Infographic: l’automobile in italiano!

A very skilled language teacher once told me that words – not grammar – are the first thing you need to learn when approaching a foreign language. Although this seems a notion of common sense (when you go abroad you take with you a vocabulary, not a grammar book), usually language students tend to pay much more attention to morphology and syntax than to memorize the words that will eventually make up their sentences.

Down part is: memorizing things can be boring. But hey, how about an infographic! Here’s a new one, about all the italian words you can find… in a car.

Enjoy!

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

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What to look for in a language school

Hello again! This weeks article is about what to look for in a language school. As someone who went to a language school to learning Italian, I can say that I have some experience with this. I’m talking about going to a different country and learning through immersion as well as taking a class. There are multiple benefits to this, because you aren’t learning just the language, you are learning the culture, which is very important. So for those of you who may be looking for a language school but aren’t sure which one to pick, here you go! This is what to look for in a language school.

Small classrooms

lezione02.jpgSmall classrooms are great, because not only does that mean smaller class sizes and less people, it also means that you can really get to know the people around you. If you make friends with your classmates you can go out and practice the language together. And for those of you who are shy at first, getting to know you classmates can help you not feel as scared to answer a question the teacher poses at the class. It’s also better for one-on-one questions with your professor before and after class because there won’t be a huge crowd waiting to talk to them.

Native speaker teachers

If you are in a classroom with a teacher that speaks the language as a mother tongue, you are golden. Not only will they make sure that you are pronouncing words correctly, they also know the language in a way that you can’t. They are the key that unlocks your ability to speak like a native, so this bullet is an important one. Also you can get special help, for example, when I went to the Kappa Language School here in Rome, my teacher and I would meet in the classroom about an hour before class, and I would read out loud in Italian. Not only did this help my pronunciation, it also gave me new vocabulary to study and reinforced the things that I was learning.

Teachers that actually care about your progress

DSC_0509.jpegI can even use the example from the bullet before for this one. My teacher spent and hour everyday, of his own time, to listen to me butcher his language while I read The Lightning Thief in Italian. He didn’t have to do that, but he put in the extra effort because he wanted me to succeed. You want to find a school with teachers like that. He became a good friend, and that’s another benefit, you can make friends with your teachers. In addition to that, if you have a teacher who is excited to teach, then you will be excited to learn. And on those cloudy days, when everything seems grey and you don’t want to come in to learn, because you feel like you aren’t getting any better, they are more then willing to help you cheer up and show you how far you have come.

The School organizes outings and events

Bohemien2Okay, now this one is pretty important too. If the school organizes events and trips, it really shows that they are trying to get you immersed in the language. They want to show you their culture and to practice not only with the natives, but also the other students who are in more advanced classes. You can see your progress when you talk to the people who are in less advanced classes, and that is encouraging, because it really shows you the progress you’ve made and how far you have come from the beginning. It’s usually a good environment and you make friends with people you didn’t know before and have a great time with people who have the same goal as you.

Alright, that’s the tips that I have. You want to make sure you find a school that fits you, and for me, these are the things that I looked for. If you have anything else you think I’ve missed or have a suggestion, please comment below!

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

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.

A brand new spring!

logo-definitivo-0.5We have a lot of exciting surprises in store for this spring!
First of all… a new logo and new headquarters!

Starting from May, 4th, Kappa Language School will move to an historical, marvellous building in Via del Boschetto, 32, in the ‪‎Monti‬ neighbourhood. It will be a great chance for us to improve the quality of the services we provide, and for all of our student to get even more in touch with the magical atmosphere of ‪#‎Rome‬’s city center.

3475823371_ecd8a55073_b boschetto-str-co2m10b Rione-Monti-3

Coming soon… a brand new website, a grand opening, lots of events, new ‪‎Italian‬ language courses and special offers.
Stay tuned and remember: every word you learn is a Great Beauty to us.
‪#‎WeAreTheGreatBeauty

Linguistic Aperitif @ Caffè Letterario, 18/03/2015

It has been great yesterday to have so many old and new friends gathered together to meet, get to know each other and speak some Italian!

Grazie a tutti!

We love Murano glass:)

We love Murano glass:)

Hurry up, our chat is about to start!

Hurry up, our chat is about to start!

Let's talk about Italian cities!

Let’s talk about Italian cities!

As you can see from this picture, the aperitif was sponsored by our friends from Veni Vidi Vici

As you can see from this picture, the aperitif was sponsored by our friends from Veni Vidi Vici

Cheers!

Cheers!

Chatting along

Chatting along

With our new friends...

With our new friends…

Ciao ciao!

Ciao ciao!


Our crazy teacher Alessia :)

Our crazy teacher Alessia 🙂

Greetings from our students!

Greetings from our students!

Showing our suitcase... the content is a secret!

Showing our suitcase… the content is a secret!

Meet new people and speak Italian... what else?

Meet new people and speak Italian… what else?

Enjoying the chat:)

Enjoying the chat:)

Find the teacher! :D

Find the teacher! 😀

Italian Language Lesson: Bucatini all’amatriciana

Want to learn how to cook delicious bucatini all’amatriciana… in Italian? Check out this Iesson based on the original recipe, kindly offered by one of our teachers born and raised in Amatrice… and don’t forget to tell us if it came out good!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Bucatini all’amatriciana: dare istruzioni usando l’imperativo con i pronomi

Preposizioni

A short but yet exhaustive review of italian prepositions, kindly offered by our friend Matteo “Il Maestro” Preabianca. Check it out and refresh your memory about these little rascals that usually drive more than a student mad. 😀

Learn Italian

 Le preposizioni sono “parole brevi” le quali esprimono condizioni, direzioni, specificano qualcosa/qualcuno, ecc.

prep

Sono le piu’ piccole parole facenti parte della categoria “parole-funzione” e marcano lo spazio e il tempo. Quando le preposizioni sono usate insieme a un articolo definito, si fondono in una unica parola (preposizioni composte).

Le preposizioni semplici, ovviamente, sono quelle non seguite da articoli. E sono:

di (d’) » of a » to da » from, by, since
in » in con » with tra, fra » between
su » on per » for

Vediamole nei dettagli.
Di: “indica  possessione,  Esempi:
un bicchiere d’acqua
la città di Milano 
il libro di Matteo 
la madre di Maria   »  Robert’s mother
io sono di Verona  »  I am from Rome
Le due ragazze sono di Parigi
A: puo’ essere l’inglese “to” (oggetti indiretti e movimento) or “in” (locazione)
Esempi:
regalo il…

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