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Fiume di Luna | Moon River

Frasi celebri — Colazione da Tiffany  | Famous quotes in translation — Breakfast at Tiffany's

I’ve always been interested in how films are translated from one language to another, especially the iconic and often highly idiomatic lines that are quoted and used in conversation time and again. Thanks to Halloween (and my need for a costume)— Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been on my mind.  I wondered, what does Italian Holly Golightly—the main character played by Audrey Hepburn— call the rats and super rats that she frequently dates?  The answer:


verme (il)
worm, maggot, despicable person
(in Breakfast at Tiffany’s— rat)
superverme (il)
an especially despicable person
(in Breakfast at Tiffany’s— super rat)
Pensavo che fosse un verme.
I thought he was just a rat,
Invece è un super verme, ecco.
but he was a super rat all along.
Un super verme, sotto spoglie di verme. 
 A super rat in rat’s clothing.
sotto spoglie di ____

in _____’s  clothing


~

In some cases, the lines must be changed dramatically and in others, the translation offers a simple glimpse into a new vocabulary word or the grammatical differences between English and Italian.  Take a look at some of the lines— including the classic theme song Moon River by Henry Mancini— and see if you can understand first without looking at the original English.  Then compare the two and see if you can glean any new words, expressions, or grammatical structures.

fiume-di-luna-colazione-da-tiffany-breakfast-at-tiffanys-frasi-celebri-su-via-optimae-www-viaoptimae-com
Original: Moon River, wider than a mile. I’m crossing you in style… some day.

Fiume di Luna

Moon River
più ampio di un miglio
Wider than a mile
Ti attraverserò con stile, un giorno
I’m crossin’ you in style, some day
Vecchio creatore di sogni
Old dream maker
Tu spezzacuori
You heartbreaker
Ovunque tu andrai io seguirò il tuo corso
Wherever you’re goin’ I’m goin’ your way
Due vagabondi in giro a vedere il mondo
Two drifters off to see the world
C’è così tanto mondo, da vedere
There’s such a lot of world, to see
Entrambi cerchiamo la fine dello stesso arcobaleno
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Che ci aspetta dietro la curva
Waitin’ round the bend
Il mio migliore amico
My huckleberry friend
Fiume di Luna, ed io.
Moon River, and me.
~
He's all right! Aren't you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name!
He’s all right! Aren’t you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name!
  ~
Se io trovassi un posto a questo mondo che mi facesse sentire come da Tiffany, comprerei i mobili e darei al gatto un nome.
If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.
da ______

at _______’s place/house

~
Original: It's useful being top banana in the shock department.
Original: It’s useful being top banana in the shock department.
balordo(a) (il/la)

fool, imbecile, buffoon

 ~

Ti ci vorrebbero almeno quattro secondi per andare di qui alla porta: te ne do due.
It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I’ll give you two.

volerci
to take/require (as in time to do something)
 ~
perche-non-passiamo-la-giornata-a-fare-cose-mai-fatte-prima-colazione-da-tiffany-breakfast-at-tiffanys-frasi-celebri-su-via-optimae-www-viaoptimae-com
Well, I’ve got a wonderful idea. We’ll spend the day doing things we’ve never done before. We’ll take turns. First, something you’ve never done, then me. ‘Course I can’t think of anything I’ve never done.

~

Niente male se ti piacciono gli uomini bruni, belli e appassionati, con l’aria da nababbi e troppi denti.

He’s all right, I suppose. If you like dark, handsome, rich-looking men with passionate natures and too many teeth.

nababbo (un)
lit. Nabob (historically— an Indian ruler)
fig. somebody who’s very wealthy, influential or powerful
~
There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion.
There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.
ribalta (la)

front/center stage

~

non-permettero-a-nessuno-di-mettermi-in-gabbia-colazione-da-tiffany-breakfast-at-tiffanys-frasi-celebri-su-via-optimae-www-viaoptimae-com
I’ll never let anybody put me in a cage.

 

Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.

 

All photos: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961 © Paramount Pictures
(Italian quotes added by Alex for Via Optimae)

What do you think?  Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

Buono studio!
Alex on www.viaoptimae.com
 

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