Monday, November 7, 2011


Simpatico..I always loved this word. Friends that are on the same same wavelength in their values and concerns are simpatico. But in Italian 110, we learn that simpatico means..nice. Nice, a word to describe someone you barely know but so far you have seen no signs of meanness or evidence that this is an unlikeable person so you describe the person as nice.

While were in Italy learning the language and taking a film course, we saw the movie Le Fate Ignoranti which translated is The Ignorant Fairies though the English version was retitled His Secret Life. My Italian teacher, not Italian himself but he taught the class, said that the fairies in question were the gay people in the film. I asked the 'real' Italians who stayed with us learning English whether Italians ever use the word 'fairy' to describe a gay person. No they don't. This pejorative probably hasn't been used since the 50s here and probably never at all in Italy. Even  English English has its own silly pejoratives, Daffodil anyone? Anyway, the Italian teacher's explanation made no sense as the ignorant one in the movie was not gay. The fairies in question I believe are similar to the ones in The Midsummer's Night Dream who have magical powers to make mortals fall in love with inappropriate people (or a donkey in the play) for their own amusement although in Shakespeare's play, eventually the fairies made things right. Or Fate could mean The Fates, similar to fairies but have even more powers and are not necessarily benign and are under no moral obligation to make things right.

Sometimes I think Le Fate are messing with my life and they are NOT simpatico or simpatiche to be grammatically correct.

The 'real' Italians puzzled over our slang. As an assignment, they were to interview us. The man I was interviewed by was puzzled by our use of the word piss, which originally was a vulgar noun and verb to describe urine or urinating. Here is another example where the English English deviate from the American. To be pissed in England is to be drunk. Here it is both a transitive and intransitive verb.

I am pissed. (annoyed with everything in general)

I am pissed at so and so. (annoyed with a particular so and so)

My interviewer was especially puzzled by the last preposition. Shouldn't it be 'on'? He could see pissing on someone but to piss at someone did not make any sense.

I suppose an alternate title for this post could be Lost in Translation.  Another post I recently made should have been titled Isn't it Ironic? I could change the titles but the original always sticks around unless I delete the entire post. One of my recent posts was entitled 'post' as I hit publish before I could type anything.

Today is my Maya day. I hope that the rain holds out so that I can take her to the park. Yesterday I was feeding her treats. She clearly wanted more. I asked her to say 'more' Instead, she signed with ASL  to indicate more which the therapist last week was trying to make her do.

1 comment:

krisa said...

My granddaughter started using sign language before she could say words. More and Done were her two favorites.
Hope the weather cooperates for a park adventure.


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