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.
  • 1
    This question should be asked on Italian.SE.
    – Mick
    Feb 6, 2017 at 13:42
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because ELU isn't a translation service Feb 6, 2017 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, 2017 at 15:20
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    @Mitch ... and on IL.SE they said the correct place is here :):):)
    – CarLaTeX
    Feb 6, 2017 at 18:57
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    @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, 2017 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


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:


(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, 2017 at 19:05
  • Ah, my Italian is not good enough to know that! Editing! Come back in 5 minutes!
    – Fabby
    Feb 6, 2017 at 19:06
  • I accept for the SNAFU :):):)
    – CarLaTeX
    Feb 6, 2017 at 19:12
  • Grazie mille! :) :) :)
    – Fabby
    Feb 6, 2017 at 19:12

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