0

How could I translate a sentence like the Italian:

Non so cosa ho combinato!

?

I've translated it into

I don't know what I've done!

but it seems to me that something's lost in translation.

The sentence could have two meanings:

  1. Non so cosa ho combinato (ma sono riuscita a farlo) = I don't know how, but I managed to do it
  2. Non so cosa ho combinato (ma ho fatto un disastro) = I don't know how, but I did a mess.

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Mick, Mitch, Cascabel, cobaltduck Feb 6 '17 at 19:31

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – Mitch, Cascabel
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    This question should be asked on Italian.SE. – Mick Feb 6 '17 at 13:42
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because ELU isn't a translation service – FumbleFingers Feb 6 '17 at 13:45
  • 2
    You can try to translate it literally, and it will be understood, but it won't sound "natural". You should describe the situation a person would say this—I know, because I'm Italian, but 95% of the users on EL&U aren't. So, describe the situation, and provide a sentence where this expression would fit. For example, I might say "(I don't know what came over me) But I really fucked up" Do you want slang, informal, or a more polite equivalent? – Mari-Lou A Feb 6 '17 at 15:20
  • 2
    @Mitch ... and on IL.SE they said the correct place is here :):):) – CarLaTeX Feb 6 '17 at 18:57
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA wasn't just giving you general advice; if you edit your answer to reflect her suggestions then your question would be on-topic for this site, and we'll be able to better answer your question. Here are a couple of examples of phrase "translation" questions that are on-topic: english.stackexchange.com/questions/352170/… english.stackexchange.com/questions/307938/… See if you can edit your answer to more resemble those, and I think you'll get a better response. – 1006a Feb 6 '17 at 19:39
2

Some things are untranslatable and this is one of them: there is no way in English to convene the exact same meaning as in Italian... The only thing that comes a little bit closer then yours is:

I don't even have a clue how I made it look like that myself!

or go completely the complete other way and use one word instead of trying to translate an Italian idiom and just say:

SNAFU!

(All depends on the context)

  • Thank you very much, your answer is perfect if I managed to do something and I don't know how, but there is also another meaning: I did a mess and I don't know how! (Maybe I answered by myself with my latter sentence...) – CarLaTeX Feb 6 '17 at 19:05
  • Ah, my Italian is not good enough to know that! Editing! Come back in 5 minutes! – Fabby Feb 6 '17 at 19:06
  • I accept for the SNAFU :):):) – CarLaTeX Feb 6 '17 at 19:12
  • Grazie mille! :) :) :) – Fabby Feb 6 '17 at 19:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.