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"Volete che mettano le mani nelle tasche?"

Translation:Do you want them to put their hands in their pockets?

March 24, 2014

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sapolion

How do we know that it is "their pockets" as opposed to other peoples pockets, in the manner of politicians?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

Without a reflexive pronoun (eg ci) to make clear whose pockets the sentence is about, Italians would usually understand that the pockets belong to the agent of the action (they).

By the way, the idiomatic expression "in tasca" would be more usual in this sentence than in "nelle tasche".

Reference: https://italian.stackexchange.com/questions/11031/ambiguity-caused-by-the-omission-of-possessive-adjectives


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuciusVorenusX

Heh. I was actually wondering about this. Duo offers up some strange sentences at times so it's possible that this really is meant literally, but I'm not sure whether it was intended that way, or as a metaphor. (Specifically, "Do you want them to help pay for it?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolarBear667564

In English, it is more normal to hear of people "putting their hands in OTHER people's pockets". It's English slang for 'corruption'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZoranMilokanovic

Since English is not my mother tongue... Is it really incorrect and unclear to say: "Do you want them to put the hands in the pockets?"? Many thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gmcolletti

It would not be completely unclear if there was context. In English you need the possessive 'their'. 'put THE hands in THE pockets' sounds to me (AE speaker) like I'm walking around with a bag full of hands, and I'm putting them in pockets.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZoranMilokanovic

I got it. ;) Thnx a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/balber123

I love learning languages because some languages can communicate ideas in far fewer words. Italian definitely has English beat in this instance. 7 words versus 11. Can anyone think of an even longer more unwieldy sentence in English which Italian conquers in half the words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amalate

I agree! Here are two: Ex: Boh! = I don't know! (I love this!)
Ex: Ci penso = I'll think about it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

Ah the dreaded boh! My "current" used to use it a lot but has maybe grown out of it. I always had the idea that it could also have a sense of "i don't care about that - i'll forget that you ever said whatever/carry on regardless." In which case it is ultra concise! Any truth in my alternative translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merchandise7x

Don't worry "boh" hasn't a sense of "I don't care" at all. But remember to use it only in informal conversations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

Thanks for the reassurance merchandis :) maybe i was thrown by the tone of her voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PATRICKPIZ1

is this figurative language to suggest' to stand idle'? "dimmi cosa fare o volete che mettano le mani nelle tasche? I should have said "dicci"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raimundo474613

Could this also mean, "Do you want them to put their hands in your pockets"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

I took it that way too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PATRICKPIZ1

no. 'le mani' has no possessive pronoun. for that reason you accept that they are the possession of the subject of the dependent phrase. eyes, nose, fingers, toes, even shoes and clothes. (when they are on feet and torsos). if your shoes are on your feet when you polish them you don't need a possessive pronoun. it they are on the bench, you do. if your hands are attached to your wrists no possessive pronoun; if they aren't you do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

It could. However, usually the reflexive pronoun "ci" would be used if that meaning is intended. Also, the idiomatic expression "in tasca" is more usual than "nelle tasche". So, IMHO a native Italian speaker would say your English sentence as "Volete che ci mettano le mani in tasca? "

Reference: https://italian.stackexchange.com/questions/11031/ambiguity-caused-by-the-omission-of-possessive-adjectives


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulmacd

In English this might mean (idiomatically) "Do you want them to give some money?" Does the same idiom exist in Italian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrancesDuce

where is the "them" and "their" in the reading of this Italian sentence - it really is a nonsensical question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PATRICKPIZ1

'volete (do you want) che (that) mettano (they put) le mani (their [understood] hands) nelle (in their [understood]) tasche (pockets)?' subjects are often omitted because verb endings make them obvious ('-ano' 3rd person plural, present subjunctive) and personal possessive pronoun/adjectives are also omitted when they are obvious. it would be difficult, not to say awkward, to put someone elses' hands in whoever's pockets. so, contextually, 'their' hands belong to 'them'

'do you want them to stand around and do nothing' only someone who has studied the Italian language for years and is very familiar with conjugations, idioms, word order and all other aspects of this field can judge whether something is sensible or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrancesDuce

thankyou Patrick, now that you explain it - it all comes to me this evening - must have been having a brain drain. but we would say "get your hands out of your pockets" if we wanted someone to stop standing around doing nothing and one needed help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

I disagree that it would be awkward that someone put his/her hands on someone else's pocket. That is a common (figurate) way of expressing corruption.

That said, without a reflexive pronoun (eg ci) to make clear whose pockets the sentence is about, I agree that Italians would usually understand that the pockets belong to the agent of the action (they).

By the way, the idiomatic expression "in tasca" would be more usual in this sentence than in "nelle tasche".

Reference: https://italian.stackexchange.com/questions/11031/ambiguity-caused-by-the-omission-of-possessive-adjectives


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gmcolletti

'pocketses' not accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuciusVorenusX

I would guess that's because that isn't actually a word!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gmcolletti

You are quit correct. Read "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien. Literary joke.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuciusVorenusX

Ah. That explains it. I've actually spent most of my life trying to avoid Tolkein books unless I had need of something to whack a mugger with. But that said, popular culture demands some familiarity with the grammatically related term "Filthy Hobbitses" at least.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baronfluffbunny

In English this could mean, "do you want them to make a donation/contribution" does the same idiom apply in Italian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabrinaWal5

"Le" from "le mani" is the definite article for plural nouns, or a possessive pronoun? The hands was not accepted. DL wants "their hands"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris953935

Whimper! In the last section I just did, DL used the idiomatic translation of a similar sentence "Lui non stette mai con le mani in tasca." Meaning he never stood idly by. Now, they want a literal translation....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris953935

why doesn't DL allow "do you want them to stand idly by" when they use that idiom in another sentence? Do Italians not use this sentence when they mean that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolarBear667564

Is this some backhanded DL comment on Members of the European Parliament???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty13647

Why is she whispering some of the words? The audio on this question is terrible. I reported it, but I don't hold out much hope of having it fixed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaroldWonh

Appalling audio here - the voice keeps dropping!

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