Finire in bellezza
My Italian Notebook
Rather late in the day but … the gym, the dentist (called Phil Moore!) and a quick visit to the men's clothes shop in Ilkley. Time just slips through your fingers.
One of my great passions in life is Italian. I took (and passed) A Level French but it never seemed to be my language. With Italian, however, I love its rhythms, its sounds and even the things I never get right - prepositions in particular.
Via the free website 'Conversation Exchange', I have made friends with several Italians and speak to between two and three every week - half an hour in English and half an hour in Italian. It makes a big difference to fluency and confidence.
My favourite phrase this week was "finire in bellezza". Literally, it means 'to finish in beauty' while the online dictionary gives the meaning as 'go out with a bang'. Paola, however, used the phrase in relation to her retirement and meant that she wanted to finish while she was still in good shape, physically and mentally.
I think my favourite version is the literal one - and something of this is conveyed in the sound and rhythm of the phrase. It's an expression which adds a kind of poignancy to the inevitable. I'm sure that children would love it.
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