fall asleep at the switch/asleep at the wheel

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Schrodinger's_Cat, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Schrodinger's_Cat

    Schrodinger's_Cat Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    American English
    Does anyone know what the Italian equivalent is for fall asleep at the switch/asleep at the wheel (= inattentive to duty)?
     
  2. SuperGaara Senior Member

    Venezia (Italy)
    Italian
    It may be "essersi distratti/addormentati"
     
  3. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    'At the switch' I don't know, but 'fall asleep at the wheel' should mean 'addormentarsi al volante/alla guida'. :);)
     
  4. BlackEagle Member

    Palermo
    Italian
    Gee... this is a tough one!

    Necsus is absolutely right about "falling asleep at the wheel".

    As for "falling asleep at the switch", it can be translated as "addormentarsi sugli allori"
     
  5. lingogal Senior Member

    U.S. English
    I think that the meaning is different for "addormentarsi sugli allori": to rest on one's laurels, if I am not mistaken. "Asleep at the switch/ wheel" has more of the meaning of not doing one's job or letting someone down in its idiomatic sense.

    Sorry, I forgot to water your plants and they all died. I must have been asleep at the switch!

    Wow, he won 3 gold medals in the Olympics! Now I guess he can rest on his laurels.
     
  6. Schrodinger's_Cat

    Schrodinger's_Cat Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    American English
    That's right!

    It describes someone who invites disaster by failing to pay attention on the job.
     
  7. BlackEagle Member

    Palermo
    Italian
    No, no, no... "addormentarsi sugli allori" means that you might lose a game just because you think you are so much the best that you end up playing bad... (Si sono addormentati sugli allori... e hanno perso miseramente la partita. Che gli serva di lezione!)

    "addormentarsi sugli allori" is a bad thing. In Italian, you cannot use it in the 3-gold-medals example. It'd be weird.

    However, it cannot be used in the water-your-plants example either because that example does not involve any "allori"... So, I guess, it can translate "fall asleep at the switch" only in a victory/game/quick-response context.
     
  8. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Yes. For 'asleep at the switch', WRD gives this translation: "non stare attento (che non presta attenzione)".
    And does 'asleep at the wheel' have the same meaning as 'asleep at the switch'?

    Anyway, as far as I know, the Italian expression for 'to rest on one's laurels' is usually 'dormire/riposare sugli allori', not 'addormentarsi'. ;):)
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  9. Schrodinger's_Cat

    Schrodinger's_Cat Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    American English
    "asleep at the switch" and "asleep at the wheel" have the same meaning.
     
  10. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    And then how do you say 'addormentarsi al volante' not figuratively?
     
  11. BlackEagle Member

    Palermo
    Italian
    Sorry, I forgot to water your plants and they all died. I must have been asleep at the switch!

    "Scusami, ho dimenticato di annaffiarti le piante e sono morte tutte. Devo essermi completamente distratto!

    or

    "Ho proprio la testa per aria!"

    or

    "Sono proprio un disastro!"
     
  12. BlackEagle Member

    Palermo
    Italian
    Definition from the FreeDictionary:
    fall asleep at the switch
    be asleep at the switch - if someone is asleep at the switch, they are not ready to act quickly to avoid problems and do their job well. The Party was simply too confident of victory and fell asleep at the switch.

    Random peice of news just found onthe web:
    Millions Drive Drowsy and Fall Asleep at the Wheel
    National Sleep Foundation Issues Wake-Up Call to Fatigued Drivers - Stop and Nap or Drink Caffeine!
     
  13. BlackEagle Member

    Palermo
    Italian
    In the first case above, "addormentarsi sugli allori" fits well.

    In the second, "dormire al volante" is the only choice...
     

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