"boys" and "children" do not hold the same meaning. I was under the impression that "crianças" was the word for children. Can someone clear this up for me?
- crianças = children
- meninos = boys AND children
Example - Meninos de colégio (crianças em idade escolar) [school-going children] Similarly, when you say "the dogs in the kennel", you're not only referring to male dogs, but also female dogs (or bitches, if you prefer :-) It's the same logic, is it not?
It isn't the same logic because in English the word dog is not gender specific. Also, while saying menino in certain contexts can mean children in English boys always means boys. Typically only regional slang situations are some normally gender specific words such as "guys" used to cover boys and girls.
No, it isn't indeed. Yes, you're completely right, I wasn't thinking straight.
I was under the impression that the other word for children was filhos not meninos.
If you mean "children" as in "offspring", yes, it's "filhos". In English "children" holds both meanings: "crianças" and "filhos".
I find also in the dictionary the word "garoto" for the word "kid". Is it the same with "crianças"?
No, you use "much" for unquantifiable items, like water for instance. Boys and children are clearly quantifiable. This in English. In Portuguese, "Quantos meninos", "quantas crianças", etc, but "Quanta água", in singular, though colloquially you might hear "Quantas águas", meaning "Quantas garrafas de água".