“ du coddasa una borta scetti”
Posted: 09 May 2007 01:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I realise this is an English language forum. I beg for your patience. Can anyone help me with this proverb?

“a su molenti sardu du coddasa una borta scetti”

I believe it is Sardinian, and that molenti means donkey, borta means turn, and sardu means Sardinian…

Do we have a Romance language expert in the house?

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Posted: 09 May 2007 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I found an Italian translation of this proverb at:
http://www.sardopoli.com/Sardegna/..\dizionario.htm

It seems to mean something like:

You can only diddle the proverbial Sardinian donkey once!

NB: The Sardinian donkey is the ‘sardonic’ [wow, another avenue to follow!] self-image the Sardinians have of themselves: not too bright or intellectual, but certainly streetwise

(edit: link corrected)

[ Edited: 09 May 2007 12:20 PM by BlackGrey ]
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Posted: 09 May 2007 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Link doesn’t work.  Too bad; I’d like to have a dictionary of Sardinian available.

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Posted: 09 May 2007 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This one works.

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Posted: 09 May 2007 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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jheem - 09 May 2007 08:28 AM

This one works.

Here’s the English language version.

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Posted: 09 May 2007 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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languagehat - 09 May 2007 07:38 AM

Link doesn’t work.  Too bad; I’d like to have a dictionary of Sardinian available.

Sorry about that, link now corrected in original post. Not many web addresses have a backslash in them!! Dodgy character for browsers to interpret…

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Posted: 09 May 2007 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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On looking through the Ditzionàriu that jheem linked to, the best candidate I can find for the word coddasa is the verb codhài, which is defined as ‘to make love’ but might be better translated as ‘screw’. I’m assuming that orthographic ‘dd’ in the other sources corresponds to ‘dh’ in the Ditzionàriu. Then the form ‘ddu becomes dhu, which translates as the third-person masculine object pronoun. So the gloss would be:

A su molenti sardu ’ddu koddasa una borta sceti
to the donkey sardinian him you.screw one time only
‘you only screw the Sardinian donkey once’

(sorry about the alignment, multiple spaces get reduced to one when posting)

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Posted: 10 May 2007 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well done!  (As to alignment, you could probably use

 

(non-breaking space) to get it right, if you wanted to take the trouble:
    (This is the indent produced by four of them.)

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Posted: 10 May 2007 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If you don’t use a fixed width font you still might have trouble lining things up properly.  Try using {pre} tags:

A  su   molenti  sardu       ddu         koddasa      una  borta   sceti
to the  donkey  sardinian    him         you
.screw    one  time    only

‘you only screw the Sardinian donkey once’

Even that took about six tries with preview and tweaking.

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Posted: 10 May 2007 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks for the formatting tips guys - now I just have to keep my fingers crossed for another good glossing opportunity.

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Posted: 11 May 2007 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, this is a variety of Sardinian called Campidanese, spoken in the southern part of the island. There are many varieties of Sardinian, but the main one are the above said and the more prestigious Loguderese. On the northern part, in the area called Gallura, another language called Gallurese is spoken, derived from a variety of Corsican whose origins for some linguists go back to medieval Tuscan. Gallurese people have a similar saying that goes: lu cani masciu si vutti una ‘olta solu. It means (et pardonnez mon francais!!) you can only screw the male dog once. As you see, it is a literal translation of the “su molenti, etc.” saying, only the animal is different. The saying means smart persons can only be fooled once, or you don’t fall for the same trick twice.
As for Sardinians thinking of themselves as donkeys, I’ve never heard of it and I was surprised to see such a definition in that dictionary of “Sardinian”. Unfortunately, a standard variety doesn’t exist, and the dictionary should specify it. There’s a difference between a donkey and an ASS!

OP Tipping - 09 May 2007 01:16 AM

I realise this is an English language forum. I beg for your patience. Can anyone help me with this proverb?

“a su molenti sardu du coddasa una borta scetti”


I believe it is Sardinian, and that molenti means donkey, borta means turn, and sardu means Sardinian…

Do we have a Romance language expert in the house?

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Posted: 22 May 2007 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Wow, thanks all.

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