Word of the Day (la parola del giorno)

Word of the Day: Svolta

Svolta is one of those words that has two different meanings: the one used in Italy, and the one used in Rome, primarily by Roman youngsters.

Regular Meanings of Svolta:
1) Svolta means literally, a turn. Svoltare, in verb form, means to turn, or to bend.
‘Prendi la prima svolta a destra dopo il Burger King’ – Take the first right turn after the Burger King.

2) Svolta can also figuratively mean a turning point, or a pivotal moment/event.
‘La svolta nella sua carriera era quando ha recitato nel film di Woody Allen’ – The turning point in his career was when he acted in the Woody Allen film.

Roman Meaning of Svolta:
In Rome, those pesky youngsters have adopted the word and changed its meaning. Again, with no direct translation in English, we can say that svolta basically means luck. It can be used as an exclamation of awe, ‘yesss!’ Or can be used as a noun, as in ‘what luck!’ It can also be conjugated as svoltare, if you are trying to say you ‘lucked out‘ with something.
For example:

  • Ho svoltato un passaggio!’ – I lucked out and found a ride! OR
  • ‘Ho trovato 100 euro per terra. Che svolta!’ – I found 100 euros on the floor! Sweet! OR
  • ‘Sono entrata nella sala VIP senza pagare di più! Che svolta! – I got into the VIP section without paying more, how lucky!

3 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Svolta

  1. Great post as always. As I’m here for a year learning Italian, these expressions really add to the more “schoolbooky” Italian I get during the days. Keep up the good work, Zvia!

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the words of the day! They may not be important enough to cover in Italian class, but they are definitely interesting enough to cover in Young in Rome!

  2. Hi, I’m from Rome. I’m 26, I’m not “pesky” (maybe you mean “coatto” or “truzzo”? XD)…but I use “svolta” too! 🙂

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