Renitente

mlcorrad

Senior Member
English, USA
The standard definition of "renitente" in English is "draft dodger." Garzani translates it: "chi non si presenta alla chiamta per il servizio militare obbligatorio."

To be a draft dodger has a shameful connotation, and is used as a slur by those who disapprove of avoiding the military draft. But not all who avoid the draft are shameful. The term "renitente" is used for those Italians who refused military service under Fascism, a badge of honor for some and not at all shameful. So, for example, in this passage from Chiekete (at GUARESCHI, Marco):

"Il gruppo di Merlo dispone di pochissime armi ed è in fase di formazione. Il loro passaggio dalla condizione di renitenti a quella di partigiani deve ancora avvenire quando vengono sorpresi da un grande rastrellamento sviluppatosi in tutta l’Italia nord occidentale e che nell’appennino ligure-alessandrino ha come obiettivo le centinaia di uomini raccolti nella zona della Benedicta in due formazioni partigiane, una garibaldina e una autonoma."

I translate this as follows: (Lieutenant) Merlo's group had few weapons and was just in the process of formation. Their transition from renitenti to partisans was yet to happen when they were surprised by a huge dragnet which was taking place in northeast Italy, and which in the Appenines of Alessandria in Liguria was directed at the hundreds of men gathered around the Benedicta in two formations, one Garibaldian, one independent.

I wonder whether a better translation than "draft dodger" does not already exist in writing about the resistance. "Refusnik" is not much better. My search through synonyms for "draft dodger" in English turns up only equally shameful words. Someone who has had to translate this word (in this context) into English may be aware of an appropriate translation.

Thanks for any help.
 
  • To be a draft dodger has a shameful connotation
    Well, in Italian too, so why do you think it doesn't fit your context?
    I agree that renitente is a formal term while draft dodger is slang, but they mean exactly the same thing.
    The WR disctionary suggests "draft avader".
    The fact they eventually became Partigiani doesn't change the fact they failed to report for military service, which was a felony.
     

    mlcorrad

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Well, in Italian too, so why do you think it doesn't fit your context?
    I agree that renitente is a formal term while draft dodger is slang, but they mean exactly the same thing.
    The WR disctionary suggests "draft avader".
    The fact they eventually became Partigiani doesn't change the fact they failed to report for military service, which was a felony.
    Not helpful, Paul, but thanks.
     

    mlcorrad

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Perhaps because it is a shameful word?
    The author of that text chose the word renitente and I have no reason to doubt they were aware of the implications.
    It's up to you whether you want to translate it accurately or not.
    My only thought is there must be a neutral translation, and I was hoping that someone who had written about the resistance in English might be aware of one. My parents were called "dagos," "wops," and "guineas," all words meaning, precisely, Italian Americans. But they are slurs, and I am happy that there is a neutral word, Italian-American, that is neither an honorific nor a slur, that can be used to describe them. True, some believed that it was shameful to be an Italian-American. Luckily not everyone did.
     

    Tellure

    Senior Member
    Italian
    So, for example, in this passage from Chiekete (at GUARESCHI, Marco):

    "Il gruppo di Merlo dispone di pochissime armi ed è in fase di formazione. Il loro passaggio dalla condizione di renitenti a quella di partigiani deve ancora avvenire quando vengono sorpresi da un grande rastrellamento sviluppatosi in tutta l’Italia nord occidentale e che nell’appennino ligure-alessandrino ha come obiettivo le centinaia di uomini raccolti nella zona della Benedicta in due formazioni partigiane, una garibaldina e una autonoma."
    E se il senso qui fosse più generico?

    2. a. Che si rifiuta di obbedire o di conformarsi ai consigli e ai voleri altrui, a obblighi, norme e disposizioni di legge: essere r., mostrarsi r. ai consigli o a seguire un consiglio; ha un carattere r. a ogni forma d’imposizione.
    renitènte in Vocabolario - Treccani

    Nel testo almeno non viene menzionata la leva.
     
    Nel testo almeno non viene menzionata la leva.
    Molti dei partigiani erano renitenti, essendosi rifiutati di arruolarsi nell'esercito italiano. A me sembra che il senso sia letterale.
    L'autore avrebbe potuto scegliere altri termini per descrivere queste persone, ma ha scelto renitenti. SE il testo esprime un giudizio morale, è il punto di vista dell'autore, condivisibile o meno. Il traduttore traduce, non giudica, secondo me.
     

    mlcorrad

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    E se il senso qui fosse più generico?

    2. a. Che si rifiuta di obbedire o di conformarsi ai consigli e ai voleri altrui, a obblighi, norme e disposizioni di legge: essere r., mostrarsi r. ai consigli o a seguire un consiglio; ha un carattere r. a ogni forma d’imposizione.
    renitènte in Vocabolario - Treccani

    Nel testo almeno non viene menzionata la leva.
    Si, grazie, Tellure. Ma qui credo che la leva è intesa. Almeno, lo credo.

    Molti dei partigiani erano renitenti, essendosi rifiutati di arruolarsi nell'esercito italiano. A me sembra che il senso sia letterale.
    L'autore avrebbe potuto scegliere altri termini per descrivere queste persone, ma ha scelto renitenti. SE il testo esprime un giudizio morale, è il punto di vista dell'autore, condivisibile o meno. Il traduttore traduce, non giudica, secondo me.
    Yes, I understand, thank you, Paul.
     
    The WR dictionary's "draft evader" is not always used pejoratively. It depends on the context.

    "Draft dodger" is often, but - as a famous on-line encyclopedia points out - not always, used in a pejorative way. Sometimes it is neutral in the context and is occasionally used as an honorific.
     

    mlcorrad

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Thanks, John. Draft evader may work. That's helpful. I'm afraid "draft dodgers" can't escape its bad odor. During the Vietnam war, resisters sometimes fled to Canada. They were described as draft dodgers mainly by the reactionaries who supported the war. Come to think of it, "draft resister" might work as well.
     

    merse0

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    Micorrad,
    ... nell’appennino ligure-alessandrino... lo hai tradotto: ...in the Appenines of Alessandria in Liguria...
    E' sbagliato perché Alessandria è una provincia del Piemonte e l'autore si riferisce all'area che copre le due regioni.

    Purtroppo, non sono in grado di aiutarti per come tradurre ligure-alessandrino.
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    Thanks, John. Draft evader may work. That's helpful. I'm afraid "draft dodgers" can't escape its bad odor. During the Vietnam war, resisters sometimes fled to Canada. They were described as draft dodgers mainly by the reactionaries who supported the war. Come to think of it, "draft resister" might work as well.

    Or 'draft objectors', perhaps.

    A little background: After 9/8/43, when the King of Italy quit the war that the Italians had been fighting alongside the Germans, the Italians had no legal obligation to fight. In fact, 600.000 Italian soldiers and officers ended up in German concentration camps because they refused to keep fighting with the Germans. About 10% of them died in the camps. In the Republic of Salo', the puppet German-serving fascist regime created after Mussolini was sprung from prison where the King had locked him up, the German authorities and their Italian junior partners attempted several times to recruit local young men for the armed forces of the Fascist Republic. Evading the draft and taking to the mountains was often the first 'patriotic' step these young men took to reclaim their liberty and dignity. The second step, for many, was to join one of the armed groups that either military elements loyal to the King or opposed to the nazi-fascist, or civilian anti-fascist elements, were forming, often with the support of allied SpecOp (as we would call them today) forces who could use some help behind the enemy lines.

    The Italian sentence does not, in my opinion, express any moral judgment. A 'renitente' is just a person who tries to avoid his draft duty, whether for a just cause or for convenience. But the fact that the 'renitenti' are described as starting to form a partisan group excludes in my opinion any hint to a negative connotation.
     

    mlcorrad

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Micorrad,
    ... nell’appennino ligure-alessandrino... lo hai tradotto: ...in the Appenines of Alessandria in Liguria...
    E' sbagliato perché Alessandria è una provincia del Piemonte e l'autore si riferisce all'area che copre le due regioni.

    Purtroppo, non sono in grado di aiutarti per come tradurre ligure-alessandrino.
    Micorrad,
    ... nell’appennino ligure-alessandrino... lo hai tradotto: ...in the Appenines of Alessandria in Liguria...
    E' sbagliato perché Alessandria è una provincia del Piemonte e l'autore si riferisce all'area che copre le due regioni.

    Purtroppo, non sono in grado di aiutarti per come tradurre ligure-alessandrino.
    Merse0, thanks. That’s a big error on my part!

    Or 'draft objectors', perhaps.

    A little background: After 9/8/43, when the King of Italy quit the war that the Italians had been fighting alongside the Germans, the Italians had no legal obligation to fight. In fact, 600.000 Italian soldiers and officers ended up in German concentration camps because they refused to keep fighting with the Germans. About 10% of them died in the camps. In the Republic of Salo', the puppet German-serving fascist regime created after Mussolini was sprung from prison where the King had locked him up, the German authorities and their Italian junior partners attempted several times to recruit local young men for the armed forces of the Fascist Republic. Evading the draft and taking to the mountains was often the first 'patriotic' step these young men took to reclaim their liberty and dignity. The second step, for many, was to join one of the armed groups that either military elements loyal to the King or opposed to the nazi-fascist, or civilian anti-fascist elements, were forming, often with the support of allied SpecOp (as we would call them today) forces who could use some help behind the enemy lines.

    The Italian sentence does not, in my opinion, express any moral judgment. A 'renitente' is just a person who tries to avoid his draft duty, whether for a just cause or for convenience. But the fact that the 'renitenti' are described as starting to form a partisan group excludes in my opinion any hint to a negative connotation.
    Wonderful! Thanks for this. I’m reading about the slaughter at La Benedicta, and about the subsequent fate of Italian young men who were transported from there to Mauthausen where most of them died. I’m happy to see you say that “renitente” does not, by itself, carry any negative connotation. “Draft dodger” generally does. But your discussion and that of others makes me think there will not be any simple translation. I gather there was no formal draft, so perhaps a description would be better than a word: “those who would evade conscription.”

    One last note: Apparently there was a draft. The "Bando Graziani" of February 1944, an edict from Salo which referred to the "leva," promised that those who did not respond to the call within three days would be rounded up and shot.
     
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