Guitar

ronanpoirier

Senior Member
Brazil - Portuguese
That’s fun. If you say “guitar” only, people don’t know if you’re talking about this or about this. In Portuguese there is a distinction between those two instruments. However, I don’t see it in another languages. When I’m talking in English, I usually say “acoustic guitar” and “electric guitar”.
But in Portuguese we have violão and guitarra. There are others instruments guitar-related such as the viola (which is a smaller "violão"; not to make confusion with viola de arco) but they are all translated as guitar in English.
So I’d like to know how things work in your language!

See ya! _o/
 
  • JAI GURU DEVA OM

    Senior Member
    CHILE
    well, in spanish viola could be an instrument an also taken as conjugated verbe "violar" to rape. ( viola = third person he/she rapes= el/ella viola)

    Respect to the "acoustic" guitar, it is also called guitarra in Chile.

    Hope it´s useful

    Saludos :)
     

    Mutichou

    Senior Member
    France - French
    In French, they are called "guitare acoustique" and "guitare électrique".
    But if you only say "guitare", people will think of an acoustic guitar.
     

    betulina

    Senior Member
    català - Catalunya
    What a nice distinction, Ronan :)

    In Catalan it works like in English or French: "guitarra acústica" and "guitarra elèctrica". As Mutichou said for French, if you say "guitarra" people think of an acoustic one, I think.

    For us, a "viola" is your "viola de arco".
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Interesting question!

    But, Ronan, we only call this a guitarra due to the influence of English. The more logical name would be viola eléctrica, since for us (traditionally, at least) a guitarra is something else. :)

    I have often wondered about why there was this difference in the English and Portuguese names -- and how it was in other languages.
     

    Chazzwozzer

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    In French, they are called "guitare acoustique" and "guitare électrique".

    if you only say "guitare", people will think of an acoustic guitar.
    Guitare électrique?

    Then how come Turkish elektrogitar was derived from French électro-guitare? Is it a fake etymology or such a word exists but not used anymore in French?
     

    Maja

    Senior Member
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:

    Viola: viola / виола
    Acoustic guitar: akustična gitara / акустична гитара
    Electric guitar: električna gitara / електрична гитара
     

    Fernita

    Senior Member
    castellano de Argentina.
    In Spanish we have:

    guitarra o guitarra criolla (guitar with nylon strings).= violão
    guitarra acústica refers to hollow-bodied guitars (generally steel strings)without electric amplification. I haven´t got the picture.
    guitarra eléctrica (steel strings with electric amplification).= electric guitar
     

    ronanpoirier

    Senior Member
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Outsider said:
    But, Ronan, we only call this a guitarra due to the influence of English. The more logical name would be viola eléctrica, since for us (traditionally, at least) a guitarra is something else. :)

    I have often wondered about why there was this difference in the English and Portuguese names -- and how it was in other languages.
    Now I remember reading somewhere that "violão" is related to Spanish. When the Spaniards went to Portugal with their "violões" the Portuguese people realized those were bigger than their "violas", so they decided to call it "violão". :) But I'm not sure it's true, although it's possible.
     

    alitza

    Senior Member
    Romania, Romanian
    Hello,
    In Romanian, we say "chitara acustica" or, more frequently, "chitara rece" ("cold guitar") as opposed to "chitara electrica".
    Nevertheless, we only use the adjectives if the context doesn't make it clear which type of guitar we are talking about.
    If we say, for instance, : "He plays guitar in a rock band" we never say "chitara electrica" because you won't normally hear an accoustic guitar in a rock band. On the other hand, if you talk about a "guitar recital", it's obvious that we're talking about an accoustic guitar, there's no need to mention it.
    As for "viola", in Romanian it is an instrument similar to the violin, but bigger and with a deeper sound.
    Alitza
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,

    In Dutch:
    The words for accoustic and electric guitar were already given (see above).
    One minor note:
    There are two basic types of accoustic guitars:
    - de klassieke gitaar (also 'de Spaanse gitaar')
    - de folkgitaar
    One of the many, many differences is the material the (higher) strings are made of, resp. nylon and metal.

    The other instrument:
    Dutch has 'viool', which would be Portuguese 'viola de arco'.

    There is also the 'viola' (Dutch 'altviool', the middle-range instrument of the violin family), and 'viola da gamba' and 'viola d'amore'.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    jester.

    Senior Member
    Germany -> German
    Can you explain the difference between the two to me? You know I really have no idea of musics. :)
    We might be a bit off topic, but I'll explain it to you :)

    Westerngitarre = steel string guitar
    Konzertgitarre = nylon string guitar

    I think that explains it well enough. :)
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Greek we distinguish between «κλασική κιθάρα» [kla.siˈci ciˈθa.ɾa] (both. fem.) --> classic(al) guitar and «ηλεκτρική κιθάρα» [i.lek.triˈci ciˈθa.ɾa] (both. fem.) --> electric guitar.

    -MoGr «κιθάρα» [ciˈθa.ɾa] (fem.) --> guitar < Classical Gr. «κιθάρᾱ» kĭtʰắrā --> lit. lyre, later all string instruments in general (for Beekes it's of Pre-Greek origin, he considers all earlier explanations from IE and Semitic incorrect).
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    In Greek we distinguish between «κλασική κιθάρα» [kla.siˈci ciˈθa.ɾa] (both. fem.) --> classic(al) guitar and «ηλεκτρική κιθάρα» [i.lek.triˈci ciˈθa.ɾa] (both. fem.) --> electric guitar.

    -MoGr «κιθάρα» [ciˈθa.ɾa] (fem.) --> guitar < Classical Gr. «κιθάρᾱ» kĭtʰắrā --> lit. lyre, later all string instruments in general (for Beekes it's of Pre-Greek origin, he considers all earlier explanations from IE and Semitic incorrect).
    Why would Beekes consider IE and Semitic origins incorrect? What would be his main arguments, if he provides one?
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    Guitare électrique?

    Then how come Turkish elektrogitar was derived from French électro-guitare? Is it a fake etymology or such a word exists but not used anymore in French?
    To answer this old question, électro-guitare is not used in French, and was never used, as far as I know.
    The three used expressions are:
    guitare (acoustique)
    guitare électrique
    guitare électro-acoustique
    (an acoustic guitar with a plugged-in microphone to amplify its sound)
     
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