Anything less will risk harm to our relationship

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Donte, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Donte Junior Member

    Italia
    Due persone fanno un accordo, alla fine uno dice:
    Io pensavo: "Qualunque mancanza rischierà di danneggiare la nostra relazione", è corretto?
    Grazie!
     
  2. kate1811 Senior Member

    Italy -italian mothertongue
    Se intendi "Qualunque mancanza [al nostro accordo] rischierà di danneggiare la nostra relazione" direi proprio di sì.
     
  3. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Mi sembra che sia bene, ma non so se "mancanza" sia la forma giusta.
    Per me, "mancanza" ha il senso di "lacking" - un vuoto - invece di qualcosa "continua" - meno in intensità.

    In italiano c'è una frase fatta come
    "qualsiasi cosa di meno..."
    "qualcosa di meno..."
    ???
     
  4. kate1811 Senior Member

    Italy -italian mothertongue
    Mancanza in italiano può essere utilizzato sia nel senso di mancare di qualcosa, di non avere qualcosa (il vuoto che dici tu), sia nel senso più lato di errore, scorrettezza, sgarro, inadempienza ecc., che in questo contesto è corretto.

    Purtroppo no..o perlomeno a me non viene in mente! La traduzione letterale è appunto "qualsiasi cosa in meno", come dici tu, ma non rende l'idea altrettanto bene di anything less..perciò lascerei "qualunque mancanza".
     
  5. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Grazie Kate!!:D:thumbsup:
     
  6. kate1811 Senior Member

    Italy -italian mothertongue
    ..Di nulla!:)
     
  7. _forumuser_

    _forumuser_ Senior Member

    New York City
    Italian
    Per curiosita', sicuro che la frase da tradurre non sia:

    Anything less will risk to harm our relationship?

    Cosi' come l'hai data sembra proprio strana, con il soggetto anything less che rischia un danno alla relazione. Anything less rischierebbe di danneggiare la relazione, no?
     
  8. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Allora, due cose importanti riguardando il verbo "to risk":

    1) non vuole l'infinito; vuole o un sostantivo o un gerundio, per esempio:

    Anything less will risk to harm our relationship. :cross:
    Anything less will risk harm to our relationship. :tick:
    Anything less will risk harming our relationship. :tick:


    N.B. "to harm someone" (verbo + oggetto diretto) vs. "to do harm to someone" (sostantivo + oggetto indiretto).

    2) Per qualche motivo stranissimo, il verbo "to risk" può essere seguito sia dal sostantivo che si rischia di danneggiare--per esempio "to risk one's life"--che dal sostantivo che fa il danno!--"to risk harm to our relationship." :D Ti do un altro esempio (alle scuole americane "A" è il vuoto più alto, "F" quello più basso):

    Tonight I have to study. I don't want to risk (not getting) my A. :tick:

    Tonight I have to study. I don't want to risk (getting) an F. :tick:

    Vedi come sono così simili? Di solito c'è qualche leggera sfumatura che distingue le due frasi, per esempio in questo caso, secondo me, si deve mettere "my" nella prima frase (perché si tende a rischiare quello che si già possiede e qui "my" sottolinea questa possessione). Ma altro che questa sono quasi uguali in forma, anche se hanno significati opposti!


    brian
     
  9. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Hm... honestly I don't like 'qualunque mancanza'... Speaking of an agreement, usually we say il mancato rispetto dell'accordo...
     
  10. Donte Junior Member

    Italia
    Suona bene, grazie a te e a tutti gli altri per le spiegazioni!
     
  11. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Prego, Donte.
     
  12. _forumuser_

    _forumuser_ Senior Member

    New York City
    Italian
    Brian,
    What I meant to say is that in this case it cannot be to risk harm. When to risk is followed by a noun, it is the subject that risks. For example:

    any parent who does x will risk harm to their baby'

    In our sentence here the subject is anything less. Anything is what would cause the risking, and the relationship (and the two people involved in it) what would suffer it. Thus, the verb must be to risk harming or its *extremely* common variant to risk to harm. In fact I dare say that for some reason 'to risk to harm' is *more* common than to 'risk harming', which I hear less and less in the US where I live. And google confirms this ("risks to harm" 35,000 hits; "risks harming" 5000)

    Thus I stand by my opinion that the sentence given is clumsy. It's the same difference you'd have in Italian between:

    Il mancato rispetto dell'accordo rischierebbe di danneggiare la nostra relazione. (risk harming or risk to harm in EN)
    Il mancato rispetto dell'accordo rischierebbe un danno alla nostra relazione. (risk harm to in EN)

    P.S. In fact, I would take out the :cross: above, which can be confusing, since "will risk to harm our relationship" is perfectly acceptable in current English. I think the no-infinitive-after-to-risk rule these days applies only to cases when to risk itself is in the infinitive, i.e. "I am not going to risk to harm..." to avoid repetition of the 'to', but even in these, it is growing less and less followed.
     
  13. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hi _forumuser_,

    I didn't read your original post carefully enough (I kind of stopped when I saw the boldfaced "to"). :) Anyway, two main points:

    My response to this is based only on personal native experience--and perhaps others' inputs would help--but I would say that in English both the person(s) risking and the thing causing him/them to risk can be the subject. Even if I agree with you that it is usually more natural, perhaps more correct, that the subject be the one risking, the following to me are all acceptable:

    Anything less will risk harm to our relationship.
    Agreeing to anything less will risk harm to our relationship.
    If we agree to anything less, we will risk harm to our relationship.


    Again, this last one, in which "we" is the subject, may be more correct and even natural, but it is a bit more cumbersome. In the end, I would say that the two above it are more elliptical in nature, leaving out some words but still intending that "we" be the subject.

    Even if I agreed that the subject must be changed to "we" if we were to keep it "will risk harm to," I don't see why it would then be okay to say "Anything less will risk harming..." To me there is no difference here between "___ will risk harm to ___" and "___ will risk harming ___." If one can have "Anything less" as its subject, so can the other. (If anything, that latter would need "we" more than the former since the subject of "will risk" becomes also the subject of the now-verb "harming," and the noun "anything less" cannot really "harm"; but again, that's where the ellipsis comes in: "(having/agreeing to) anything less will risk harming...")

    As a side note, Google results in this case are extremely unreliable, especially since both "risk" and "harm" have identical noun and verb forms. A quick glance at your search for "risks to harm" gave many results where "harm" was a noun, and therefore not an infinitive with "to," e.g. "addressed the risks to harm from those hazards...," "What are the risks to harms?" "While the risks to harm are diverse and...," etc. Also, a search for "risk to harm" (instead of "risks") brings up mostly phrases of the form "at risk to harm," where indeed "to harm" is the infinitive, but the phrase is completely idiomatic and different. So I think Google results are a bit troublesome overall here.

    I of course will admit that there are many results in which "risk to harm" is used the way you are advocating, but all I can say is that it sounds completely odd to me and I would never use it myself.

    I'd also like you to clarify which form, "risk to harm" (infinitive) or "risk harming," you think is more common. You originally say that "risk to harm" is "*extremely* rare," but then say that it's more common in AE where you live.

    After those Google searches I will admit that you can find "risk to harm" as you're saying, but my :cross: was not based on any "no-infinitive-after-to-risk rule" at all; it was purely my native ear speaking for itself. :) I still say that it's completely odd-sounding. I'd like to hear what others think.


    brian
     

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