ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas

 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
User
Thread poster: Monika Rozwarzewska
dove vs. pigeon - how to explain the difference?

Monika Rozwarzewska  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:35
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Jan 25, 2005

I know that this question may seem silly but I am really confused. Dictionaries are not very helpful here, either. How would you explain to your students the difference between a pigeon and a dove?

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Martin Linger
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:35
English to German
+ ...
different origins of the same word Jan 25, 2005

Not being a native speaker of English I didn't even know there was a difference between dove and pigeon BUT it is often the case that there are two words in Eglish with the same or near the same meaning, which is due to the fact that they stem from French and German.

Taube = German -> dove = English
pigeon = French -> pigeon = English

The same goes for mutton vs sheep; freedom vs liberty; cow vs. beef and so on.

Hope this helps.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Same family, different species (I think) Jan 25, 2005

From the World Book Dictionary,

pigeon: any one of a group of birds with a plump body, short tail and short legs...There are numerous species, making up a family of birds. The smaller kinds are usually called doves.

dove: a bird with a thick body, short legs, and a beak enlarged at the tip. It is a small kind of pigeon that is not domesticated.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Sheilann  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
Doves & pigeons Jan 25, 2005

I'm a native English speaker and I'm not too clear either on the difference. As a rule of thumb, a dove is usually white whereas a pigeon is grey (shades vary).

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarah Brenchley  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Difference Jan 25, 2005

I would explain it as a dove is white (traditionally a symbol of peace) and a pigeon is grey/black/white and commonly found in cities.
Hope it helps.
Sarah.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:35
German to English
Semantic difference Jan 25, 2005


Monika Rozwarzewska wrote:

I know that this question may seem silly but I am really confused. Dictionaries are not very helpful here, either. How would you explain to your students the difference between a pigeon and a dove?


Hi Monika, I think there is an important difference that I would explain to my students. As you can see from the examples below, "there is no true scientific difference." They both belong to the family Columbidae, but there is an important difference in how the two terms are used colloquially. Native speakers generally associate pigeons with domesticated birds or birds that fly around in parks and squares in cities. They tend to associate doves with wild birds that live in forests and are a symbol of peace. A love poem is more likely to have doves than pigeons.
---

Pigeons and Doves
There is no true scientific difference between 'pigeons' and 'doves'. While the smaller pigeons often get called 'doves', this is fairly inconsistent. The family can be split into two different groups, but this is based more on their ecology and diet. There are those pigeons that feed on seeds (usually duller coloured, ground-dwelling pigeons), and those that feed on fruit (more striking, aboreal species). The Daintree area has a diverse group of pigeons, with representatives of both types of pigeons, although many species are heard more often than seen.
http://rainforest-australia.com/Rainforest_Doves_and_Pigeons.htm

"And you know what else really gets my goat? My Japanese students think they're DOVES for God's sake. DOVES, I said! They are NOT doves! Doves are pretty and white and they go coo-coo. They're gentle and lovely to be around. You'd never catch a dove stepping over another dove to get at a dirty piece of Pocky that some stinking kid who needs his diaper changed has a mind to throw at him."
"Don't you see! That's what's so dangerous!" Xavier says. "To confuse something vile and ugly, like a low and foul pigeon, with a gentle, tender dove ... it gets to the root of all the evil in the world! Every instance of evil! The deception in the Garden of Eden! Oh no, that's not a pigeon offering you that apple, Eve my dear! That's a dove! A lovely pure white dove who wants only the best for you!"
"Subtle semantic difference, you may say. Perhaps a pigeon IS a member of the dove family, some distant and unwelcome relative generally shunned at family picnics." Xavier digs into his pocket and slaps down a hundred-yen coin onto the metal drainboard. "But when people start confusing the two--innocently enough, but still, a confusion--the whole symbol becomes muddy. And when the symbols become muddy, can the idea behind the symbol ... can the idea of peace itself remain unsullied? You've got people confusing pigeons with doves! Pigeons are the most unpeaceful creatures I've ever seen, and that's my whole point! They've taken over Peace Park, and they've convinced everybody that they're doves. The wolves are at the door, and they're all in pigeons' clothing."
http://www.demimonde.com/killing.html


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Romina Minucci
Italy
Local time: 05:35
English to Italian
+ ...
in italian... Jan 25, 2005

In Italian for example we translate DOVE as COLOMBA (the white pigeon that became the symbol of peace) and PIGEON as PICCIONE (the grey bird).

In Italy Pigeon is a bird that peasantry can breed, while Dove is a wild and often hunted bird.

hope it helps.

Romy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

French2English
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:35
French to English
+ ...
dove=good; pigeon = bad Jan 25, 2005

In all the replies, I don't think anyone has pointed out that the connotations of the word 'dove' are usually positive and those of the word 'pigeon' are usually negative. This is because the birds classified as doves rather than pigeons are usually prettier and have long been associated with love and peace. The birds classified as pigeons are nowadays generally considered to be a nuisance (except to people who like or actually keep them as pets!) and there are a few expressions including the word which also tend to have negative connotations, such as 'pigeon-toed', 'pigeon-chested', or even 'pigeon-holed'.

There's a similar thing with raven and crow. A lot of native English speakers would not be able to tell you the difference between the two - and indeed there may not even be a difference, But 'raven' sounds grand and striking and has a good connotation - conjuring up the image of the famous birds at the Tower of London and all the history and tradition - whereas 'crow' has a bad connotation and has even come to be used pejoratively about women (what a surprise!) to describe an elderly woman.

I don't know if this helps - but I really do think it's more to do with the associations of the words in question and how they are used than the scientific meanings when the two things are so similar that it's difficult to tell the difference.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
giogi
Local time: 04:35
not silly at all... Jan 25, 2005

this site may be useful...at least you can see both!
If I had to spot a difference, well the first thing I'd say is that the pigeons we can see in our European cities are usually grey, whereas doves are usually "whitish"...but if you have a look at the website I'm suggesting... you'll see that my answer is a very naive one!!!
http://www.camacdonald.com/birding/Sampler3-PigeonsDoves.htm
Good luck
Giovanna


Direct link Reply with quote
 

RogerGerEng  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:35
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
all doves are not white Jan 25, 2005

Here in east central Florida, we see hundreds of doves daily. Most are grey/gray. Maybe one in fifty or so are white.
They are much smaller than pigeons.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Paoletrix
Sweden
Local time: 05:35
Swedish to English
Dove hunting and pigeon feeding Jan 26, 2005

In the southern US, pigeons are generally the birds you see/feed on town squares, plazas, and the like. They are usually well-fed. They look pretty much like doves to the casual observer.

Doves, on the other hand, hang out in the wild. A popular pastime (in season) is to go "dove-hunting", more as a test of one' shooting ability than an attempt to bring home large amounts of food.

Growing up as a member of family of hunting enthusiasts, I ate plenty of quail, grouse, pheasant etc, but little dove, and never pigeon.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:35
Member
Italian to English
Dove-breasted and pigeon-chested Jan 26, 2005

If Lawrence Ferlinghetti had described womankind as "pigeon-chested" instead of "dove-breasted" in his poem the Great Chinese Dragon, the effect might have been a little less sensual:

he has big eyes everywhere thru which he sees all womankind milkwhite and dove-breasted and he will eat their waterflowers for he is the cat with future feet

http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet=6745&poem=30701

Cheers,

Giles


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:35
English to Swedish
+ ...
Please see http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/dove Jan 26, 2005



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Seadeta Osmani  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 05:35
English to Croatian
+ ...
Turtle Doves Jan 26, 2005

For the past 2 years my husband and I have a trurtle-dove couple nesting close to our apartment-window (4th floor). It feels sooo nice to be able to touch their little ones when they manage to get out of egg-shells People say it's a rare thing because turtle-doves usually stay away from people... Well, maybe they can feel we are vegetarians and peacemakers

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Marco Ramón[Call to this topic]
Laureana Pavon[Call to this topic]
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]
Laura Daly[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

dove vs. pigeon - how to explain the difference?






SDL AutoSuggest Creator Add-on
Speed up manual translations with sub-segment matching

AutoSuggest accelerates translation editing in SDL Trados Studio 2014 through intelligent sub-segment matching suggestions while you type.

More info »
memoQ translator pro 2013
ProZ.com members receive a 20% discount on memoQ

memoQ is a tool from translators to translators: no matter whether your clients give you files in the original file formats or supply you with project packages in other translation tools, you can use memoQ to guarantee timely delivery, high productivity a

More info »