bestemmia

English translation: blasphemy, sacrilege, profanity

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Italian term or phrase:bestemmia
English translation:blasphemy, sacrilege, profanity
Entered by: Fiona Grace Peterson

12:03 Apr 5, 2005
Italian to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / book preface
Italian term or phrase: bestemmia
This is the title to a preface for a book of horror short stories. The title (of the preface) is "La bestemmia dell'horror."

I was going to translate it as "curse", only the last line reads: "Perchè l'horror, se ben fatto, è sicuramente una bestemmia."

The word "curse" for me carries negative connotations, but here surely the meaning is positive? The problem is I'm not entirely sure what the author means by the phrase. Any suggestions?

Thankyou!
Fiona Grace Peterson
Italy
Local time: 05:50
blasphemy, sacrilege, profanity
Explanation:
I don't see many positive aspects in the Italian term (I live here). I'd like to know more about the context, but I would interprete the last line as meaning that the horror genre must necessarily contain some blasphemous elements (undead drinking blood, Frankenstein resurrecting a pieced together corpse...).
You are right that in modern parlance bestemmia is used to mean curse, or cuss words, but that is because, as opposed to Anglo-Saxon (where cussing is all about sex), their "foul language" always has to do with God and taking his name in vain (Dio maile, porca Madonna..) certainly blasphemous in the strict sense. You might want to try 'sacrilege' or 'profanity', which include some of the ambiguity in the Italian. It's your call - in bocca lupo.
Selected response from:

tonypisa
Local time: 05:50
Grading comment
Thanks to everyone for your help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +1blasphemy
nydas77
4blasphemy, sacrilege, profanity
tonypisa
3nonsense
Angela Arnone


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
blasphemy


Explanation:
"Perchè l'horror, se ben fatto, è sicuramente una bestemmia."
mi fa pensare a qualcosa di "non angelico", contro Dio.... potrebbe essere?vedi tu dal contesto, ciao

nydas77
Local time: 05:50
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  100379 (X)
2 hrs
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
nonsense


Explanation:
I'm not sure if this is of any help but "bestemmia" can also mean "nonsense" or "absurdity".
To be honest I don't think it's positive - ever! Can't you ask the author? S/he is obviously playing clever clogs here and you need to know excatly where s/he is going with the expression.

Angela Arnone
Local time: 05:50
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 54
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
blasphemy, sacrilege, profanity


Explanation:
I don't see many positive aspects in the Italian term (I live here). I'd like to know more about the context, but I would interprete the last line as meaning that the horror genre must necessarily contain some blasphemous elements (undead drinking blood, Frankenstein resurrecting a pieced together corpse...).
You are right that in modern parlance bestemmia is used to mean curse, or cuss words, but that is because, as opposed to Anglo-Saxon (where cussing is all about sex), their "foul language" always has to do with God and taking his name in vain (Dio maile, porca Madonna..) certainly blasphemous in the strict sense. You might want to try 'sacrilege' or 'profanity', which include some of the ambiguity in the Italian. It's your call - in bocca lupo.

tonypisa
Local time: 05:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Thanks to everyone for your help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Angela Arnone: moderator note: it would have been better not to include the actual Italian blasphemies as I think we are all au fait with the extensive repertoire available. The site is used by lots of folks who may be offended by them. Thanks.
8 mins
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