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|Meaning||unlucky at cards but lucky in love|
|Literally||unlucky at the game, lucky in love|
|Pronunciation||[sfor too nah to ahl juh ko for too nah to een ah mo ray]|
|IPA||[sfor tu ‘na to al ‘dʒo ko for tu ‘na to in a ‘mo re]|
Usage notes: The Italian proverb sfortunato al gioco, fortunato in amore is a cute way of saying that you only get so much luck and happiness in life. If you’re losing the card game, you can comfort yourself with the fact that you have good luck when it comes to relationships.
Like the similar English expression “unlucky at cards but lucky in love,” sfortunato al gioco, fortunato in amore is not reserved for when someone actually loses a game and meets their soul mate on the same day, but rather tends to be used as a sort of consolation when someone doesn’t do well at cards: "OK, so you lost a bunch of money, but you’ve just met the love of your life" or "you’re happily married."
Chi è fortunato in amore, non ès fortunato alle carte
(Tuscany) Chi ha fortuna in amore, non giochi a carte
literally, "[he] who is lucky in love doesn’t play cards"
In English, you can talk about being really lucky with "(to have) the luck of the devil" / "to have the devil’s own luck." The Italian equivalent is avere una fortuna del diavolo.
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