ma che forte che sei Bob

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RPiesco
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Boston, MA

ma che forte che sei Bob

Post by RPiesco » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:58 pm

A friend of mine sent this to me. Can anyone translate this for me? I'm assuming it's on of those phrases that can't be literally translated.
Thanks,
Bob

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Quintus
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:22 am
Location: Florence, Italy

Re: ma che forte che sei Bob

Post by Quintus » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:17 am

RPiesco wrote:A friend of mine sent this to me. Can anyone translate this for me? I'm assuming it's on of those phrases that can't be literally translated. Bob
Looking at something you like you would exclaim "Che forte!" (That’s really cool!)
"Forte" translates to "strong", but in this case means "cool".

"Che forte che sei Bob" it's an idiomatic expression that means "How cool you are Bob".

A literal translation is always possible, but don't know how meaningful it could be for you. Anyway, the first "che forte" means "What cool". Let's imagine to combine the adjective "cool" with a noun like "man", "guy", "character", "person".
So we'd have: "What a cool character". OK, that’s the least of it. Perhaps "What a cool character you are Bob" is ok in English. In Italian it is, in facts at times the sentence sounds simply "Che forte sei Bob", without the second "che".

Problem is, we have the second "che" to deal with. This "che" is the pronoun "that". It refers to "cool character", so we'd have: "What a cool character that (or which) you are Bob". Don't know if this is acceptable in English. I'd say it's not. In my opinion one further transformation is needed: "What a cool character, the character that you are, Bob". Ecco, questa potrebbe andare. In italiano sarebbe: "Che personaggio forte, il personaggio che sei, Bob".

But, since this expression it's an idiomatic one, most of its elements are dropped. So, while its grammar is bad, its expressiveness is very good. In English, dropping the same elements: "What a cool that you are Bob"

Franco

RPiesco
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Boston, MA

che forte

Post by RPiesco » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:03 am

Thanks so much for the quick response, Quintus. I never get tired of learning these idioms. It always amazes me what some of them mean. Fun but lots of memorizing!
a presto,
Bob

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