Prisencolinensinainciusol translation (not the song, the dialog before)

There have been several threads iun which someone (on at least one occasion, me) has linked to Adriano Celentano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol, an example of what English sounds like to to the ears of non-English speaking (in this case Italian) folks…

What I haven’t seen yet is an explanation of context. Whether the video footage is a snippet from a movie (?) or just a music video, there’s some kind of dialog before the singing starts, presumably in Italian, and presumably setting the context for him singing the song at the front of this classroom.

What is the student asking in the beginning? And is there “more to it”, context-wise, than what we’ve all seen?

It sounds to me like she’s saying she’s written a song called Prisencolinensinainciusol and is asking if she can share it or if they can sing it. I’m really not sure though. I took spanish not italian in high school.

Here’s more of the sketch:

Yeah, there’s obviously a lot more dialog up front in that one.

Well hopefully someone who comprehends Italian well can come along and enlighten us.

Thanks to Boy From Mars for the translation (multi-tasking as he makes chilli paste!)

It starts off with a roll call.

Girl: Why is it that you have written a song with some strange words that don’t mean anything?
Him: Who?
Girl: You!
Him: See, girl, where’s the camera? Oh this one? Yes. I understood that today in the world we don’t understand each other anymore. It’s very difficult. We don’t talk to each other. The only thing that’s left is the looks/glances - very sad. So I saw the opportunity to write a song about this inability to communicate. We don’t communicate. We are uncommunicative. You understand? This was an old thing on the TV news - that was before - and now…
<laughing> the girl starts to sit
Girl: thank you.
Him: No, stay on your feet because I haven’t finished talking to you.
I wanted to develop this theme of non-communication, using as reference only one word. Prisencolinensinainciusol. Which means ‘Universal love’ [Boy From Mars says this is not true]. So if you have to give a gesture of love to anyone, but no-one’s left, I’m the only one left - so you say Prisencolinensinainciusol. And everything will be fine. <she sits>
Him: Now, I want to see if you are actually prepared about this. Prisencolinensinainciusol.
All: something unintelligible [we don’t think it’s English or Italian!]…Prisencolinensinainciusol all right!

Celentano is a very famous Italian singer from the 70s, so it’s set then - it’s not a retro-looking parody or anything.

To add a bit more, I think it is intended to be funny, just not retro-funny. And from the context and the way the word is presented it seems like it is meant to be obvious that this is a made up (or at least non-italian) word.

Also, I’ve seen two different “Prisencolinensinainciusol” clips, the one with the school kids and the one with the dancing in black and white and then there is the one making the rounds which is a mashup of the two. If you watch the full school kids one, you’ll hear him calling roll and at one point he calls the name “Barbra Streisand”?

I know this thread is more about what the real Italian introduction means but I would also suggest that Prisencolinensinainciusol does actually mean something !%!?- I know the song was a joke and that it is meant to be how Italians hear English - but.... To any Liverpudlian who understands the Scouse accent, Prisencolinensinainciusol immediately sounds like "Freezin' cold in 'ere tonight, youse all." and the following line is "Do the call mate, say one, - Freezin' cold in here tonight youse all, Al-right!" And to my Liverpool ears, those opening words are definitely in a Scouse accent. Not just a Liverpool accent, but specifically a south Liverpool accent (much in the same way there is a difference between a New York and Texas accent there is a noticeable change between north and south Liverpool accents - Liverpool, England UK that is) and I would suggest that Adriano Celentano writing the song in 1972 had probably been hearing "English" on The Beatles cartoons or even the vultures from the film of Jungle Book which included impersonations of south Liverpool "Beatles" accents. It's bad enough trying to understand a foreign language, but then to find the foreign language is in a strange accent aswell must surely be very difficult for someone to interpret - having to translate Scouse into English and then into Italian just makes things many times worse. We do joke in the UK that certain Scottish football managers should have subtitles on when they are interviewed on TV as even we can't understand a word they are saying. We also have certain comedians who play rather upper crust posh gentlemen sitting talking to each other and yet we only understand two words from every sentence - obviously very amusing to us, but surely someone who doesn't speak English would find the joke extremely difficult to get. "Youse" and therefore "youse all" simply means "you" and "all of you", but just the way people from Liverpool speak the Queen's English - and someone from Liverpool walking into a cold room where his friends are would simple say (Eh, it's) "Freezin' cold in 'ere tonight, youse all." and in 2014 it would probably finish with "innit" rather than "alright". Just the way colloquialisms work and how it's very difficult to translate them into foreign languages. I do think it's a cracking song that has a great groove and just the usual "approximation" of English-ish lyrics !%?! - and it shows that so called “popular” music, twists and turns words to fit into a time signature or syllable pattern makes it even more diificult to translate them. This is why a song translated from say Italian to English gets the tranlating person a songwriting credit - which is normally due to direct translations becoming meaningless and having no rhyming pattern (funny how that fits in well with Prisencolinensinainciusol) so therefore requring a complete re-write to make the song acceptable - except in this case the song being completely meaningless adds to its fantasticness!