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Italian Language Blog

Archive for February, 2009

Using the definite article Posted by on Feb 28, 2009

In Italian we use l’articolo determinativo (the definite article): il, lo, la, i, gli, le (the) more often than in English, in fact even now after many years of speaking and reading English I still tend to use ‘the’ far too often because, I suppose, it just doesn’t sound right without it! The articolo determinativo brings…

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Oreste Lionello, the Italian voice of Woody Allen Posted by on Feb 25, 2009

I have just read the sad news in the Corriere della Sera (an Italian newspaper) that Oreste Lionello died last week at the age of 81 following a long illness. Born in Rhodes (Greece) in 1927 of Italian parents, he was a famous comedian and one of the founding figures of Italian cabaret. Oreste Lionello and his company Il…

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Le Cioce Posted by on Feb 23, 2009

I recently read an article in the magazine ‘Acqua & Sapone’ about the region known as Ciociaria and was inspired to add it to my ever growing list entitled ‘Places that I must explore in Italy’. Ciociaria is a loosely defined region comprising approximately the northern half of the Provincia di Frosinone which is located in central Italy south…

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Chiacchiere di Carnevale Posted by on Feb 20, 2009

Here in Italy we have reached la Settimana Grassa (the fat week), which is the final week of Carnevale. La Settimana Grassa began yesterday with Giovedi’ Grasso (fat Thursday) and will end next Tuesday with Martedi’ Grasso (fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday). These are days of euphoria and excess, particularly regarding food, because traditionally people had to use up all their meat, butter…

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Le Maschere di Carnevale Posted by on Feb 18, 2009

Here in Italy the Carnevale (Carnival) period is reaching its euphoric climax, so I thought it might be appropriate to write a few words of explanation. The word Carnevale originally comes from the Latin “carnem” (meat) and “levare” (remove, put away) with reference to the banquet that preceded the beginning of Lent, the period of…

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