Questions tagged [english-comparison]

Questions about comparing differences in usage and meaning of a word or phrase between Italian and English

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22
votes
9answers
31k views

How do you say “Good job!” in Italian?

I believe it is NOT “Buon lavoro” because an Italian person online expressed that this was to wish someone a good day at work. So - what do teachers say to students to let them know they've done ...
15
votes
4answers
849 views

Ironic constructions in Italian

As part of my masters in linguistics, I am taking a course on the subject of irony. We were given examples of sentences that are most likely ironic, as the English sentence "he is not exceptionally ...
15
votes
1answer
235 views

What form should be used when showing messages to a user on a computer screen in Italian?

Often times, computer programs in English tend to give feedback on what they are and aren't doing in an impersonal form: Cannot locate the internet server or proxy server Unable to unlink old file (...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Does Italian always use the infinitive where English uses the gerund?

A phrase like "asking questions is a sign of a curious mind" is translated in Italian as fare domande è segno di una mente curiosa; the difference is clearly that English uses the gerund where Italian ...
12
votes
4answers
15k views

What is the Italian equivalent for “well/so”?

In English we can say: Well/So, it's time for me to leave. So/Well, what can I do to help you? Well/So, what's the problem? Is allora an equivalent of "so/well" in these cases?
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Italian phrases, prefixes, or suffixes that have meanings similar to those of the English suffixes “-ish”, “-like”, and “-ishly”?

In English, the suffixes listed above are sometimes appended in informal contexts (often, but not always, with humorous intentions) to create an adjective or adverb form of a noun. Are there any ...
12
votes
3answers
468 views

Significati di “ridicolo”

Mi ha colpito l'uso dell'aggettivo "ridicolo" nella versione italiana del film "Django Unchained". Quando Dr Schultz parla di far affari con il signor Candie dice che intende offrire una cifra ...
11
votes
1answer
309 views

eventualmente/eventually: questione di prospettiva?

Mi ricordo vagamente di aver letto da qualche parte una spiegazione "culturale" al diverso significato di eventualmente ed eventually. Purtroppo non ricordo con precisione, ma era qualcosa del tipo: ...
10
votes
6answers
983 views

Is ‘cosare’ equivalent to the generic use of ‘do’ in English?

I'm a little bit ahead of my Italian lessons, but I hear people using forms of cosare, but don't fully understand it. I'm trying to figure out what it means in English (or even Spanish, although ...
10
votes
5answers
284 views

“Long overdue” in Italian

How does one say that something is long overdue in Italian? For instance, is it correct to say something like "Fa molto tempo che sia in attesa"?
9
votes
2answers
523 views

Is there an idiomatic term for Shopaholic?

I write a diary entry in Italian each day to practice my vocabulary and sentence structure. Currently, my theme is 'Chi sono?' so I am looking for words that describe me. Today, I want to write about ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Come si traduce in italiano “first cousin once removed”?

Si tratta, in inglese, del/della cugino/a di mio padre/madre, ma non credo che esista una terminologia precisa nella nostra lingua... voi sapete aiutarmi?
8
votes
2answers
656 views

What is the translation of V/vi in the Mozart's canon V'amo di core?

The text of Mozart's canon V'amo di core is V’amo di core teneramente, si, si! Io non vi posso altro amare no, no! Uh, che dolore, uh che tormento, uh, uh! Clearly the "V" and the "vi" ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Can Dante Alighieri be compared to Shakespeare as both fathers of their respective languages on the lexical level?

Many people say that Dante Alighieri is "the father of Italian" and his name is widely known and appreciated. Motivated by Does the German language have a Shakespeare?, asked on the German SE, which ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Use of the indefinite article in Italian vs. English

In English, we would say: I am a boy. We are boys. using the indefinite article in the singular case. Is this the case with Italian as well? In other words, would you translate the above ...
7
votes
1answer
935 views

Ma che sei grullo?

Does anyone know if the right meaning of Ma che sei grullo? is something similar to but are you crazy?! An Italian friend used this expression and I understood this by context, also checked on the ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is the double negation not an issue in the Italian language?

Why is the double negation not an issue in the Italian language? I ask because I heard that in English you cannot say "non guardo mai la televisione", but you have to say "I never watch at television"...
7
votes
1answer
340 views

What is the difference between 'prendere in braccio' and 'prendere un braccio'?

What is the difference between prendere in braccio and prendere un braccio ? Here's the context where I encountered the both expressions. It is from a campaign against child violence: Ogni giorno il ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Perché, poiché, etc

Is there any significant difference between “perché” and “poiché”? I’ve seen both used where “because” was the best English translation. There were a couple of other words used the same way, but I ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I translate the Present Perfect used in English?

Suppose I want to translate an English sentence like "I have walked in the park for a year." The first though I had was translating the sentence as follows. Ho camminato nel parco per un anno. It ...
7
votes
1answer
795 views

How to translate I'll sing for my supper?

I think that a very strong way to answer a phrase like "Don't think this is going to grant you any special treatment" or the like, is "I will sing for my supper, I don't expect it for free" At least, ...
7
votes
2answers
476 views

How would I translate “He makes the language sing.” into Italian

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. ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Does Italian language have 'phrasal verbs'?

Phrasal verbs: A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a preposition or adverb that modifies or changes the meaning; 'give up' is a phrasal verb that means 'stop doing' something, which is very ...
7
votes
1answer
16k views

When is it appropriate to say “Ciao ragazzi”?

I noticed Italians saying "Ciao ragazzo/a/i/e" in bars and restaurants in Rome. When is it appropriate to use this greeting? Is it a regional/Roman greeting? How informal is it? Is it commonly only a ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

Dropping Demonstrative Pronouns

When using an informal tone, is it common to drop Demonstrative Pronouns? For instance in English your grand father might stand at his door looking out at people outside making noise and say "darn ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I translate “we are hundreds of kilometers apart”?

I am trying to say I miss my mother everyday because we are hundreds of kilometres apart and I only get to talk to her on the internet. Can I say this? Manco molto mia madre perché stiamo a ...
7
votes
2answers
688 views

The use of “Tuo” as a sign off in a letter

Is "Tuo" followed by the name meant as an intimate sign off or is it like the English term "yours" which can be used for anyone?
7
votes
2answers
330 views

Differenze tra l'uso delle lineette [dash] in inglese ed in italiano

Esistono differenze nel'uso? Mi riferisco esclusivamente all' em dash , ovvero il trattino lungo utilizzato per separare parti della frase —e non singole parole. Faccio alcuni esempi dell'uso inglese: ...
6
votes
3answers
517 views

Different usages of Italian compared to different usages of English

According to StoneyB, a highly esteemed user on EL&U, almost a grammarian I would say, English embraces a wide variety of dialects: the English written by financial planners differs greatly ...
6
votes
4answers
537 views

Using a comma before 'ma'

English uses a comma before but if, and only if, it introduces an independent sentence. Is it the same in Italian? Essere sinceri è importante ma non troppo. Andrei in vacanza il prossimo ...
6
votes
3answers
236 views

What is an appropriate translation for “Remove Follower”?

The translation I have been given for "Remove Follower" is "Follower remoto". This doesn't seem correct to me. This is the title on a button that removes or deletes a "Follower" (subscriber) from a ...
6
votes
2answers
588 views

What does “sballati” mean?

In conversation with Italian (specifically Sicilian) friends, a word has come up which we are struggling to reach a shared understanding of. The Italian word is "sballati" and, when fed through ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to translate bank address details in Italian?

I'm trying to translate some text from English to Italian for a formal document. A friend of mine living in Italy (Rome) sent me this translation but I feel is not right. Bank Name: Banca ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Meaning of a sentence with chiastic structure

Can you please translate the sentence below: non rimpiango le persone che ho perso col tempo, ma rimpiango il tempo che ho perso con certe persone
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the best English traslation of 'dai che ce dai'?

What is the best English translation of dai che ce dai? Here is the situation in which I encountered the expression. One of my Italian friends was trying to send a sport climbing route which turned ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Commas to separate city and country?

In Italian, does one use a comma to separate city and country? For example, in English, one says “Rome, Italy.” In Italian, is this “Roma, Italia” or “Roma Italia” or “Roma d’Italia”? What is the ...
6
votes
1answer
495 views

We all know what the Pantheon is and means, don't we?

I've recently found, to my surprise, that pantheon in English also means: a group of persons most highly regarded for contributions to a field or endeavour, i.e. : the pantheon of modern ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Any etymological relationship between the Italian “eh” and the (mostly Canadian) English “eh”?

Having checked out the definitions of the Italian word eh (IPA pronounciation: /ɛ/) in the Treccani online dictionary and contrasted its meanings with those for the English word eh (IPA pronounciation:...
6
votes
2answers
114 views

Italian verb for “to hash” in computer

I'm looking for a single verb that translates to hash in the context of computers. Eg. Passwords in the database are hashed with SHA256 that translated is something like Le password nel ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

“I usually wear casual clothes.” Which verb (indossare/vestire/portare/mettere) is correct to use in this sentence and in which case is each used?

Which verb is usually used to say: "I usually wear casual clothes."? I've learnt 4: "indossare", "vestire", "portare" e "mettere", and what are the differences among them?
5
votes
5answers
609 views

Is “almost” the equivalent word for “quasi”?

I almost quit my job (It implies that I didn't). Ho quasi lasciato il mio lavoro. Does it mean exactly the same thing, implying that I still have my job?
5
votes
3answers
943 views

How can I translate the expression “sour grapes” into Italian?

From the Oxford dictionary: sour grapes used to refer to an attitude in which someone adopts a negative attitude to something because they cannot have it themselves: government officials ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the word for a book lover?

In English, a person who loves books is known as a bibliophile. The only translation that I can find for this word in Italian is bibliofilo which is deeply disappointing, given that the language is so ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Wither on the vine

The English idiomatic phrase to wither on the vine is used in the context of something or someone who is neglected or ignored. Can anyone please suggest an equivalent idiomatic expression in Italian?
5
votes
3answers
170 views

Tradurre “Membership” o “Memberships”, “Member” in assenza di contesto

Come tradurreste "Membership" o "Memberships" in assenza di contesto? Devo tradurre cose come "User Membership" o "Membership Plan" in un software per gestire "Memberships" in modo molto astratto. ...
4
votes
3answers
186 views

Equivalente italiano dell'espressione “early+name of day”

Come si può rendere in italiano l'espressione "early+nome di giorno"? Il contesto è "FIFA officially announced an investigation early wednesday"
4
votes
3answers
706 views

How can I get on the 'tourist trail'?

In English we have an idiom - the tourist trail - to talk about the popular route of tourist through a place. My translation is strada di turismo but I am sure that this is not right. Can some kind ...
4
votes
3answers
269 views

Creatività e dinamismo nella lingua italiana [closed]

Ogni lingua evolve. Misurare la creatività di una lingua non è impresa facile, ma l'apparire di neologismi nel lessico ne è un buon estimatore. Non conosco quale sia la regola dietro la scelta di ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

Applying an adjective to a masculine AND a feminine word

In English, if I want to say something like "my beloved aunt and uncle", beloved is understood to modify both words. How do you do this in Italian if the two words are masculine and feminine (or at ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Come faccio a distinguere quand'è che “torta” corrisponde a “cake" e quando a “pie”?

Per favore perdonate il mio povero italiano. Sto usando Google Translate per aiutarmi, perché sono un principiante in italiano. (Lo sto studiando da soltanto otto mesi.) Capisco che la parola ...