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mi raccomando

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by F4sT, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    una piccola domanda
    come si dice:
    "mi raccomando!" in inglese?
    grazie in anticipoo^_-

    just a littel question
    what's the english for "mi raccomando!" ?
    tnx in advance ^_-
  2. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Dipende dal contesto, come al solito!!!:)
    Mi raccomando, comportati bene!---> Behave!
  3. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    I'm not sure it translates exactly. I would probably use one of the following, depending on the situation;

    ... for goodness sake!
    ..., got it?
    ..., OK?

    Hope that helps

  4. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Questo forse ti può dare un'idea. ;)
  5. rom_itn

    rom_itn Senior Member

    Sri Lanka - Sinhalese
    Great link! :thumbsup:
    Mi raccomando :D
  6. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    :) grazie Elisa:*
    ho letto tutto..
    comunque il contesto era: "mi raccomando! domani non voglio più vederti triste "
  7. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Allora direi Please, come suggerito da Panpan.;)
  8. Scrumpals

    Scrumpals Senior Member

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    USA - English
    Che ne dite di "Don't forget!"? Questo e' come lo definisce il mio Harper Collins dizionario.
  9. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    :) capisco grazie Elisa.
    quindi dirò:
    "please, tomorrow i don't wanna see you more sad"
    spero sia giusto ^_-
    grazie a tutti
    grazie eh sì dont forget dà più il senso ^_^ grazie
  10. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    yeah, it makes sense, but I'm afraid there's not always a corresponding translation.
  11. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
  12. moki Senior Member

    Orange County, CA
    United States, English
    please, tomorrow I don't want you to be sad anymore
    please, tomorrow I don't want to see you (be?) sad

    (english grammar gets more difficult with each day that I try to learn Italian....I get so confused :p )
  13. Vespasian Senior Member

    Switzerland, German language
    Even if it only makes little sense is there any literal translation to it in English or German? Or is there really no logical at all behind the expression?

    Does something like this make sense?
    German: Pass auf, das nehm/leg ich mir zu Herzen.
    (Watch out, it's important to myself [I recommend it warmly to myself that you watch out].)

    For me it's so hard to grasp why it's "Mi raccomando." and not "Ti raccomando.". Does anyone have the same problem?
  14. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    Ciao Vespasian,

    Please remember that if you want to discuss German translations of Italian, that should be done in the Other Languages forum.

    I'll ask that responses here be in English or Italian, please.



    P.S. I just take "mi raccomando" as a set phrase, I can't think of any "literal" translation that would make sense of it.
  15. alicealive Senior Member

    Hi, what does "mira comando" mean?
    I often hear it when I'm talking to my italian friends, but I never get what it means?
    Is it something along the lines of "I command you" ?
    Or have I just misheard:(
  16. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Mi raccomando is the correct form (yours was mispelled)!
  17. alicealive Senior Member

    Thanks!! I just spelt what I heard:(
  18. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Sorry, I forgot to explain what it means... well it can mean a whole lot of things cos generally the sentance that should follow is omitted.

    For example:
    -a girl is going to sit an exam her mother tells her:
    Mi raccomando eh! (the impicit sentence here could be "do your best!"
    -a girl has been crying all day. when her friend leaves her says:
    Mi raccomando eh! (Chin up!)

    I don't kow how to renedr it in English...
  19. alicealive Senior Member

    ok! I get it. Thanks very much!!
  20. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    There are lots of threads regarding it, just type raccomando in the WRDictionary and you'll get them!!! :)
  21. m*an Junior Member

    Mi raccomando is an idiom with several meanings:

    to urge (esortare) si raccomandò di non portare animali = she urged us not to bring pets with us

    Mi raccomando, arriva in tempo stasera! = please arrive on time this evening! or you’d better arrive on time this evening!

    Mi raccomando, finisci i compiti! = do finish your homework! or you’d better finish your homework!
  22. Margot Estrin Junior Member

    United States-English
    It really is a tough one especially when you're interpreting and need a fast, correct translation. It seems to me that Italian is full of these although I know that other languages have them too. That's one of the reasons that interpreting is often so difficult. One word or short phrase often takes a definition or long phrase in the language to which you are interpreting and some do not really HAVE an adequate translation as they are so cultural..
  23. audia Senior Member

    I don't understand either why it is mi raccommando and not ti raccommando. It doesn't make sense that it is reflexive? Mi rompe la testa!
  24. vikgigio Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    I guess this idiom originally was "mi raccomando a te" (be careful: there's only one 'm') where 'raccomandarsi a qualcuno' means 'to entrust oneself to s.o.', because I think the idea was "I entrust all my hopes in you that you are going to be careful/good/to act this or that way/etc." or something like this. Of course it's only a hypothesis, but I think it works, doesn't it?
    Bye! :)
  25. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    Your wrote:"For me it's so hard to grasp why it's "Mi raccomando." and not "Ti raccomando.". Does anyone have the same problem?"
    You are not alone. That is precisely my problem with this expression. However, I have just read the message posted by Vikgigio (Thank you, Vik!) and it seems to me to make a lot of sense. Vikgigo's response enables you to 'internalise' the general idea behind this expression rather than associating with it a dozen heterogeneous - and therefore confusing - English expressions.
    Many thanks, Vikgigio.
  26. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    There are various Italian verbs that are incomprehensibly reflexive for English-speakers. Another example: I congratulate you = mi congratulo con te. There are others that don't come to mind, you just have to learn them.
  27. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    Actually, "please" sounds a bit wrong in English. I think it's more:

    "I don't want to see you(/you're) still sad tomorrow, okay?"
    or, changing the punctuation at the end to reflect the tone of voice:
    "I don't want to see you(/you're) still sad tomorrow, okay!"

    Alternatively, I "wouldn't bother" to translate "mi raccomando". In certain cases, it is defensible to omit words from one language when translating into another. And not out of desperation (ie because there doesn't appear to be any suitable translation), but because the "pragmatics" (linguistics term) are implicit elsewhere in the (translated) sentence.
  28. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    I agree, Gavin. There are quite a lot of words that I don't always translate, such as "infatti" and "inoltre", because the meaning is clear without them. Your attempt here is a good one.
  29. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    Thanks. And your example of infatti is perfect. But I'd warn people away from trimming "inoltre": surely, 9 times out of 10, this is translated perfectly comfortably and suitably as one out of the following "also", "in addition", "furthermore", "what is more/what's more" etc. N'est-ce pas?
  30. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    In my head I’ve always translated mi raccomando in imperative expressions as I beg you (which is stronger than a simple please/per favore) and to me it seems to fit perfectly with the 2 examples on this thread:

    Mi raccomando! Domani non voglio più vederti triste I beg you! Tomorrow I do not want to see you still sad.

    Fai attenzione, mi raccomando. I beg you to be careful!
  31. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    OK, but "I beg you" is a bit formal in English. You wouldn't normally say this to people in spoken English. Whereas "Mi raccomando!" is a phrase specifically used in everyday, conversational Italian. So your phrase, while accurately translating the meaning, would not work very well as a functional translation. Sorry!
  32. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    I agree..I'd always translate "I beg you!" as "Ti prego!" but not as "Mi raccomando!".
  33. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    Well at least in AE I beg you is quite common in verbal speech as a sort of strong please. Probably not as common as mi raccomando in Italian but still common.
    Can some AE speakers confirm this?

    I beg you in a traditional sense when you ask someone to do something for you or to give you something (often for nothing) is quite different than when you just want to emphasize the importance for someone to be careful or similar.
  34. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Gavin, you're right about "inoltre". Forget I said it!

    Another suggestion:
    Spedisci la lettera stasera, mi raccomando!
    Make sure you post the letter this evening! OR Be sure to...
  35. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    Yes, and I'm sure these "solutions", which are more "traditional" translations of the phrase, must also appear in the other threads on this phrase which I'm aware have been posted in this forum in the past... (Which is another way of saying: I bet we're doubling up suggestions and observations which have already appeared in IE!)
  36. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    I'd give "to beg" more weight than merely a "strong please," and therefore say it's less common. Few daily situations come to mind where beg might be used. It's closer to supplicare, scongiurare to me...
  37. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    I asked for confirmations from AE speakers so I do appreciate your input but I lived 25 years+ in New York and somehow I heard beg used quite often as a strong but polite substitute for ask (or please) in phrases like these:

    I beg you to make sure to send the package today.
    I beg you to drive slowly.
    I beg you to not stay out late/to come home early tonight
    I beg you to try to stop smoking

    And so on

    Main meanings according to Garzanti: Raccomandarsi: v.rifl. to implore (s.o.), to beg (s.o.)
  38. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    I think the main problem is that "mi raccomando" is closer to the idea of encouraging somebody to do something (even if that "something" is a thing which one considers very important for one's own interests), whereas "I beg (you)" is a more direct way of making a (forceful) request.
  39. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    These days, in NYE/AE "I beg you" would only be used in situations where you are either 1) joking or 2) in dire need of something.

    For example, if a cab driver is driving like a lunatic, you might "I beg you, please drive slower or we'll both be killed." Or joking to a loved one, "please, I beg you, no more singing in the shower, I can't take it anymore!"

    Real pleading and urgency is communicated by "I beg you", and I don't think it is by "mi raccommando."
  40. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    Mate, I don't know when that 25 years was, in what circles you traveled or in what contexts you heard or remember hearing it. You asked for AE opinions and then discount them. As ElaineG said, oggi come oggi it means a whole lot more than it did as you seem to have experienced it.
  41. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    Maybe I am getting too old but I do not see I beg you being so corny as becoming an automatic half or full joke when used in what I call the secondary meaning (strong please/ask). Of course it is true virtually any expression can be said as a half joke depending on how it is applied and what tone of voice you use. I do not find it at all funny if a mother tells her son: I beg you to be careful!

    And as said Garzanti states one of the main meanings of “racommandarsi “ is beg (s.o). (The secondary meaning I suppose)

    Here are some of the first 30 results on a Google exact words search: I beg you to (which yielded 390,000 hits):

    I beg you to open your heart now/I Beg You To Stay Away/I beg you to drive below the speed limits around schools, nurseries/I beg you to reaffirm your love for him/I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing/I beg you to please read/I beg you to be so kind as to send me that book of yours/I beg you to inform me of any opinions you hear concerning.
  42. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    I kindly beg you to be patient. The Italians on this forum have expressed they prefer to call a thread a discussione and this is what I am trying to have. So far you and another AE contributor have given opinions – both of you challenging rather forcefully what I perceive to be a rather common, secondary meaning verbally and in writing of I beg you as a strong (with emphasis) please or ask.
    To me this secondary meaning is very close in many contexts to what GavinW described as: “mi raccomando" is closer to the idea of encouraging somebody”.
    As to where and when I heard a certain expression it’s hard to pin down. But let’s say my experiences were varied and intense enough for me to start thinking and even dreaming in English very shortly after settling in USA. (12 years of BE in school, fulltime managerial work for NYC companies, 2 marriages to American wives, the first one involving raising 2 stepchildren for 8 years, the 2nd one still ongoing). And after moving back to Europe 5 years ago I am in no danger in forgetting English watching plenty of AE and BE programs on Sky Satellite..
  43. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    My last post on this subject, I promise mate and others, since the time has come to agree to disagree. My patience has nothing to do with it - since a discussion means you must be accepting of contradictory posts. I consider it curiously stubborn to insist your recollection should negate the contribution of 2 (or more or less) native-born Americans over 25 who are currently living and working and watching (probably 700+ channels of) TV. But you may use "I beg," as you wish. My advice to non-natives is to be cautious about using it casually, and not to use it in any and every place "mi racommando," might have naturally come to mind in Italian.
  44. Trina

    Trina Senior Member

    Australia (English)
    I have come in late on this discussion, but feel the need to concur with ElaineG and Lsp.
    AusE is probably more similar to BE than AmE and in my humble opinion, I beg you / I beg of you is not a common construction in today's language. Yes, it is used but as Elaine G has previously stated:
    I think Lsp gives sound advice here:
  45. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    I can confirm that all you and Lsp have said also applies to British English as spoken in the UK.

  46. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    I would say "I beg", if ever, on my knees (metaphorically). I would say "mi raccomando" with a wagging finger.

    Does that make a clearer distinction?
  47. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    I clearly acknowledged that all 2 AE contributors disagreed with my interpretation that often beg is used as a strong please. What was missing in the “discussion” was an acknowledgment of my points: 1. Garzanti says one translation of raccomandarsi = beg (and I assume as translation for more or less a strong please/ask) 2.That a Goggle exact phrase search showed indeed a prevalent usage of I beg you with a secondary meaning as stated by me. It certainly begs the question why seemingly hundreds of thousands English speakers (they cannot all be confused Swedes) are using beg as a casual and polite (non joking) expression for ask but still everybody it seems on this thread claims it is an obscure and outdated way to express oneself these days?

    Maybe the explanation has to do with the new generation(s) and the erosion of common courtesy in today’s SMS and Reality TV world?
    If you are not used to say please when making a request or suggestion, then there is no need/place for a strong please like I beg you.

    Well since at a minimum there is controversy how to use beg you in a causal sense then it is probably better (as suggested) for foreign students not to bother with it.

    PS Beg also is used commonly for asking politely in phrases like I beg to differ/disagree and I beg your pardon further reinforcing (I think) the usage of I beg you to being used in the same causal sense.
  48. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    I'm not the one who should weigh in about the use of "I beg you" as I'm not an English speaker, but I can provide some more examples of how we use "mi raccomando":

    Mum to her child: "mi raccomando, comportati bene a scuola".
    Mum is not begging her kid, but strongly asking him to behave.

    "Mi raccomando, non dimenticate di prendere l'ombrello!".
    The speaker wants to make sure that no one will forget to take the umbrella.

    I'd never translate "mi raccomando" as "I beg you" in those examples.
  49. mateintwo Senior Member

    Sweden, Former resident USA
    Of your two phrases the first one can in my opinion comfortably be translated as I beg you (especially if the kid is a little older than a preschooler) and if you read my posts I often said I beg you has according to me a secondary meaning as a strong please or a strong ask. Of course in other contexts it can be more like an alternative polite way of saying please (and at the same time stress the importance of something being requested).

    Your second phrase I agree I beg you does not fit at all. It would sound more natural to say Make sure to/Don't forget to/You better/It’s best you bring an umbrella (since I heard it might rain later on)
  50. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Perfectly right!
    On the question of outdatedness, I certainly do not find "beg" incredibly old-fashioned, but neither is it something I would say every day, or even every year. It does sound very formal to me (and note that I'm not a teenager). The important point, however, is that it can never be a translation of "mi raccomando". This expression is used by someone in command, or from a position of greater wisdom (parent to child) or common sense (friend to irresponsible patient).
    I say to a taxi-driver, "Mi raccomando, drive carefully!" because I'm the customer and have a right to demand good service. If the driver then turns out to be a maniac and I see that I've lost control of the situation, I implore him: "I beg you to drive carefully!" In fact "implorare" is a good translation of "beg".

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