Παραλία, πλαζ, γιαλός και ακρογιαλιά

< Previous | Next >

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".
     
    Last edited:

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Hello,

    In view of the final full opening of the tourist period in Greece as of today July 1st, here ‘s a small further contribution to the clarification of the title words.

    Παραλία can mean: a. beach (usually sandy or with pebbles) and b. as already mentioned: 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. Here, we should clarify that παραλία can mean all the above without being next to the/a beach; see Παραλία (παλιά και νέα) Θεσσαλονίκης (ή Βόλου) which is the road with houses, hotels and shops on one side and a quay (προκυμαία) and promenade (χώρος περιπάτου) on the other. E.g. Πήγαμε/κάναμε βόλτα στην παραλία.

    Γιαλός: the section of land (sandy or with pebbles) along the sea and (by synecdoche) the shallow waters. Word several times used in the past to form the second part of toponyms. E.g. Πήγαμε εκδρομή στον Μακρύγιαλο Πιερίας.

    Ακρογιαλιά: beach (usually sandy or with pebbles). E.g. Αγόρια και κορίτσια άναψαν φωτιά στην ακρογιαλιά και κάθισαν να τραγουδήσουν.

    Αμμουδιά: totally sandy beach. E.g. Οι ομπρέλες στην αμμουδιά ήταν σχεδόν κολλημένες η μια με την άλλη.

    Most Greek Dictionaries (among them Babiniotis’ and Triantaphyllides’) give the words ακτή, παραλία, γιαλός, ακρογιαλιά, ακρογιάλι, περιγιάλι, ακροθαλασσιά, ακροθαλάσσι more or less as synonyms. The words ακρογιαλιά and παραλία are words of the everyday language, whereas the rest, although such in older times, have been used and now survive almost solely in literature, proverbs and music (songs).

    As for their etymology:

    παραλία is an ancient word (παραλία [=παρὰ τὴν ἅλα =by the sea] ενν. γή ή χώρα=seaside land or country), feminine of the adjective παράλιος (< παρὰ+ἅλς = θάλασσα).

    γιαλός is a medieval word (< already in Homer αἰγιαλὸς < αἷγες (=here, big waves) + ἁλός, gen. of ἅλς, from the phrase ἐν αἰγὶ ἀλὸς). Modern (legal) definition of αἰγιαλὸς: the natural zone of land which runs along the sea and is demarcated between the shoreline (ακτογραμμή) and the point where the biggest winter wave reaches.

    ακρογιαλιά & ακρογιάλι (< άκρος+γιαλός), περιγιάλι (< περιγιάλιν < παραγιάλιν < παραιγιάλιον < παρά+αιγιάλιον < αιγιαλός).

    αμμουδιά (< [αμμούδα<*αμμούδι<άμμος] + ending -ιά)

    πλαζ: reborrowing < French plage < Μed. Latin plagia < Ancient Greek πλαγία, fem. of πλάγιος (=sloped, oblique), as given by Babiniotis and Triantaphyllides.

    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.
    Correct!

    Καλές παραλίες και…καλές βουτιές!
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Thank you ioanell. When I originally posted I didn't expect such a thorough and authoritative answer. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Nor did I anticipate it would become such a difficult area in life.

    Καλές διακοπές! I'm afraid our family health situation is complicated and we won't be in Greece this year. :(
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top