Italian Language Blog

Archive for June, 2009

Giorno or Giornata? Posted by on Jun 30, 2009

A reader wrote to me asking: “Can you explain the difference between giorno and giornata (both meaning “day” in English) if there is one?” I thought that the answer to this was going to be short, and straightforward, but when I looked in my Italian dictionary, just to check that my comment would be correct…

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All roads lead to Rome – part2 Posted by on Jun 27, 2009

In part 1 of this blog I took a brief look at the origins of the expression ‘tutte le strade portano a Roma’ (‘all roads lead to Rome’), and at some of the famous Vie (roads, or literally ‘ways’) that were the backbone of the Roman empire. In this second part I’m going to leap…

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All roads lead to Rome – part 1 Posted by on Jun 24, 2009

Tutte le strade portano a Roma (all roads lead to Rome) is an expression that we use to mean that there are many different ways to arrive somewhere or achieve something. But a couple of millennium ago this famous expression was a statement of fact. One of the many great achievements of the Roman empire was…

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Talking about the time Posted by on Jun 21, 2009

Many people say that we Italians have a different concept of time, and that domani (tomorrow) often means mai (never). This may or may not be accurate, but it is certainly true that concepts of time are expressed quite differently in English and Italian. This is one of the many cases in which English uses one word…

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‘O Sole Mio Posted by on Jun 18, 2009

‘O sole mio  is without doubt the most well known Neapolitan (and probably Italian) song in the world. The lyrics were written by the journalist Giovanni Capurro in 1898, and the music was composed by his friend Eduardo di Capua, a professional posteggiatore, a Neapolitan word meaning someone who sings in restaurants and at parties. They then…

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A visit to Portovenere Posted by on Jun 15, 2009

Last week my husband, my uncle and I went for a day out to Portovenere, a little jewel on the Riviera di Levante (the Eastern Riviera) in Liguria. Portovenere is a medieval fishing village situated on the southern tip of the Golfo di La Spezia also known as Il Golfo dei Poeti (the Gulf of the Poets), which takes its name…

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Parliamo L’Italiese, part 2 Posted by on Jun 12, 2009

In my last blog I had a look at the way in which English words have been incorporated into the Italian language. In part two I thought it would be interesting to take a look at ‘the other side of the coin’, and discover some of the less obvious Italian words that we use in…

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