shades of French fairy dust

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Francesco22, May 22, 2012.

  1. Francesco22 Senior Member

    Toscana
    italiano
    Hi there,
    I can't understand the meaning of "shades" in this sentence.
    It can't be "ombra" or "paralume", "ombrello" and so on... I tought they meant "jars" or "bottle", because it could be reasonable...otherwise it has no sense.

    The context: two fairies are talking about a third fairy who needs fifteen shades of French fairy dust and a bottle of blue moonlight...

    Thank you in advance...
     
  2. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    In the case, shades means "types" or "kinds." It means that the third fairy seems to need a lot of magical stuff to do his/her work.
     
  3. Francesco22 Senior Member

    Toscana
    italiano
    So it means "15 tipi di polvere di fata francese?!"
     
  4. rrose17

    rrose17 Senior Member

    Montreal
    Canada, English
    I read it as 15 different colours of fairy dust. Who knew there were so many?:)
     
  5. Francesco22 Senior Member

    Toscana
    italiano
    Yeah, I mean...it could be quite everything...
     
  6. Blackman

    Blackman Senior Member

    Island of Sardinia, Italy
    Italiano/Sardo
    Varietà/varianti potrebbe fare al caso tuo...

    EDIT: non so di cosa si tratta esattamente, ma potresti usare una metonimia letterale: 15 sfumature/gradazioni di polvere magica francese.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  7. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    Questa altra fata proprio non riesce a fare nulla senza un numero eccessivo di sostanze magiche.

    rrose: In my stomping grounds, "shades" rarely literally means "colors" in an ironic statement like this.
     
  8. Francesco22 Senior Member

    Toscana
    italiano
    And what about the "blue moonlight"?? Una bottiglia gigante di chiaro di luna blu?!?!?!
    If you (native speakers) listened to this sentence, what would you understand?!
     
  9. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    Please see my comments above. It is a very ironic and non-literal sentence to say they feel this fairy is so incompetent that she can't get anything done without unreasonable amounts of rare esoteric magical substances.
     
  10. rrose17

    rrose17 Senior Member

    Montreal
    Canada, English
    I still think shades of fairy dust is various colours, but the blue moonlight is probably ironic as AB pointed out. There is a very common expression once in a blue moon which means almost never. So a bottle of blue moonlight must be very rare indeed!
     
  11. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    I also read it as "sfumature" (nuances of colour), actually.;)
     
  12. Francesco22 Senior Member

    Toscana
    italiano
    Yes, ok...but the fact is that the fairy is reading a list of things the other fairy needs...for this reason I think it's not just an ironic way to express she is incompetent.
     
  13. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    No problem. The point is: who the heck cares about this insignificant difference between two otherwise identical sprinkles of fairy dust except this lame brain fairy?
     
  14. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    :D

    Nobody, except poor Francesco who's having to translate the damn thing!:D
     
  15. Francesco22 Senior Member

    Toscana
    italiano
    Right London Calling...but the problem is that I have also to adjust the sentence to the fairy's lips opening and closing...:(
    Anyway, thank you all!!!
     
  16. Lorena1970

    Lorena1970 Banned

    Italy, Italiano
    Given the delirious context :D, couldn't it be "15 pizzichi di polvere di fata francese (e una bottiglia di luce di luna blu)"...?
     
  17. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    Lo, I think, at least in English, the ironic (perhaps sardonic) mood is set by the fact, that these 15 types of fairy dust are all different, just a shade different, from each other. I would not be surprised that this is one that an American would see as a joke while someone else would see it as incomprehensible. Perhaps it's a cultural thing. Our senses of humor are different. I often have trouble understanding or telling jokes with my Italian friends.

    EDIT: Ovunque sul forum WRF si trova: once in a blue moon = una volta ogni morta di papa. Quindi, il "bottle of blue moonlight" (una bottiglia di luce di luna blu) non ha un senso ironico in italiano come lo ha in inglese.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012

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