Monday, 13 October 2008

Falsi amici - Impressive

Impressive is often translated literally, but in Italian it tends to have a slightly different meaning, somehow more confined, as it refers to something that makes a big impression due to its size, how serious something is or even its negative qualities:

Ha una ferita che fa impressione = He has a grusome cut

Un incidente impressionante = a very bad accident

Therefore try not to translate literally the following. Use instead a paraphrase:

I’m impressed (when meaning: I’m very pleased/grateful):

Mi fa molto piacere

or use the verb colpire:

I was very impressed by the gift

Il regalo mi ha colpito molto

Alternatively, if you really want to use a word that is similar to impressed, use:

buona impressione or ottima impressione

Il regalo mi ha fatto un'ottima impressione

It is worth mentioning that nowadays, due to the constant influx of information from English speaking countries, especially in the form of films and TV series (where impressive tends to be translated literally into Italian) this word is gradually taking on the same meaning it has in English: when dubbing an English movie, it is clearly much easier to translate impressive literally (and it's quicker to say in the dubbing studio) .

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