I won't hold my breath

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Fattima, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Fattima Junior Member

    America
    English
    In English we have the saying I won't hold my breath...For example, your friend says she will call you and you know she will not so in reply to her saying she will call you, you say I won't hold my breath.

    I looked up to hold one's breath and I found trattenere il fiato...

    If I answered an Italian in the same way would it make sense?
    could I say: Non trattenero' il fiato?
     
  2. smart_woman07

    smart_woman07 Senior Member

    Hello,
    no, I am afraid it won't work here.
    What comes to my mind is an expression that we use to say in this case:
    "Campa cavallo...."
     
  3. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Or:

    Sì, va bene, (eh, ma) ci credo!

    Ironic, meaning that you don't believe her/him anymore!
     
  4. Curandera Senior Member

    Italian
    If you want to be colloquial and polite at the same time you could say:

    'E se non lo vuoi, senti'... which is not literal, it's an expression and only means that you are sure she won't call you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  5. panzona

    panzona Senior Member

    As a direct answer, I would say:
    "Sì, certo" (here the irony - or the distrust - is conveyed by the intonation of the voice)
    or
    "Come no!", "Sì, come no!"


    When the sentence occurs in reported speeches, though, you can say "non ci spero molto/troppo":

    Ha detto che avrebbe chiamato, ma non ci spero molto.

    Un rimborso si dovrebbe ottenere in maniera veloce. Qualche volta succede, ma non sperateci troppo.

    Hope it helps! :)
     
  6. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Scusa, ma io non l'ho capita... Che vuol dire 'E se non lo vuoi, senti'... ?
     
  7. Curandera Senior Member

    Italian
    E' una espressione abbastanza usata per enfatizzare quanto sopra.
    Non è letterale... significa... si figuriamoci!

    Mi sembra di capire che non è poi cosi comune ma non è gergale, si avvicina più ad un modo di dire come '... e i ciucci volano' ma forse avrei dovuto specificare meglio che è colloquiale.:)
     
  8. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australia
    Australian English
    That's one my father uses, SW. It basically means, "That'll be the day!". :)
     
  9. irlandesina Junior Member

    Milan
    English - Ireland
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if anyone had a clearer translation for "I won't hold my breath". A friend keeps putting our meeting off and he said "quando torno a Milano ci sentiamo" and I want to say 'I won't hold my breath.'
    "campa cavallo" seems a bit old fashioned or am I mistaken? I want to say it as a joke but also give him a little nudge! :) So if I say "non ci spero molto/troppo", I don't want it to sound to harsh!

    Thanks!
     
  10. CPA Senior Member

    Rome
    British English/Italian - bilingual
    Aspetta e spera, though that may be a bit old-fashioned too, given its origins. :)
     
  11. AshleySarah

    AshleySarah Senior Member

    Australia
    English - N.Ireland
    Sometimes I say to my daughter (with a smile), "I'll live in hope". "Vivo nella speranza?"

    "Poche speranze."

    "Magari."

    Cosa ne pensate?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  12. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    italiano
    A bit outdated, ma conservano un po' di ironia:
    Non vedo l'ora.
    Vivo nell'attesa.

    Lo spero proprio.
    Ma anche:
    Si, vabbè.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  13. irlandesina Junior Member

    Milan
    English - Ireland
    Grazie!
     

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