Ragazzo vs. fidanzato

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Mari_Susanna, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. Mari_Susanna New Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Hi all,

    What word is the most common when talking about your boyfriend with who you´ve been together for a long time. I´m not sure what is the difference between words ragazzo and fidanzato!

    Grazie mille
  2. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    It's the same. Maybe in spoken language, and in a more informal context, we use "ragazzo" the most.

  3. Mari_Susanna New Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Grazie Silvia!
  4. giocc Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    I would add that "fidanzato" is more often used when there's a formal engagement.
    For this reason, boys do often shiver when they are called "fidanzato" by their girlfriends, and girls get angry when their boyfriends go on calling them "ragazza" too long. (just kiddin'... ;))
  5. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Giocc, do you actually think there still is this difference between ragazzo and fidanzato?

    I hear everybody using both and meaning the same nowadays..or at least here, where I live..
  6. giocc Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Yes, Silvia, definitely. It's only a nuance, but still it is there. (I live near Milan, BTW).
    In my post I was joking about it, but at times it actually happens to see a frown on someone's face when you say "fidanzato/a" in place of "ragazzo/a" or the opposite.
    Around here, "moroso/a" is also used for ragazzo/a.

  7. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Yes, here it is used too. I wanted to add it but I didn't know whether it was the case or not. I think it is just a dialectil form and maybe it is not at all used in other parts of Italy? :confused:
  8. shamblesuk

    shamblesuk Senior Member

    England, English
    Doesn't 'fidanzato' also mean 'fiancè', ie 'engaged to be married'. In English there is a distinct difference between the two so if I heard 'fidanzato' I would assume that person was engaged?

    Che ne pensate? :)
  9. giocc Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Yes, this was the original "proper" meaning, which is still fully used.
    Whenever it is used in a more informal way, in my opinion it still conveys the idea of a "serious" or formal engagement, while in Silvia's opinion it doesn't any longer.

    Silvia: yes, you are right. I listed it to make it known, but it rather belongs to northern area dialects, so it may not be fully advisable to use it unless you explicitly intend to.

  10. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Well, that is the meaning, it's true.

    But nowadays we use them both to refer to "boyfriend"...as Giocc said it is just a nuance..depends if you want to stress this nuance or not.
    I would call my boyfriend "fidanzato" without meaning that we are going to get married soon.
    But, actually, among my friend I would never use the word "fidanzato"... "ragazzo" is surely the most used in informal conversations.
    In a formal conversation, maybe, I would use "fidanzato"...

    Well, but let's say that it depends on how people prefer to call it...:)
  11. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    What about slightly older people? Surely a woman, let's say in her 30's or 40's doesn't call the man she's been dating "mio ragazzo," and she is not his "ragazza"?
  12. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Il mio ex. Then, if you want to explain further, you can say: il ragazzo con cui stavo prima (literally the boyfriend with whom I used to stay before, as opposed to the one you're with now, not necessarily though, I mean you can use it even if you don't have a new boyfriend).
  13. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Well, maybe you can call him "il mio uomo" or her "la mia donna", but I do not hear it very often.
    If you live togheter you can say "il mio compagno"or "la mia compagna" (how is in AE "significative other?").
    However, often you can hear "il mio/la mia partner". :)
  14. Mari_Susanna New Member

    Helsinki, Finland

    I ment the boyfriend with who i´m now, a person who has been my boyfriend for a long time. Sorry if the explanation was unclear :)

    I was just asking this cause when i met italian people and told them that my boyfriend is italian using the word ragazzo, they told me to use the word fidanzato. They told that ragazzo is more like someone u see once in while and you´re not together with him. Or then my italian is really bad and i missunderstood what they said:confused: So that´s why i wanted to hear more opinions about this! Thank´s for the answers!

  15. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Depends on the people you have around you..and maybe on how old you are.
    Anyway, what everybody told you is correct, so if they want to specify that yours is a really serious relationship...yes, so call him "fidanzato". But remember "ragazzo" doesn't necessarily means that you've been together for just a month!
  16. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Oh, my fault! I misread! :eek:

    I guess you can choose the best word depending on whom you're talking to: if you're talking to people your age, then go for ragazzo, if they are older people, then go for fidanzato. This is just a general rule and as an indication.
  17. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    Add to the worthy "general rule" of Silvia, also partner and compagno.
  18. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Diciamo anche, quando 2 persone hanno una relazione, "è un mio amico/è una mia amica". :)
  19. audia Senior Member

    Italians use this (I think)for people together for perhaps many years but may or may not have plans to marry. Vero?
    In English (AE) engaged is used by people who are definitely planning to marry in the near future.
    Therefore , fidanzato would we say boy/girlfriend, partner,significant other etc.?
  20. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Yes, the word fidanzato/a doesn't necessary imply that people have plans to marry. Fidanzato/a is the correspondent of boy/girlfriend.
  21. audia Senior Member

    Thanks IA,
    perhaps it needs to be added to the WR definitions since it is misleading as it stands now.
  22. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Yes, you're right, I think so.
  23. beauxyeux Senior Member

    italian italy
    We have lots of other expressions to say "fidanzato", as for example where I live it sounds a bit formal. We simply say "il mio ragazzo", "la mia ragazza", "il mio moroso", "la mia morosa". And I'm sure there are many others of them...
  24. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Yes, beauxyeux, I agree with you that "fidanzato" sounds a little bit formal.
  25. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    The way to bring about changes to the dictionary is to click on Suggestions/Contattaci in the menu to the left of the entry. Also, if you scroll down the entry for fidanzato, you'll see that there are several existing threads with this term in the title. I have merged your thread with one of them. :)

  26. audia Senior Member

    Thanks Elisabetta.
  27. cscarfo Senior Member

    Italy Italian
    "fidanzato/a" is more formal, i.e. the he/she was introduced to the parents, there is some perspective intention to get married, etc...
    "ragazzo/a" means a mutual engagement, like boy/girlfriend.
    As usual, it depends on whom you are talking to...
  28. federicoft Senior Member

    In some context "fidanzato" could also be perceived as a somewhat taboo word, being associated with an old, pathernalistic, traditional idea of society. Usually among the youth is absolutely avoided, they say that the last to use that word were their parents. ;)
  29. audia Senior Member

    Now speaking about the adjective,I have heard it most recently on RAI a lot where people are asked: fidanzato o single?
    Attached;involved wtih someone or single?

    Does E have a better word than attached , or involved; in a relationship?
  30. mrg Senior Member

    You'll hear companion and partner in AE as well. Partner is probably more common but both certainly indicate a long-term commitment. For me, both of these terms still carry the connotation of a same-sex relationship. Because marriage remains pretty dominant in U.S. culture, indicating a long-term bond without the intent to marry is not something a lot of straight people do.

    We have my man/woman/lady too, but often it's either dialect or in modo scherzoso.

    I'm curious to know what Lsp thinks of as the proper/common term for a more mature boyfriend/girlfriend in AE. I actually hear people use those two terms for want of anything better. "Lady friend" and "gentleman friend" do exist, but I think both are regarded as quite stilted. Me, I don't start to feel silly about calling people boyfriend/girlfriend til the people in question get past oh, I don't know, 45 or 50. But that could just be the lack of a better option talking.;)

    In response to audia: attached/involved with someone/in a [long-term] relationship are the only codes for "not single" that come to mind.
  31. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    As an older person in an unmarried relationship I find compagna a very convenient word in Italian, but it's difficult to translate into English. I can't say girlfriend because she's not a girl and I can't say wife because people will assume we're formally married. I hate words like partner, which sounds rather magazine-ish. Any suggestions?

    PS I wrote this before reading the preceding post thoroughly, but I'm still not satisfied anyway.
  32. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    Italian, Italy (Torino)
    A short list:
    Stare/essere insieme
    Essere fidanzati (every age actually: to children: fidanzatino!! also for to a young/old couple which is very sweet)
    Essere in una relazione
    Essere/avere un compagno/a
    L'uomo/la donna (also used from young people, 20-25 years)
    Tipo/tipa (slang)
    Moroso (not used everywhere!!!!)
    Amore (familiar!)
    Ragazzo/ragazza (though I don't think that a 60 y.o. woman says it!! Or maybe trying to be funny!)
    Amico/amica (to have a little bit of mistery...)
  33. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    Don't know why you singled me out, but here goes. I can't speak for proper, and nothing has emerged in my experience as common (that doesn't cause any discomfort). This still seems to be a very awkward situation linguistically, that is often handled by a multi-word description rather than a single term.
  34. mrg Senior Member

    Sorry Lsp, I was picking on you because I thought you were the only one asking about what older couples call their whatevers. Anyway, I agree that English is completely deficient here, to the point that I even hear references to the friends of people over 50, with the emphasis and a pause added to indicate the type of friend in question. I do think that this is the linguistic residue of our culture(s) taking married relationships more seriously than others, and I for one would be happy to start using any suitable terms this group can come up with.;)
  35. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    I quite agree, mrg, and when my time comes I'll coin something that will make young lovers everywhere jealous! ;)
  36. Elle Belly Member

    English, Australia
    Ciao a tutti

    I understand that my friends use the words: il mio tipo, il mio ragazzo ed il mio fidanzato to refer to their boyfriends (and all the feminine versions for girlfriends).

    Could somebody please explain some differences between the use of these different words? For example, I previously thought that 'fidanzato' meant 'fiancè' which is someone you have agreed on marrying, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Italian.

    I think that fidanzato is used for more serious relationships, tipo is possibly slang, and ragazzo is used in all other cases. But I'm only guessing, am I right?

  37. Grtngs

    Grtngs Senior Member

    You guessed right!:)

  38. Mickele

    Mickele Senior Member

    Italian, Tuscany
    Ciao. I agree with G, though I'd say that "fidanzato", despite being on top of the scale, is somehow sometimes used among teen-agers with the same meaning of "tipo".
  39. Le Peru

    Le Peru Senior Member

    Italy - Umbria
    Il mio tipo could also mean something more different than the other two:
    when you have a boyfriend you can call him fidanzato or ragazzo. But il mio tipo means my (hypotetical) ideal boyfriend as well. It depends from the context.
    Ho un nuovo ragazzo e lui è proprio il mio tipo: I have a new boyfriend and he is like I always wished/wanted/looked for.
    I'm not good enough with English to illustrate it better, I hope it is understandable anyway.
    Ciao :)
  40. pinturicchio07

    pinturicchio07 Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    "I have a new boyfriend and he's exactly my type"

    Le Peru - your English is great!

  41. Le Peru

    Le Peru Senior Member

    Italy - Umbria
    Thanks. For the suggestion too. :)
  42. tee_luna

    tee_luna Senior Member

    Italy, italian
    Fidanzato is a false friend.....
    Many think that it is the translation for FIANCE' but in English this implies there is an engagement and a marriage down the road.
    In Italian it means that the relationship is slightly more serious than TIPO or RAGAZZO but it might not mean that parents got involved or there are projects for a life together and a potential family.
    Hope I helped
  43. perfavore Senior Member

    Philippines - Tagalog
  44. perfavore Senior Member

    Philippines - Tagalog
    Might or definitely does not? I did think it was equivalent to a fiance'.
  45. Le Peru

    Le Peru Senior Member

    Italy - Umbria
    Grazie. Stavo cercando un modo per spiegare il senso di "il mio tipo" e non sapevo che usasse anche in inglese (my type). :eek:
  46. tee_luna

    tee_luna Senior Member

    Italy, italian
    in Italy when someone is engaged, we say FIDANZATO IN CASA (the boyfriend/girlfriend has been introduced to the family).
    Fidanzato (particularly among young people) doesn't necessarely mean that there are projects of a life together (CONVIVENZA) or marriage (MATRIMONIO).
  47. Arrabbiato Senior Member

    US English
    Adesso che ho letto questo, capisco meglio la differenza fra le due parole-"ragazzo" (a) e "fidanzato (a)-prima anche me ho pensato che "fidanzato" significa solo "fiance" in inglese. Questa l'informazione e molto utile!
  48. girl in gucci New Member

    Singapore, Chinese, English
    Phew! I was so surprised and didn't know what to think when my italian boyfriend recently started to call me his "fidanzata". In English "fiancee / fiance" means a lot more than just serious relationship! I guess in italian, it means a happy serious relationship but would be a stretch to to start thinking of things like marraige.

    (Il mio fidanzato viene dal nord d'Italia. Credo che non c'e' grande significanza con la parola "fidanzata/fidanzato" come quella in inglese.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2008

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