5

Recently I saw the Italian movie The Italian Connection, its original title is La mala ordina. (Probably it means Manhunt). I supposed it's in Italian, but Google translator doesn't recognize it as Italian, it detects it as Esperanto and doesn't give any reasonable translation.

Question: Is it Italian? How it's translated to English?

7
  • 3
    "Mala" is short for "malavita", literally "dishonest life", synonym of "criminalità", "Crime" (properly intended as "criminality"), "local mobsters". The verb "ordinare" can mean "to give orders", "to rule", "to be in charge". So, "la Mala ordina" means "Crime is in charge", "local mobsters rule". Note that sometimes "mala" is used as synonym of mafia, organised crime.
    – user193
    Aug 15 '14 at 0:54
  • Ok, I think you can write it as answer.
    – Alexan
    Aug 15 '14 at 1:00
  • In the '70s/'80s "la Mala del Brenta" was famous, Felice Maniero's "Venetian mafia".
    – user193
    Aug 15 '14 at 1:01
  • Out of curiosity, how did you come up with “Manhunt”?
    – DaG
    Aug 15 '14 at 14:23
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_mala_ordina La mala ordina or Manhunt is a poliziottesco film...
    – Alexan
    Aug 15 '14 at 14:27
11

"Mala" is short for "malavita", formed by "mala" and "vita", literally "dishonest life".

This is a synonym of "criminalità", "Crime" (properly intended as "criminality"), "local mobsters".

The verb "ordinare" can mean "to give orders", "to rule", "to be in charge".

So, "la Mala ordina" means "Crime is in charge", "local mobsters rule", but with a particular nuance, you would expect the sentence to be completed with the actual orders. In fact, normally, if you want to say that someone is in charge, someone rules, without further explanations, you would use the verb "comandare", not "ordinare". The fact that they used "ordinare" suggests that some actual orders have been given but these are intentionally omitted in the sentence (ordina cosa? What orders do they give?) - perhaps because you are supposed to find out while you watch the movie? Or perhaps you are supposed to complete the sentence by yourself, "if they give an order, whatever the order is, the order must be followed"?

Note that sometimes "mala" is used as synonym of mafia, organised crime (in the '70s/'80s "la Mala del Brenta" was famous, Felice Maniero's "Venetian mafia").

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.