Sunday, 24 March 2013

Interesting in translation vol. 2

A silly wordplay in italian: "Qual'e' il contrario di abbondantemente ?" (what is the opposite of abbondantemente ?) And the answer would be "aberlinopetrarcadicelaverita'".

Dante and Petrarca,
painted by Giovanni dal Ponte
And now we are going to see its silliness.
Lets start it the literal translation: abbondantemente means "plenty"... but aberlinopetrarcadicelaverita' has no meaning, at least not in italian.
...So where is the joke ?
The joke is in cutting down the words in smaller ones; for abbondantemente we have
abbon = in Bonn
dante = Dante Alighieri (the greatest italian poet)
mente = tells lies;
while for aberlinopetrarcadicelaverita' we have:
aberlino = in Berlin
petrarca = Francesco Petrarca (another of the greatest italian poets and almost contemporary to Dante)
dicelaverita' = tells the true.

Now the question is if this post is silly enough to keep me awake in a dull and rainy Sunday afternoon ?

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