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Thinking without language?

Larisa Migachyov lvm at leland.Stanford.EDU
Fri Nov 19 19:48:04 EST 1999

@earthlink.net> <38353EB7.447A at worldnet.att.net>
<38358505_1 at news3.prserv.net> <38358A10.20BD3562 at earthlink.net>:

kenneth Collins wrote:
>  Sergio Navega wrote:
>  > Peter T. Daniels wrote in message <38353EB7.447A at worldnet.att.net>...
>  > >kenneth Collins wrote:
>  > >
>  > >> "Voi che sapete", sung by Frederica Von Stade, is one of my favorite
>  > things...
>  > >> just wish i knew what the words mean :-)
>  > >
>  > >The album it's on probably came with an insert giving the text and
>  > >translation. Failing that, you could look at the libretto in a library
>  > >(or in a non-budget CD of the complete opera).
>  >
>  > "Voi che sapete" should mean "you that already know", or
>  > "you, the ones who knows". I could do better if you supply the
>  > rest of the text.
>  oh, darn! all these years i 'thought' it meant 'i love you', despite the
>  missing "amore"... and i see that i missed the gist of Dag's prior post,
>  too.
>  oh well, life goes on, "Voi che sapete" :-)

OK.  Here is the text, and a loose translation:

 Voi che sapete                           You ladies
 Che cosa e' amor,                        Who know what love is,
 Donne, vedete                            See if it is
 S'io l'ho nel cor.                       What I have in my heart.
 Quello ch'io provo                       All that I feel
 Vi ridiro';                              I will tell you;
 E' per me nuovo,                         It is new to me,
 Capir non so.                            And I don't understand it.
 Sento un affetto                         I have a feeling
 Pien di desir,                           Full of desire,
 Ch'ora e' diletto,                       That is at times a pleasure,
 Ch'ora e' martir.                        And at times a torment.
 Gelo, e poi sento                        I freeze, and then I feel
 L'alma avvampar,                         My soul on fire,
 E in un momento                          And the next moment
 Torno a gelar.                           I turn to ice again.
 Ricerco un bene                          I'm looking for a treasure
 Fuori di me,                             Outside of myself,
 Non so chi'l tiene,                      I don't know who holds it,
 Non so cos'e.                            I don't know what it is.
 Sospiro e gemo                           I sigh and groan
 Senza voler,                             Without wanting to,
 Palpito e tremo                          I flutter and tremble
 Senza saper,                             Without knowing why,
 Non trovo pace                           I don't find peace
 Notte, ne di;                            At night, or during the day,
 Ma pur mi piace                          But it pleases me
 Languir cosi;                            To languish like this.
 Voi che sapete                           You ladies who know
 Che cosa e amor,                         What sort of thing love is,
 Donne, vedete                            see if that is
 S'io l'ho nel cor.                       What I have in my heart.

Any Italians who find fault with the above translation are free to express
their displeasure.

Larisa Migachyov                            
Quaternion Press Publishing House
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