Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by inbloom, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. inbloom Member

    Southeastern USA
    English - USA
    Ciao, forum!

    It seems like I often come across the term "sfilarsi" when reading political articles on repubblica.it, and I was wondering if a possible English translation might be "on board".

    Here is an example from an article yesterday about the G8 agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2050:

    Accordo presentato come storico, anche se Cina ed Egitto si sono sfilati: Pechino ritiene "fondamentale" la necessità per i Paesi sviluppati di prendere in considerazione le diverse condizioni dei Paesi emergenti e di quelli in via di sviluppo".
    If I were to translate this, I would say that China and Egypt were not "on board" with the plan. From the dictionary definition of sfilarsi, I gather that it can sort of mean to "get out of line", but this has a somewhat derogatory meaning in English. If one were to say "China and Egypt were out of line", it would imply that they refused to go along with everyone else.

    Can anyone please provide some clarification? Thanks! :)
  2. Dublin girl Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    You could perhaps say 'even if China and Egypt did not sign up to it'...
  3. lupinp New Member

    British English
    Today's Repubblica has

    Cominciando da Scelta civica perché se anche Mario Monti si sfila, non si può nemmeno tentare l'azzardo.

    While a blog on Il Fatto Quotidiano has

    Due marò restano in India in attesa di giudizio, un ministro si è sfilato – impallinato dall’incertezza delle mosse del governo – un primo ministro tecnico rivela ancora una volta l’inconsistenza nella quale sta scivolando lui e il paese.

    From the context sfilarsi, in this context, appears to mean to absent oneself or step aside. But no dictionary I have found seems to give this sense - just beads and soldiers.
  4. underhouse Senior Member

    You got it! The italian verb is "sfilarsi" and as you said it means to absent oneself or step aside/back (I happened to come across the verb "to ease out" but I am not sure it has the same meaning).
  5. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian, standard
    This is journalist-speak at its sleaziest :mad:

    I'd translate with step down or pull out depending on the context.
  6. london calling Senior Member

    Fall out (leave the ranks) is what I'd say if this were a military context.;) I'd use step down here, as Rexie suggests, or step aside as lupinp says..;)
  7. lupinp New Member

    British English
    In fact, thinking about it, this use seems to pretty much equivalent to 'defilarsi'.

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