The Words "pildă" and "exemplu"

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by 123xyz, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Learning Romanian, I first encountered the word "exemplu" in the meaning of "example", as well as in the phrase "de exemplu". However, since then, I have also encountered "pildă" as well "de pildă". I have encountered the latter more rarely and when I search for it on Google, it does not give me many hits about it. I have looked up "pildă" in dictionaries and it is said that it means "exemplu", but it appears to be a less appropriate translation for "example" nonetheless.
    Hence, I am wondering to what extent the word "pildă" can be used in the sense of "exemplu", i.e. are they fully synonymous and does "pildă" sound alright for native speakers in all cases even though "exemplu" may be more common?

    P.S. I am not curious as to this matter in terms of a particular context - my question applies to the general usage of both words.

    Thank you in advance
  2. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    While adverbial locutions de exemplu and de pildă are identical in meaning, with the latter one being confined lately to an oral/folkish style and perhaps sounding a bit archaic (it's highly unlikely that you'll see de pildă in a technical treatise) the stand alone words are not.

    Exemplu it's just that, example, while pildă has the main meaning of something (story, happening) which can serve as a learning experience or source of inspiration.

  3. irinet

    irinet Senior Member

    I do agree to everything you said, farscape. I will only expand your ideas a bit.
    The Romanian word "pildă" as a noun is archaic, indeed so it goes together with other nice Romanian archaisms like, "zicală"(a kind of proverb), "snoavă" (a kind of joke) and "zicători" (a kind of song).
    Think of Jean de La Fontaine "Fables" and you'll get our "pilde, snoave and zicători" (short funny stories with a clear message): "Păcală şi Tândală" by Al. Mitru or "The Lion in Disguise", (a nice parable with a clear message) by George Topârceanu or "The Bear and the Fox" (a very nice fable by Grigore Alexandrescu), etc.
    The two nouns 'example' (much newer word) and 'pildă' are not synonymous to this kind of context (literature: religious, profane, or historical texts, I mean).
    However, I suspect that 'pildă' moved from the folk literature to common language under a new form mostly because of religion. Our priests taught /preached those "Pilde" of Jesus or of Solomon, etc. to our people, so the word (constantly being listened to in "Biblical Stories/Pilde" during the sermons) has been taken a new lexical form, such as of a compound of exemplification: "de pildă". To this context, 'de exemplu' (scholastic and newer) and 'de pildă' (older and wiser) are synonyms. Thus "pildă" has become re-invented and no longer considered an archaism.
    Now, answering the question of the thread, 'de pildă' would be as common to the natives as 'de exemplu'.
    However, I am not so sure about the new generation, though they are natives, too (joking!).
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  4. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for the replies.

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