A Two-Part Question About Italian Dialects and The Mechanics of Breaking Glass Windows
December 10, 2009 9:51 AM   Subscribe

This is a two-part question about a video on YouTube. The first part of the question is about the Sicilian dialect of the Italian language; the second part deals with the mechanics of breaking a glass window with a crowbar.

(You don't have to watch the whole video if you don't want to; there are two sections I'm curious about and each one only runs for a few seconds.)

Here's the video: the opening sequence of the early-seventies Italian crimesploitation flick "Il Cittadino Si Ribella", featuring the song "Goodbye My Friend."

Now, at about :51, there are a group of hooligans trashing an apartment. One of them happens upon a poster on the wall with the words "Italiani Ribellatevi". He mutters something that sounds like "Italiani Ribel-ad" before he tears it off the wall. Is this meant to be Sicilian dialect? I ask because it reminds me of the bits of New York Italian slang I've heard here and there, with "Gallamad" for "Calamari" and so on and so forth.

From 1:50 to about 2:10, there's a scene where a guy smashes a shop window with a crowbar. Prior to doing so, he wraps the crowbar in newspaper. Now why would he do that? Is that for personal safety? Is the newsprint supposed to protect him from shards of broken glass flying back at him? Or is there some other reason?

So there you have it. A question involving the Italian language and breaking glass windows. And the song "Goodbye My Friend." I submit that this question is unique in the six-year history of Ask MetaFilter.

As always, many thanks in advance.
posted by jason's_planet to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Don't know about the Italian, but the crowbar scene it looks to me he does it so he can look like a dude walking around with a rolled-up newspaper instead of a dude walking around with a crowbar.
posted by brainmouse at 10:06 AM on December 10, 2009

My guess on the newspaper thing is that he's simply using it to conceal the crowbar while he decides what he's going to smash and grab.
posted by Jinkeez at 10:10 AM on December 10, 2009

He's saying "ribellatevi".

Not even southern Italians or Sicilians butcher the language like those New Yorkers do.
posted by Zambrano at 10:36 AM on December 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks!
posted by jason's_planet at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2009

« Older Doing Our Homework on For-Profit Colleges   |   oh God, that was terrible. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.