Vorrei sapere chi t'ha fatto

theartichoke

Senior Member
English - Canada
Hi everyone,

Again, I'll try to keep the context brief: G. is a drug dealer; P. is the girlfriend of another dealer who works for him; P. has locked herself in a bathroom with some drugs that G. had originally given the boyfriend to sell, but now wants back. Insisting that he pay her, she's just threatened to flush them down the toilet, and he's finally realized she's serious and says "Quanto vuoi?" She gloats at him: "Vedi, limoncino (her derogatory nickname for G.), che c'è qualcuno che ti sa spremere? Fuori il sugo!"

And he replies "Vorrei sapere chi t'ha fatto!", which I'm scratching my head over. "I'd like to know who made you"? Is this just an expression of exasperation, like "I'd like to know what devil created you!" At first I thought it was some kind of sexual insult, as he's already called her a little slut who should stay out of his affairs, but that makes even less sense in the context (and I'm not even sure that one can say "chi t'ha fatto?" to mean "who's done you" in the sexual sense). Or is it something else that I'm completely missing?
 
  • alfaalfa

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Ciao,
    Chi ti ha fatto = chi ti ha generato, chi ti ha partorito.
    Il senso credo anch'io sia vicino a quello che dice Mary, "Quale essere ti ha creato così stronza / pestifera / tremenda"... :thumbsup:
    è proprio un insulto implicito alla madre di P., secondo me.
     

    alfaalfa

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Da queste parti "chi t'ha fatto?" è reso da un'espressione moooolto colorita che invece è proprio un insulto esplicito (anche) alla madre. Ma in generale è come dici tu. :)
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I think this is not the meaning. The girl is cunning to the point that G. thinks she could be "the devil's daughter".
    Thank you, Mary. The expression appears to have a different meaning to different people from the comments above. Would changing it to Who made you ......... ? make any difference? 🙂
     

    symposium

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Again, it must be a regional thing: where I live that could be interpreted at best as some sort of philosophical enquire. Most people would just be unable to understand it as a question anyway.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Since mothers and God have less prominence in English insults than Italian what do you think of “What rock did you crawl out from under?”
    I thought that meant the person you're speaking to has said something that indicates they're ignorant about what is being discussed, but I suppose it's all in the context. 🙂
     
    Last edited:

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    You’re right that it’s like saying “Where have you been hiding?” When someone says “There’s a war going on in Ukraine?” But it can also mean you’re a disgusting insect especially with the “crawl out from under”.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I thought that meant the person you're speaking to has said something that indicates they're ignorant about what is being discussed, but I suppose it's all in the context. 🙂
    I'd think the same; either that, or that you're saying someone looks dirty or untidy. I also think it's usually a good thing to keep an Italian flavour to an Italian insult in a translated novel, provided it stays comprehensible, so I think "what devil created you" works pretty well in this case. I still have to work out the most natural-sounding and exasperated-sounding form to put it in: "I'd like to know what devil created you!" or "And what devil created you?" or "Care to tell me which of the devils created you?" etc.
     

    MintSyrop

    Member
    Italian
    At first I thought it was some kind of sexual insult, as he's already called her a little slut who should stay out of his affairs, but that makes even less sense in the context (and I'm not even sure that one can say "chi t'ha fatto?" to mean "who's done you" in the sexual sense).
    Giusto per fugare ogni tuo dubbio, preciso che in quel caso il verbo sarebbe stato non "fare" ma "farsi".
    "Ho sentito che Giulia si è fatta quello che piace a Lucia, se lei lo viene a sapere le fa una scenata" (esempio stupidissimo, perdonatemi ma non mi veniva di meglio, ho perso dei neuroni nello scriverlo).
    NB: a seconda del contesto quel "farsi" può significare having sex with someone o anche solo making out with someone.
     

    Huske

    New Member
    English/Italian
    OK, this thread has just brightened a very gloomy Friday afternoon :D
    I mostly agree with @rrose17 solutions, but how about a compromise: what holy hell/ fresh hell/ pit of hell/ did you crawl out of?

    Edit: on a second thought I'd choose pit of hell
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    OK, this thread has just brightened a very gloomy Friday afternoon :D
    I mostly agree with @rrose17 solutions, but how about a compromise: what holy hell/ fresh hell/ pit of hell/ did you crawl out of?

    Edit: on a second thought I'd choose pit of hell

    I do like "what pit of hell did you crawl out of?" -- it sounds more like something someone would actually say in English than any version of "what devil created you?"

    While "where in the devil's name did you come from?" sounds very idiomatic, it also sounds too much like what you'd say if someone suddenly appeared from behind a door. :D
     

    lövastrell

    Senior Member
    Italiano, Italia
    Again, it must be a regional thing: where I live that could be interpreted at best as some sort of philosophical enquire. Most people would just be unable to understand it as a question anyway.
    Anche a me l'interrogativo suona strano. Forse potrei dire "Vorrei sapere chi t'ha fatto così", ma più facilmente qualcosa come "Ma da dove salti fuori?", "Ma dove t'ho pescata/trovata?" (implying: how could a decent guy like me come to associate with someone like you?). Per quanto riguarda la traduzione dell'originale, mi chiedo se andrebbe bene "how did you become like this?". Forse è banale, ma almeno non ha le ambiguità che vedo discusse nelle risposte dei native speakers.
     
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