Leçons Italien

Thèmes

Colloquial Speech

This lesson looks at some colloquial expressions from the last segment of Stai lontana da me, a comedy. 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

When asking for confirmation of what you have said, here’s one way:

Dico bene, tesoro?

Am I saying it well [am I right/am I telling like it is], dear?

Caption 31, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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The prefix ri is similar to “re” in English: it's used to repeat something:

No, hai ridetto Monica.

No, you re-said "Monica" [you said "Monica" again].

Caption 50, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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Niente di niente is colloquial but used quite a bit in everyday speech. In fact, there are two instances in this segment. We can translate it colloquially: “no nothing,” or, in correct English: “nothing at all.”

E, in due anni, zero litigate. -Niente di niente, è un vero paradiso.

And in two years, no fights. -No nothing, it's true paradise.

Caption 55, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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E poi a Sara non è successo più un incidente. -No, no, niente di niente.

And then Sara hasn't had any more accidents. -No, no, nothing at all.

Caption 70, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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Stra is a prefix meaning “extra” or “over.” It’s used quite a bit to mean “super” or “mega” in colloquial speech, although there are more mainstream words with this prefix, such as stravecchio (very mature or old), stracotto (as an adjective, “very well-cooked”; as a noun, “meat stewed a long time”), stravedere (to think the world of), straviziare (to overindulge).

 

Jacopo’s client used very colloquial speech:

...Cioè perché stra-pesante, cioè una noia totale.

...That is, because super heavy duty, that is, a total bore.

Caption 57, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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His use of cioè (that is) is very close in meaning to "I mean," in English, which some people sprinkle throughout their speech. Ciò is one of those words that in the beginning was two separate ones:  ciò (this that) and è (is).

 

Quasi quasi literally means “almost almost.”

Quasi quasi non ci lasciavamo. -Ciccì, cicciò, due palle, dottore. A noi ci piaceva litigare.

We almost didn't break up. -All that lovey-dovey, what a downer, Doctor, we liked fighting.

Captions 58-59, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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Some alternative translations:

We were seriously thinking of not breaking up.
We were of a mind not to break up.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Here’s an expression to justify asking someone a question. Most Italians know this expression or saying, and some use it automatically. In English, we might say, “There’s no harm in asking.”

E poi domandare è lecito e rispondere è cortesia.

Besides, asking is allowed and answering is polite.

Caption 64, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema - Part 17

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Expressions

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Sous-titre 70, 64, 59, 58, 55, 50, 31
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