Don

  • Necsus

    Senior Member
    Italian (Italy)
    Welcome to the forum, batalat!
    As far as I know it means nothing special, it's a title for parish priest, clergymen, e.g. 'Don Abbondio' ('Father' in English, I suppose), and in the south of Italy also for 'important' people, e.g. Don Vito Corleone.
    It comes from the ancient 'donno', that comes from Latin 'dominus', that means 'padrone', 'signore' (master).
     

    maratt83

    New Member
    italian
    Hi everyone
    How would you translate in English the pun "Don Vincenzo è il miglior cuoco di Parigi" "Oh non sapevo che fosse un prete "
    (Don like the title before a name and Don like priest ). And later someone calls this man "PADRE Vincenzo" because he thinks he is a priest (but he is just a chef!)

    If I just left "Don", would any English speaker understand the pun? don't think so...And if I wrote "Father Vincenzo " it wouldn't be the same. ..Maybe Lord Vincenzo? But would anyone call a priest "lord" or call someone 'lord' as a sign of respect?

    Thanks
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I don't think most English speakers would get "Don" as a pun, and nobody would call anyone "Lord" who wasn't, well, a lord.:) Maybe you could work it by having the first speaker say "Signor Vincenzo" and have his listener mishear it as "Monsignor Vincenzo"? He'd have to repeat the name: "Monsignor Vincenzo? I never knew he was a priest!"
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    I think most English speakers would associate "Don" with the title of a mafia boss. I guess it might not harm Vicenzo's reputation as a chef! :D
     

    maratt83

    New Member
    italian
    I don't think most English speakers would get "Don" as a pun, and nobody would call anyone "Lord" who wasn't, well, a lord.:) Maybe you could work it by having the first speaker say "Signor Vincenzo" and have his listener mishear it as "Monsignor Vincenzo"? He'd have to repeat the name: "Monsignor Vincenzo? I never knew he was a priest!"

    But how would you say it in English? Signor/monsignor?
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    But how would you say it in English? Signor/monsignor?
    Yes, just like that. Most English speakers are probably aware that "Signor" (like its Spanish equivalent and sound-alike) is the Italian for "Mr.", and for the few that aren't, it should become relatively clear from the context. And "Monsignor" is the term used in English for a certain rank of Catholic clergy: Monsignor - Wikipedia

    It would be elevating Vincenzo to a station higher than a simple "Don," but that might make the misunderstanding even funnier.:D
     

    maratt83

    New Member
    italian
    Following your suggestion, I was thinking of:
    "Questa sera il miglior chef italiano di Parigi non sta in cucina. Si è appena accomodato in sala Don Vincenzo!"
    "Ma perché, il miglior chef di Parigi è un prete?"

    "Tonight the best Italian chef in Paris is not in the kitchen. Mister Senior Chef Vincenzo has just taken a seat inside!"

    Monsignor? Is the best chef in Paris a priest?"

    What do you think?

    or "did you say Monsignor?"

    I have also thought of "Monsieur/Monsignor" but I guess with "Senior/monsignor" the sounds are easier to be mixed up
     
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    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    or "did you say Monsignor?"

    I have also thought of "Monsieur/Monsignor" but I guess with "Senior/monsignor" the sounds are easier to be mixed up
    Two things: one, in the Italian original, what does the first speaker reply when the second speaker says "Ma perché, il miglior chef di Parigi è un prete?"? Is the misunderstanding corrected?

    Two: I can't imagine any English-speaker referring to someone as "Mister Senior Chef." "Monsieur" isn't a bad alternative, especially since we're in Paris, but I still think that "Signor / Monsignor" is the more likely mishearing. "Monsignor" is pronounced just like "Signor" with the extra syllable on the front, whereas "Monsieur" is pronounced more like "Miss-YEUR" and less easy to mishear as "Monsignor". Unless, of course, the character who says "Monsieur" speaks strangely accented French and (mis)pronounces the "Mon." (But this would be hard to convey in writing.)
     

    maratt83

    New Member
    italian
    one: nope, the misunderstanding is not corrected, infact later on someone else calls Don Vincenzo "Father"

    two: it's a short movie and I am translating the subtitles.

    If you think that an English speaker would understand SIGNOR, I'd go for SIGNOR...
     

    MR1492

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    one: nope, the misunderstanding is not corrected, infact later on someone else calls Don Vincenzo "Father"

    two: it's a short movie and I am translating the subtitles.

    If you think that an English speaker would understand SIGNOR, I'd go for SIGNOR...
    I just don't think an English speaking audience is going to get the joke. To me, it's one of those things that is just untranslatable. A play on words is almost never as good in the second language.

    However, if the organization for whom you are writing is willing to be creative, you could take elfa's advice from post # 8 and make a joke that would be understood in AE with:

    "Tonight the best Italian chef in Paris is not in the kitchen. Don Vincenzo has just taken a seat inside!"

    Don? Is the best chef in Paris also a Mafia boss?
    "

    It's not anywhere near the original but it would get a chuckle from an AE audience.

    Phil
     
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