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I have decided to be very brave and put my Italian out there in a blog. I will admit that the first entry I am writing is mostly done from a translator site but I want to try it on my own eventually.

In my first entry, I am writing about how I came to be so interested in Italy and the language. I want to say about the person who first made me focus on Italian

He made the language sing.

The translator gave me

Lui fa cantare dalla lingua.

which translates back as

He does sing in a language.

which does not say what I want to say. Can someone help me, please?


Based on the advice given, I have edited my composition and published on my new blog -http://iosonoinitalia.wordpress.com/ Polite critic of my Italian is always wlecome there :)

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Però a pensarci bene potresti anche usare un più letterale "sapeva far cantare la lingua", e chi te lo proibisce? –  user193 Aug 11 at 5:48
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Could you tell us which translator program/service was it, so as to avoid it studiously? Apart from not getting across the meaning of what you meant, it managed to both generate a sentence not in Italian and miss the fact (which should be obvious even to a computer) that “made” is a past tense. (Not to mention that the translation back into English says something else again.) –  DaG Aug 11 at 7:45
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As to your sentence, faceva cantare la lingua or con lui la lingua cantava are perfectly good ways of saying it, but you have to take into account the possible ambiguity due to the fact that lingua, just like “tongue”, means both “language” and the organ in the mouth. –  DaG Aug 11 at 7:48
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I attempted giving an answer; however, I'm curious as to how to translate this sentence while preserving its meaning as much as possible. Have my upvote. –  Giulio Muscarello Aug 11 at 8:00
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Mi piace il tuo entusiasmo, ti suggerisco qualche correzione: «Il mio amore per tutte le cose italiane ebbe inizio alla Galleria d'Arte del NSW e ad una conferenza sull'Arte del Rinascimento tenuta dal direttore Edmund Capon. Lui parla italiano in maniera meravigliosa. Mi fece apprezzare la musicalità dell’italiano. Sin dalla sua conferenza decisi che l’Italia sarebbe stata la mia prossima destinazione e vi sono ritornata poi ogni anno fin da allora. Non ne avrò mai abbastanza di questo paese, delle persone, dell’arte, del cibo … Grazie mille per il loro aiuto agli utenti di …» –  user193 Aug 12 at 6:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no literal equivalent to "making a language sing", we don't have any such idiom. A literal translation would be far cantare una lingua: an educated native speaker would understand what you mean, although it isn't a common idiom - in fact, I never heard it.
A more natural translation would be something along the lines of "esaltare la musicalità della lingua": in my opinion, that's how a native speaker would translate it. In your case, you could write

Mi ha fatto apprezzare la musicalità dell'italiano.
They made me appreciate the music-like aspect of spoken Italian.

As a final note, your translator failed quite a bit. The literal translation of "he made the language sing" is "[lui] ha fatto cantare la lingua"; the translation it gave said "lui fa cantare dalla lingua", which doesn't make any sense, as it literally means: "he makes singing from the tongue", but could be also interpreted as "he makes people sing from the language".

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Grazie mille, Giulio. I enjoy how many of the contributors here are so patient and informative. –  Jim's Mum Aug 12 at 3:55
    
Acknowledgements are always welcome! It's very kind of you to personally thank contributors. –  Giulio Muscarello Aug 12 at 11:14
    
Downvoter, care to explain your reasons? –  Giulio Muscarello Sep 30 at 6:02

I think an appropriate translation is :

  • Mi fece apprezzare la sonorità della lingua italiana.

Sonorità:

fig. Ricchezza di suono, riferito a espressioni linguistiche: la s. dei versi del Monti.

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