Mina Mazzini: Biography

Italian reading practice with side-by-side translation

 Reading comprehension

Mina Mazzini Mina Mazzini
Mina Mazzini è nata in provincia di Varese ma ha vissuto e si è formata a Cremona, la città d’arte famosa per i suoi violini e i torroni, in Lombardia.
Translation
Mina Mazzini was born in the province of Varese but lived and went to school in Cremona, the city of art famous for its violins and its nougats, in Lombardy.
Inizia la sua carriera giovanissima, alla fine degli anni ’50, tra quei giovani definiti «urlatori» che irrompono sulla scena musicale sulla scia del rock’n’ roll e stravolgono i codici musicali e melodici preesistenti.
Translation
She began her career at a very young age, at the end of the ’50s, among those youths called "screamers" who burst onto the music scene in the wake of rock ‘n’ roll and upset the existing musical and melodic conventions.
Negli anni ’60 e ’70 diventa una delle protagoniste, se non la protagonista, della scena musicale italiana, con un enorme talento vocale e la capacità di reinventarsi continuamente con stili sempre diversi e con look originali e nuovi.
Translation
In the ’60s and ’70s, she became one of the stars, if not the star, of the Italian music scene, with enormous vocal talent and the ability to continually reinvent herself with constantly evolving styles and with original and new looks.
Nel 1978, al pieno della sua carriera, decide di ritirarsi dalle scene per dedicarsi unicamente all’incisione e alla produzione musicale. Uscita dal mondo mediatico, non rilascia più interviste ed ogni anno esce con un lavoro discografico che balza immediatamente al primo posto della classifica.
Translation
In 1978, at the height of her career, she decided to retire from the stage to devote herself solely to recording and producing music. Leaving the media world, she stopped giving interviews and every year she releases a new album which immediately goes to the top of the charts.*
L’enorme talento musicale, la voce dall’estensione e la chiarezza inconfondibili, ne fanno una delle protagoniste assolute della musica italiana e mondiale. Per lei hanno scritto i migliori autori italiani e ha spaziato tra i generi più diversi, dal jazz alla bossa nova, interpretando anche in maniera eccelsa e originale le canzoni di altri cantanti.
Translation
Her enormous musical talent, her voice with (its) incomparable range and clarity make her one of the top stars of Italian and world music. The best Italian songwriters have written for her and she has ranged between the most diverse genres, from jazz to bossa nova, and also performs other singers’ songs in excellent and original ways.
La si può considerare come un’icona italiana della musica pop e di qualità.
Translation
She can be considered an Italian icon of pop music and quality.

* I asked a friend to read this over and he scoffed at the use of the present tense: “She’s 80!” But I did some googling and yes, she is still releasing albums.

 The Italian text is written in the historical present because this helps bring the events to life. While it is possible to use the historical present in English, the past tense sounds much more natural. And since translation is not about converting text verbatim, but rather about creating a text that sounds natural, as if it were written directly in the target language rather than translated into it, I chose to use the present tense.
 

 Listening practice: Mina singing

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Mina Mazzini

Virtual Italian Teacher at Lawless Languages | Website | + posts

Ciao! I’m Laura K Lawless, creator, writer, editor, and CLO (Chief Lawless Officer) of this free online Italian learning site.

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