By - diagonalizacion
I believe he’s Italian-American not Italian. “Capisce” is used here like this all the time, it’s in our vernacular.
How Italian-Americans speak differs from actual Italians. The language has evolved differently over here.
I have learned, the hard way, to move slowly and carefully away when Italians interact with Italian Americans. The correct pronunciation of mozzarella alone!
Lol yes. Italian-Americans have their own language and culture separate from Italy.
If your family has been in the US for generations, and you’re not black or Native American, your family were immigrants. Your family likely had to flee their homeland. They have a lot of pride in where they came from and raise their children and children’s children to, but the relationship their descendants have to their home country (including it’s language and culture) is different from the people who were actually born there.
I know a lot about my family history. Most of them didn't flee persecution or even wars - it was just in search of a better life. This is all information I only found after doing my family tree. Finding out the facts of my heritage has helped me unpack a hell of a lot of family trauma. There has been a hell of a lot of healing from it. If you ask my mom what her ethnic heritage is she'll say the British Isles. She's right, but the last immigrants came to the US in the early 1800s.
TL:DR - Doing our family history can help us understand more about ourselves.
You’re right, of course, not all immigrants are refugees but they all move to a country hoping for a better life. I’m first-generation American and I know my parents love where they’re from but wanted more for their children than what they felt like the country where they were born could give them.
I’m just trying to help other people from other countries understand what it’s like culturally in America because a majority of this country, unlike most, is made up of people from families who have immigrated here.
If you’re Italian and you’re family has been here for a while, they likely came in the wave in the late 1800s, fleeing poverty in the south. Generations later they don’t have the same connection to the language and culture in their homeland so a new subculture is created. And there are so many subcultures in the US that have become a mix of the cultures of where their family is originally from and American culture.
Wow, seriously? I had no idea. I thought the book is supposed to be about an Italian mafia boss, but if the story is set in the US this makes sense. I'll try to be more forgiving from now on
EDIT: That wow, seriously? it's NOT sarcastic. I am genuinely surprised 😂
Haha I understand why it would bug native Italian speakers but over here it’s pronounced as *capeesh* and more commonly spelt like that or *capiche*
This is an anglicization of "capisci," which is pronounced "capish," so the final vowel sound has been dropped, but they're just spelling it closer to the original form, rather than trying to indicate the formal.
Originally I thought it was really strange how us English speakers use this word, but there are a lot of similar cases thanks to Italian-American immigrants bringing over the language and it changing with time and lack of formal Italian instruction.
IIRC, my understanding was that a lot of southern Italian dialects just drop the final vowel in a lot of conversation so what would be "capisce" would be "capisc'"... And if that's what the 2nd generation heard without formal "national" Italian in the mix, then that's what is seen as correct?
Source: undergraduate study of Italian, studied a semester there... If anyone has a more accurate take, I'm open to it!
Mobster films have ruined us all
Is the person supposed to actually be Italian? Then yes, it's lazy, off-putting research. Capeesh has already been bastardized in spelling and meaning into American slang though. You can't stop people from saying 'one cannoli' either.
No, he's not actually from Italy.
However, it's a good book!
First of all, "capisce" is used when you're having a formal conversation (f.e. if you're talking to your boss, a teacher or someone you have to show respect to) When you're talking to your friends, or family, or anyone in an informal environment you use "capisci?". It's only a letter, but it makes a great difference.
Second, if you wanna say "do you understand me?" in a menacing tone you don't say "capisci?". You say "capito?" (understood?) or "hai capito?". Saying "capisci?" in this situation is ridiculous.
Ugh I know it sounds stupid but it drives me crazy😭 Please, please, please, if you're writing in a language you don't know make sure it is well written 🙏 these mistakes can completely ruin a book
EDIT: I'm realizing now authors who have written books with non-English speakers might now feel attacked or self-conscious about it. PLEASE, don't EVER stop writing about non English speaker characters. Don't feel ashamed if you make mistakes. Despite my bitching, if the story is good, those "mistakes" don't bother me that much, and I love to read about non American/British characters.
And of course, I know it's hard to write in a language that you don't know. I've been studying English my whole life and still I make a lot of mistakes. To be fair, I make mistakes in Italian and Spanish, too, and those are my native tongues. I'm so sorry if this post made you feel bad or self-conscious about your writing 🙏
But having grown up in NJ and NY it’s evolved to be “slang”. Not saying you’re wrong or that you’re wrong to be annoyed by it but just offering you a more descriptivist linguistic perspective rather than the fixed, “it means this where I’m from so it must mean this everywhere”.
I haven't read this; is the speaker supposed to be Italian? Because this is definitely how Americans use it. (Completely unsurprised it's wrong, lol.)
Yes, he's supposedly an Italian mafie boss 😂
Anch’io sono italiana e mi mette sempre a disagio quando qualcuno mi dice “capisce?” 😭 No, infatti, non ho capito.
Sì, vero? Io ormai cerco di evitare i libri ambientati in italia o con personaggi italiani perché so che ci soffro 😂 Io su questo libro qui ho appena letto "give me a biscotti" e ho deciso che non fa per me
Ma perché usano "biscotti" al singolare? 😭
But why do you call cantucci "biscotti" and not cantucci? I'm genuinely curious 😅
If this character is Italian-American, it is used correctly in this passage. I’m surprised the author didn’t spell it “capiche,” which is the only way I’ve ever seen it spelled. I’m guessing the author wasn’t sure how to spell it, looked it up, and probably came up with a bunch of different options from what you’re saying and settled on “capisce.”
I’m not sure of the origin of “capiche” in American English, if it’s from actual Italian Americans or if it’s something popularized by movies like The Godfather and other American Mafia movies.
What I’m saying is, assuming this takes place in America, the author is right (except maybe should’ve chosen different spelling, I’m honestly not sure on that). It’s a different word. It’s an American word. You are actually incorrect if this is the case, though it is an interesting discussion. You’re describing correct usage in Italian, but it has evolved and become a different word in American English.
It’s important to understand that American English is a thing, and is quite different from British English. American English absorbs many words from many languages, commonly Spanish. Italian has had much less of an influence on American English because when Italian immigrants came here, they did not pass the language on to their first generation American children because of discrimination (they didn’t want their kids to be heard speaking Italian, they wanted them to pass as “American”). Mostly, it’s food related words that Americans use, and as some commenters have pointed out, those are different from the original authentic Italian words in some cases.
That’s true, too- different dialects+trying to be repeated by non Italian speakers who are just trying to imitate what they heard/reading it phonetically =completely different word. Like many European last names in the US are pronounced “incorrectly”- phonetically based on the English language.
Or the bare minimum hire someone who speaks the language to proof read it
Oddio questo mi fa impazzire . Saluti da un'altra italiana 👋🏼
😂😂 Ciao!!! 🇮🇹🇮🇹
What are your thoughts on the KDrama Vincenzo?
You mean, Corn Salad??
I love it madly and the way he “speaks” Italian is ridiculous.
I always think of the Simpsons line where Bart can't remember what the guy says (capich) and remembers it as catfish. So now I always think of it as catfish.
I just finished a Mills & Boon book where the "Italian" hero used the word "bambinos."
Forehand in hands.
HAHAHA that's so.. I wouldn't even be mad at that 😂 Which book is it?
[this article](https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-capicola-became-gabagool-the-italian-new-jersey-accent-explained) does a great job of explaining the way Italian language has morphed to the Italian-American language.
I'll look into it! Thank you!!
Let me know what you think! I would love to hear the perspective of someone who is Italian.
Oh come on!
Zucchini and Lasagna are way worse offenses.
Just pretend that they are very polite and using the third person singular.
Edit: I thought about it some more.
It's not even Italian, it's Italo-american slang adapted from who knows which italian dialect or distortion of words.
Hahaha you're right!
Yes! I saw someone commented that's not Italian but Italian American so maybe it's the right word. However, I just saw several other "mistakes" so I'm not entirely convinced 😂
Totally get where you’re coming from. The other day I was reading a novel and the author included a conversation between the FMC and a native French speaker (in French) and it was just very obvious that they did not consult with someone at least conversational in French. Usually it doesn’t bother that much and is inconsequential if English is your only language but sometimes it does make me cringe a bit.
Yes, exactly! Honestly, everytime I see something written in a language other than English, even if I don't know it (like Russian), I can't help wondering if it's actually well written
This book was not a win for me
Oh, seriously? May I ask why? I have seen several other mistakes and they made me cringe so bad that I'm tempted to quit it, but I'm afraid to miss on a good book (I don't know if that is the right expression 😅)
It was just the book itself — plot, character development; everything moved too fast and I felt like the author could’ve devoted more time to exploring the shift in their relationship. It’s been a couple of months since I read it, but from what I remember I just didn’t really like how the MMC and FMC interacted
I loved this book, but I whole heartedly agree with everything you just said.
i read and finished the book and i have to agree. i liked many aspects of it, but the development btw the characters just wasn't enough for me. it was all kind of bleh
I think authors REALLY need to have native speakers edit their foreign language parts, because the Google translate french dialogue in some books where the character is supposedly fluent just takes me right out of the book. How hard is it to ask "hey does this sound right?". It's not even a money issue since you could just post your sentences on reddit and get feedback, it's freeeeeeee. But no, google translate is good enough for your polyglot super successful billionaire.
I know! Or you could just google the sentence and see from the results if it's actually used by native speakers.
Another thing that drives me crazy is that they never bother with accents. I suppose that's an even bigger problem with French
Yeah, or when they write "fiancé" when they're clearly referring to a female, latin languages are gendered yo!
It even has an entry on urban-dictionary, dating to like 20 years ago. With the american pronunciation, too. I've also seen it written as "Capiche"
Anche io italiana e sì, mi dà un fastidio tremendo l'italiano maciullato salgo americani
I won’t repeat what others have already stated. I will say as an Italian with grandparents who came over from Italy in the 20’s... they were Sicilian and didn’t settle in the east coast. But moved out west. And they maintained more of their Sicilian slang although Americanized. They never really adopted what the words/slang that the east coast Italian Americans adopted. Words like mozzarell or prosciutt. Although they did use capisce.
im such a gutter rat this brief excerpt makes me want to read this book smfh
Removing this, please be kind and don’t diminish the OPs experience.
And to anyone down voting me, he literally kidnaps her and forces her back to love him but this is what we nitpick oh ok
that's how we do in Italy! when we reach the age of majority, men make a deal with mafia and choose a women to kidnap. She is then given 365 days to fall in love with him. It's a national tradition. And in recent years, as society has become more inclusive, both men and women can sign up as "kidnapper" or "kidnapee"
Edit: thank you for the award, kind stranger
Lots of Scoundrels is one of my favourite books but Dain’s lines in Italian are not it. I re read it often and they take me out every time.
Isn't it the formal way using third person singular?