The Basic Rules of Italian Food

To be learned by heart!

Once Upon a Time in Italy

I wanted to write a post about Italian food rules—everything from the when to drink cappuccino to the correct way to eat your spaghetti (I’ll tell you now: no cutting!). However, I’m far from being an authority. So I went to a friend and fellow blogger, Paolo Rigiroli of Disgraces on the Menu, who is a bona fide italiano living in Canada. He had an even better idea.

View original post 1,776 more words

Advertisements

Something “extraordinary” is happening in Rome!

Poor Romans! Without having had the chance to recover from the 2000 Jubilee, they now have to face a new, extraordinary one, 10 years in advance. Needless to say, out of the ordinary is also the tense and alarmist atmosphere in which this event is about to be held.

Here’s an example of the spirit with which roman politicians greeted the announcement of this “Jubilee of Mercy”:

The guy in therapy is the former Major Ignazio Marino, who resigned just before the beginning of the Jubilee Year.

The guy in therapy is the former Major Ignazio Marino, who resigned just before the beginning of the Jubilee Year.

And here’s how roman citizens allegorically welcomed this great opportunity of communion and universal brotherhood:

Not everyone here is so lucky to have a family house on the seaside, though.

Not everyone here is so lucky to have a family house on the seaside, though. And no, Ostia is not enough far from Rome to be considered a safe shelter from pilgrims!

As a matter of fact, Pope Francis surprised many with his suddend announcement and the Eternal City doesn’t seem to be quite ready for the event:

You don't understand: those are not ugly temporary hurdles: those are a cunning solution for long queues!

You don’t understand: those are not ugly temporary hurdles: those are a cunning solution for long queues!

Piazza del Popolo is already graciously decorated.

Piazza del Popolo is already graciously decorated.

But do not fear, for I am with you:

I guess there's a big chance of someone getting offended by this.

I guess there’s a big chance of someone getting offended by this.

After the scandals that have been shooking Rome in the past few months and forced the former Mayor Ignazio Marino to resign, the task of leading the capital during the Jubilee could only be entrusted to the prefect of Milan Francesco Paolo Tronca. Our bright Home Secretary Angelino Alfano stated: “Our choice is Tronca, because the Jubilee should work just like Expo did”. Hell yeah!

If you have experienced the legendary 7 hours queue for the Kazakhistan Pavillion, than you don't need any caption for this picture.

If you have experienced the legendary 7 hours queue for the Kazakhistan Pavillion, than you don’t need any caption for this picture.

It’s been less than a week from the great opening of the Holy Door, and we want to make sure that all pilgrims will acknowledge our effort, as a country, to provide the best and safest Jubilee experience they can get:

Security checkpoints every two steps...

Unobtrusive but effective security checkpoints every two steps…

...sagaciously improved public transportation...

…sagaciously improved public transportation…

...with the pious hope that each and every one will find their own space. If not externally, at least internally.

…with the pious hope that each and every one will find their own space. If not externally, at least internally.

Romans, on the other hand, are left with just one big question:

And only God knows if we will ever get an answer.

And only God knows if we will ever get an answer.

What do you think about it? Share your opinion in the comments!

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

Word of the Week Wednesday- Imparare

From students to students: a list of Italian Words that sound really fun!

Gelato Days and Prosecco Nights

Bentornato!  Welcome back!

I hope you are having a fabulous hump day! …Hmmm… That kind of sounds wrong doesn’t it?

Comunque!  This week I want to share a few words that I think are really fun if you are an English speaker, but to be honest, they don’t fit into any fun story from my week.  In fact, it’s been a pretty tame week due mostly to the rainy weather here and the fact that I’m really a 65 year old lady in a 28 year old’s body.  It’s not a problem until they ask in class (as they do every day) ‘what did you do last night/this weekend/before class?’.  At least my answers are more interesting than ‘non lo so’ and ‘dormire’ which is what everyone else in the class says.  Maybe it’s just because I am so determined to be good at this language and to practice, but…

View original post 317 more words

10 Very Innocent Italian Words You Need To Use Carefully

Every language has its own puns and double meanings, but for language students it is always tricky to find out when they are accidently embarassing themselves by using innocent words in inappropriate contexts.
Here’s a list of 10 very innocent Italian Words you might want to use carefully while you’re in the process of learning italian:

Patata /pa’tata/

patata

First of all: in Italian, kitchen is the Pun Kingdom. Many words indicating vegetables or food can be misinterpreted by the listener as (not so) subtle allusions to NSFW content. The most common of these words is definitely patata (no need for translation), which is commonly used as a nickname for female private parts. So take care when you’re cooking and ask someone “dammi la patata“, for you might get slapped.

Pisello /pi’sɛllo/

pisello

The counterpart of patata is pisello (pea), which can be used, especially in children’s language, to designate penis. It is not that bad as a foul word, and it is actually preferrable to other puns referred to the same body part. Nevertheless, using it improperly can cause more than an embarassment in the kitchen!

Carciofo /kar’ʧɔfo/

carciofo

Let’s stay inside our Italian Kitchen and let’s take into consideration a word, carciofo (artichoke) which can be easily used as an insult. A carciofo is a very naive person, not totally stupid but definitely prone to be duped and conned.

Finocchio /fi’nɔkkjo/

finocchio

This is very bad, and you should learn the double meaning of this word just to be sure you never use it in the wrong context. The term finocchio (fennel) is in fact used all over Italy to unflattering address homosexual people. Yes, we know Italian can be a sciovinist language, but we’re trying to change!

Anno /’anno/

anno

It is very common for foreign students to encounter problems in pronouncing double consonants. That is because not all languages have these phonemes in their “library”. Most of the times mispronouncing a strong consonant does no harm, but in some cases this can be utterly akward: it’s the case of the word anno (plural anni, years) which, when pronounced with just one /n/ sounds like…. well, let’s just say that listening to someone who states that he or she has “25 ani” can be hilarious to an Italian native. If you don’t know this word, looking it up is probably best before you get yourself in trouble.

Scopare /sko’pare/

scopare

Italian is such a wonderful language that it turns the tiresome and unpleasant action of sweeping (scopare) into the most enjoyable activity of all! That said, “scopare per terra” (literally “sweeping the floor”) is a pun from which no one can flee, nor foreigners or Italians.

Poppa /’poppa/

poppa

If you’re not a sailor, this word can mean something utterly different from “the rearmost part of a ship or boat”. But maybe you’re thinking too dirty, since Italian poppa has nothing to do with poop; it is, instead, a slang for “breast”. It sounds also onomatopoeic somehow…

Sega /’sega/

sega

From the boat we move on directly to carpentry: Italian sega (literally “saw”) it is often used as an insult, equivalent to the english word “moron”, or “idiot”. Abused in stadiums by football fans, the expression mezza sega usually refers to a player whose skills are not that oustanding.

Pacco /’pakko/

pacco

Exactly like the sailor and the carpenter, the mailman can be in trouble too sometimes. The word pacco is often used to designate the groin, both in males and females. This pun, although it doesn’t sound that elegant, has been used in commercials and comedies, but we definitely not encourage you to do the same.

Lo/La

lo-la

And finally, behold the king of all puns: the third person direct pronoun which, if used without an antecedent, means exactly that. This is why you should always listen to you Italian Language Teacher when he lectures you about the importance of pronouns in Italian, and this is also why you should always pay attention to what you are referring to when using a pronoun. Asking someone “me la dai?” with no clear reference to an object can be interpreted as sexual harassment, as well as wondering “non so dove metterlo“, where that lo doesn’t refer to anything near you, can mean that you are very lonely.

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