bel personaggio


English - USA
Hello from a newcomer. For an academic essay, I'm trying to hit on the right translation of "bel personaggio." The sentence is about a 17th-century lady who moves in high social circles: 'ella ricorderà quell’epoca, in cui non voleva altro che “essere un bel personaggio e avere l’approvazione" degli amici, come la migliore della sua vita.' I'm considering "... in which she wanted nothing more than to cut a fine figure" or a "respectable figure". Is this too pompous? Thanks for any help you can give. I hope I can return the favor soon.
  • tomzenith

    Senior Member
    English - Britain
    Hi Berlina, welcome to WRF!

    They both look good to me, I personally prefer 'respectable figure', but both work. The pompousness doens't seem out of place with the context, but you'll know better than us. Having said that, 'respectable' implies that she wasn't doing anything wrong (you can be respectable without being the least bit interesting), perhaps 'respected' might be better?

    I'm guessing that "essere un bel personaggio e avere l'approvazione" is a direct quote from a text? If so, it might be worth checking for existing translations (and crediting them obviously).

    Other options might be something like: 'respected character'; 'noteworthy person'; 'personality'; or in more modern parlance 'a somebody'.
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