The Italian publisher Treccani will change how it lists nouns and adjectives in the next edition of its Dizionario della Lingua Italiana (Dictionary of the Italian Language), due to come out in October. Previous editions have followed the traditional practice of listing nouns and adjectives under only the masculine form of the head word. The…… Continue reading Italian dictionary will now include feminine forms
Here is a tip to help you learn to pronounce the main national Romance languages more correctly. These Romance languages all pronounce the letters <c> and <g> in two different ways, depending on the vowel that follows them. In these languages, these letters are pronounced as [c] and [g] if they are followed by a…… Continue reading Romance languages: pronouncing C and G
Several constructions in Italian use the verb fare (‘do’, ‘make’). Two of these constructions look very similar on the surface but syntactically they behave in very different ways. A short book Fare: Elementi di sintassi, by Nunzio La Fauci and Ignazio M Mirto (2003) analyses them. Here are 2 examples: (1) Adamo fa il medicoAdam…… Continue reading Doing work and playing roles in Italian
Italian phonetic spelling of headset. The ‘eadset in question was in the City Train sightseeing train bus, Sorrento (2012)
Didn’t fancy eating a Ligurian, not even fish baked. Somehow the verdure sound less healthy in English. Also, not sure why they are fried in English but rustic in Italian. Pictures taken in 2013 (in Liguria, of course)
Looking for tea on this menu, I eventually found it nestling alongside cappuccino. Difficult to think of two hot drinks that have less in common with each other. In this case, the only common feature was the price. Despite this unpromising beginning, the tea was fine… Below, from the same menu, an alarming disclaimer: the…… Continue reading Tea: a cappuccino?
Trentatré Trentini entrarono a Trento, tutti e trentatré, trotterellando Meaning: thirty-three people from Trento (northern Italy) entered Trento, all thirty-three trotting. I first came across this tongue twister in the mid 1990s in an excellent BBC Italian course Italianissimo. Sadly, this no longer seems to be available.
A Bulgarian footballer Bontcho Guentchev played for the English club Ipswich Town from 1992 to 1995. Many people wondered how to pronounce this odd looking name. This strange combination of letters was supplied to the club by the Bulgarian football association. It was supposedly a transliteration of the player’s actual name, which in the Cyrillic…… Continue reading Silly transliteration
A nearly monosyllabic (in Italian) statement about the state of the world in 1529. Language Log » Filosofia monosillabica (upenn.edu) My attempt at a translation: Those who can, don’t want toThose who want to, can’tThose who know how, don’tThose who do, don’t know howAnd thus the world goes badly Pedants’ corner My translation commits an…… Continue reading The world in 1529
Curious update on the warning signs I remember from many European train journeys in the 70s and 80s. Now the English and German versions still warn us not to lean out of the window: Nicht Hinauslehnen It is dangerous to lean out. Though I’m fairly sure the English version used to be more direct, something…… Continue reading Leaning out of windows