e mica è niente

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by hotrocknyc, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. hotrocknyc New Member

    usa english
    If anyone can help me with this translation, that would be great!

    here's the phrase..."e mica è niente"

  2. fph Member

    Italian - Italy
    "And that's something", "and that's something noteworthy".
    Mica is an informal (or I'd rather say dialectal) way to express a negation or to "strengthen" an existing one (an alternative form would be "E non è mica niente".
  3. hotrocknyc New Member

    usa english
    Thank you!
    I've been studying Italiano a little, so I knew what the words meant literally, but that didn't quite make sense (afterall, I thought 'niente' meant 'nothing'...so I thought the sentence would mean something like "and that is nothing"...but it's actually quite the opposite, I guess). So the dialectical/informal aspect is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the clarification. Grazie!
  4. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    Italian, Neapolitan
    Maybe in some contexts "e mica è niente" could be translated with "and that ain't bad", although the precise meaning is "you may think/it may look as if it's trivial/nothing but it's actually quite something".

    By the way, I certainly agree that "mica" is informal but it is definitely not dialectal or even regional, since it is used all over Italy. There's a thread about this in Solo Italiano.
  5. hotrocknyc New Member

    usa english
    Fantastic! Thank you for the additional info! I'm so happy to have found this website, it's very helpful. Everyone is so nice, and not at all condescending, it's fantastic. I'll be sure to check out the thread you recommended.

    Thanks again!
  6. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    Italian, Neapolitan
    You're welcome, hotrocknyc:) The thread in Solo Italiano is mainly about the origin and status of "mica". If you're more interested in the way(s) it is used, these two threads might prove more useful: here and here.
  7. Roo Boy Senior Member

    English, Australia
    "Mica" is one of those words that can be a little hard to translate as its meaning can vary with context. As fph suggested, it is used to add emphasis and therefore, sentences in which is used will generally still make sense if it is omitted. A common usage is "as if" in the following context:

    "It's too late to go to the shop"
    "It's not as if it's too late; the shop doesn't close until 6 o'clock"

    "È troppo tardi per andare al negozio"
    "Non è mica troppo tardi; il negozio non chiude fino alle sei.

    By the way, could you please post the full sentence?
  8. localhero New Member

    New York
    USA, English
    Re: "mica"

    Ho una domanda. In una canzone di Vasco Rossi c'è la linea, "Non è mica bello" e non sto sicuro di quello que Vasco intenda. Mi sembra che sia simile a "Non è niente bello/buono" però non so. Ci sono tifosi di Vasco che hanno consiglio? Grazie.
  9. Radiant Spring Senior Member

    Italian / German (GER) - bilingual
    I think "that's not nice/good" would do. In Italian, it could also be "Non è affatto carino/bello", etc.

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