Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesday: I Brush Up On My Italian

As I posted previously, my once-scintillating Italian language skills had sadly diminished over the years, causing me to languish in complete and utter despair; it was really quite distressing, as I was no longer able to give attractive Italian men such useful compliments as "avete muscoli belli" (you have lovely muscles) and "La cena era squisita. Cosa c'e' per dessert?" (Dinner was delicious. What's for dessert?)

Not only that, but I don't really think I've been nerdy enough lately-- so I've enrolled in a five week Italian language course, which also involves wine, dinner and gelato.

The instructor, Roberto Alvarez, is quite pleasant. We have only had one class so far, but already I am re-learning how to charmingly introduce myself to good-looking men and request coffee. Roberto has also given us some very useful tips for navigating the language divide:

1. When dining out, make sure to order carne (meat), rather than cane (dog), or you may have an unpleasant experience.

2. It is perfectly fine to request burro (butter) when dining in Italy. However, please remember to refrain from ordering burro (ass) while in Spain.

3. Do not address Italians by the personal tu (you) unless you know them very, very well. Otherwise, you may have hordes of irate Italians chasing you down the street and throwing handfuls of pasta al dente at you.

Unfortunately, Roberto stated that he will not be teaching us how to swear. Luckily, I still remembered most of those important phrases, so I taught my partner how to say "Screw You!" (vaffanculo!) and "Shit!" (merda). He was quite grateful and rather thoughtfully brought me an extra glass of wine.

Added bonus: by the time we were finished, it was too late to go to the gym! Yay!

17 Comments:

Anonymous katie said...

Complimenter says "Good work"! .........

5:03 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

LOL! Bon Jour!
Sorry, don't know any Italian.

Lived next to an Italian family growing up though... I just loved the pizales they made at Christmas time. Yummy! Never did try the calamarie though.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Comfort Addict said...

Italian is such a beautiful language. I know bits of it from being a musician but it's hard to throw forte and con sordino into a conversation. Someday, I (or at least my stomach) hopes to visit Italy. I know it would be molto bene.

9:51 PM  
Blogger L said...

Katie: thanks!

toni: you should definitely try the calamari next time...

comfort addict: it really is a beautiful language-- maybe I'll even take a trip to Florence

11:36 PM  
Blogger R said...

You make me remember my Mamamia whose favorite phrase when arguing with my Dad used to crack us kids up. "Vaffanculo" indeed.

4:10 PM  
Blogger L said...

ha ha ha!

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Larry Jones said...

So: vino, gelato, no gymnasio and handsome Italian men. Trouble is brewing.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous moos said...

Grazia!

11:12 PM  
Anonymous jpr said...

I heard a rather interesting stat the other day....and I just have to say, I know why you want to learn Italian.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous happy and blue said...

I am very proud of you for forging ahead in spite of the possibility of having to share space with people like the ones in the class picture on the link.
Would you please post the Italian for "Please don't kill me, Fat Tony" and " I need a favor, Godfather" once they cover them in class.
No rush, but soon would be good..

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Frally said...

I'm crap at learning new languages, except for the swear words. If you learn any more Italian swear words, please share.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous the zero boss said...

I can't tell you how many times I've started and stopped studying Japanese. I can stumble through a conversation with a native speaker, but I'm still at a child's level of comprehension. (Actually, probably worse, as children understand more than they can verbalize.)

One of these days...

11:13 PM  
Anonymous that girl said...

I took 4 years of spanish and only remember how to say where's the bathroom (for the most part)

funny thing...i just got you on the "next blog" button! but i already know you! weird.

11:14 PM  
Blogger L said...

Larry: trouble ALWAYS seems to be brewing, which is why I'm considering a convent. Unfortunately there weren't really any good looking men in my class

jpr: okay, I'll bite. what's the stat? And don't tell me I'm oversexed, because the Pig Personality Test already told me that...

Happy&Blue: "Nonlo uccida prego, Tony Grasso" means "Please don't kill me, Fat Tony" and "Ho bisogno di un favore, Nonno" means "I need a favor, Godfather". I think...

Frally: here you go (courtesy of worldlingo.com)
ass = asino
shit = merda
fuck = scopata
hell = inferno
damnit = maledicalo

Zero Boss: Japanese is supposed to be a LOT more difficult than Italian...

That Girl: "where's the bathroom" is the most important thing to know in ANY language

11:15 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

I took Spanish (3 years) and can still proudly order a taco at Taco Bell... oh wait, they speak english. Never mind.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous glomgold said...

They don't speak english at the Taco Bell's near me! Not the white guys anyway.
L, I was tricked into taking French in school because I thought I'd have opportunities to cook and eat like you've got now. Alas, it was a lie.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Rhodent said...

You'll have to come practice with our Italian buddies down the street! Mario would love to help you practice... but he will still probably try to marry you off to a nice Italian man.

11:16 PM  

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