WOTD: Film vs. Film Serial

It’s really interesting understanding the etymology (origin) of words. In both Romanian and English the word film came from French, originally meaning a “thin coating” or a thin layer on the surface of something. The first films (referring to photographs or movies) were a special kind of paper which had a thin layer of chemicals on the top, hence the name.

Later in English the video films began to be known as “moving pictures” which was then shortened to “movie”. In Romanian however all movies are known as filme in the plural.

However while a film in Romanian means a feature-length movie, a film serial refers to a television show (UK: programme) that has multiple episodes. Therefore “Jurassic Park” in Romanian is a film and “Seinfeld” is a film serial. This is why Romanians when they’re speaking English sometimes incorrectly refer a TV show as a “film”.

They use the same word as in English (episod/episoade) for the individual “chapter” of these programs though. A single broadcast segment, especially a news piece (like the one ProTV did with me) is usually referred to as a raportaj (report).


One Comment Add yours

  1. Marian says:

    It’s “reportaj” there at the end not “raportaj”. :P


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