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Some time ago, there was a famous advetising line in Italy: "Two is meglio che One". By mixing three English words that everybody knows (one, two, is) with an Italian phrase ( "meglio che" = "better than" ) they got the public attention.

How would you translate, or better, render the same effect for English native speakers? I doubt that leaving it unchanged would work. Inverting the language, such as in "Due è better than Uno", might be better. Or not?

  • Yep. Perfect. And I'm in advertising. Well done. – M. E. Feb 17 '16 at 9:16
  • It might be pertinent to mention what the ad was about.... – anemone Feb 17 '16 at 9:28
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    The fact due is an English word might be confusing. Besides, I'd venture to say that the percentage of English speakers that know "è" means "is" is much lower than the percentage of Italian speakers that know "is" means "è". – Yay Feb 17 '16 at 9:28
  • Generally English terms are more common in Italy than Italian terms are in the U.K. or the U.S. (apart from the usual spaghetti, capuccino, etc.). What sort of effect are you looking for?, do you want to keep both languages in the phrase? – user66974 Feb 17 '16 at 10:13
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    youtube.com/watch?v=fKHbscGAy98. The allusion to "two" in the advertising was to "girls" ... which is probably a very Italian thing. – user66974 Feb 17 '16 at 10:25
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I think the phrase Two is meglio che one will work for an American English-speaking audience about as well as any admixture of foreign and English phrasing.

The phrase is simple enough to allow most readers to figure out meglio che from context alone.

The things to remember are first, that native English-speaking Americans will almost certainly mispronounce the Italian, and second, that they will just as certainly congratulate themselves on their international urbanity in believing that they know what it means.

With a nod toward the makers and sellers of Volkswagens, the phrase has real "Sprachvergnugen".

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You would need to use a language that English speakers are familiar with.

Possible Spanish

Dos is better than uno.

or French

Deux is better than un.

However you will come up against the problem that, by and large, non native English speakers often know some English. While many native English speakers don't know any other language.

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