bombe carta, bengala, palle di Maradona, trik trak (tric trac)

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by theartichoke, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Hello all,

    Knowing absolutely nothing about types of fireworks in English, let alone Italian, I'm being stymied by how to translate the various kinds that they're setting off in Ammaniti's "L'Ultimo Capodanno." I'm okay with "razzi," which are "rockets," but there's a point where an old man admires his grandson's fireworks and says "che progresso che c'é stato . . . Ai miei tempi c'erano solo le bombecarta. Qui invece vedo razzi, bengala. . . ". I've found "bombacarta" or "bomba carta" translated as "paper bomb" or "letter bomb," but I'm pretty sure he's not talking about letter bombs and I've never heard of a "paper bomb."

    I've been translating "bengala" simply as "bengals," but if there's a specific term for these in English, it would be helpful to know it.

    Elsewhere, we've got "trik trak" and "palle di Maradona": these sound like brand names, so I'm thinking of keeping them as is (but translating the last literally, as it's hilarious). But I could be wrong.

    Anyone who knows something about English terms for fireworks who can help me out here?
  2. italtrav

    italtrav Senior Member

  3. stella_maris_74

    stella_maris_74 Mod About Chocolate

    Italian - Italy
    Hello :)
    "Palle di Maradona" does not refer to "Maradona's testicles" (at least that's what I think you're thinking since you say it would be "hilarious" to translate it literally), but to the balls kicked by Maradona (as in soccer balls).
    A Google search will clarify a lot about this kind of (illegal) firework.
    "Trik trak", also spelt "tric trac" or "tric e trac" is not a brand name, just the colloquial, onomatopoeic name of a kind of firework. Google helps in this case aswell :)
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  4. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

  5. giginho

    giginho Senior Member

    Svizzera / Torino
    Italiano & Piemontese
    As far as I know, the Maradona's fireworks are called: "pallone di maradona"......just to point out the difference between "le palle di maradona" Maradona testicles (as Stella told you) and the balls kicked by Diego
  6. po-mo New Member

    People have answered already, but to give a little bit of context on le palle di Maradona, the thing about illegal fireworks from Naples is that they give some a special name each year, depending on what current affairs are considered "explosive": for instance, last year, in the midst of the economic crisis, there was on called "the spread" (referring to the economic spread with germany). There have been others called "angela merkel" and "bin laden". Le palle di Maradona are are always in fashion because, as you may know, he is still revered as a God there and the balls he kicked certainly were "explosive".
  7. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Thanks for all the help--this is great! Part of my problem is while I can look at pictures of the fireworks and read Italian descriptions through google, I'm still at a loss for the English terms. I don't know one firework from another.

    So, I think I have most of them now:
    bombacarta: cherry bomb (this makes sense--there's something old-fashioned about cherry bombs)
    bengala: bengal light
    palle di Maradona: not his testicles, but the balls he kicked (yes, I was assuming testicles, and was wondering about the implications of them being "explosive"--I suppose I'll have to translate it as "Maradona's footballs" because "Maradona's balls" definitely conjures up the other!)

    If anyone could take a look at the link to the trik traks that Stella posted in #3 and let me know what they might be called in English, it would be much appreciated!
  8. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    Actually "trik trak" or "tric trac" is not a real firework, but a firecracker, like these A firecracker (also known as a cracker, noise maker, banger or bunger) is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound.
    You can also read here
  9. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Many thanks, Mary--I obviously don't know a firecracker when I see one! It's difficult when one's English vocabulary / knowledge on a topic is limited. Now, if only they were throwing obscure vegetables rather than fireworks, I could just look at google images and go "oh, it's a kholrabi!"

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