Alla guida – a language lesson for those who want to get their driving licence in Italy

If you think that Italians cannot drive (at least not politely) and that in Italy traffic laws are considered as mere suggestions to drivers who otherwise are used to act like cavemen… you might be right.

Nevertheless, Italy does have traffic laws, sometimes even tricky, and Italian, as any other language, has a whole section of its vocabulary about the semantic field of driving. So, if you are an expat, an au pair or a student living in Italy and you intend to get your driving licence here, you might want to learn some very important word that could get you behind the wheel.

Click here for a whole new and original Italian Language Lesson about driving and respecting traffic laws in Italy… Enjoy!

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Espressioni idiomatiche

My Rosetta Stone

In tutte le lingue esistono espressioniidiomatiche, spesso non traducibili da una lingua all’altra. Per sentirsi veramente padroni di una lingua è quindi importante conoscere gli idiomi.

Iniziamo oggi con alcuni veramente semplici, legati al cibo. Avete gli stessi anche nella vostra lingua? Condivideteli con me!

  • Starci come i cavoli a merenda = Qualcosa non opportuna.

Esempio: Per gli italiano il cappuccino durante i pasti ci sta come i cavoli a merenda. Infatti gli italiani prendono il cappuccino solo a colazione o a merenda.

  • Molto fumo e poco arrosto = Persona o cosa che malgrado le apparenze non vale niente

Esempio: Gli italiani pensano che il governo Renzi sia molto fumo e poco arrosto. Infatti molti italiani pensano che il Primo Ministro parli molto ma agisca poco.

Fumo_arrosto

  • Come il cacio sui maccheroni = Arrivare al momento giusto, a proposito.

Esempio: La tua osservazione è come il cacio sui…

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Questions Americans have for Italians, and Italians have for Americans, and anybody has for anybody

Assuming you are genuinely into Italy and Italian, you should have been inevitably exposed to this video created by Buzzfeed:

The video is actually part of a series in which random people ask random questions to other random people from random foreign countries (Australians to Americans, Americans to Brits and viceversa, etc.). On a first glance, this series highlights two fundamental concepts: firstly, people seem to have a lot of spare time and a lot of not-so-smart questions to ask; secondly, average people (from any country) are likely to be utterly ignorant about other cultures (even if these cultures come from the so called “first world”).

This frist impression is unfailingly confirmed by the Americans to Italians video, in which the unfortunate viewer can admire a bunch of seemingly well educated young people full of tormenting doubts about Italy such as “If I ever go to Italy, will I actually see Super Mario walking around?” (short answer: yes, in Italy we all are Super Marios but we have only one costume so we have to take turns).

CatturaWe know it’s just for fun (although this last question was not funny, even if the satisfied and sardonic face of the cute girl asking it seems to suggest otherwise) and to be fair, not all questions asked are that pointless or stereotyped. Some of them, actually, might require a very long and complex explanation: for example, clearing up why in Italy we have so many dialects would demand a long dissertation about italian history, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the XIX century. And, well, this subject might not be cut out for Buzzfeed.

That said, two good things came out from this collection of commonplaces about italian sun, seafood, pasta and grazie\prego: the fact that people are showing genuine curiosity (which is never a bad thing, my mom used to say) about italian language and culture and some smart replies from italian youtubers and comedians. Enjoy:

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.

Aesop dedicates a love letter to the discovery of Italian Culture

GL1509-1815-SEPTEMBER-NEWSLETTER-ARTICLE-BANNER-700x437px-FA-1_14Australian body-care brand Aesop recently opened their first Italian skin-care store in Milan.  In addition to the launch, Aesop created an online website dedicated to their presence in Italy including a love letter (of sorts) dedicated to discovering the rich history and beauty of the Italian culture.  

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“Ciao Mondo!” – A new webradio for Italian Language Students

Ciao Mondo! Webradio for Italian Language StudentsWe at Kappa Language School are always trying to find new ways to spread the word about our language and culture. Although the best way to learn Italian is indubitably to join one of our Italian Language Classes, we are also creating a brand new set of podcasts (in addition to our downloadable lessons and exercises and our community forum) for those who cannot travel to Rome and have the Italian experience of their lives.

So, here are the first three episodes of our webradio, “Ciao Mondo!”. More are about to come: enjoy, comment and share!

Episode 1: Al bar

Episode 2: Al ristorante

Episode 3: Una ricetta italiana