Nothing gets by you

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by bejosc, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. bejosc Senior Member

    USA English
    How would you say, "nothing gets by me", as in nothing escapse my notice?

    It's in a movie, and it sounds something like this:

    so niente sopra siedo

    But, of course, that makes no sense in any Italian I know!

    Mi aiuti!
  2. alegasale

    alegasale Member

    But you mean 'by you' or 'by me'
    anyway 'non pretendo niente da te/me'
  3. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Nothing escapes my notice is non mi sfugge nulla.

    I don't understand, though. Was this in the English subtitles to a movie you watched in Italian? Is that why you can't remember the exact Italian phrase?
  4. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    What about something a little more active on the part of the speaker:

    Non mi lascio sfuggire niente/nulla = I don't let anything escape me (my notice)

    Does this make sense in Italian? On second thought, perhaps the above means I don't let myself escape anything! :eek: Let me try again:

    Non lascio (mai) niente/nulla sfuggirmi.

    Is this better? Also, is there a preference for "nulla" over "niente"?


    P.S. Carlo, this construction is eerily similar to another discussed just recently today... :D
  5. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Yes, Brian, this construction does ring a bell...:D

    As usual, you've opened another can of worms and because of you I'll have to stay awake a bit longer:)

    Non mi sfugge nulla can only mean nothing escapes my notice.

    Non lasciarsi suggire qualcosa can also mean:

    1. Mi raccomando! E' un segreto! Non lasciarti sfuggire nulla! (i.e. make sure you don't inadvertently let the cat out the bag, you big mouth!)

    2. It can mean sort of "not miss a chance" - for example a guy who doesn't miss a single chance to hit on a girl, whether attractive or not. He doesn't let one get away. Non se ne fa sfuggire una!

    PS Nulla and niente are interchangeable. I remember we once had a thread discussing how to translate the beautiful Macbeth soliloquy ending with "...signifying nothing" and some preferred "nulla", others "niente"
  6. bejosc Senior Member

    USA English
    The subtitles say, "nothing gets by me", but when I hear it all I can make it something like so niente sopra sieda. Oh well. At least now I know how to say "nothing gets by you!".
  7. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    I thought it had to be a subtitle. Now I'm curious to find out what the original sentence was.

    "So niente sopra siede" might be "su niente soprassiedo", which sounds really unnatural to me but might explain the translation since literally it means "I won't allow anything to be postponed", so, in a way, it's akin to "I won't let anything slip by". What's the film about and where is it set?
    Normally it would be "non soprassiedo su niente" (which still sounds odd to me) but in some regions the word order is different.
  8. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    B and Mwop: As an aside, just looking at De Mauro regarding nulla (then compare to niente) you'll see definitions discussing conceptual aspects to nulla with regard to nothing/nothingness or zero/void that are relative to physics, philosophy or mathematics.
  9. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Good point, Dah!:thumbsup:

    I was mainly thinking of the everyday use of "nothing", where "niente" and "nulla" are mostly interchangeable. I've just skimmed quickly the many phrases with "niente" listed in the Oxford/Paravia - in maybe 95% of the cases "nulla" can be substituted. However there are a few fixed phrases where only "niente" can be used, like niente scherzi! or niente paura!
    And of course it's always il dolce far niente:)

    Although Paravia gives "nothingness" as a translation for both words I would use "nulla" in this sense.

    Oh and I'd always use "nulla" in "è svanito nel nulla".

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