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Febbraio 2017
The Speak Up blog answers any questions you may have either about the English language or our articles. Write to us at: http://blog.speakuponline.it. The most interesting questions will be published on this page. A word of warning, though: our blog is not a translation or homework service!

Tons and tonnes
Nell’articolo sul toro di Wall Street (Speak Up gennaio, pagina 18) avete scritto che la scultura pesa 3,5 tons, ma nel glossario avete tradotto 3.200 chili. A me risulta che una tonnellata equivale a 1000 chili, dunque perchè 3.200 e non 3.500?

Weights and measures are complicated in English. Basically, there are two types of ton: the “short ton” is the equivalent of 907 kg. This is what is used in the United States, where it is simply called a “ton.”  The British, on the other hand, tend to use the  “tonne,” (or “long tonne”), which is the same as a metric ton, i.e 1000 kg.

Powered by Google
What is the correct Italian translation of  “powered by Google”?  

The technical translation is: “vengono utilizzati gli strumenti di Google per ricerca, analisi e suggerimenti”. This probably explains why Italians also use the simpler “powered by.”
To power literally means “alimentare, dare energie a”. This is what batteries do, for example.

Can you say that again?
Mi riferisco all’articolo “Why can’t they speak clearly?” (Speak Up gennaio, pagina 64). Nel riquadro ‘Come si dice?’ traducete l’espressione ‘puoi ripetere per favore’, in un modo a cui io non avrei mai  pensato, ‘Can you say that again’. Io avrei detto ‘can you repeat, please’. Sarebbe sbagliato? Qual è la differenza?

You’re right about using the word “please” (for more, please see this month’s Language Files), but “Can you say that again” is what people usually say. You could say, “Please could you repeat that?” (but make sure you include “that”).

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