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08 July 2012

Translation from Italian to Russian Curious Dictionaries

Curiosities happen in every field of the life, and they are something that add light to everyday routine. That is why I add "Curiousities" category to all my blogs.

In 1995, a great new Russian/ Italian Italian/ Russian Dictionary was pibblished and was just available in the biggest bookshops. It was the book I needed for my job and I bought it as soon as I could. I took it with me when I married an Italian and moved in Italy.

One day, I had to translate a text where the word "partenopean" was used. The word is one of the synonyms 
of "neapolitan".

A Greek legend about the Sirens and Odysseus tells that the body of the Siren Partenope was washed ashore in the place where the Greek colony was built later. A Partenope colony, precisely. The old colony was replaced with new settling, new town, Nea-Polis, some time later, but the memory of the Siren remained in the language till today. So, they can say Neapolitan or Partenopean and it means the same.

The author of the great dictionary I bought did not know this peculiarity and, probably, asked one of his Italian friends to explain it to him. That friend had a special sense of humour. I found thas explanation:

"Partenopean is a disparaging name for the citizens of Naples and region"

It's very probably that this difinition continue in the later dictionaries of that author.

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