a soft spot in my heart

L'aura che tu respiri

Senior Member
English - USA
To say, "He has a soft spot in his heart for" a person, place, or thing, is a very common English idiom. How do you render it in Italian?

Lui ha un luogo morbido nel cuore per ...
Lui ha un posto molle nel cuore per ...
 
  • Pallinapa

    Senior Member
    Italian
    No, non si può fare una traduzione letterale: puoi dire "ha un debole per..." , questa è un'espressione molto comune e credo esprima esattamente lo stesso significato.
     

    Serena96

    Member
    Italian
    "Ha un debole per + ..." come è stato già detto, va bene per luoghi, oggetti, persone, e qualsiasi altra cose. Aggiungo che "soft spot", se si trova da solo (senza per...) può essere tradotto con un idiomatismo molto comune in italiano: tallone d'achille (ma va bene anche "punto debole").
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Interesting discussion. I've always assumed that "ha un debole per..." is an exact translation of the English "he/she has a weakness for...", which to my mind has just a shade of mild disapproval or at least jocular ruefulness to it--sometimes very slight indeed, but not something you'd use in a absolutely wholeheartedly approving context. You'd say "he has a weakness for chocolate cake" or "he has a weakness for pretty blondes" (with the implication that even if indulgence in it/them won't do him TOO much harm, it/them won't do him too much good either); I don't think I'd say "he has a weakness for his granddaughter" unless I wanted to imply that the little girl could wrap him around her finger and get him to give her candy and buy her toys. Il "tallone d'achille" (or "Achilles' heel" in English) would take it one step further, to a weakness that is downright dangerous in some way.

    For someone to "have a soft spot in his heart for" something or someone is, to me at least, entirely positive and approving, without even that slight tinge of negativity that goes with "a weakness."
     

    curiosone

    Senior Member
    AE - hillbilly ;)
    I agree with theartichoke. How about "Ama molto..." or "Tiene molto a ..." or "Ha un posto (speciale) nel cuore per..." (without any hint of "morbido")?
     

    L'aura che tu respiri

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Ciao :)
    Secondo il Merriam-Webster, soft spot (for) -> sentimental weakness :confused:
    Yes, that's exactly correct, even though the phrase "sentimental weakness" is never used as an idiom. I respectfully disagree with Pallinapa. If you say "Ho un debole per i chierichetti," it has an extraordinarily different meaning! "Debole" is an appropriate translation in some contexts. But for instance, it's very different to say, "I have a soft spot in my heart for Beethoven," and, "I have a weakness for Beethoven." While it's possible that both are true for a person, they are not the same thing at all.
     

    Serena96

    Member
    Italian
    If it is a sentimental weakness, I'll suggest you "Ha una cotta per...". Though, it only works for people, and it won't be fine with animals or objects.
     

    L'aura che tu respiri

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yes, but you would never say, "Ha una cotta per Max Tosi" (unless you were his girlfriend). This is the problem. How would you say, "I have a soft spot in my heart for [the poetry of] Max Tosi?" [not for Max Tosi as a man]
     

    Pat (√2)

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Yes, but you would never say, "Ha una cotta per Max Tosi" (unless you were his girlfriend). No ;) How would you say, "I have a soft spot in my heart for [the poetry of] Max Tosi?" [not for Max Tosi as a man]
    I'd say "Ho un debole per (le poesie di) Max Tosi".

    P.S. Potrei dire "Ho una cotta per la ricotta", però... Se volessi fare la scema :D (sto scherzando)
     
    Last edited:

    Serena96

    Member
    Italian
    As I said, you shouldn't use it unless you were in a sentimental relationship with that person.

    Ho un debole per (le poesie di) Max Tosi. :tick:
    Ho una cotta per Max Tosi. :cross:
    Ho una cotta per Max Tosi + *giggle*. :tick:
     
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