Tag Archives: addesso pedala!

Italian Saying

Detto italiano:

“Hai voluto la biciletta?

Adesso pedala!”

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This week’s detto italiano (Italian saying) is “Hai voluto la bicicletta? Adesso pedala!” In English this translates to: “You wanted the bicycle? Now pedal!” It refers to a situation where someone was dreaming of or striving for some goal or outcome, and once obtained s/he finds her/himself dealing with all it entails – good, bad, overwhelming, or challenging as it may be.

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feet pedaling, piedi che pedalano.

[Note:  English translations follow passages in Italian.]

Nel caso di una persona che desidera viaggiare spesso e poi comincia di avere l’opportunita di fare tale, ma ora si lamenta di patire il jet lag e che le linee aeree l’hanno smarrito i bagagli, (In the case of someone who desires to travel frequently, and when s/he begins to have the opportunity to do that, complains of suffering from jet lag and the airlines losing their luggage) a friend might say to that person, “Hai voluto la bicicletta? Adesso pedala!  You wanted to travel, this comes with the territory!

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AUDIO CLIP – LISTEN & PRACTICE YOUR PRONUNCIATION

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movie theater, cinema, Paradiso Theatre

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Another example might be someone like me — who wanted to do this little movie thing, and it turned out to be a really big movie thing. I just wanted a place to show Italian movies and invite others to see them also.  Then I find a place, and it goes so well I need a bigger place. Scramble, scramble to find one, and I learn lots in a really short amount of time… about renting spaces and promoting (pause for breath).  Mind you, I’m not complaining, perchè ho voluto la bicicletta — adesso pedalo!  (I wanted the bike [aka a place to show movies and invite people], now I pedal! [do what it takes to make it happen.])

Italian Movie Nights

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bed, letto

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The closest English expression is, “You’ve made your bed. Now lie in it.”, meaning you made a decision, or you created a situation, and now you must accept its consequences. Or, said more colloquially, you wanted what you wanted, you got it, and now you have to take everything that comes with it. (Hai voluto ciò che hai voluto, ora devi accettare tutto che esso ne coinvolge.)

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Altri esempi di casi in cui questo detto si potrebbe usare: (Other examples of cases in which this expression could be used)

  • Qualcuno che ha voluto la grande carriera e ora si sta lamentando di dover lavorare troppo. (Someone who wanted a big career and is now complaining about being overworked.)
  • Qualcuno che ha voluto mettere su una grande famiglia e ora si sta lamentando di non avere mai del tempo libero. (Someone who wanted a big family and is now complaining about never having any free time.)
  • Qualcuno che ha voluto la casa grande e ora si trova inondato di troppi lavori di casa, di giardino ed un grande pagamento del mutuo. (Someone who wanted a big house and now finds themselves with too much housework, yard work, and big mortgage bills.)

sled, slitta

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Doing a bit of digging, I found a Russian proverb with the same essential sense:  “Ti e` piaciuto scendere in slittino? Ora lo deve tirare su!” (Did you like going down on the sled?  Now you have to pull it up!)

To me, it seems like as much a piece of sage advice as a common-sense observation that appears across various cultures. If you want something because it’s enjoyable, in order to have it, you also have to accept the part that’s a little more like work, or less desirable.

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sled going uphill, slitta in salita

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How about you, can you think of any situations in which you could practice saying “Hai voluto la bicicletta?  Adesso pedala!” I’d love to hear about them below.

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