"Il riscaldamento va e viene."
Translation:The heating comes and goes.
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I see you're learning spanish too. I'm native spanish, and I can tell you that you'll find this same phrase in Spanish too... it means "va y viene", I mean, it's works randomly: sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it works poorly... it isn't stable :)
This is what observe and understand. Similar to Spanish
Irse e Venire -Go (away) and come (back)- refers to the suspension and reactivation of certain services like electricity (often called "corrente" or "luce") and water. You might hear "la corrente si va ogni giorno alle otto e viene alle undici" Everyday the light goes (away) at 8:00 and comes (back) or returns at 11:00. This is, everyday the electric service is suspended at 8:00 and reactivated at 11:00. "La luce va e viene ogni giorno a la stessa ora, da cinco a sette dalla mattina".
Ire e venire (go and come) refers to the functioning of something. "Il ricalentamento va e viene" (the heating -referring to the heating system- goes and comes). That is, it stops working and then starts working again.
Considering the lengthy discussion this has caused, perhaps this sentence should be moved to the idioms lesson. Can we all just agree that idioms are the way they are through tradition and traditions are regional and cultural. Romance languages do it one way, English the other. (I don't know if it extends to other Germanic languages. Any German speakers?) It's not unusual for English to be opposite of everyone else. Look at how the English insisted on driving on the left side of the road for no other reason than the French use the right. LOL Although, it also has something to do with one's sword arm.
Judging by the number of posts saying it didn't make sense and it should be "on and off" suggests many highly intelligent people would differ. When this many people are confused, I usually stop blaming the people. The heating, whether it's "comes and goes" or "goes and comes", suggests on face value that your heater it getting up and leaving the house, only to return when it's finished its errands. I see your point that there are many idioms that are much more baffling. But, I guess it's a matter of degrees. How "opaque" does it have to be to qualify? Is "translucent" good enough? ;-)
The complaints come from a solidly English-language sense that the words "on" and "off" need to come in a certain sequence. I don't think I've seen anyone say they don't understand what it means, just that they don't understand why it's said slightly differently.
An idiom would be more along the lines of "Non vedo l'ora". Literally, it says "I cannot see the hour". Can you guess from this that it's used to mean "I can't wait"?
Plenty of people say "comes and goes". Like me.
And "goes on and off" does not mean the same thing as "comes and goes". The former refers to it cycling on and off normally. The latter refers to when something goes wrong and sometimes it functions as it should and sometimes it doesn't.
In this case, it's a matter of that's not how the expression works. Just because you can use the simple present or the present progressive in general doesn't mean they mean the same thing and isn't always appropriate in all contexts.
The expression "the heat comes and goes" is always in the present simple. It means "sometimes the heating works right and sometimes it doesn't".
"The heat is coming and going" sounds off to me as a native speaker of Midwestern American English. It's not something that can be happening right now. It's the general overall state of how the heating functions.
@Rostellan I'm not a moderator, but I might be able to help. Translation is as much an art as a skill. It would behoove you to give up on always finding a direct translation. Especially, with sayings and idioms.
"It goes" is plain, basic, vanilla, present tense. The funny thing is, we English speakers don't speak in present tense as often as one might think. We often use the gerund, as in, "It is going." It would sound strange to an English speaker to say, "Ok, I go now." We would use the gerund, "I am going."
However, speaking in present tense isn't strange in romance languages, such as Italian. If we were to write the sentence above as a gerund, it would read: "Il riscaldamento sta andando e venendo."
But "comes and goes" or "goes and comes" sounds better to me, especially being a turn of phrase.
This is a case where the idiom differs between Italian and English, and so we need to reverse things to render it naturally in English. And in English, we say "The heating comes and goes". It means that it's not working the way it should; it's kind of broken. Sometimes it works okay and sometimes it doesn't. And this kind of thing sounds rather odd in the continuous aspect. It makes it sound like the on-again-off-again is all happening right now in this very moment rather than being a general description of how it works.
Different languages are not blind one-to-one word swaps of each other. Different languages say things differently Translation is taking how something is said in the source language and rendering it naturally in the target language. Yes, in Italian they say "va e viene". And in English we say "comes and goes".