Learn Italian color idioms

To have green fingers

Idiomatic expressions are one of the most problematic areas for any language learner. The difficulty arises from the fact that these sentences don’t have a literal sense. This means that both their composition doesn’t come natural to learners, and their meaning isn’t easy to guess. For these reasons idioms are usually taught when students already have a high language level  – C1 or C2. I personally disagree with this practice, believing that if idioms – as well as informal expressions – were taught gradually starting from beginning levels, they would be more well assimilated – to go further on the…

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Learn the comparativo di maggioranza – the comparative of superiority

As the word suggests, the comparative is a construction that allows to compare two or more entities – verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives or adverb – expressing some degree of superiority, inferiority or equality. The first entity is the primo termine di paragone (first term of comparison), while the second is the secondo termine di paragone (second term of comparison). Example:      (1° termine di paragone) Mario è più alto (2° termine di paragone) di Giacomo      (1st term of comparison) Mario is taller (2nd term of comparison) than Giacomo   COMPARATIVO DI MAGGIORANZA – EXPRESSING SUPERIORITY FORMATION To express…

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Twelve Italian words you won’t learn from coursebooks

Tagliare la corda

The most common way to start learning a foreign language is at school with some coursebooks. Coursebooks are generally well thought out. Indeed, they focus both on grammar and vocabulary, and they also give you an insight into the foreign culture. However, people who’ve learnt Italian on books and have then had the chance to visit Italy, may have noticed that Italians generally use some words that are not taught at school. Words that make you ask: what? Can you repeat? I didn’t understand – Cosa? Puoi ripetere? Non ho capito. The reason is that coursebooks usually consider only standard…

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The truth about book translation – Are indie authors’ concerns justified?

The truth about book translation

Book translation is something many indie authors seem to be concerned about. They worry about both the quality of the service, and the fact that even if they find good translators, these may choose to change some segments of their books. I well understand their fears. In fact, authors make strong efforts to create a good piece of literature, and it’s pretty normal that they want to be sure that each single concept is properly transferred into another language without changes. Moreover, they usually don’t know the language into which their books are going to be translated. Thus, they cannot be…

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Learn Italian sounds – the alphabet

Italian is one of the most musical languages in the world. But what are exactly the sounds of this language? Let’s summarize the main ones in the tables below:   ALPHABET EXAMPLES PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION SIMILAR SOUNDS IN ENGLISH A Animale (animal)  [ani’male] Cup B Bagaglio (luggage)  [ba’gaʎo] Bike C [1] Cane (dog) [‘kane] Cold D Domenica (Sunday) [do’menika] Darling E Estintore (fire-extinguisher) [estin’tore] Elephant F Folata (gust) [fo’lata] Flower G [2] Gatto (general) [‘gat:o] Game H [3] Hotel (hotel) [o’tɛl] /// I Insieme (together) [in’sjɛme] Instructions L Ladro (thief) [‘ladro] Long M Malattia (illness) [mala’t:ia] Mountains N Negozio (shop) [ne’gɔtsjo]…

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