The old man of fairy tales
Sections on Learning Italian
The Romanesco Dialect
The sketch makes large use of the Romanesco dialect spoken in Rome and nearby, among whose main features is the almost total lack of inhibitions. It is therefore extremely rich in colorful terms and phrases, used freely and without resorting to any replacement with synonyms.
Moreover, an insult is often just a way of reinforcing the language, as when a mother typically tells a child E vvié cqua, a fijo de 'na mignotta! (come here, you son-of-a-b****).
What is meant today with Romanesco dialect is a linguistic code very similar to Italian, so much so that it is often considered more an accent than a dialect. Its grammar differs little from the Italian, founded on the Tuscan dialect, and an Italian speaker can easily understand much of a Romanesco speech, whereas other Italian dialects are true languages and often difficult to understand for Italians of other regions.
Though gags and jokes are near to impossible to translate while maintaining the flavour of the dialect, some of them are briefly explained.
- The Lega referred to at 1:50 is a Northern Italian party, which is especially distrustful of Roman politics.
- Via del Tritone is a narrow street in central Rome.
- A mora is a blackberry but also a brunette.
- A Viado is a term of Brazilian origin used for a male prostitute.
- At 6:00, Striscialo, Piglialo, Pungolo, Struscialo are funny imitations of the Italian names of the names of Snowwhite's Seven Dwarfs in Italian (Brontolo, Gongolo, Mammolo, Pisolo, Cucciolo).
- Pisello (= pea) is a common Italian alias for the male organ.
- At 7:20, Cinderella understands the name Ciambellano as c'ha 'n bell'ano (= has a beautiful anus)
- At 7:40, grattare (= to scratch) refers to a popular Italian lottery game Gratta e vinci (= scratch-and-win).
No, no, c'era una volta un pezzo di legno... c'era una volta un pezzo di legno... ma cha c**** di favola è...
No, no, there was once a piece of wood... there was once a piece of wood... but what the f*** fairytale is this...
Ma si non c'aveva manco un figlio...
But if he had not even one child...
Er Gatto dice: "No, si permetti, me sveglio da solo!" Così se svejò er Gatto, e s'addormì er Micio... er Principe!
Puss says, "No, if you please, I'll wake up by myself!" So Puss in Boots woke up, and the kitten fell asleep... the Prince!
"Ma io so' vent'anni che me gratto, ma ancora non ho vinto niente!"
"Invece adesso hai vinto una bella scarpetta di cristallo!"
"But I've been scratching twenty years, and still have not won anything!"
"But now you've won a nice glass shoe!"
"Ma non se leva più, s'è 'ncatramata!"
"Togliti quella ciabatta!"
"Va bè", e Cenerentola dopo un po' di fatica, co' un po' d'olio se scatramò la ciavatta, e venne su una formaggera...
"But I cannot take it off any more, it's stuck!"
"Take off that strip!"
"Okay", and Cinderella after a little hard work, with a little oil untarred the old slipper, and cheese dish came out...