Monday, December 06, 2004


You find the damnedest things on the Internet. Looking through my referrer stats, I noticed that one lucky (?) soul had stumbled upon Blog D’Elisson by doing an MSN search on the term “Di Tri Berrese.” Astute readers will recognize that this is a rendering of “The Three Bears” in italiano fracturati. My response was to say to myself, “WTF?”

Many years ago - sometime in the early 1960’s - my father had given me a piece of paper containing a strange version of “The Three Bears.” It was the familiar fairy tale, written with Italian orthography (but containing, of course, not one speck of real Italian). The fun would come when you would hand the written story to someone. Nine times out of ten, he or she would try to read it but would give up in head-scratching frustration, completely baffled. But when the story was read aloud in the appropriate pseudo-Italian accent, everything became clear.

Apparently, this little piece of humor had had a wider circulation than I was aware of, because several websites mention it. Their versions differ from mine in a few minor respects, but the basic content is identical. There is even one education textbook that cites it as an example of “the need to use multiple comprehension strategies when reading a difficult text.”

Whatever. All I know is, I’ve been using it to crack Laura Belle up for the last twenty-plus years, and she still laughs at it. And now I find out that it’s kinda-sorta well known? It’s like when I found out that Mad magazine’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, was based on a caricature that had been around for over 100 years: strangely disappointing.

Anyway, for those of you who have never seen it, here it is:
Di Tri Berrese

Uans appona taim uas tri berrese; mamma berre, pappa berre, e beibi berre. Live inna contri nire foresta. Naise aus, no mugheggia. Uanna dei pappa, mamma, e beibi go bice, orie e furghetta locche di dorra.

Bai enne bai commese Goldilocchese. Sci garra nattingha tu du batte meiche troble. Sci puscia olle fudde daon di maute; no live cromme. Den sci gos appesterrese enne slipse in olle beddse.

Bai enne bai commese omme di tri berrese, olle sannebronne enne send inne scius. Dei garra no fudde; dei garra no beddse. En uara dei goine du tu Goldilocchese? Tro erre aute inne strit? Colle pulissemenn?

Fatta Cienze!

Deis uas Italien berrese, enne dei slippe onne florre.

Goldilocchese stei derre tri deise: itte aute ausenomme, en giusta bicose dei esch erre tu meiche di beddse, sci sei, “go tu elle,” enne runne omme craine tu erre mamma, tellerre uat sanimabicese di tri berrese uer.

Uatssiuse? Uara iu goine du? Go compleine sittiolle?

Can’t figure it out? Leave a comment or send an e-mail, and (after I’ve finished making fun of you), I’ll be happy to provide the translation.


Anonymous said...

Looking for help on the translation (to I can't quite do the Italian accent - always sounds like lower New Jersey/Brooklynese instead. Not pretty.

d&d halle said...

we were able to read most of it, but some was difficult. we would like the far as anonymous goes,assa holeie bidass

vcarter13 said...

once upon a time was a three bears, mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear. Live in the country near the forest. Nice house, no mortgage. One day, papa, mama, and baby go to the beach, only they forget to lock the door.
By and by comes goldilocks. She got a nothing to do but make trouble.She push all the food down the mouth, no leave a crumb.then she goes upstairs and sleeps in all the beds.

By and by comes home the three bears, all sunbrowned and sand in the shoes. They gotta no food, they gotta no beds. And what they gonna do to goldilocks? Throw her in the street? Call a policeman?

Fat chance!

They was Italian bears, and they sleep a on the floor.

Goldilocks stayed there three days, eat them out of house and home, and just because they ask her to make the bed, she say, "go to Hell" and runna home crying to her mama, telling her what son of a bitches the three bears were.

What's the use? What're you gonna do? Go complain to city hall?


Lisa Vento said...

Omg, JUST telling my daughter about this and how MY dad gave it to me!!! Was thinking of illustrating it but can't find origin.