Italian proverb #1: Tutte le strade portano a Roma
‘Tutte le strade portano a Roma”is a famous Italian. Ir refers to the fact that many different roads were connecting the city with the rest of the Empire. All these roads would have led the travelers to Rome from the many various settlements of the Empire.
Nowadays, this proverb conveys the message that there are different ways to get to the same goal. Do you agree? The saying exists in English and can be translated as all roads lead to Rome. What about in your language?
If the same or a similar expression exists in your native language, please write it down in the comments.
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1.Muto come un pesce. Literally: Quiet as fish. Figurative: to be very quiet.
Giuro che sarò muto come un pesce – I swear I won’t say a word.
2.Sano come un pesce.Literally: Fit as a fish. Figurative: very healthy.
Sono sano come un pesce. I am fit as a fiddle.
3.Essere un asino (o somaro). Literally: Being a donkey. Figurative: Being not clever, especially at school.
E’ un somaro come suo suo padre! He is a dunce as his dad!
4.Essere (lento come) lumaca o tartaruga. Literally: being slow like a snail or a turtle. Figurative: being very slow.
Sei una lumaca! You are slow!
5. Rosso come un gambero.Literally: Red as shrimp. Figurative: to becomeveryred in theface,usuallybecauseyouareembarrassed or sunburnt.
Sei diventato rosso come un come un gambero.You went as re as a beetroot.
6. Essere una iena (o vipera).Literally: Being a hyena (or viper). Figurative: to be a very mean woman.
Quella è propria una vipera.She is a real a b**ch.
7. Piangere lacrime di coccodrillo. Literally: crying crocodrile tears. Figurative: to showsadnessthat is notsincere.
Basta versare lacrime di coccodrillo, prenditi le tue responsabilità! Stop weeping crocodrile tears, take the responsibility of your actions.
8. Passare una notte da leoni.Literally: Spending a night like lions. Figuratively: having very fun (and exhausting) night.
”Una notte da leoni” is also the Italian title that has been given to the famous movie ‘The Hangover’.
9. Essere la pecora nera.Literally: being the black sheep. Figurative: someonewho is thought to be a badperson by therest of theirfamily.
Mia sorella è la pecora nera della famiglia.My sister is the black sheep in the family.
10. Chiudersi a riccio.Literally: shutting yourself like a hedgehog. Figurative: to clam up, to become silent suddenly, usually because you are embarrassed or nervous, or do not want to talk about a particular subject.
Quando si parla di suo padre, si chiude a riccio.When one speaks about her father, she calms up.
11. Essere un lupo solitario o fare il lupo solitario. Literally: being or make the lone wolf. Figurative: a personwhoprefers to do withoutthecompany or assistance of others.
Perché fai sempre il lupo solitario alle feste? Why do you make the lone wolf at the parties?
12. Essere un verme.Literally: being a worm/maggot. Figurative: being a despicable person.
Sei un verme!You’re a louse of a human being!
13. Mettere la pulce nell’orecchio a qualcuno. Literally: to put a flea into someone’s ear. Figurative: to plant a seed of doubt to suggest otherwise to a fact or thing.
Mi hai messo la pulce nell’orecchio...You’ve aroused my suspicions…
14. Avere o far venire la pelle d’oca.Literally: having goose bumps. Figurative: to havingbumps on one’sskindue to fear,excitement, or cold.
Quel film mi ha fatto venire la pelle d’oca.That film gave me goose bumps.
15. Essere quattro gatti.Literally: being four cats. Figurative: being just a handful of people.
Alla festa di Maria, c’erano quattro gatti. At Maria’s party there was just a handful of people.
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Avere la testa tra nuvole (literally: to have the head amongst the clouds) is a metaphorical expression describing someone that is absent-minded or someone that is lost in his/her thoughts and that results disconnected from the reality.
Anche oggi hai dimenticato di comprare il pane..hai sempre la testa tra le nuvole Matteo!
Secondo un nuovo studio avere la testa tra le nuovole stimolerebbbe la creatività.
Da bambina ero una sognatrice, avevo sempre la testa tra le nuvole.
Do not forget that the verb dimenticare takes the preposition DI.
sognatore (m.), sognatrice (f.): dreamer
da bambina, da bambino: as child. Do not forget to use the imperfetto after this expression when you are talking about situations that happened that for an indefinite period of time in your past.
Do you have similar expressions in your native languages? If so, please write it down in the comments and explain its meaning in Italian!