'me ne frega'



Why is this consistently translated by the average person as meaning "F*ck you"?

Some people add "Me ne frega" or might throw "cavolo" in before frega if very angry. Which is translated directly as "It rubs of it" but is better translated as....

That's the problem.

Growing up to me it was always highly contextual.

If you were arguing it meant "Get lost, you're annoying me."
If you weren't arguing it meant "There isn't any."
If responding to a yes or no question it meant "No."

Usually said in a context of at least annoyance (not the last case), but it's not the equivalent of saying "F*ck off" or cursing someone out.

How come all Americans who seem to me...uncultured...translate every hand gesture as exceedingly vulgar?
Yiddish speakers would say "Luze zein shah" (Shut up) and take no offense.
Hell, Americans would say "Be quiet" or "Relax" without blinking or thinking anything of it.

Do Americans secretly hate Italian culture?
Much of what is regarded as "Italian culture" in America is actually Sicilian culture, since Sicilians comprised a major wave of immigration. In addition, especially in the powerful motifs supplied by the news and entertainment media, it was given a strong overlay of Mafia culture, since the Mafia was a major force in this country from Prohibition in the 1920s until as recently as the 1960s.

Many linguists regard the various Sicilianu dialects as a language distinct from Italian, and an ancient order of organized criminals that once nearly controlled the island would have added their own cant.

It's possible that the meanings we give to "Italian" phrases and gestures may in fact be specifically Sicilian, which in turn might have been vulgarized by Mafiosi.