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"Get Lost" in Italian

A new movie featured on Yabla employs a verb we don't see very often except in particular military or work situations. The use of this verb has inspired us to talk about what we say in Italian when we leave a place, or want someone else to.

 

Congedare (formal, uncommon in normal, everday conversation)

Congedare is "to invite somebody to leave": The reflexive form congedarsi is "to ask for and obtain permission to leave."  In the following example, a waiter is hanging around a bit too long at the table he is serving. One of the two women having drinks is basically asking him to beat it.

 

Congedati.

Take your leave.

-E certo... Con permesso.

-Of course... Please excuse me.

Captions 77-78, Sei mai stata sulla luna? - film

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

In the following example from a movie about Adriano Olivetti (of typewriter fame), Karen had been in the military, so it was natural for her to use the verb congedarsi.

 

E come mai è in Italia?

And how come you're in Italy?

-Mi sono congedata.

-I asked to be discharged.

Volevo dedicarmi un po' alla mia vera passione,

I wanted to devote myself a bit to my true passion,

fotografando l'Italia.

photographing Italy.

Captions 51-54, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 1 - Part 16

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Licenziare, licenziarsi

If she had resigned from a normal job, she might have said the following, using the reflexive, and therefore the auxiliary essere (to be).

Mi sono licenziata (I quit my job).

 

If she had been fired, it would have been transitive, not reflexive: Note the use of the auxiliary verb avere (to have).

Mi hanno licenziato (they fired me -- I was fired).

Mi hanno licenziata (they fired me -- I was fired [and I am a woman]).

 

Noun form of congedare: il congedo

The noun form congedo is a bit more common than the verb form, especially in reference to a leave of absence or, as in the following example, maternity leave.

 

E voglio

And I want

che le donne in maternità abbiano un anno intero di congedo.

for women who are pregnant to have a whole year of maternity leave.

Captions 27-28, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 1 - Part 10

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Another word for congedo is aspettativa.

 

La preside mi ha detto che hai inoltrato la domanda di aspettativa al dipartimento.

The principal told me that you had forwarded the request for a leave of absence to the department.

Caption 49, Provaci Ancora Prof! - S1E2 - Un amore pericoloso

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Sending someone away with no regard or need for being polite is also common. You can say it with good intentions in the appropriate context, as in the following example:

 

Sono due giorni che ti porti dietro 'sta [questa] febbre.

It's been two days that you've been carrying around this fever.

-Con questa bella esperienza del camion-frigorifero sicuramente ti è salita,

-With the lovely experience of the refrigerator truck, it's surely risen,

quindi vattene a casa, ci penso io.

so get yourself home, I'll take care of it.

Captions 38-40, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP2 - Vendemmia tardiva

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Vattene is also a way to get rid of someone in a more aggressive, emotional way.

 

No, sei un bugiardo! Vattene!

No, you're a liar! Get out of here!

Se mi dai il tempo di... -Non ti voglio più vedere.

If you give me the time to... -I don't want to see you again.

Captions 102-103, Questione di Karma - Rai Cinema

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Often vattene is expanded to become even stronger: Vattene via! (Go away! Get lost!)

 

Taking vattene apart

Let's take vattene apart. (Va-[t]te-ne): vai is the informal imperative of the verb andare, but it is often shortened to va'. We could say vai via, but vattene adds 2 more elements. It personalizes it with a sort of reflexive te (you, yourself). In addition, it implies that you should leave the place you are in.  That's where the particle ne comes in, to mean "from here." The double T allows you to practically spit the words out and can really get the message across.

 

The infinitive form: andarsene

This compound verb in the infinitive would be andarsene: With it's connected object pronoun and particle, it's also called a verbo pronominale (pronominal verb — having to do with pronouns). Read about pronominal verbs here.

 

Andarsene vuol dire andare via da qualche luogo.

"To leave" means "to go away from some venue."

Che maleducato il tuo amico, se n'è andato senza neanche salutarmi.

"How rude your friend is, he went off without even saying goodbye."

Andarsene ha anche il significato di morire.

"To leave" also has the meaning of dying.

Captions 30-33, Marika spiega - Il verbo andare

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And if I am the one leaving, I'll conjugate andarsene in the first person singular:

Me ne vado (I'm leaving [this place], I'll leave).

 

These are only some of the ways we leave or tell someone to leave. But please don't leave, cari amici di Yabla. Stay tuned for the next lesson!

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Vocabulary

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