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In gamba

Oggi posto in inglese il divertente contributo di Maggie Corcoran.
Maggie è nata in Galles e come noterete, è madrelingua inglese.
Si è laureata in design di maglieria e da trentadue anni lavora a Milano, nel mondo della moda, tessile, traduzioni e pubblicità.
Favourite motto: “my goal is to do something outrageous everyday”. Maggie Khun (1905-1995)

Se avete bisogno di adattamenti e non confidate poi così tanto in “quel copy che non se la cava male con l’inglese”, potete scrivere a corcoranmaggie@libero.it

It’s impossible to miss the latest window display from Calzedonia. It shows a pair of slim female legs dressed with black leggings. The two large arrows pointing under the buttocks speak for themselves (“Buy our leggings and get an instant butt lift”), distinctly more bizarre, however, is the accompanying claim.

LEGGINGS PUSH-UP? Excuse me but don’t they mean PUSH-UP LEGGINGS? I double check. Yup, they’ve written LEGGINGS PUSH-UP. Now I don’t want to be a pain the butt myself but here we have a simple case of rule breaking.

The adjective (push-up) goes after the noun (leggings). End of story.

Surely Italian copywriters follow the rules when they write in their own language? I’m sure they don’t say “ Ho fame, vado a mangiare una Margarita pizza” or “Vado a mangiare una Margarita pizza con Natale Babbo” or even “Ieri ho mangiato un Margarita Pizza con Natale Babbo e mentre chiacchieravamo gli ho spiegato che sono un writercopy.”

This is called “Let’s play the Inverted Language game.”

Worse still is “Let’s play the Opposite Meaning game.” As I walked out of the office last Friday afternoon my colleague wished me “Buon week”! Actually, sorry, it’s called “Let’s play the Bilingual Opposite Meaning game”: Take words from two languages, shorten one of them – because you are confident that you know the language really well – and create the opposite meaning. Duh!

Allora, I know that a lot of you talented creatives speak excellent English and I know that many of you have survived the obligatory trips to the UK to learn English (with your Italian classmates) and I know that most of you are resigned to the fact that no British Council course can prepare you for the hostess’s pronunciation on the Ryanair flight, so dare I ask why oh why do you think you can actually write English better than a native speaker?

Over the years I have translated tantissimmi fashion texts and delle volte my inbox buzzes with parole like red carpet, glam, mixato(!) cool hunter, pole position, party, leader, must-have, ecc… tutti buttati li with abandon, e voglio dire abbandono, into the Italian texts like un grande fashiony smoothie, or should I say a smoothie fashiony grande ? Or should I say a big messy smoothie che non ha senso? So, dearest creatives, I would just like to remind you that your English big sister is watching you and if you need any help call me. Byegood. (Maggie Corcoran)