My Italian Word of the Week - Trovare

DVD Cover - Lo Hobbit: Desolazione di Smaug - - Warner Brothers (C)

DVD Cover - Lo Hobbit: Desolazione di Smaug - - Warner Brothers (C)

Trovare (v.)

v. to find, locate, spot
v. to find, get, obtain (a desired object, goal, or outcome)
v. to find, uncover, retrieve (an object that was once yours)
v. to find, discover, observe, notice, come across, catch, stumble upon
v. to find, reckon, have an opinion
definitions ;
conjugations Italian Verbs

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW.

This week, we're touching upon what I consider to be one of the most useful first conjugation (-are) verbs, trovare (note: I'll treat the reflexive version trovarsi to it's own post). Trovare means "to find", and as I've tried to illustrate in the translations listed above, it's used literally and figuratively in much the same way as "to find" is used in English.

The simplest use refers to locating an object, person, or place. For example, (io) Ho trovato le chiavi translates to "I found the keys." Devo trovare mio marito means "I must find my husband." The verb can also be used when referring to surprising or chancing upon something or someone. Ho trovato i ladri in casa  means "I found the burglars in the house."

When used in conjunction with adjectives and adverbs, trovare can come in handy for expressing opinions. Trovo noioso il film translates to "I found the film boring," and the informal greetingTi trovo bene means "I find you well/You look well." One can also use it to pass judgement on other people--Trovo scortese da parte tua dire queste cose roughly translates to "I find it rude on your part that you said those things."

Which brings us to the Italian trailer for Lo Hobbit: La Desolazione Di Smaug (okay, that was a horrible segway, I admit). While I'm mainly motivated by the prospect of looking at Orlando Bloom in elf form, my attempt to translate the first minute or so will definitely touch upon the verb "to find" (un anello, meaning a ring, for those not in the know). I'll also confess to needing to go back and forth between the English and Italian versions since there are lots of low frequency words in the opening. Ready?

Davvero. I raconti e le canzoni non rendono giustizia, a la tua enormità, o Smaug...l'immenso. 

I will probably never ever say this in Italy, but hey, picking out the words is kind off fun. Davverro means really or truly. Un raconto is a tale or story. Una canzone is a song. Rendere means a lot of things, but in this case it's used as to give. Giustizia means justice, and immenso means limitless. Put it all together, and you get: Truly. The tales and songs don't give justice to your enormity, or Smaug...the Limitless.  

Siamo i nani di Erebor. Siamo venuti a reclamare la nostra terra natia.--Io vi offro mio aiuto.

So un nano is a dwarf (yes, I looked it up). Venire means to come, reclamare to reclaim, and offrire to offer. La terra natia is the homeland, and l'aiuto is helpAll combined, we get: We are the dwarves of Erebor. We have come to reclaim our homeland. -- I offer you (all) my help.

Pretty easy once you break it all down, isn't it?

Come sappiamo che non ci tradirà? Non lo sappiamo. 

Okay, this one gave me a hard time (I couldn't make out tradirà, so I had to Google it). Now that I know however, it's pretty easy since there are only two verbs. Sapere - to know, and tradire - to betray. With all the little words, the sentence comes together as: How do we know that he won't betray us? We don't know (it). 

Non c'è ancora un re sotto la montagna e mai ci sara. 

There's actually only one verb in this sentence--essere, the verb to be (in third person present and third person future). Un re is a king. Ancora means already, and mai means ever/never. Adding the cognate and the pesky little ci, we get: There isn't already (fig. has never been) a king under the mountain and there never will be. 

Non finirà qui. Con ogni vittoria questo male si rinforzarà. 

Today seems to be a verb day. Finire means to finish/end, and rinforzare to strengthen. Vittoria means victory and male means badness/evil. Summed up, we get: (It) will not end here. With each victory this evil strengthens (itself).

Now we can get to my favorite line. 

Legolas è molto affezionato a te. Non dargli speranza dove non c'è. 

Affezionato is an adjective meaning attached to or fond of. Dare means to give and speranza means hope. Together with all the annoying pronouns, the sentence means: Legolas is very attached to you. Don't give him hope where there isn't. 

Non ai alcun diritto di entrare in quella montagna. -- Sono l'unico ad averlo. -- Siamo stati ciechi. Nella nostra cecità, il nostro nemico e tornato. 

So here we get to witness the wonderful world of subject-verb-tense agreement. Sono (1st person singular present) and siamo stati (1st person plural simple past) both derive from essere, the verb to be. Diritto means right, cecità blindness, and cieco blind. You also get avere, the verb to havein infinitive form (combined with the direct pronoun "lo") and in second person present "ai". Dulcis in fundo, nemico means enemy, and tornare to return. Altogether, we arrive at: You don't have any right to enter that mountain. -- I'm the only (one) (who) has it. -- We were blind. In our blindness, our enemy has returned. 

And now the last sentence, which obviously contains this week's word: 

Ho trovato una cosa nella galleria degli Orchi. -- Cosa ai trovato? -- Umm.... Il mio corragio.

Cosa  means something, and galleria a tunnel or underground passage. The rest of the words are cognates, so the sentences are: I found something in the tunnel of the Orchi (a made-up word, meaning goblins only in the Lord of the Rings world). -- What did you find? -- Umm... My courage. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.


Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at