Give Yourself a Livened Up

In Venetian, apparently that’s “Date ‘na reffada!”

So, I recently signed up for the social media site, which seeks to bring together local Venetians and others who love Venice and want to preserve it as a living city. Tonight I clicked on their Dizionario Venessian-English, which I believe means it’s a Venetian dialect dictionary, but whoever made it needs to return to school! I don’t speak Venetian, only some plain ol’ Italian, but even I can figure out that these translations don’t always work! Here are a few of my favorites:


* I know Venice like my pockets! = Conosso Venexia come e me scarsee!

* There is bad smell of armpit here. = Ghe se spussa da scagi qua.

* We are full like eggs. = Sémo pieni come i vovi.

* If it’s not bread, it’s polenta. = se no xe pan xe poenta.

* There’s no hard bread for anybody! = No ghe xe’ pan duro par nisùn!

* There are more days than sausage = Ge xè più giorni ke luganega.

* Learn the art and take it apart = Impara l’arte e métia da parte.


Some insults:

* I’ll open you like a crostacean. = Te verso come ‘na canòcia.

* I’ll open your head and I’ll put the brain in your pocket. = Te verso ea testa e te meto i sarvèi in scarsea.

* I’ll put one thousand lira on your chest and I’ll close you like a wallet. = Te meto mìe ìre sul pèto e te sèro come un tacuìn.

* I’ll rip your eyes and I’ll eat them in the broth. = Te cavo i oci e me i magno col brodèto.

* What a cancer you are! = Che cancaro che ti xé!

* You have mistaken all in the life!=Ti gà sbaià tuto nea vita!

* Expired calendar face = Muso da caendario scaduo.

* You’re out like a balcony = Ti xè fòra come un balcon.

* Eat my tuna! = Magnime el ton!

* As I made you than I can undone you = Come te go fato te desfo.


And I have no idea what these might mean:

* Are you behind joking? = Ti xé drio schersar?

* My deads, what a dribble! = Mi morti che bava!

* Do we go to make us a bomb by the bald man? = ‘Ndemo a farse ‘na bomba dal peoco?

* Laughing and joking the sun eats the hours. = Ridendo e schersando el sol magna e ore.

* I have enchapeled myself. = Me sò incapeà.


So, these ones seem to be literal translations that went awry.  The “Tronchetto” in the first one is the parking lot. “Casteo” in the second one refers to the Castello district, not a low castle. “Torcello” in the third one refers to the island by that name (not “tower little boy” though that’s infinitely more amusing). In the fourth one, an “ombra” does literally mean a shadow, but in local dialect it refers to an afternoon aperitif, so really that sentence is suggesting that we have a drink.

* The small log is full of illicit people. = El Tronchetto xé pien de abusivi.

* I live at low castel. = Mi abito a Casteo basso.

* Tower little boy is full of gnats = Torcello xe pien de mussatti.

* Shall we make a shadow? = Se fasèmo ‘n’ ombra?


And finally, a message to the people who provided these translations:

* A bad punch will arrive to you if you don’t stop it. = Te riva un
pugnasso se no ti ghea moi.

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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2 Responses to Give Yourself a Livened Up

  1. Che bello! These translations are hysterical!!! I’ve heard a number of these phrases from family and walking around the city and with the gesticulations, eye rolling and vocalizations you get the meaning but some of these are out of left field! Oh wait, sinistra del campo!

    Still chucking!!

  2. Nancy Schwalen says:

    Almost as good as Shakesperean ones.

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