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Michael San Filippo

Italian Grates

By December 10, 2011

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Tim Parks, a British novelist, translator, and author who has lived in Italy since 1981, makes an interesting comment about the positive lyrical attributes usually associated with the Italian language:

Over my thirty years in Italy I have often been told by uninitiated English friends what a beautiful and harmonious language Italian is; but that is Italian as heard by an ear accustomed to English sound patterns. To the Italian ear, and to mine these days, much of what is said in Italian grates. One hears the language differently when one knows it.
Parks, in "Translating in the Dark," also discusses the translation process and cites an example in which 20 poets each translated a canto of Dante's La Divina Commedia, with unexpected results.


December 15, 2011 at 12:33 am
(1) Tom Phelan says:

Italian grates?
Non lo credo!

December 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm
(2) Frank Byrne says:

E’ impossible l’Italiano e’ bellissimo. Non lo credo che quest bella lingua grate.

December 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm
(3) zingara says:

wah!…di mi che non e’ vero! io sono triste e arrabbiata!

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