Italian Language Blog

Archive for May, 2017

Iroso, The Last Mule Soldier Posted by on May 15, 2017

Possibly the most famous corps of the Italian Army are the Alpini, the elite mountain troops which were formed back in in 1872. The Alpini, who are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world, are also well known for their indispensable companions, i muli (the mules), which were still in service up until the…

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A Poem For Mother’s Day Posted by on May 12, 2017

In Italy, on the second Sunday of May, we celebrate la Festa della Mamma (Mother’s Day). This is a fairly new festival, having been ‘imported’ into Italy from America after the Second World War. I’ve found a very appropriate poem for the occasion by Edmondo De Amicis (1846-1908) for his mother. It’s called Se Fossi…

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Il Congiuntivo Presente – An Exercise Posted by on May 10, 2017

Here’s an exercise to help you practice the use of the Italian present subjunctive. You can revise the conjugation of the present subjunctive in these two recent posts: Italian Present Subjunctive and Present Subjunctive of Irregular Verbs. At the end of each of these Italian sentences we’ve given the infinitive of the verb that needs…

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Popular Italian Names – 2. Female Posted by on May 9, 2017

When I was a child I used to hate it when people asked me: “Come ti chiami?” (“What’s your name?”), because I knew that, nine times out of ten, their immediate reaction to my reply: “Mi chiamo Serena” (“My name is Serena”) would be: “Sei Serena di nome e di fatto?” (“Are you Serene by…

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Really Lucky! Posted by on May 5, 2017

Today I want to tell you about a book that is very special to me. It’s called Tutte Le Fortune – Badavo Ai Badanti (Really Lucky – I Took Care Of the Carers), an autobiography written by my childhood friend Riccardo Taverna. Riccardo, better known as Ricky, was my neighbour in Benghazi and my best…

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The Italian Subjunctive – 2. Irregular Verbs Posted by on May 3, 2017

In our previous article about the Italian subjunctive, The Italian Subjunctive – 1. Present Tense, we looked at il congiuntivo presente. Today, we’re going to examine le forme irregolari (irregular forms), once again in the present tense. These irregular verbs also happen to be the most important and frequently used. Here they are with practical examples…

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Popular Italian Names – 1. Male Posted by on May 1, 2017

Beppe, Totò, Fede, Gino … these are all common abbreviations for Italian male names. Where do they come from, and do they have an equivalent in English? The table below gives some of the most common Italian male names together with their variations and abbreviations. Nome Varianti/Abbreviazioni Equivalente Inglese   Alberto Alessandro Alessio Andrea Angelo…

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