In this lesson, we are going to take one segment of an episode of a TV series we are offering on Yabla and explore some of the expressions and vocabulary that could do with a little explaining. Whether you are a Yabla Italian subscriber or not, you will want to be familiar with these words and expressions.
If we look at the word già, we see it primarily means "already."
Eh... già che ci sei, guarda che ora è.
Eh... while you're at it, look at what time it is.
Caption 17, Acqua in bocca Rapimento e riscatto - Ep 12Play Caption
Già che ci sei is a very common expression, and it was translated with an equivqlent English expression. If we want to be more word-for-word, another way to translate this could be:
Since you are already there, could you see what time it is?
But già is also used as reinforcement. It can mean "indeed," or "right," or even "yeah," when "yeah" is confirming something someone else said.
E così Lei è nata ad Atene. -E già, ma me ne sono andata appena adolescente.
So, you were born in Athens. -That's right, but I left as soon as I became a teenager.
Captions 1-2, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 5Play Caption
It can be preceded by eh, or ah, again, fillers or interjections.
Volevo dedicarmi un po' alla mia vera passione, fotografando l'Italia. Ah, già, Lei è fotografa.
I wanted to devote myself a bit to my true passion, photographing Italy. Ah, right, you are a photographer.
Captions 53-55, Adriano Olivetti La forza di un sogno Ep. 1 - Part 16Play Caption
At a certain point, Eva is talking to a guy at the group home about the owner of the place they are renting from. He says:
Se lo hai conosciuto, avrai capito il soggetto.
If you have met him, you will have figured out the individual.
Caption 26, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 5Play Caption
The guy Eva is talking to uses the noun soggetto. He means, "You have realized what kind of person/character you are dealing with." Well, in fact, soggetto is a great cognate, because it does often refer to a subject. And just think of the American TV series Criminal Minds where they use the term "unsub" (unidentified subject) to mean a criminal type they are looking for.
1) Can you think of another way to say "Se lo hai conosciuto, avrai capito il soggetto" using a more modern and colloquial noun in place of soggetto?
Attenzione: When we want to say "Don't change the subject!" we do not use soggetto. We use argomento.
Non cambiare argomento!
If you watch movies on Yabla, they often include the titles and credits. In this case, il soggetto refers to the idea of the story or the story. In fact, the Taviani brothers, when pitching a film story to a producer, got this as a response.
Se in tre frasi riuscite a dirmelo, funziona. Se non è in tre frasi, guardate, cambiate subito soggetto perché vuol di' [dire] che non funziona".
If you can tell me in three sentences, it works. If it's not in three sentences, look, change the story right away because it means it doesn't work."
Captions 51-53, Fratelli Taviani La passione e l'utopia - Part 3Play Caption
We have learned that però means "however," "though," or "but." Most of the time it does.
Però un lato umano ce l'ha: è ancora innamoratissimo della defunta moglie.
But he does have a human side: He is still very much in love with his deceased wife.
Captions 27-28, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 5Play Caption
2) È ancora innamoratissimo della moglie. Can you put this in the negative? (He is no longer in love with his wife).
But it's also something people say to mean, "Wow!" When you find out some news that's perhaps a bit surprising or shocking, or you are impressed by something (one way or another), one reaction can be Ah, però!
Peccato che i parenti della defunta moglie l'abbiano accusato di essersi intestato tutti i beni di famiglia. -Ah, però!
Too bad that the deceased wife's relatives accused him of having put all the family's assets in his name. -Wow!
Captions 29-31, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 5Play Caption
You can even leave out Ah and just say Però!
È stata una delle esperienze più intense della mia vita. Però! Vieni.
It was one of the most intense experiences of my life. Wow! Come here.Play Caption
Siamo in rotta.
We're on the outs.
Caption 50, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 5Play Caption
Rotta comes, in this case, from rottura (rupture), or from the verb rompere (to break). So another way to say this in Italian would be (avere rotto i rapporti con qualcuno (to have broken off a relationship with someone). But most likely if you look for in rotta in a dictionary, it will be translated as "en route," since rotta also means "route!" So check out the context before deciding what you think something means.
We mention this expression because it uses the impersonal si, and it uses a different adverb than we would use in English to express the same question.
Cosa vuole, Gina, fosse per me quei bambini li difendere con le armi. Ma come si fa? La legge è dalla parte del proprietario.
What do you want, Gina? For me I would defend them with weapons. But what can we/one do? The law is on the side of the owner.
Captions 56-58, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 5Play Caption
3) Instead of using the impersonal — come si fa? — can you say something similar in the first person plural?
Of course, come si fa? also means "how does one do that?" and in this case come matches up with "how." But more often than not, this expression is used to mean "what can you (or one) do?" It's just something to be aware of and watch out for, especially since it's an expression people use a whole lot! Keep in mind that the impersonal can also be translated with the passive voice in English: What can be done?
If you like (or don't like) these lessons focused on one video or segment, please let us know!
1) Se lo hai conosciuto, avrai capito il tipo.
2) Non è più innamorato della moglie.
3) Come facciamo?
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 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.
Take your leave.
-E certo... Con permesso.
-Of course... Please excuse me.
Captions 77-78, Sei mai stata sulla luna? - filmPlay Caption
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,
Captions 51-54, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 1 - Part 16Play Caption
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]).
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.
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 10Play Caption
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.Play Caption
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 tardivaPlay Caption
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 CinemaPlay Caption
Often vattene is expanded to become even stronger: Vattene via! (Go away! Get lost!)
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.
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 andarePlay Caption
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!