What is the meaning of chi in Italian?
Have you ever heard of the idiomatic expression Chi vivrà, vedrà?
If not, try to think of what it means before you carry on reading.
It literally means “those who’ll live, we’ll see,” which could be translated as time will tell or wait and see.
We’re talking about this expression because this post is about learning how to use chi or its English equivalent those who.
How to use chi?
The fact that we just say chi when we want to say those who might sound weird to you if you’re a native English speaker.
In fact, in English, we would never start a sentence with who unless it’s a question.
If you’re not convinced, try to read this sentence and see if it makes sense:
- Who want to come should come.
We would say instead:
- Those who want to come should come.
And in Italian, we would say:
- Chi vuole venire dovrebbe venire.
As we said in other posts, this happens frequently when we’re learning a foreign language, because some words or expressions don’t have literal translations.
Since we started with an idiomatic expression, we’ll give you one more: Chi non muore si rivede.
It literally means “those who don’t die are seen again”. Of course, it sounds very odd so, again, try to guess what it means. Our only clue is that it’s usually said in a sarcastic tone.
We usually use that expression when we haven’t heard from or seen someone in a while and we’re not happy about it. In English, we could simply say, “Long time no see!”
Or we could go for more sarcastic options like: “Look who the cat dragged in!” or “So, you didn’t fall off the face of the earth!”.
Let’s have a look at some more examples:
Chi non ha studiato probabilmente non capirà.
Those who didn’t study probably won’t understand.
Chi ama leggere può capire l’emozione di comprare un libro nuovo.
Those who love reading understand the emotion of buying a new book.
Chi viaggia sa che la libertà è un bene prezioso.
Those who travel know that freedom is a precious deed.
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