15 December 2011

Grazie....or Prego?!?

Is this seat taken? Prego!
A direct translation of 'Grazie' is Thank you. 'Prego'...well, 'prego' doesn't really have a direct translation. And since "Thank you" has been ingrained into the American psyche as the go-to word, I find myself using it in a lot of situations in which 'prego' would do better. Because really, 'prego' is Italy's go-to word.

Here are how some people translate 'prego'...

Isabel D. (JFRC Student): It depends on context. "Sure thing", "You're welcome", or if you're letting someone through, "Go ahead".

Megan S. (JFRC Student): "You're welcome" or "After you". It literally means "I pray" so I don't really know what that means, but that's what that means.

Laura W. (JFRC Student): It's a bunch of different things. It's just a polite word.

Kaela C. (JFRC Student): "If you please." I wish English had a word for it. A lot of other languages do, like French's s'il vous plait. I don't know - there are so many different ways!

Andrea M. (JFRC Student): It literally means "you're welcome" but it is highly based on context. It could be a reply to a thank you or a you're welcome to my seat on the bus or you're welcome to tell me your order for food. It's kind of all inclusive.

Jacopo P. (Roman Citizen, native Italian speaker): "Don't mention it"?

Anne W. (Librarian who first visted Rome in 1980): "You're welcome" but it can also be "please" so it depends when you say it; it hasn't got one meaning.

Matt C. (JFRC Student): It's the Italian equivalent of a grunt. It's just that their language is prettier than ours so they've given it syllables and letters.

May I photo bomb your picture? Prego!


(P.S. Thank you to Megan for allowing me to use semi-embarrassing photos of her).

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