Italian Language Blog

Archive for October, 2008

Articles, articles, articles! Posted by on Oct 30, 2008

In English there are only three forms for the definite and indefinite articles: “the, a, an”. But, being Italians, as usual we like to complicate our language and to have as many variations as possible on one little word. Lets start with the articolo indeterminativo (indefinite article: a/an). This is not too bad; we have…

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La Cascata delle Marmore Posted by on Oct 28, 2008

Hidden away in Umbria, the green heart of Italy, a wonderful discovery awaits you: La Cascata delle Marmore (The Marmore Falls).   The Legend of the falls Once, a beautiful nymph called Nera fell in love with Velino, a handsome shepherd. But the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter, was jealous of the lovers and transformed…

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Autoironia Posted by on Oct 27, 2008

When God created the world and all it’s individual countries, he looked down at Italy and realised that he had been unfair in making it the most beautiful…………so, in compensation, he created the Italians! So goes the old joke, and it illustrates really well our passion for laughing at our national characteristics and ourselves. For…

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Man Rides Pig Underwater!! Posted by on Oct 23, 2008

For many people Italian history begins with the Roman Empire and ends with the Renaissance. But we Italians have always been a creative bunch and Leonardo da Vinci was by no means the last to come up with ingenious devices to be employed in both peace and war. At the beginning of World War 2…

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Ciao! Salve! Posted by on Oct 22, 2008

 Ciao is probably the best known Italian greeting in the world. It’s an informal form used at any time of the day, both when you meet and when you leave somebody (it means “hello” as well as “goodbye”). However, as it’s informal you shouldn’t use ciao in a formal situation, i.e. when you use Lei…

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Risotto ai funghi Posted by on Oct 19, 2008

After having enticed you with wild mushroom hunting, I thought I might teach you how to make a nice Risotto ai funghi. Risotto means „cooked rice“ and it is a general name for many Italian dishes. For a perfect risotto it’s best to use Arborio or Carnaroli rice. These two varieties, grown in Italy, are…

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Plurals: what a nightmare! Posted by on Oct 13, 2008

Unlike most Western European languages, the Italian language pluralizes by changing the final vowel. But as we Italians are very creative and chaotic, we are not happy with just a couple of changes. Here I’ll try to make sense of the various possible plural forms which you might encounter whilst studying Italian:   1. The…

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