Italian Language Blog

Archive for December, 2008

Terremoto – Earthquake Posted by on Dec 29, 2008

Terremoto: from the Latin Terrae-earth and Motus-movement or shaking. In the late afternoon of 23rd December 2008 a deep rumbling vibration heralded the arrival of the latest terremoto to hit the Italian peninsula. The epicenter of the earthquake, measuring 5.1 on the Richter Scale, took place about 40-50 km from us at a depth…

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Natale by Giuseppe Ungaretti Posted by on Dec 24, 2008

Natale (Christmas) is upon us with all its frenetic rhythms: shopping, cards, presents, parties, expectations of happiness, peace and goodwill. But in my mind there are a few whispered words: it’s a poem, written by Giuseppe Ungaretti during the First World War, that we used to study at Christmas time when I was at school…

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La Ricetta del Panettone – The Panettone Recipe Posted by on Dec 23, 2008

As promised here is the recipe used by Toni to enchant his beloved Lucia. This recipe is for a panettone casereccio (home-made panettone). Normally people don’t make Panettone at home but buy it from the fornaio (bakers) or an alimentari (food shop). This recipe is not suitable for microwaves and you’ll need a fairly big…

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La Leggenda del Panettone – The Legend of Panettone Posted by on Dec 22, 2008

Anyone who has spent Natale (Christmas) or Il Capodanno (The New Year) in Italy will have been offered the traditional Panettone. Yes it’s one of those indispensable elements of the ‘Festive Seasons’ that contradicts the old adage ‘you can never have too much of a good thing’. I assure you that you can have too…

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Da or Per? Posted by on Dec 20, 2008

Yesterday, while teaching English to a private student here in Italy, I came across an interesting example in my English grammar book; it said: “John and Ann have been married for 20 years”. My student translated this sentence into Italian word by word as: “John e Ann sono stati sposati per 20 anni”. This is a wonderful example…

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Italiano o Toscano? Posted by on Dec 17, 2008

In the last few blogs about Italian pronunciation I mentioned in reply to some comments that the Italian language has its origins in Toscana (Tuscany) and that Toscano is considered the most correct Italian. But are Italiano and Toscano the same thing? Lets see. When Italy was being unified in the 19th century there wasn’t…

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Buon Compleanno Maestro! Posted by on Dec 11, 2008

Il Mondo della Lirica (the Opera world) is getting ready to celebrate the 150th birthday of Giacomo Puccini author of many famous Italian operas such as La Bohème, Madame Butterfly, Tosca and Turandot. Reading his biography I discovered an interesting, lively character, and decided to write a little blog to add my small contribution to…

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