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buco nell'acqua

English translation: I think we're wasting our time/we're at a dead end

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Italian term or phrase:buco nell'acqua
English translation:I think we're wasting our time/we're at a dead end
Entered by: Michelangelo Felicetti
Options:
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08:16 Jul 4, 2008
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Cinema, Film, TV, Drama
Italian term or phrase: buco nell'acqua
..alla ricerca di una foto per incriminare un sospettato..e uno dei due poliziotti esclama: Credo che stiamo facendo un buco nell'acqua!...

grazie per l'aiuto
michelangelo
Michelangelo Felicetti
Local time: 10:36
I think we're wasting our time/we're at a dead end
Explanation:
Also "we're missing the boat" or "we're barking up the wrong tree" if the sense is that they're on the wrong trail (e.g., looking for the wrong person).

If it's simply a matter of "there's nothing here and it's pointless to go on," you can use a number of synonyms: beating a dead horse, beating our heads against a brick wall, etc.

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Note added at 20 mins (2008-07-04 08:37:01 GMT)
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If you want an idiomatic expression to match "buco nell'acqua," best to leave this one to native English speakers.
Selected response from:

WendellR
Local time: 11:36
Grading comment
thanks wendell so much.
1 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +10I think we're wasting our time/we're at a dead endWendellR
5to fail; to flop
Giovanni Pizzati
4we're beating the airxxxMilena Bosco
4we're on a hiding to nothing
Joanna M Case
3to draw a blankKatia De Gennar


  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +10
I think we're wasting our time/we're at a dead end


Explanation:
Also "we're missing the boat" or "we're barking up the wrong tree" if the sense is that they're on the wrong trail (e.g., looking for the wrong person).

If it's simply a matter of "there's nothing here and it's pointless to go on," you can use a number of synonyms: beating a dead horse, beating our heads against a brick wall, etc.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2008-07-04 08:37:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you want an idiomatic expression to match "buco nell'acqua," best to leave this one to native English speakers.

WendellR
Local time: 11:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 9
Grading comment
thanks wendell so much.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  James (Jim) Davis
5 mins

agree  Kimberly Wastler: All excellent suggestions. Your choice will depend on the circumstances as Wendell justly pointed out
18 mins

agree  luskie: I like your suggestions and I also tend to agree with your added note, as well as with your comment to the colleague, but, aehm, "sorvogliamo il fatto" is not Italian either :)
38 mins
  -> Yep, and that's why I don't translate into Italian.

agree  Andrea Alvisi
42 mins

agree  ldaquer: i think beating a dead horse is perfect
45 mins

neutral  Joanna M Case: it's FLOGGING a dead horse & BANGING our heads against a brick wall - am certain. Disagree with 'we're missing the boat' tho- usually used in past -we missed the boat- means one specific chance lost. At a dead end = they can do no more. Depends on cntx.
58 mins
  -> You may be certain, but you're wrong. Flogging/banging may be variations on the saying, but there's absolutely nothing wrong w/mine. Suggest you consult a dictionary.

agree  Juliette Scott: I like wasting our time best. It sounds good for a police context.
1 hr

agree  Vladimir Micic
1 hr

agree  potra: Yes, I would go for: this looks like a dead end!
3 hrs

agree  Lise Leavitt: As Potra =)
8 hrs

agree  Carmen Iulia Ciumarnean: a dead end indeed
12 hrs
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
to draw a blank


Explanation:
altra possibilità

Katia De Gennar
Italy
Local time: 11:36
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
we're on a hiding to nothing


Explanation:
another way of saying we're getting nowhere/flogging a dead horse. I'd really like some more context tho, hence confidence level for the moment - what prompts the policeman tp say what he does?

Joanna M Case
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
we're beating the air


Explanation:
Have a nice day,

Milena

xxxMilena Bosco
Italy
Local time: 11:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian, Native in CatalanCatalan
PRO pts in category: 8
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
to fail; to flop


Explanation:
Proposta

Giovanni Pizzati
Italy
Local time: 11:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 8
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