Thursday, October 25, 2012

Festa di Ognissanti

And here we are, mid October (ottobre in Italiano and NOT capitalized), leaves are turning color and falling all around me. Here in my neighborhood in Redwood City, the wind blows even though it is very warm 93 F outside at 3pm, and as a result I can hear the leaves (le foglie) falling to the ground (il pavimento) making crunchy sounds-scruch.  I know I say this every season, but Fall (l'autunno) really is my favorite time of year. Metaphorically speaking, I am ready for things to die (morire) and fall to the ground!

So, with ottobre comes Halloween.
In Italy, American-style Halloween (la notte delle streghe) has gained popularity among the younger set and more and more people are dressing up, decorating and taking yet another opportunity to celebrate the commemorative day. Originally, around the time of Halloween, people celebrated an end of summer harvest and collection of the seeds that would bring them to the next planting season in Spring (la  primavera).
Why is Halloween associated with the macabre? Well, naturally because most people fear death and death is inevitable. We see and feel death at the end of the Summer season such that we use anthropomorphic (antropomorfizzare) symbols to help us laugh off the notion of death. Thus I put forth my vocabulary list for Halloween that I've been teaching to my students of Italian.
le zucche d'autunno
la strega vola sulla sua scopa

la zucca di Halloween
la strega
la scopa volante
la mistura della strega

il mantellone
il gatto nero    

il teschio messicano
il castello stregato    
il mostro
il vampiro
il fantasma
la casa stregata

il teschio
lo scheletro
il lupo mannaro
dolcetto o scherzetto?

dolcetto o scherzetto?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Vacation, le vacanze and "Feriae Augusti"

Summer vacation is just reaching its crescendo in California. 
In Italy people eagerly save, plan and await the August 15, Ferragosto holiday.  If anyone has been in Rome from August 15 onward, you would know that the streets are empty because of the mass exodus from the città eterna.  Here are some vocab words (and a hilarious video) significant to this time of the year in Italy. Ferragosto

Ferragosto,    15 agosto,    giorno festivo,    chiuso per le ferie,    l'esodo di ferragosto

There's a big beach culture in Italy and why not? Il tempo libero should be big on everyone's calendar at least once or twice a year.

la spiaggia,  la sabbia,  le sedia a sdraio,  il mare,   l'onda,  l'ombrellone,  il costume da bagno,  la cabina,  l'albergo,  prendere il sole,  il lungo mare

giocchi al mare:   il secchiello,  il pallone,  la paletta

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tempo di's time to travel!

Everyone's traveling to bella Italia!  Some of my students are looking to learn some basic conversational words and phrases. Here is a particularly catchy summer time song by Edoardo Vianello. Enjoy!

I came up with the following quick study:

Good day, good afternoon 
Buongiorno, buonagiornata
Good evening          Buonasera, buonaserata
Good night               Buonanotte

Saying hello
Hello   (formal, in a store, meeting a stranger)             Salve
Hi   (informal)                                          Ciao

Meeting People
I would like you [pl.] to meet Mr & Mrs. …  
Vorrei presentarvi i signori...

I introduce you to…my wife/ husband/ daughters 
Le presento mia moglie/ mio marito/  le mie figlie
My name is…                            
Mi chiamo…
It’s a great pleasure                 
Molto piacere   or  tanto piacere
The pleasure is mine     Il piacere è mio

Welcome! [pl.]              Benvenuti

Good bye (polite)                Arrivederci   or   ArrivederLa
Good bye   (informal)                    Ciao

We’ll see each other soon          Ci vediamo a presto
We’ll see each next time            Ci vediamo la prossima volta   or 
Another time                              A più tardi

No                             No
Please                       Per favore   per piacere
Thank you (very much)      Grazie (mille)
You’re welcome         Prego
Repeat?                    Prego?
Take a seat               Prego, si accomodi…  Vi Accommodate [pl.], prego
After you                   Prego
May I come in?          Prego

I’m sorry (e.g. for bumping you, an apology)              Mi scusi   (polite)
Excuse me…(ask directions)?                         Mi scusi   (polite)
I’m sorry (you lost your dog/missed your flight)            Mi dispiace            
Excuse me (e.g. squeezing by in a crowd)                 Permesso

How long are you (formal) here for?               
                           Quanto tempo si fermerà?
We’re here on vacation                             
                            Stiamo qui in vacanza
That’s great                      Bene
Fantastic                          Fantastico
Hey!                                 Uei!
How’s it going?                 Come va?                          
What’s up [informal]?              Cosa mi racconti?
Is everything OK?             Tutto a posto?   Tutto va bene?
Everything’s [I’m] fine       Sto bene    Va bene
There’s a strike                 C’è [uno] sciopero

What time is it?                                 Che ore sono?
It’s noon.                                          È mezzogiorno
It’s one o’clock                                  È l’una
It’s two o’clock                                 Sono le due,  le tre,  le diciotto e mezza [18,30]
What time does the...leave?                     
A che ora parte….
  boat--la nave    train--il treno    bus—l’autobus    airplane--l’aeroplano

Total Pageviews