Lui Canta, Io Capisco

(He sings, I understand.)

When I took Italian as a foreign language way back in college, the first thing our professor asked was why we chose Italian. We had free reign to pick a foreign language to learn — Spanish, Japanese, German, Mandarin, Bahasa, and Italian — and I chose Italian. My classmates talked about how romantic and melodic the language sounded, or how they were just interested.

My answer was simple, I took Italian because of Josh Groban. HAHAHA

Josh’s first album was just released a year before that and everyone was so into The Prayer (the song that propelled his career when he stood for Andrea Bocelli at a rehearsal). We sang The Prayer at choir, I bought Josh’s album, I fell in love with his songs especially the Italian ones. His Italian songs are always my favorite, even in his succeeding albums.

So here we are, 17 years later, realizing that I haven’t tested my Italian knowledge. I went back to reviewing and learning Italian a year ago with Duolingo, a free language app, and was able to finish all lessons.

While tenses still confuse me, I think I can understand some words and figure out the meaning through context clues. So I went back to one of my favorite Josh Groban songs from his first album and tried to translate it. The first column is the lyrics, the second column is my translation, and the third is the actual translation. Then I went back to my translation to check if I understood it correctly. All text in pink are correct, the ones in yellow are correct but the tense is wrong, and those in blanks and black are obviously words that I missed.

Italian LyricsMy TranslationActual Translation
by LyricsTranslate
Qui c’è il buio fuori di me
Ed anche un po’ dentro di me
Che assurdità questa città
Senza persone
Here, there is hate outside of me
And also a little inside of me
That __ this city
Without people
Here there is darkness outside of me
And also a bit inside of me
What an absurdity, this city
without people
Io non so spiegar neanche come
Ma non è questa la mia dimensione
E la mia mente non è mai in pace
È sempre altrove
I do not know _ anything like
But it is not my dimension
And my mind is never in peace It is always
__
I don’t even know how to explain
But this is not my dimension
And my mind is never in peace
It is always elsewhere
Tu dove sei? La tua voce dov’è
Senza di te, senza il tuo aiuto
Che sarà di me
Where are you? Where is your voice?
Without you, without your help

That you have of me
You—where are you ? Your voice: where is it?
Without you, without your help
What will become of me?
Tutto sembrerà migliore
Alla luce che verrà del sole
Questa notte passerà
Everything becomes better
At the light that comes from the sun
That night
passes
Everything will seem brighter
By the light that will come from the sun
This night will pass
Il buio che c’è si dissolverà
Si vedranno le colline
Io continuerò a cercare te
The hate that there is dissolves
Coming from the hills
I continue to __ you
The darkness that is here will dissolve
The hills will reveal themselves
I will continue to search for you
Via da questa malinconia
Invidia o rabbia che sia
Qui nel mio cuore
Non voglio più queste parole
Come from this __
Here in my heart
I do not want more
of those words
Away with this melancholy
Envy or rage that it is–
Here in my heart
I no longer want these words
Tu dove sei? Il tuo sorriso dov’è
Senza di te, senza il tuo amore
Che sarà di me
Where are you? Where is your laugh?
Without you, without your love
That you have of me
You, where are you ? Your smile, where is it?
Without you, without your love
What will become of me?
Alla luce, al sole
Il silenzio morirà
La gente che c’è si confonderà
At the light, at the sun
Silence dies
The people that there is _
In the light, in the sun
The silence will die
The people who are here will blend together
E alla luce di quel sole
Io continuerò a cercare te
And at the light of that sun
I continue to _ you
And by the light of that sun
I will continue to search for you

Hmmm, not bad. The words I skipped were not covered in the Duolingo vocabluary list so I had no idea what they were. Translating the words wasn’t automatic, I had to go back and forth with the words that I understood first then filled in the other words by context clues.

I’ll try another Josh Groban song next time, this time from his second album. Ok back to Duolingo for another 150xp daily review.

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