Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bergamo – Street Sign Language Lesson XVII

previous lesson | this lesson | next lesson

From the 1971 hit Signs: “Signs signs, everywhere there's signs: blockin’ the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don't do that. Can't you read the sign?” In this installment will learn an Italian proverb, a type of Italian hunting, and a lot about bureaucratic speak. Psyched?

Bergamo sign: Tu chiedi e io dipingo!Bergamo sign: Egregio Signore, parking.Bergamo sign: Vietato fumare.
Bergamo shops and signs. Left: Tu chiedi e io dipingo! Center: Egregio Signore. Right: Vietato fumare.

Tu chiedi e io dipingo – “You ask and I paint”
Finally, a sign I can understand without reaching for a dictionary. Chiedere is “to ask” and dipingere to paint. This shop was on via Tomaso and it would seem you could have customized the type of painting you buy, however, the shop has recently gone out of business or moved. Non stavi chiedendo e me ne sono andato – “you weren’t asking and I left”?

Egregio Signore: Lei ha parcheggiato la sua autovettura in zone dove vige il divieto di fermata con rimozione forzata – “You have parked your vehicle in a no-stopping, tow away zone”
My moment of patting my own back with tu chiedi e io dipingo ended abruptly when I found this sign, which had me scratching my head and reaching for a dictionary.

The sentence is formal, addressing the driver with respect, Lei, rather than using a “hey you" tone, which would be tu hai parcheggiato. The verb vigere (vige) is “to be active or in force”. Autovettura is “vehicle”, though many dictionaries like to translate as automobile or car. I’m guessing that parking violations happen often where this photo was taken in front of the university, and the sign is a template that can be printed out and applied to vehicles of all types. Rimozione forzata is “forced removal”, but given the sense of the sentence it is better thought of as a tow away zone.

Vietato fumare. Esteso alle sigarette elettroniche – "No smoking, including electronic cigarettes"
Electronic cigarettes can be called sigarette electtroniche, dispositive elettronici di somministrazione di nicotina, e-cigarette, or just e-cig. However, you call it, you can’t vape (svapare) where this sign was photographed in the library. You can still vape in other indoor public locations.

A person who uses electronic cigarettes is a svapatore. As explained by the Accademia della Crusca, like in English where we use “vape” instead of “smoke”, Italians uses svapare (to vape) instead of fumare (to smoke).

T-shirt shop: commentary on some marriages.Don't stalk animals here.Get your fresh goat here.
Bergamo shops and signs. Left: commentary on some marriages. Center: No hunting. Right: Fresh baby goat.

Alcuni matrimoni finiscono bene, altri durano tutta la vita – "Some marriages end well, others last a life time"
Okay, back to the simple sentences. This was seen in a t-shirt shop in Città Alta. This reminds me of a proverb I heard the other day when a husband and wife (where we bring our dry cleaning) were arguing and a bystander said to me: tra moglie e marito non mettere il dito, literally, don’t put your finger between a wife and husband, or better yet, don’t get involved in their affairs.

Divieto di caccia vagante – "Stalking/tracking hunting prohibited"
I saw this sign on via Baioni, a stone’s throw from Città Alta. First, I wondered why there would be a no hunting sign in the city (or at least what I consider the city). Second, I didn’t know what caccia vagante meant. The nearest I can tell its hunting by roaming or wandering an area, a combination between stalking and tracking targeted prey, with or without dogs. Caccia vagante seems to be one of the most common and enjoyable ways to hunt, according to the site Caccia Passione (Hunting Passion), and they know what they are talking about!

Capretto fresco, per Natale si prenotano: tacchine, capponi, capretti e agnelli freschi e nostrani – “Fresh young goat, for Christmas you can reserve: turkeys, capons, young goats and lambs, fresh and home-grown”
While not exactly on the same level as caccia vagante, we do like wandering into this butcher shop on via Masone because the guy is so friendly, and we can learn a lot about meat. We didn’t end up getting any of the above-mentioned Christmas specials, but I was left wondering why the sign uses tacchine and not tacchini, the normal plural of turkey. Also, nostrano is a word you see a lot when referring to meat and produce meaning "locally grown."

Sign for removing pigeons.Sign about not removing dog crap.
Left: Anti-pigeon. Right: Anti-forgotten dog crap.

Avviso ai condomini…verrà effettuato l’intervento di allontanamente volatile – “Notice to condominium owners…there will be an intervention to install a pigeon removal system”
While on the subject of hunting and meat, we now move to pigeons. This sign appeared in the common area of our palazzo. First, let me say that condominium just doesn’t cut it as a translation. We live in a palazzo! Got it? Condominium sounds like we are in Boca Raton and I’m not liking that image. Second, this sign is and example of typical bureaucratic speak: the translation given above is the gist of the message. The more precise translation would be “there will be carried out a removal of winged animals”. And, there is an error I think: it should be allontanamento volatile. Man, if you are going to use bureaucratic language on me, at least get the spelling right.

Mancata raccolta deiezioni canine – Failure to pick up dog doo-doo
Continuing on the subject of animals and bureaucratic speak, we have this sign in Città Alta. I’ll spare you the whole sign and just talk about the title, which Google Translate gave as  “Failure to collect canine deletions” and Bing Translate as "missed canine screening". Deiezione/i is a pretty obscure word, when esecremento/i would have just been fine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments go through a moderation process. Even though it may not look like the comment was accepted, it probably was. Check back in a day if you asked a question. Thanks!