si è

Rob625

Senior Member
English - England
Qualcuno può aiutarmi a capire la construzione usata qui:
... tutti i giovani della sua generazione hanno delle idee di questo genere... pensano che non si è forti e non si è austeri e per sentirsi austeri si fabbricano delle teste di turco che non esistono.
Avrei aspettato "pensano di non essere" invece di "pensano che non si è."

Anche, che cosa vuol dire "testa di turco"?

Grazie
Rob
 
  • DDT

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    Rob625 said:
    Qualcuno può aiutarmi a capire la construzione usata qui:
    ... tutti i giovani della sua generazione hanno delle idee di questo genere... pensano che non si è forti e non si è austeri e per sentirsi austeri si fabbricano delle teste di turco che non esistono.

    Avrei aspettato "pensano di non essere" invece di "pensano che non si è."

    Anche, che cosa vuol dire "testa di turco"?

    Grazie
    Rob
    I haven't got a clue about "testa di turco"...it's the first time I hear such an expression... :confused:
    The phrase you quoted is not written in very good italian - the style is almost odd - "pensano che non si è" doesn't sound that good, "pensano di non essere" would sound better. Anyway "pensano che non si è" is the impersonal form of "pensano di non essere". Just to give you an instance,
    here's a proverb: "Si è giovani una volta sola"...this kind of impersonal form is more frequently used isolated at the beginning of a sentence, statements as "pensano che si è" sound odd if not (almost) wrong.

    DDT
     

    Sam

    Member
    France / Français - Italiano
    "testa di turco" = une tête de turc, someone who is whipsaw by other people.

    spero di essere stato utile.
     

    Silvia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I agree with DDT, it sounds like a bad translation. Anyway, just some examples:
    (impersonal mood)
    Si è detto = it has been said
    Si dice che = it is said that
    Si crede che = it is believed/thought that
    Si scrive così = it is to be written like that

    As you can see, this last translation could also be "deve essere scritto così", but also in English you have other options (it has to be written like that, it must be written like that, one must write it like that, you have to write it like that, etc.).

    For those of you who are familiar with French, it corresponds to the French particle "on":
    "on y va" = si va

    In English you usually translate it as "you" (notice I've just done that!)
    In inglese di solito si traduce come "tu"

    I hope it's a little bit clearer.
     

    Rob625

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks, DDT. I am glad that you think I write better Italian than Alberto Moravia ;) .

    Sam: what do you mean by whipsaw?
     

    Silvia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Writers always have the so called "poetic license"... so they're always right, unluckily I would say, since some of them are really bad!
     

    Sam

    Member
    France / Français - Italiano
    i found whipsaw for "harceler" in my lexicon, may be to harass sounds more common ?
     

    Merlino

    Senior Member
    The Netherlands
    silviap said:
    Si scrive così = it is to be written like that
    I don't think si scrive così and it is to be written like that cover the same meaning... Si scrive così implies that it's just done in a certain way, while the english translation goes more along the lines of "it should be done in a certain way."

    The translation is strange in any case, and "pensano che si è" is dead wrong grammatically since the congiuntivo should be used (pensano che si sia), and even then it sounds a bit strange...
     

    Rob625

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Sam said:
    i found whipsaw for "harceler" in my lexicon, may be to harass sounds more common ?
    "Whipsaw" for harass is an idiom I have never heard. Perhaps it is american.

    I don't quite know why I didn't recognise the impersonal form; perhaps it was just odd to my ear, and it seems I was right to find it so.
     

    Italian Girl

    Member
    Italy Italian
    from the Italian dictionary:

    testa di turco, quella del fantoccio vestito da turco, preso come bersaglio nel tiro a segno (est. persona, cosa su cui sfogare ogni sorta di animosità violenta)
     

    Silvia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Merlino, I agree that 'si deve scrivere così' and 'si scrive così' are used in different contexts, but not necessarily. An example:
    La maestra disse agli alunni:"camminare si scrive con due emme"
    The teacher said to the class (or to the pupils) "camminare must be written with 2 m's" (or whatever the translation may be).
    About the strangeness of the sentence in question, as I said the so called poetic license is applied, I don't know if you're familiar with that concept. Anyway, according to it everything's allowed. I don't know where that excerpt comes from, I don't know the context, as far as I know it could be a dialog in which the speaker is not well educated, or even, it could be an article taken from a magazine. We don't know who the speaker is, maybe the character has to talk like that, or maybe it was just Moravia not giving a darn about rules of Italian language! It could be anything and everything! ;)
    Ciao!
     

    Rob625

    Senior Member
    English - England
    as far as I know it could be a dialog in which the speaker is not well educated
    I was wondering if someone would take that line. In fact, the speaker is a university professor. The quote is from Il Conformista, ch VIII. I think perhaps the rather tortured construction is aimed at expressing his contempt for the attitude he is describing. Moravia is indeed a great writer, and I am sure he had a reason for his choice of syntax.


    BTW, Sylvia: a teacher would speak to his class, but not to the classroom. If he spoke to the classroom, I would wonder where all the pupils had gone, and why he was wasting his breath!
     

    Silvia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    The teacher I was talking of was a she :D
    Thank you for correcting my English! Sometimes I just don't pay much attention to things...
    Anyway, where's the professor from?
     
    Ciao,

    As far as the word "whipsaw" it refers to an old, two man saw for cutting where the saw would go back and forth as the men worked it. It means to make someone's head or thoughts go back and forth so as to cause or indicate confusion.

    Carlo
     

    Nadietta

    Member
    Italy/Italian
    ...…In addiction to a writer may also let the narrating voice take on the point of view of a certain character for the narration and let this narrating voice express itself the way such a person would actually speak/think; for example, the writer may let the narrator/narrating voice express itself like people from the folk and with their point of view , that is with regional words, odd sentence structures etc. I hope this helps to understand why Moravia wrote so oddly?
     
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