a good inch and a half shy of the chair

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by wu ming, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. wu ming Senior Member

    Salve a tutti, ho dei dubbi sul seguente dialogo. Si tratta di una serie televisiva. Stanno progettando un automobile per veterani sulla sedia a rotelle, ma modificando macchine sportive (In questo caso una Chevelle del 70, piccola e bassa). Stanno prendendo le misure per far entrare la sedia a rotelle al posto del sedile del guidatore:

    - Meccanico 1: We don’t have as much space as we thought we did, between the frame and the driveshaft. Pensavamo di avere molto più spazio tra il telaio e l'albero motore.
    We’re... a good inch and a half shy of the chair. Siamo... a circa 4 centimetri... dalla sedia.

    - Meccanico 2:It ain't thing* we can do about moving the drive shaft. We’re an inch and a half off. Can we take that much out of the chair? Non possiamo spostare l'albero motore. Ci mancano 4 centimetri. Possiamo toglierli dalla sedia?

    *In realtà lo script riporta "Is there anything", ma a me sembra di sentire "it ain't thing" o "the damn thing".

    Mi sembra che il tutto si contraddica un po'. A meno che non sia così e non gli servono altri 4 centimetri, per cui decidono di rimpicciolire la sedia (lo faranno più in là!)

  2. tsoapm

    tsoapm Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    I think "good" here is for emphasis; in Italian, I reckon it'd be "ben": "ben 4 centimetri". I think your basic interpretation is fine; if the whole doesn't make sense I'm not quite sure what to suggest.
  3. wu ming Senior Member

    Thank you Mark! Perhaps it does make sense, but there's some word missing which would make it more clear?! (Being reality series, I always give the responsabiity to editors' cuts when I don't understand :))

    We’re an inch and a half off. = Ci mancano 4 centimetri.
    Could be
    We need an inch and a half more.

    Meaning that overall they need 3 inches between the driveshaft and the chair, they've got one and a half, they need another one and a half... :confused:
  4. kringle New Member

    English UK
    For your problem with the "ain't thing" bit, maybe it's "ain't a thing we can do..." (aynathing it'll sound like), e quindi "non possiamo mica spostare" would fit.

    Re the inch and a half problem:

    We’re an inch and a half off. Can we take that much out of the chair?
    Ci servono/mancano altri 4 cm - si può togliere così tanto dalla sedia?

    I agree with (and can't seem to get rid of the bold, sorry!) Mark on his use of "ben" for translating "a good inch and a half".

  5. wu ming Senior Member

    Thank you kringle for the 'mica' suggestion and I like Mark's 'ben' as well! I'll have to see if they fit the length of the sentence.
    If "ci servono altri 4 centimetri" can work, I think the whole dialogue makes much more sense.

    Thanks again to both of you!
  6. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Newport News, Virginia
    English -USA
    This is exactly what came to mind when I read the original. This appears to be a transcription of a southern accent and this is most likely what the second mechanic said.
  7. wu ming Senior Member

    Thank you!

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