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Moderately Irritating Recurring Idioms and Mannerisms

By Miriam Hurley, ATA-accredited,
Italian-to-English Translator
http://home.earthlink.net/~miriamhurley/






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VERSIONE ITALIANA

A substantial portion of most translation is fairly clear-cut. “Zimbabwe” is pretty much always “Zimbabwe” and “cinque” is usually “five”. Then, there’s the rest of the text that takes extra thought, creativity and research. If I write “gastronomy”, will English-speaking readers imagine “gastrointestinal disorders” rather than fine food? What is the English title of the movie starring Winona Ryder rendered in Italian as Young, Cute, and Unemployed? When they say gadget in Italian, is it still “gadget” in English, or some new mongrel word?

Some well-loved phrases pop up in every other Italian document and have no clean, catch-all English translation. Take, for instance, vero e proprio (literal: “true and really”; non-literal: see table below). Each context calls for a fresh translation. These are some recurring sticking points that make Italian-to-English translators worldwide screw up their faces and pull out an eyebrow hair or two.

Unhappy with my cache of possible solutions to some of these common problems, I turned to my colleagues on the IT-EN Yahoo listserv group, generous, seasoned professionals. We developed a table of these unruly words and phrases, dubbed MIRIAMs (Moderately Irritating Recurring Idioms and Mannerisms), after myself, and some suggestions to solve them, or GILES (Greatly Irritating Linguistic Error Saviors), named after one of the most stalwart contributors, Giles Watson. Note: The acronyms ascribed to our names are no indication of personal character.

This is an ongoing project. To expand your mind or save you some hand-wringing, the current table can be found below. Please e-mail me if you have any suggestions, new solutions or new pet MIRIAMs.

MIRIAM

GILES

all’avanguardia leading-edge
cutting-edge
state-of-the-art
hi-tech
up-to-the-minute
groundbreaking
at the forefront
all’insegna di’ marked by
characterised by
featuring
[sentence reconstruction]
ambito sphere
realm
context
within
domain
area
scope
in terms of
with a view to
will also include
for that purpose/on that occasion
as part of
as far as the ... is concerned/with regard to
through/by
in the case of
in the ___place
within the scope/according to
in their sphere of activity
purview
within the framework of
for the purposes of
extent
range
compass
field
as part of
in the context of
in
environment
circle
ambit
confines
region
area
orbit
province
anche not only … but also
[ignore]
"…..including"
[explicitly state the options that "anche" implies, if known. e.g. "Pizza anche a mezzogiorno!" "Pizza for lunch and dinner"]
that include
that also include
anche perche’ partly due to
articolazione structure
layout
complexity [wine]
configuration
artigiano (artigianale
etc.)
small-business
craftsman
amateur
traditional
small-scale
local
small and medium-sized enterprises
hand-crafted
caratteristico charming
enchanting
delightful
trademark
hallmark
signature
distinctive
picturesque
eye-catching
attractive
coinvolgente engaging
enthralling
engrossing
fascinating
absorbing
touching
appealing
involving
intriguing
exciting
seductive
alluring
tempting
inclusive
impressive
cosi’ therefore
thus
thereby
so
consequently
in this way
cultura philosophy
ethos
education
culture
tradition
credo
heritage
da __ a ___
da __ a __
from x to y
z and a
from x and y to z and a
"including" or "such as" + a whole range/vast collection/series
run the gamut
declinazione variation
available (in)
built
expressed
articulated
done, made
prepared
treatment
executed, performed
interpretation
manifestation
expression
di cui according to
as per
as referred to
in accordance with
under
elegante
raffinato
etc.
refined
urbane
cultivated
cultured
educated
polite
accomplished/ posh
sophisticated
genteel
tasteful
delicate
elegant
polished
suave
chic
natty/cultivated person
refined person
stylish
graceful
smart
chic
classy
sleek
dainty
snazzy
fashionable
posh
swish
eventuale if necessary (at end of sentence)
as needed
rephrase with "which may"
possible
any
[ignore]
fermo restando (che) without prejudice to
without changing
without affecting
whilst maintaining
subject to...
grazie a due to
with
thanks to
by virtue of
with the help of
[rephrase to make the object of "grazie a" the subject"
e.g.
"grazie alla professionalita' dei… "their professionalism…"]
in particolare specifically
particularly
notably
especially
for example
in fact
[leave out]
infatti because
[split sentences and drop]
initiativa programme
project
scheme
venture
step
measure
action
initiative
insomma in other words
in a nutshell
…. indeed!. [ignore]
in practice
in effect
basically
interlocutore contact
representative
interviewer
ombudsman
stockholder
intervento [leave out]
e.g.
"interventi di mantenimento" > "maintenance"
measures
steps
actions
aid
assistance
attendance
presence
comment
remark
cut-off
drop off
help
intercession
agency
intervention
interjection
interference
operation
paper
participation
part
involvement
project
report
request to speak
speech
address
talk
to operate
work
paper
contribution
contributed paper
massimo top
ultimate
utmost
highest level
optimum
optimal
best
mostarda mostarda [with explanation]

pickled candied fruit in a spicy syrup [di Cremona]
fruit/sweet pickles [di Cremona]
novita’ new this [season]. our latest developments
new [products]
new additions
innovation
the latest
recent addition
recently introduced
operativo operative
active
working
executive
enforceable
operatore professional
specialist
trade member
operator
staff
those who operate (work)
workers
experts
ancillary staff
trader
firm
user
osservatorio monitoring centre
watch
observatory
observation post
window onto
watchdog
watchgroup
proposta/offerta product
concept
availability
available
supply
opportunities
bid
offer
submission of tender
tender
offering
donation
contribution
proposal
proposition
public issue
quotation
bargain
overture
punto di riferimento provides a blueprint
framework
template
guidelines
benchmark
lodestar
outstanding landmark
fiducial points
path
a stable and reliable platform
frame of reference
last word
touchstone
source of advice/information
consultant
contact
standard setter
top name
ne plus ultra
embodiment
reference
landmark
cornerstone
razionale appropriate
carefully-planned
suitable
sensible
practical
realizzare complete
implement
put in effect
create
realta’ e.g.
"Acme Supplies has become a force to be reckoned with ...
has firmly established itself..."
scandire
scansione
mark
underline
highlight
rhythms
scenes
accents
tecnica technique
procedure
method
tecnico technician
specialist
engineer
expert
skilled worker
authority
professional
territorio/territoriale territorial
regional
spatial
areal
national
area
territory
region
community
land
land-use
landscape
local
country
tra l’altro include
run the gamut
range
encompass
incorporate [rewording the sentence and leaving it out]
actually
in fact
moreover
besides
inter alia
unire
etc.
unite
join
mix
combine
link
blend
merge
bring together
couple
marry
mingle
fuse
meld
gel (jell)
bond
incorporate
mate
team up with
coalesce
amalgamate
valorizzare to develop
to increase the value of
to increase the prestige of
enhance the status of
increase the standing of
enhance the image of
to value
(waste) to recover
set value on
enhance
harness
adding or maximizing value
realize
vero e proprio actual
full-blown
full-fledged
true
proper
literally
true-bred
real
absolute
authentic
authenticated
bona fide
certain
certified
complete
complete and utter
dinkum
genuine
guaranteed
in the true sense of the word
in the generally accepted sense of the word
kosher
natural
official
prize
proper
pukka
real
recognised
right
total
true
undeniable
utter
valid
veritable
positive
out-and-out
through-and-through

VERSIONE ITALIANA





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