te vojo bene assai

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by i1337, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. i1337 New Member

    hi im new.

    i read another thread with a similar looking phrase.
    but what does it mean?

  2. valy822

    valy822 Senior Member

    Naples / Milan
    Italy- Italian
    Hi and Welcome to the forum!
    It means "I love you so much".
  3. Don Zauker Senior Member

    I love you so much.

    (Please, don't tell to my wife ;) )
  4. V52

    V52 Senior Member

    Italy Italian
    "Io te vojio bene assaie" is the title of a an ancient and famous song written by Gaetano Donizzetti.
  5. i1337 New Member

    thanks guys :)
  6. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    te voglio bene assaie is not standard Italian, it's Neapolitan dialect.
  7. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    You know, it's such a nuance of difference between "not standard" and substandard. There's a link in today's discussion of Napulitàn that touches on the attitude with which this language/dialect has been regarded-- as a "language without prestige" and even a "low-class language."

    These quotes are from the linked article, and I'm not imputing that degree of derogatory intent to Silvia's use of "not standard." There is a legitimate concern for "standardization" in many languages, including English. Some of the attempts to achieve purity are well-intentioned, some invidious, some (especially in English) merely quixotic.

    It strikes me that this hot issue always arises on this forum, whenever southern forms of expression are "corrected." Does this have to be the case?

    On the English-only forum, differences between BE and AE are discussed openly and with élan sometimes-- but never rancor.

    Possibly the reason that tends not to be the case here is that there are no non-hierarchical or value-null terms for the two forms of Italian, nothing to correspond to "British English" and "American English." The British speakers don't hold the less-familiar (to them) forms up against their "standard," with or without implied judgmentalism-- the two are treated as different, and we often relish and revel in the differences.

    We have dialects within BE that aren't used in universities like Oxford, and there are modes of pronunciation that are not RP, or "Queen's English." That doesn't make Oxonian or "BBC English" standard, even though many people learn that usage in school with "being up to standards" in mind.

    In Italian, it seems that users of the university or scholarly or "official" form of the language assume that distinction, that they have it right and everything else is substandard. Since this attitude doesn't have to be the case, since it isn't the case in our discussions of English-- why can't we find ways of discussing northern and southern versions of Italian with less contention and more mutual respect?

    I'm speaking in general here, not implying that the simple use of "not standard" is always ill-motivated. It does, I notice, almost always lead to unproductive dispute.
  8. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    I don't like this kind of polemic about Italian dialects and Italian language. Italian language is understood and recognized by all Italians, dialects are local. This is the difference, like it or not. Dialects are not low-class, if you know or can speak Italian language and dialects; if you only know your dialect, then it might be a problem.

    Sorry for my bad choice of words... Italian is Italian, the term "standard" was rather superfluous.
  9. Don Zauker Senior Member

    Silvia is trying to point it out to foreigners that may take dialect forms as proper Italian and speak in a ridicolous fashion.

    Merely, Neopolitan, or any other language that can't be understood by the majority of the Italian People, like Milanese, Sardo or Siciliano, is not Italian.

    I haven't seen the original version of "Mr. Crocodile Dundee" but in the italian version there is a funny scene setted in an italian restourant in New York where the journalist's boyfriend says to a waiter "Nui vulimme magnà bono assai", mistaking neapolitan for italian.

    Here in Italy this is a humorous scene, that plays on the urban legend that any american mistake neapolitan for italian cause the huge amount of neapolitan workers that reached the USA in the early 1900.

    Silvia was trying to avoid this kind of error.
  10. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I would say dialects are not low-class. Period.

    Of course if one only knows one's dialect, one has limitations-- I don't know if this is all you meant by "a problem." Though I disagree with the principles you espouse, it goes without saying I respect your expertise, and not just in your own language-- your command of English is better than my Italian, and the ironic thing is that you probably know your way around Napulitàn better than I do too.

    But our disagreement has nothing to do with language proficiency or versatility. After all, if you only know your own language, you also have limitations-- in dealing with the world beyond your language. That fact would not lead me to say, "Your language is not low-class, if you know or can speak more than just your own."

    If you know 4 or 5 European languages, you aren't elevated in "class," you simply gain tools of communication useful among other Europeans. And yet you might still travel to areas in this wide world where that proved to be a limitation. Tibet, let's say. Hopefully no polyglot traveler to Tibet would feel they "outclassed" the "locals" there, even if all they spoke was their own dialect-- nor should it be said these people had a "problem."

    In the context of European languages, Italian is "local" to Italy, no? Spanish is local to Spain-- but what about Catalan? Just as there are people who consider Catalan a language, there are serious and educated people who consider Napulitàn a language. It used to be, in Spain, that proponents of Castilian as the Spanish language were calling Catalan a dialect, deriding it, suppressing it-- even forcibly, by law.

    You can call the region where dialects other than Tuscan are spoken "local," but it is as big as the rest of Italy. And I believe emigration from the area south of Rome has been disproportionate, in that southern forms of Italian have spread more extensively in the New World. So the analogy with British and American English is apt on that account too.

    What about my example of British English, and the manner in which different forms of the language are discussed on that forum? Can't we come up with, and agree on, a way of describing forms of Italian that don't minimalize one regional speech, or marginalize it? What do you think of our practice of saying, "there's another AE/BE difference?" Not, "that isn't English, it's American dialect."
  11. Don Zauker Senior Member

    Maybe I'm missing the point but...

    What Silvia and I were saying is that Neapolitan is not Italian. Period.

    I can't see in my post nor in Silvia post any derogatory or negative consequence to this fact.

    Simply enough, if you and any other people like to refer to Neapolitan as a language, you're welcome. The term dialect is closer to my experience, so I'd rather use this term.

    Again, it is improper to use examples like Catalan Spanish. Spain is a federation (similar to Switzerland or Germany) and any region has an house of parlment with almost total power. The Catalan region deliberated to use Catalan Spanish AND Castillan Spanish.
    Here in Italy this is not the case. Regional powers can't override the national government so in Italy there is only one language: Italian.

    BTW, if you are italian, live in italy and can't speak italian but just your dialect then you're in deep trouble...
  12. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    This is a statement of fact. I find not one iota of value judgement in Silvia's post, ffb. Furthermore, there is no inherent nuance of difference between "not standard" and "substandard." They mean different things, and only take on a negative meaning if someone comes along and puts one there.
  13. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Yeah, that wasn't real negative or derogatory.

    You say the central government in Italy has the power, therefore "there is only one language." Same exact situation as existed in Spain under Franco-- power enforced one "reality" for everyone. Now that has changed, and Catalan is a language after all. So why exactly don't you like the analogy between that language and Napulitàn?
  14. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    Seems like you might want to open a new thread on the subject, no?
  15. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    There is one active and quite nice thread on Neapolitan. Please take any comments related to this issue there.

    Many thanks for understanding,

  16. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    This is not completely true. I reckon that Italians are generally not aware of the fact.
    Italy is made up of very different people with a language of their own. But for historical reasons almost all the regional languages (the only exceptions are those languages that were "supported" by foreign national countries -like german, for example) have been heavily pitiless repressed.
    Taking into account this situation, after WWII our Constitution (by article no 6) sanctionned a minority language tutelage. But actually this article has never been put to work until now, for there was no interest at national level to save those languages.
    Yet, lately, in the frame of being more politically correct, the Italian government has finally recognized (IMOHO, too late for they are already dying -but of course government administration has now a clean conscience :) ) those minority languages so that people in those regions are allowed to use their own languages in public amministration life too.
    So in those local administrations Italian is no more the only official language.

    The recognized languages in Italy are the following:
    albanese, catalano, tedesco, greco, sloveno e croato, francese, il franco-provenzale, friulano, ladino, occitano e sardo.

    As far as I know, although ancient people may be not that keen in Italian, nobody nowadays is unable to use Italian.

  17. veronica55

    veronica55 Member

    I'm a little bit confused about this;

    1-Sometimes it says "ti" vojo bene assai not "te" what's the difference?
    2-There's a song named "caruso" (Andrea Bocelli) and he says "te voglio buona assai" (or bona i don't know but definetly not "bene") So what's that?
    3-The word "vojo" doesn't exist in the dictionary so is it the informal or the short version of voglio?

    Grazie mille!
  18. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Wasn't it Donizetti? One "Z" only...

    Anyway, yes, it measn "I love you so much" but only in a mother-son (or other kinds of relationship like that) way. I mean it's not Love like husband-wife Love... it's love... (I hope it's clear... :confused: I know in a lot of countries there's no such difference)
  19. V52

    V52 Senior Member

    Italy Italian
    Right only a "Z" in Donizeti (sorry for the typo), but I really don't understand... the song is definitely a man-woman love song, not a mother-son song...
    did I miss something?
    V52 :)
  20. federicoft Senior Member

    I'm sorry but this is totally uncorrect, "voler bene" can refer to any kind of love, including romantic love (as is the case with this song).
  21. Danieloid

    Danieloid Senior Member

    Milano, Italy
    Did you read the thread? :) It's not Italian, it's Neapolitan dialect.
  22. V52

    V52 Senior Member

    Italy Italian
    I agree, with Federico, the song was one of the most famous in 1800 and 1900, there's no more to say about...

    Yes it is neapolitan dialect, but a love song between a man and a woman. If anyone should need a translation from neapolitan, can send me a private message (complete lyrics are not allowed on ther phorum) I'll help .
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2008
  23. Eponymous New Member

    English - American
    1. "Ti" would be standard Italian, and "te" not, even though "te" is found in many dialects (and in certain places in standard Italian, of course).

    2. Don't know the song, so won't comment.

    3. "j" is used for what is the consonantal "y" sound in English. So "vojo" would be pronounced as "voyo" would be in English ("voyo" isn't a word in English, of course). In some dialects (including that of Rome), the "gl" is (always?) pronounced as /y/. So "vojo" for "voglio." So, for example, "te vojo 'bbene" would, I think, be a fair representation of what "Ti voglio bene" would be in Roman. (I have a Roman friend who claims to be unable to do a "proper" "gl.")

    There are also some last names that use "j" and it used to be more common in written Italian. Another one I can think of is an ancient Greek word, Ionic, as in the Ionic Sea, or "Mar(e) Jonico."
  24. Beccaccia

    Beccaccia Senior Member

    Moon Alpha Base 1
    USA Vulcan
    Silvia 'Bravo' good choice of words!

    Just a comment If l may for "FoxfireBrand"

    This forum is a great one with the wonderful Italian natives who with the greatest of patience correct, my awful attempts at learning and developing an understanding of the “character and nature of these great people who gave us music. . . and real painting. In a nutshell culture with a capital ‘C’

    Anthropologically every land that has been inhabited for ions has varieties of speech . . . let me as a student (small one) Ask you to keep to the subject of the ‘post’ and, should you desire an academic challenge in English either British or American you might want to put your gauntlet in another arena !:(

    I know I speak for many “We love all the Italians” and their dialects.

    Qua Qua
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009

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