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morto un Papa se ne fa un altro

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by mother bear, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. mother bear New Member

    Marche- Italy
    US - English
    I can't think of a good English equivalent for this saying. I'm translating a film script and the mother of a woman whose husband has just left her says this to her daughter.

    If anyone can give me a hand I'd really appreciate it.
     
  2. Heracleum

    Heracleum Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    I'm not sure whether you still ask for help in understanding the actual meaning of the saying or it's clear...
    By the way, it seems you're right on the difficulty of finding an equivalent, because even the Garzanti translates it:
    morto un Papa se ne fa un altro, (prov.) no one is indispensable in this world.

    Which is, I mean, an explanation of its meaning rather than a translation or equivalent saying.

    So, in the script, the mother's advice is: "since you're husband is gone you'll find another one!".
     
  3. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Just some ideas:

    Death of a father, another will be found
    Death of a father, you'll have another
    Death of a father, you'll find another

    But let's wait for the experts.
     
  4. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    An expression that comes to mind is: "the king is dead, long live the king," from the royal courts, signalling the passing of a king and saluting his successor. However it is more appropriate as an exclamation.
     
  5. housecameron

    housecameron Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian/ Italy
    From Oxford Paravia:

    There are plenty more fish in the sea
     
  6. Signora Spider Junior Member

    UK/English
    The equivalent saying of "morto un Papa se ne fa un altro" in English would definitely be "the King is dead, long live the King" (or Queen)
     
  7. mother bear New Member

    Marche- Italy
    US - English


    Thanks for your help. That's exactly the expression I needed!
     
  8. housecameron

    housecameron Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian/ Italy
    On behalf of O-P dictionary: you're welcome :)
     
  9. anghiarese Senior Member

    US- English
    Wouldn't "Papa" mean "Pope" rather than father here?
     
  10. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Superb question.
    When I first wrote the answer, I didn't notice the capital "P" - so I thought "father",
    but I'm almost sure now it is Pope.
    There should be an accent on the last "a" if it's "father".

    Papa = PApa = Pope
    papà = paPA = father

    Ooops...a common situation for me...
     
  11. spero Senior Member

    Italy
    english (USA)
    Why don't you just say, "Life goes on"?
     
  12. GavinW Senior Member

    Italy
    British English
    The Italian expression is more specific than that. It refers to the fact that, in a situation in which one person or opportunity is no longer available, one is likely to find another person or opportunity to take its place.
    The "fish in the sea" idiom captures most of the above connotations, and appears to be the best (closest) available idiom in English. But there may well be others, of course.
    ;-)
     
  13. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian
    The meaning is of course "no one is irreplaceable", but the spirit of the original idiom can hardly be translated...:eek:
     
  14. Wade Aznable

    Wade Aznable Senior Member

    Italian
    By the way, is it:
    there are plenty of fish in the sea
    or
    there's plenty of fish in the sea?

    Thanx!
     
  15. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    In AE you'd probably hear both, the the grammatically correct one is the "are" - goes with the plural "fish".
     
  16. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Well, I think that if it's a stand-alone sentence - although depending on what comes before that- I still prefer "the king is dead, long live the king!" It conveys what the italian proverb mean MUCH better. In Italian we also have "il mare è pieno di pesci" so I belive that if they wanted to say this they could have said it in the Italian original sentence, too. Don't you reckon?

    Say for example:

    Mom, my husband just left me!
    So what? The king is dead? Long live the king!

    Meaning if one is out the other is just around the corner.
     
  17. GavinW Senior Member

    Italy
    British English
    No, sorry, I don't and can't agree. In fact, I couldn't disagree more! I think you're confusing the proximity in literal meaning (Pope = King) with actual usage. The fact is that, for example, in the situation you cite, we would never say what you suggest the mother says to her daughter whose husband has run off. In other words the English phrase has little or no extended, metaphorical, figurative or idiomatic meaning. Unlike the Italian expression, which is completely idiomatic.
    Think "usage" and you'll begin to see the difference! It's the magic word! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  18. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Thanks. I actually thought more of the idea of life over death. Of a King in your case, and of a Pope in our case. Anyway, could you give an example of a short dialogue in which you'd use the king is dead, long live the king then?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  19. GavinW Senior Member

    Italy
    British English
  20. Akire72

    Akire72 Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian - Italy
    And is ONLY used this way?
    If so, I agree with you. You wouldn't use it in everyday language, would you?

    EDIT: My paper dictionary (il Ragazzini ed. Zanichelli) translates "Morto un Papa se ne fa un altro" with "The King is dead: Long live the King!":confused:
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  21. GavinW Senior Member

    Italy
    British English
    Right. Not in everyday language. They might not even say it in the UK any more when the monarch dies: it's probably too archaic even for that official context (which hasn't happened since the death of George VI and the accession of our present Queen, Elizabeth II, of course).

    So, no, not in everyday language. Unless referring to Elvis (! see Wikipedia entry), and, in that case, unless one also alludes to whoever is assumed to have taken on his mantle as the king of rock 'n roll on his unfortunate demise (actually, it was probably a blessing for him at the time, poor man... But that's another story).
     
  22. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Milan
    Italy - Italian
    Along these lines, my friend from NY (whenever I got dumped by a girl) would say to me: "there's a million fish in the sea".
     
  23. GavinW Senior Member

    Italy
    British English
    And my friend used to say to me "There's plenty more pebbles on the beach".
    (Or was it my Mum?)
    ;-)
     
  24. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Milan
    Italy - Italian
    Probably that was your mom... :D A friend wouldn't go down on it that soft with metaphores, right? :p

    Anyway, that's a nice and polite (or so it sounds to me) one.
     

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