Learn Italian words: i segnali stradali

I bet many of you are coping with Italian traffic, and I am well aware that driving in Italy can sometimes be a nightmare because Italians… well, let’s just say that we have a very loose concept of “traffic laws”. This is exactly why you don’t need any further distraction or brain teaser while driving in Italy: for that purpose we have just prepared for you an Italian language lesson about all the Italian words you need to get an Italian driving licence and a brand new infographic about road signs in Italy!

Learn Italian words: i segnali stradali

Originally published on www.kappalanguagueschool.com.

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Learn Italian words: la pasta!

Know your pasta: easier said than done! Italians are so obsessed with their pasta that they actually created a chart to classify every type according to its structure, it’s lenght or its texture: it’s basically a pasta periodic table! That said, it is not surprising that many Italian language students have an hard time to recognize and name even the most common varieties of pasta, due to the fact that Italian words for pasta, although often containing open references to its appearence, usually originate from a dialect word. Moreover, some kinds of pasta have a different name for almost every region, to the point that you might be misunderstood if you ask for stortoni in Rome or maccheroni in Milan.

You might think that internet can help, but this is not always the case. Just take a look at this infographic, available in any major stock photo website.

bad infographic about Italian pasta Mistakes and misspellings in this artwork are so numerous and so hilarious that one could actually think they were made on purpose. Let’s analyze them in details and try to learn some Italian from them:

Nidi di rondie: besides the fact that nidi di rondine are actually a particular way to cook tagliatelle, the author of this infographic just forgot an n.
Lasagnia: In Italian language, the palatal sound (/ɲ/) is never followed by a diacritic i. Thank you, and have some lasagna. 🙂
Funghetto:
pasta names are always plural. And that should be pretty obvious, since in every box you can find many pieces of the same variety of pasta. Just to try to search on Google “funghetto pasta” and “funghetti pasta“: can you spot the difference?
Gobetti rigatti:
the author of this image had so many problems with double consonants! Which is normal and understandable, considering that double consonants in Italian language have an importance which has no equivalent in any other European language. That said, the correct form is gobbetti (from gobba, hunchback) rigati (striped).
Konkilioni:
in the Italian orthography, the stop velar sound /k/ is represented by the letter c, possibly paired with an h when followed by a palatal vowel (e or i). Moreover, this word poses another difficulty for foreign students, since the lateral sound /ʎ/ (similar to the one you find in Spanish caballo) is very specific to Italian language and  is always written using the diacritic sequence gli (as in aglio, figlio, moglie, gli). Therefore, the correct form is conchiglioni.
Kanellone:
again, /k/ sound, double consonants and plural instead of singular. Correct form is cannelloni.
Cornetti rigatti: cornetti
(from corni, horns) rigati.
Elighe:
almost correct, except for the confusion between voiced and unvoiced stop velars, /k/ and /g/. In this case, the sound is unvoiced: eliche (literally fans).

Now, we really want to set the record straight. That is why we prepared a new infographic with our favourite types of pasta in the hope this will help you through the labyrinth of the pasta periodic chart!

Infographic about Italian pasta

Read the original article on www.kappalanguageschool.com!

infographic to learn italian words

Learn Italian words: cosa c’è sulla scrivania?

You got it right, the question is: “what’s on your desk?”. Now, the answer might be easier than you think, since many Italian words describing IT and technology in general are English words (computer, scanner) or integrated loan words (just think about the verb scannerizzare, with its variant scannare, to scan).
That said, some of the things you might find on your desk require an Italian word to be named, so we are confident you will find this new infographic useful to learn new Italian words!

Infographic to learn Italian words

Originally posted on www.kappalanguageschool.com.

Let’s go shopping! An infographic

If you are planning to survive in Italy, you definitely need to know where to go to buy everyday stuff, namely you need to learn Italian words related to shop and small business names. As always, Kappa Language School is here to help you learning the hard stuff in a colorful way: here’s a brand new (horizontal!) infographic you might want to check before going out on your shopping spree in the Belpaese!

“Che lavoro fai?” – an infographic!

One of the first steps when it comes to self introduction in a new language is being able to describe your job, even if just summarily. In fact, no beginner Italian language student is actually aware of the fact that this particular area of Italian vocabulary has been subject to major controversies during the past 50 years. As you might already know (or imagine) Italian language is arguably a slightly sexist language, and this inclination towards the predominance of masculine figures (and forms) is particularly evident in the semantic area of work and jobs.

In the infographic shown below, as well as in our Italian language courses, we tried to be as politically correct as possible, but the point is that many names that designate positions of responsibility simply don’t have the feminine (or do have it, but it is not often used). Few examples: medico (doctor) instead of which Italians tend to use the more generic dottoressa, or sindaco (mayor) and ministro (minister) whose feminine forms, sindaca and ministra, have been recently put into use with quite a struggle, encountering countless resistance from average speakers. Let alone words such architetta, which are grammatically correct but carry a disturbing (for some) assonance with female body parts…

mestieri

Originally published on www.kappalanguageschool.com

Learn Italian words: il menù in italiano!

I bet that one of the main reasons most of you guys are in love with Italy (and studying Italian language) is your attraction for Italian food, and you are damn right about that! With such an amazing variety of ingredients and dishes, Italian cuisine is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and part of the world cultural heritage!

Despite being worldly renown, though, a traditional Italian meal has a structure that many of our Italian language students (especially the ones coming from the far east) find puzzling. For many of those who approach Italian cuisine and are used to meals based on a single dish, the distinction between primo and secondo might seem useless and confusing, and the fact that an Italian lunch (or dinner) is often divided in 3 or more dishes can give the impression of an unnecessary generous meal.

Now, we do not expect to turn you into a three-stars chef or teach you everything our nonna told us about Italian food, but we really hope this brand new infographic, Il menù in italiano, will help you sorting out some useful information you can use during you next pranzo!

menuTavola disegno 1800px

Learn Italian words (and grammar): la colazione in Italia!

As every grandma uses to say, “breakfast is the most important meal of all”. And that is indeed true, especially if you consider that generally it helps your body recovering from a night of fasting! So what’s the deal with Italian breakfast?

From a country whose diet is renowned worldwide, with an outstanding variety of ingredients and a cookbook stuffed with delicious recipes, you would expect excellence even when it comes to the first meal of the day. Yet, breakfast in Italy is very different from what many expats and Italian language students would expect, as it is usually a very fast and light meal, the mainstay being a cappuccino or an espresso accompanied by some pastries (cornetti) and, occasionally, corn flakes and cereals (fiocchi d’avena e cereali). In a regular Italian breakfast there is no room for cheese, eggs, beans or bacon, and actually most Italians tend to consider the idea of having a “salty breakfast” (or eating anything salted before midday) quite disgusting.

Even in Italy, of course, you will be able to find bars, pubs and hotels which regularly serve English or American breakfast, but if you really want to get the full Italian experience, you should really try to melt in and have a quick and light Italian breakfast in a local bar, peeking at a quotidiano and catching the occasion to have a chat with Italian natives on the latest news

For all of you who want to be prepared when having your first breakfast in Italy, here’s a new infographic… with a quick grammar overview about si passivante included!

 

Learn Italian words and grammar: breakfast in Italy, Infographic