Neapolitan: Chi chiagne, fotte a chi ride

King Crimson

Modus in fabula
Italiano
This is a funny popular neapolitan saying (literally the one who cries, fucks over the one who's laughing) meaning, more or less, that the one who is always moaning/complaining about something eventually gets more than the one living lightheartedly.
I was wondering whether there is an English saying close to it and the only one that came across my mind is "the squeaky chain gets the oil", though this is not so cynic as its italian counterpart.
Any other ideas?
 
  • rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Wow! Do people actually say that? Pescara I think it's like getting the last laugh but really twisted. The squeaky wheel gets the grease is definitely not as cynical as the Italian and is often used as sound advice. It's like saying "tears always win" or something like that.
     

    Curandera

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I believe that he who laughs last, laughs best is the equivalent in Italian of:

    'Chi ride bene, ride ultimo', which is not exactly what the saying implies here.

    We normally say: (the shortest version)

    Chiagne e fotte/c'è chi chiagne e fotte = piange e fotte

    The idea is that people who are always sorry about themselves and their lives, (acting as if they were the only ones who had to put up with real problems in life) in the end are those who get what they want as the others are more incline to be benevolent towards them.

    So basically if you cry people will buy it and they will help you.
     

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    We do say alligator tears, which are fake, to describe the tears of someone who uses their tears to manipulate others.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Aha! Alligator tears in America, crocodile tears in Europe (we're nearer the Nile :)).
    I agree with rrose17's interpretation.

    As for He who laughs last laughs best, I've always known He who laughs last laughs longest. I don't know if that's an AE/BE difference.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Aha! Alligator tears in America, crocodile tears in Europe (we're nearer the Nile :)).
    I agree with rrose17's interpretation.

    As for He who laughs last laughs best, I've always known He who laughs last laughs longest. I don't know if that's an AE/BE difference.
    In Australia we use the 'best' version, too. I've never heard the 'longest' version, but I think I prefer it. :)
     

    Tellure

    Senior Member
    Italian
    [Discussioni riunite: il detto è diffuso in versioni leggermente diverse, ma è lo stesso]
    [Threads merged: the idiom is the same, though it is known in slightly different versions]


    Salve WRF!

    Come si potrebbe tradurre questa espressione in italiano?

    Screenshot_2020-06-12-10-34-49-1-1-1.png


    Da Wikipedia:
    L'espressione vernacolare napoletana chiagni e fotti (o chiagne e fotte[1]; in italiano: «piangi e fotti») è un volgarismo che costituisce una formula proverbiale della tradizione partenopea. Viene usata, di solito, per sottolineare e stigmatizzare un tipico atteggiamento umano, opportunista e ipocrita, esibito da alcune persone che sono solite indugiare in lamentazioni proprio in quei momenti in cui le cose, per loro, vanno a gonfie vele. L'espressione ha avuto diffusione anche al di fuori dell'originale alveo vernacolare, con una certa fortuna nel campo della comunicazione politica e giornalistica italiana.
    Chiagni e fotti - Wikipedia

    Non ho un tentativo di traduzione, purtroppo, sempre che esista in inglese un'espressione che possa adattarsi a questo contesto.

    Qualche idea?

    Grazie. :)
     
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    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Based on this line in the article you link to, "playing the victim" is the closest I can think of, though it doesn't quite cover the "fotte" either:

    «[...] Berlusconi, cui nulla riesce tanto bene quanto la parte di vittima e perseguitato. «Chiagne e fotte» dicono a Napoli dei tipi come lui. E si prepara a farlo per cinque anni di seguito».

    One thinks, for instance, of evangelical Christians in the USA and Canada painting themselves as a persecuted minority any time the government moves to grant equal rights to people they disapprove of.
     

    italtrav

    Senior Member
    English
    Is there any relation here to crying crocodile tears / piangere in cinese?
    There is an illustration here of a crying crocodile holding a bag of money, which could be glossed as 'crying crocodile tears all the way to the bank."
    Continuano altri esempi del chiagni e fotti

    There is also the phrase, "wallowing in self-pity" as maybe a possible translation.
     

    mcrasnich

    Member
    Italy - Italian & Friulian
    Is there any relation here to crying crocodile tears / piangere in cinese?
    There is an illustration here of a crying crocodile holding a bag of money, which could be glossed as 'crying crocodile tears all the way to the bank."
    Continuano altri esempi del chiagni e fotti

    There is also the phrase, "wallowing in self-pity" as maybe a possible translation.
    Lacrime di coccodrillo is also in Italian, with the same meaning - an insincere display of grief for a damage caused. Wallowing in self-pity, which I roughly translate as "stare lì ad autocommiserarsi", has no element of insincerity, only an unwillingness or inability to react (to pull oneself together, darsi una mossa).

    Where I come from (Northern Italy) we say, "piangere il morto", to complain continuously about a minor or non existent (usual financial) difficulty. Sometimes it's completed as "piangere il morto per fregare il vivo", to complain etc in order to take advantage of the situation over others. It's the same as the Neapolitan chiagni e fotti.
    What about being a whinging hypocrite? It's much less effective than the Neapolitan or the Italian, but I can't think of anything else.

    All of this is of little help to the OP which I feel needs to come up with a completely different title. :( Maybe she could go for something like "Businesses moan and groan to access government subsidies" but it may not be too clear.
     
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    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Based on this line in the article you link to, "playing the victim" is the closest I can think of.....
    Yes, because in Naples 'chi chiagne fott a chi rire' (phonetic pronunciation) is said of people who are always crying /moaning about something. They 'fuck:warning: you over' in the sense that you might be perfectly content and along comes this pain in the arse and maybe makes you feel miserable with all their moaning. :D
     

    Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    They 'fuck:warning: you over' in the sense that you might be perfectly content and along comes this pain in the arse and maybe makes you feel miserable with all their moaning. :D
    I've always thought chiagni e fotti implied some kind of deceit (= fottere) after crying, as if to say such false crying disguises a bad intent.
    But maybe it's just me.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I've always thought chiagni e fotti implied some kind of deceit (= fottere) after crying, as if to say such false crying disguises a bad intent.
    But maybe it's just me.
    I wasn't talking about 'chiagni e fotti', which means something different. I suggest you re-read my post.

    You say that about someone who moans when in fact everything is going just fine for them.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    All of this is of little help to the OP which I feel needs to come up with a completely different title. :( Maybe she could go for something like "Businesses moan and groan to access government subsidies" but it may not be too clear.

    If this is actually what the article's about that Tellure's trying to translate the title for, then I think the suggestion (italtrav's in #15) of "Crying all the way to the bank" (no "crocodile tears" needed) would work well. It would put a new spin on the saying, which isn't normally about crying in order to get money, but it would be perfectly comprehensible in the new context, and catchy to boot.
     
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    mcrasnich

    Member
    Italy - Italian & Friulian
    If this is actually what the article's about that Tellure's trying to translate the title for, then I think the suggestion of "Crying all the way to the bank" (no "crocodile tears" needed) would work well. It would put a new spin on the saying, which isn't normally about crying in order to get money, but it would be perfectly comprehensible in the new context, and catchy to boot.
    I think that works perfectly! :)
    CIG in the headline is Cassa Integrazione Guadagni, an emergency fund which large companies can use when they run into serious economic difficulties. In the Covid crisis access to the fund was exceptionally extended in deroga, but according to the article 2600 conpanies applied that had no right to do so (they are the furbi - that most untranslatable word- highlighted in red).
     
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    Louisiana94

    New Member
    Italian
    It sounds like the famous argument proposed by F. Nietzsche in The Genealogy of Moral: the so called "inversion of values", by which the good ones become "evil" because of the envy of the bad ones, who become "good".
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    ""The squeaky wheel gets the grease" (if you complain loudly and long enough, people will give you what you want just to get you to shut up and go away) doesn't seem to be what K C was looking for. In the article's title "Crying all the way to the bank" is probably closest (and they are crocodile tears). I don't know if Liberace invented the expression, but he famously said "I cried all the way to the bank." in reply to being asked about how he felt when people criticized him for his prostituting his talent.

    (I'm sure this is a big help to K C for their translation 11 years ago! :D :rolleyes: )
     
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