"Cosa c'entrerebbe l'età dei professori?"
Translation:What would the age of the professors matter?
Cosa = what
c'entrebbe = a combination of the reflexive 'ci' and 'entrerebbe' (the conditional 3:d pers sing. form of entrare meaning 'he/she/it would be entering') = does that have to enter ~ does that has to do with
l'età = the age
dei professori = of the professors
What does that has to do with the age of the professors.
it's not reflexive. it is intransitive and the construction is based on 'entrarci' (to go there, to have to do with), not 'entrarsi', which would be reflexive or impersonal. "c'entra come i cavoli a mirenda" effectively: "that has nothing to do with it." i'm not sure what 'entrarsi' would mean "si entra nei guai ogni volta che apre la bocca." ("he gets himself in trouble everytime he opens his mouth." maybe)
Oh, I'm not saying they aren't a valid part of the language, or that English doesn't have its share of wacky linguistics. I just think it would be helpful if Duo included a section, probably near the beginning, to let us know how pronominal verbs worked in Italian in the first place.
I agree, and unlike others, couldnt cope with a whole section on these types of construction. It wouls blow my mind as much as a list of vocabulary to learn. No for me by far the best way is to throw one into the mix unexpectedly. I get it wrong and then I never forget it
I envy you, Beetle: I think I need to understand first. I work on the basis that if you understand something you don't need to remember it: you just know it! For anyone with the same hang-up as me, this afternoon I've discovered the twelve part "Reflexive, a user manual" which you can find through the Search box at the top of this page. It looks promising and very teccie! Good luck!
The best translation (although not the preferred one given here) is probably "What would the age of the professors have to do with it?" (Think of it like, "How does the age of the professors enter into the equation?")
Anyway, compared to that sense (which is the actual meaning of the sentence), "what difference does [it] make" has a different meaning. "What does [it] matter?" is closer, although even that translation is probably still not right on.
Anyway, I hope that helps.
I was a little bit proud to have found out the meaning (with a little help of a dictionary) and entered: "What the age of professors would have to do with it." But DL said it is wrong. What is the difference in meaning between my translation and DL's translation? I am not a bative English speaker.
I think it's a question of word order. Putting "would" after "professors" makes the sentence a statement rather than a question. It also leaves the meaning hanging: you'd expect the sentence to continue with "...is...". So this construction sounds odd to an English speaker.