After a year of reflective pause, here we are again! Deep linguistic research and in-depth etymological studies, to help those who want to bring Italian into English and for those who, in the English language, want to better understand Italy! Because languages must be able to bring with them the culture of a country … otherwise the google translator will transform us into talking machines …
Mai una gioia
When a small sentence perfectly express a complex mood of disillusionment and pessimism.
An existential awareness that, in life, sometimes, conditions are so adverse, and apparently lead to an inevitable destiny. And after all, at the bottom of the page, we find a faint light of hope, which reveals that sooner or later things will change.
Ascolta un cretino
Why? You may be wondering… subtle expression that is apparently contradictory as an elementary example of the use of first-class petty psychology (even psychology when it’s petty can be first-class). It is a rhetorical game as simple as it is effective: making your debut with “listen to an idiot” puts our interlocutor in an uncomfortable position, and can generate a dialectical advantage. In general, it is not good to say “idiot” to the one with whom we are having a conversation, even if he himself affirms it.
So the first reaction most of the time (but not always) is to think “no, you’re not an idiot”.
Also because accepting that the person who is speaking to us is an idiot, means saying that we are wasting time.
And this is never easy to accept, even if it is true.
Done! Those who say “listen to me, I’m an idiot” receive (without asking) an unconscious appreciation, which puts your opinion in a tendentially positive light. Ahhhhh the dialectic…..
Domanda a bruciapelo
These are the questions that suddenly leave us stunned by their instant formulation.
But the thing that intrigues us is the Italian term “bruciapelo”, literally “burnshair”. A kind of close shot that dumps (scartavetra in italian) our hair? Do we want to talk about the verb “scartavetrare”? To use a mix of paper and glass to scratch away… That said it’s a bit scary…
L’erba voglio non cresce nemmeno nel giardino del re.
I want want I want. We are taught from childhood that it is polite to ask for things please, and not claim, even if we feel we are in privileged positions…
Here is the story: https://chimera.roma1.infn.it/GIORGIO/favole/erba_voglio.html
Non piscio mica dalle ginocchia
Do you think i’m weird who does strange and meaningless things? With that sentence you want to declare your adversity to a suggestion that we feel impossible, if not weird.
Non sto qui ad asciugare gli scogli
My time is precious! I do not waste it doing useless and stupid things! Got it?!
Non sto qui a pettinare le bambole
If i say so i mean that i’m not a person who waste his time with infant activities, indeed!
Dai diamanti non nasce niente dal letame nascono i fior
This phrase is a quote from one of the finest Italian poets / singers , the great Fabrizio De Andre’ (the song is “via del campo”).
The meaning is so beautifull and deep at many levels. Let us understand that from the difficulties you can get the ability to overcome them, or in a easier way that inner welth come from the challenges and life experiences (not always positive), as the material welth produces spiritual impoverishment.
It’s a point of view, not an absolute truth. And in any case it has the advantage to make us reflect about…
This site, currently under construction, aims to help Italians with English by offering literary translations of our more or less common ways of saying, and at the same time introducing the rest of the world into the meanders of our spoken culture, to discover our magnificent country full of history, tradition and chatter ….