Friday, February 27, 2009

Translation: Italian Soccer Fan

Because 1) I am in publishing and 2) my mother is in publishing (and deals with copyrights no less!), I have no desire to be accused of plagerism. Therefore, let me announce once, loudly, "I did not write the following passage!" It is from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I could not help but post it here because, while the book is enjoyable all around (although as an inexhaustible critic, I must express my disappointment with its ending), it stood out to me as such a unabashed celebration of language, I felt compelled to share it.

The context is this: the author--Elizabeth--is at a soccer game in Italy. She is sitting in the stands, surrounded by cheering, stomping, cursing fans, one of whom was ranting and raving with particular gusto, directly behind her. This is her rendering of what she heard.

Dai, dai, dai, Albertini, dai . . . va bene, va bene, ragazzo, mio, perfetto, bravo, bravo . . . Dai! Dai! Via! Via! Nella porta! Eccola, eccola, eccola, mio bravo ragazzo, caro mio, eccola, eccola, ecco—AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! VAFFANCULO!!! FIGLIO DI MIGNOTTA!! STRONZO! CAFONE! TRADITORE! Madonna . . . Ah, Dio mio, perche, perche, perche, questo e stupido, e una vergogna, la vergogna . . . Che casino, che bordello . . . NON HAI UN CUORE, ALBERTINI! FAI FINTA Guarda, non e successo niente . . . Dai, dai, ah . . . Molto migliore, Albertini, molto migliore, si si si, eccola, bello, bravo, anima mia, ah, ottimo, eccola adesso . . . nella porta, nella porta, nell—VAFFANCULO!!!!!!!!!

Roughly translated to:

Come on, come on, come on, Albertini, come on . . . OK, OK, my boy, perfect, brilliant, brilliant . . . Come on! Come on! Go! Go! In the goal! There it is, there it is, there it is, my brilliant boy, my dear, there it is there it is, there—AHHHHH! GO FUCK YOURSELF! YOU SON OF A BITCH! SHIT-HEAD! ASSHOLD! TRAITOR! . . . Mother of God . . . Oh my God, why, why, why, this is stupid, this is shameful, the shame of it . . What a mess . . . [Author’s note: Unfortunately there’s no good way to translate into English the fabulous Italian expression che casino and che bordello, which literally means “what a casino,” and “what a whorehouse,” but essentially mean “what a friggin’ mess.”] . . . YOU DON’T HAVE A HEART, ALBERTINI!!!! YOU’RE A FAKER! Look, nothing happened . . . Come on, come on, hey, yes . . . Much better, Albertini, much better, yes yes yes, there it is, beautiful, brilliant, oh, excellent, there it is now . . . in the goal, in the goal, in the—FUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUU!!

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