2

Often I hear phrases like,

Sei proprio un italiano.

Sei proprio un italiano doc.

Sei proprio un italiano vero.

Sei proprio un italiano di professione.

and so on.

Do they have a positive or a negative connotation? And, be the first or the second case, what do they precisely mean?

  • 5
    This is heavily context-dependent. – Matteo Italia Jan 17 '14 at 8:10
10

It means

You are a stereotypical (or typical) Italian.

This can be said either implying pride or criticism, depending on which aspect of your interlocutor refers to within the context.

| improve this answer | |
2

The first and the last sentences have a negative connotation, which is based on any possible negative cliché related to being an Italian. The second and the third ones are positive, but still referring to some clichè.

EG: if you have an Italian friend who has a croissant and coffee for breakfast every morning, you could say to him, ehy "Tu sei un italiano doc" (You are really Italian).

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    There are nuances for each version of the sentence bu none is intrinsically negative. – Bruno9779 Jan 17 '14 at 12:46
  • @Bruno, generally speaking I agree, except for the fourth expression of which I'm not able to think of a case when it can have a positive connotation, though. – Kyriakos Kyritsis Jan 18 '14 at 14:24
  • @Bruno9779 correct, but the colloquial language can use even bad words to give a positive meaning to a phrase, eg: "you are a bad ass" in english or "Hai un gran culo in Italian" . Both really positive. – Angelo Mar 7 '18 at 15:48
1

Sei proprio un italiano.

Sounds offensive...

Sei proprio un italiano doc.

Sounds good

Sei proprio un italiano vero.

Sounds good

Sei proprio un italiano di professione.

Sounds offensive

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.