldn't describe them as "political organisations" and they themselves wouldn't like the term; they're simply places where people exchange all kinds of ideas. There's a "centro sociale" near me in Milan. I personally have been there only two or three times and it's not my favourite place, but there's nothing violent about it.
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Thank you very much! I will continue my reading. And sorry for not checking for previous threads. Believe it or not, it didn't even occur to me to go to the WR dictionary, since I figured I would just get a definition of "social center" or "community center" but I knew there was more to it than that!
    Thanks again.
     
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