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I read both stanza and camera being used to translate a room. Is it there a difference between them? Could you give an example of a context where they might be applied?

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Stanza is more general, and indicates any internal space of a building separated by walls (and doors). I would say that it is a more accurate translation of room, when room is intended in the general sense (e.g. not I went into my room).

Camera is used more in reference to bedroom, even though one can in general call a camera any room that is not just a passage (like a corridor).

Questo appartamento è composto da sei stanze: ingresso, cucina, salotto, bagno e due camere.

This flat comprises six rooms: entrance, kitchen, living room, bathroom and two bedrooms.

Notice that camere stands for bedrooms, one does not need to say "camere da letto" to be understood.

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    When I say va in camera tua, I don't necessarily mean the bedroom. If I were to speak to my 10 years old son, who has a bedroom, and another room, camera would mean the room that is not the bedroom. – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 12:53
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Camera is mainly a "habitation unit in a house or apartment" ("Ambiente abitativo in una casa, in un appartamento"), and, while it refers in common cases to "camera da letto" (bedroom), it can also refer to "camera da pranzo" (dinner room).

It is also used in other acceptions, though.

  • Camera operatoria (Operating theater)
  • Camera dei deputati (House of deputies)

In all cases it is similar to "room", but with a more "elegant", "expensive" or "posh" undertone (cf. eng. "Chamber", fr. "Chambre")

Stanza refers to any enclosed environment in a building ("Ognuno degli ambienti interni di un edificio"). It can refer to any room in a building and in the case of habitation units it is used either as an alternative for camera or for other rooms for which camera is not normally adequate, entrance hall ("stanza d'ingresso"), bathroom ("stanza da bagno").

It is more general than "camera" and it avoids the "posh" accent of it, as "stanza" is a term of more "functional" origin (from the verb "stare", to stand). It is best translated to English as "room" and definitely not "chamber".

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    A ‘veste da camera‘ is (was) not necessarily used in the bedroom, but in all ‘private‘ rooms. – egreg Nov 6 '13 at 12:10
  • minor: "operating room" is much more common than "operating theater" in English. Google results confirm it. – Alan Evangelista Dec 2 '19 at 0:35

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