graeco_celt (graeco_celt) wrote in linguaphiles,

Greek query: does "solitude" = "μοναξιά" or "ερημιά"?

Hi, I have another Greek question.

I was trying to work out how to say 'solitude' in Greek and various dictionaries have given me both μοναξιά and ερημιά, though μοναξιά seems to occur most commonly.

So, the two parts of my question are:

1. For those of you who are native Greek speakers or fluent second language speakers, which of these two words would you use to describe the state of solitude?

2. Does the word you have chosen have either negative or positive connotations for you or is it neutral?

The reason I ask is that, after looking up 'solitude', I then used the aforementioned dictionaries and websites to translate both words back to English and got the following:

μοναξιά - loneliness, solitude, aloneness, privacy, solitariness, lonesomeness, desolation, seclusion.

ερημιά - wilderness, desert, seclusion, solitude, privacy, wasteland.

I perceive the English word 'solitude' as being a neutral description of a state of being alone, though it has actively positive connotations for me personally, as I enjoy being alone, if that makes sense.

I realize that the strict dictionary definition of a word does not necessarily always match the general public/societal perception of its meaning, which is why I'm asking, especially given the variety of positive, neutral and negative translations I've found.

If I used either of these words, would a Greek speaker perceive them as negative or positive? Would they require a context or would there be a certain perception of them, even if they stood alone?

I'd appreciate any insight into this.
Tags: english, greek, translation

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