pagare moneta, vedere cammello

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by giginho, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Buongiorno a Tutti!

    Ho spesso sentito dire e usato altrettanto spesso il modo di dire: "pagare moneta, vedere cammello!". Questo modo di dire, molto ironico, vuol dire che non si fa nulla se non si viene pagati. Siamo in un contesto abbastanza informale, in cui le persone che parlano sono due ex colleghi in buoni rapporti, ma non amici.
    Mi è capitato di usarla come risposta alla frase:

    A: "tu fai il lavoro che poi ci accordiamo per il pagamento"
    Gigi: "no, caro mio! Pagare moneta, vedere cammello!"

    Il mio tentativo:

    A: "make the job, first of all, and then we can negotiate a payment"
    Gigi: "no way, my dear! call money and get the job done"

    il mio tentativo non mi piace perché si parte ironica della frase italiana volta a stemperare la risposta (senza contare che non so nemmeno se risulterebbe comprensibile ad un madrelingua).

    Vi ringrazio per l'aiuto!

    Gigi
     
  2. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Senza soldi non si cantano messi, insomma.:) Mai sentita l'espressione italiana (carina, però, me la sono scritta).;)

    Call money and get the job done non mi convince però....non lo avrei capito.:)

    Money up front or no sale rende l'idea, secondo me. Vediamo però se qualcuno suggerisce qualcosa di più...divertente.;)
     
  3. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Alabama, USA
    American English
    I am fresh out of funny suggestions, LC. How about these, though?

    A. Get the job done first, then we'll discuss the payment.
    Gigi: No, my dear fellow. No ticket, no laundry.

    Gigi: No, my dear fellow. Show me the money.

    Gigi: My dear fellow, my mother did not raise a fool. Cash on the barrel.
     
  4. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    All much better than my (boring) suggestion, AB.:)
     
  5. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Cash on the barrel sounds good to me....no camel involved here but I think you don't mix up money and camels!!! :D
     
  6. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member

    Lombardia
    Italian
    Non l'avevo mai sentita nemmeno io, London! :eek: Però ne ho cercato l'origine che pare essere questa: "... ma è un motto valido, forse antico ma sempre attuale. La sua origine nasce nell'Ottocento al circo quando c'erano animali esotici e strani che non erano visibili altrove. C'erano infatti spesso anche beduini che invitavano le persone ad entrare al grido "tu pagare moneta ... tu vedere cammello". :)

    I like Al's "No ticket, no laundry" so much! :)


    P.S.: Ciao, Gigi!
     
  7. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Si, dev'essere un'espressione alquanto antiquata...sapete che a volte sono oldo fashioned.....e confermo ad sensum l'origine (per altro ringrazio Anna che ci ha dato un link tratto da tuttoJuve ;) ).

    PEr quanto riguarda la traduzione, AB, as usual, ci ha preso in pieno! Io sceglierei cash on the barrel perché mi sa più di western e rispetterebbe l'old fashion dell'originale italiano, anche se si perde la sgrammaticatezza dell'espressione italiana.

    The point is: how can I put "cash on the barrel" in my sentence?

    "Cash on the barrel and lets do the deal!"?
     
  8. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    I think "no ticket, no laundry" is a more polite version of the awful "no tickee, no shirtee" which I found truly offensive. The cleaned up version matches the tone of the Italian "pagare moneta, vedere cammello" but I personally would avoid both. The humor revolves around a stereotype of "foreigner talk" which I don't find funny. So I'd go with either of the other two suggestions in post #3 (sorry, Bill - I just wanted to give another AE perspective :))
     
  9. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Hi Joan, and thank you for your reply.

    If I have to tell the truth even the italian form "pagare moneta, vedere cammello!" (please note the infinitive) take the cue from a sort of broken italian spoken by foreigners but nowadays this expression is not felt anymore as offensive.
     
  10. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    Here they'd say "no tickee, no takee". Which I think perfectly matches the Italian expression, including the slightly bigoted, provincial ignoramus flavor.

    Why avoid it, if it's in the original text ? It would be like putting underwear on a dog :)
     
  11. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Well, the "original text" I believe was Gigi's own invention. I may be wrong. We'll leave it up to gigi whether he wants to put underwear on his dog :)
     
  12. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Alabama, USA
    American English
    Exactly, Jo. Although the expression was widely used years ago, it is at best politically incorrect and at worst perpetuates an offensive stereotype.

    "Show me the money" is taken from Jerry McGuire.

    "My mother did not raise a fool" is a cleaned up version of "My Mamma didn't raise no fool" which was more eloquently expressed in Time After Time as "My mother had many faults, but raising mentally deficient children was not one of them."

    "Cash on the barrel (BE)" is also known as "cash on the barrelhead (AE)," "cash on the spot (BE)," and "cash on the nail.(BE)"
     
  13. King Crimson

    King Crimson Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    Italiano
    In my opinion if the Italian expression originally had (as it probably did) offensive or racist connotations, nowadays, as Giginho explained, this no longer applies and the expression, generally speaking, is used tongue-in-cheek in informal contexts. Obviously, when translating it into another language (not only English) the cautionary note by Joan should be taken into account.

    EDIT @ AB: "My mother did not raise a fool", aka ""Mommy didn't raise a dummy" and many other equivalent versions (see this thread):)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  14. tsoapm

    tsoapm Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    Umm…
    Let the record show that I’ve never really come across these expressions, and would be perplexed by them. "Cash on the spot" is certainly comprehensible, but it doesn’t strike me as a fixed expression.
     
  15. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Mark Dobson,

    Let me confirm for AB that the expressions "cash on the barrel" and "cash on the barrelhead" are very common and well known in AE and most likely in BE as well.

    Phil
     
  16. tsoapm

    tsoapm Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    Um, I am British and English, which was why I left my comment. I can’t speak for AE of course.
     
  17. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Alabama, USA
    American English
    This link is to a French-English forum thread, but it is written entirely in English. If these so-called BE expressions do not exist, my apologies.
     
  18. tsoapm

    tsoapm Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    No need for apologies; I was merely putting my two euro cents in. :)
     
  19. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Mark Dobson,

    Perhaps I was less than cogent! I figured you'd know the BE acceptability of the phrase since I don't. Re-reading my post, it is confusing. Sorry.

    Phil
     
  20. tsoapm

    tsoapm Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    :D I can’t carry on telling people there’s no need to apologise all day! I was a bit puzzled, but stopped well short of rancour. :)
     
  21. Willower

    Willower Senior Member

    South Wales
    English (British)
    Cash on the nail is a BE expression,but perhaps a regional one - "the nail" still exists in Bristol - if you were trading on the exchange there, you were required to put your money down for all to see... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exchange,_Bristol.

    To capture the irony, I'd probably say something along the lines of "I bain't so green as I'm cabbage- coloured...!" or

    "Do I look like I have corn sprouting out of my ears?..." Both phrases are meant to show that the speaker is a street-wise city dweller, not a credulous yokel! I encountered both when I first met Londoners back in the late 1960s...
     
  22. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    italiano
    La frase "no tickee, no shirtee", dunque, è awful o at least unpolite. Va bene, da evitare. Question agli anglofoni: Perchè la connotazione razzista è ancora troppo evidente?
    "Pagare moneta, vedere cammello", mi è familiare e la sento usare ancora, ma sempre in tono scherzoso. La nota razzista non l'ho mai avvertita. Mi può dare (solo e breve) fastidio in una trattativa commerciale, se invece si mette in dubbio ( e perché no, se l'interlocutore non mi conosce) la mia solvibilità.:)
     
  23. Willower

    Willower Senior Member

    South Wales
    English (British)
    If I've understood properly, aefrizzo , I think the answer to your question, why is this phrase unusable, is because the mangled English is a very bad imitation of the way that Chinese laundrymen were once thought to speak. It's representative of a whole imperialist mindset.
     
  24. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Well, I find this very interesting. So far, we've had three Italians tell us that the phrase (in Italian) "pagare moneta, vedere camello " is either "slightly bigoted" or not at at all offensive, and just used in a joking way. As a non-native speaker, I am not in a position to judge but I don't see much difference between the Italian and the English phrase in terms of how it pokes fun at a pidgin-style language and a cultural stereotype.
     
  25. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    italiano
    Grazie, Willower. Grazie, Joan.
    Mi è chiaro, adesso. Dalla fermezza con cui condannate la frase inglese, deduco che non si tratti di una fisima politically correct, ma riflette la sensibilità dell'etnia cinese anglofona.
    Della frase pseudo-italiana continuo a pensare che sia solo un modo scherzoso o anche volgare di esprimere la richiesta (quotidiana, se ci fate caso) di "pagamento anticipato". Ma tre soli pareri italiani non fanno testo. La lezione che ne ricavo è che dovrei evitarla anch'io, almeno in presenza di rappresentanti dell'etnia araba italofona. (un parere da parte di questi ultimi sarebbe benvenuto). Passo e chiudo.:)
     
  26. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    Both the US and Italy have their share of problems in integrating the large numbers of generally unprivileged - what the heck, poor and often uneducated immigrants who constantly force the borders.

    Whereas the general attitudes are more or less the same, with more or less the same distribution, there could be a more pervasive lexical revision in the US than in Italy, although it is happening in Italy as well. For instance, a month ago I was visiting my Mom in Italy, and I saw a book dating back to the early 70's by - I think - Editori Einaudi, then the most liberal publishing house in Italy. The title was : " Poesie dei negri d'America ". The book itself was an anthology of Black American poetry supporting the Civil Liberties movement or more extreme positions. Nowadays, the Italian word 'negro' has been equated to the n-word and effectively banned from all civilized discourse - left to the Lega Nord , that is, and to similarly minded circles. Or, you are not supposed to say 'cieco', for example , nor 'storpio'. Which has undoubtedly greatly improved the lot of the 'non- or ipovedenti' and of all the 'diversamente abili'.



    My personal attitude regarding both "pagare moneta, vedere cammello" or "no ticky, no takee" is quite relaxed. But then again, I am neither Arab nor Korean...
     
  27. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Hi Friends!

    By my italian point of view all those fake-politically correct term arised in the last years, such as "diversamente abile" instead of "disabile" are just mental masturbation of some part of the media. Of course some words are offensive and must be avoided; I would never say "zoppo" instead of "claudicante".
    Regarding the word "negro" cited by Odysseus, in the past that was the polite word, while "nero" was the offensive one. Nowadays the tables have turned and the situation is vice versa....and was added to the dictionary the politer expression: "di colore"....by the way, I'm di colore as well, I am pink as a pig :D

    These thoughts lead us to our phrase in object: "pagare moneta, vedere cammello" (in good Italian it would be: "se vuoi vedere il cammello devi pagare"). None of us (Italians or Arab-italians) can remember the time when Arab circus crused Italy with camels in their show so, nowadays, considering this phrase offensive is a bit exaggerated by my point of view. The phrase about chinese laundrymen is, maybe, linked to the days we are living so it is felt as unpolite. The same in Italian could be "Ehi amigo, tu da me soldi io lavo te vetro!" related to the phenomenon of people at the trafficlights that try to earn some money cleaning up your windscreen.

    Of course, in all my post, absit iniuria verbis!

    Cheers
     
  28. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    While the "no tickee, no takee" is correct if offensive, we might go with a more modern phrase which is "You have to pay to play." While it came originally from gambling circles (I believe), it is now in somewhat general use to mean pagare moneta, vedere cammello.

    And I must offer some thanks to Ody, JVF, aefrizzo, willower and giginho. One of the most valuable things about the forum is the insight and personal observations of the participants. Thank you very much for the fascinating information.

    Phil
     
  29. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Hi Phil! Thank you!

    Just a question about the phrase you reported: You have to pay to play. Is this phrase used while entering the gambling club or is it used during a poker (or the like) match?

    I'm asking this because there's an expression in Italy used when, during a poker match (is match correct here?), one of the players do not pay the bet. The other players say to him: "il piatto piange!", meaning that it's your turn to pay if you wanna go on with the game.
     
  30. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    giginho,

    The phrase "You have to pay to play," is used to enter the club. When joining a poker game (we use the term game rather than match), you have to "ante up." That is, before the hand is dealt, you must put the ante (money) into the kitty which makes the pot! The winner of the hand takes the bets made and the kitty. Ante up seems the same as "il piatto piange" which I like very much!

    Phil
     
  31. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member

    Lombardia
    Italian
    Ciao, Gigi e ciao a tutti :)

    Posso dire una sciocchezza? Va be', la dico ... "No money, no party." :D
     
  32. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Phil,

    If you say to another play "Ante up!" meaning: "pay your bet" that's the same of "il piatto piange!" (the kitty cries for the lack of your money!).

    Cheers,
    Gigi

    P.S. ciao Anna!!!!!!!
     
  33. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Anja.Ann!!! Does that mean what I think it means? I couldn't even find the word in my book "Dirty Italian - Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# OFF!"

    Phil
     
  34. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member

    Lombardia
    Italian
    Oh, my! Ciao, Phil! Oh, dear! I am sorry, Phil! I didn’t consider this possible meaning!
    Actually, my (bad) idea came from an ad campaign: a TV spot with a famous actor made a slogan become very popular in Italy in these past years (No orange juice? No party!) ... meaning "if you don’t bring some orange juice, you won’t be invited to join and enjoy the party" … I thought that a sort of metaphor could do. Well, I said I was about to talk nonsense … :eek:
     
  35. GavinW Senior Member

    Italy
    British English
    All very interesting. But I thought people might also be interested in "Let's see the colour of your money(, first)" as a suggested rendering of the Italian expression.
     
  36. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    That's good, Gavin!

    Thank you!
     
  37. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member

    Lombardia
    Italian
    :thumbsup: :D Simply great, in my opinion. :)
     

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