Fluent English speaker to chat with fluent Italian.

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TheeVirtuoso
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Fluent English speaker to chat with fluent Italian.

Post by TheeVirtuoso » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:43 pm

Ciao! I am extremely new to Italian, but I have taken three years of Spanish so I have a good foundation. I'd like someone who would exchange email addresses with and be able to chat about once a day helping each other learn our native language. If anyone would be willing to help it would be greatly appreciated.

Grazie!

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-Luca-
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Post by -Luca- » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:18 am

Hi threevirtuoso welcome at Impariamo !

You will find many Italians natives here , so you'll receive all the help you're looking for !

Have you already got any connection here in Italy? I mean friends, relatives or anyone else?

Yes, if you have a Spanish background, you'll find a bit easier learning the Italian language thanks to their same origin : the Latin.

Are you studying some of Italian grammar? What's your start up method to introduce your self to the Italian language?

Luca
Italians don't know what Caesar salad is !!

TheeVirtuoso
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Post by TheeVirtuoso » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:41 am

Hi Luca thanks for responding! Sadly, I do not have any connections to Italy at the present moment. At the moment I have just begun to try and learn some of the same things when I started Spanish, such as numbers and the verb to be, essere, in the different forms. Besides that, I was hoping just to meet someone I could talk/ email to everyday as motivation to help me and motivate me to work a little everyday. Later this year I hope to take Italian when I begin college, but T'd like to get a head start now!

Grazie per le informazioni.

Cresasso
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Post by Cresasso » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:55 am

Italian has two, maybe three things in common with ITalian, but the two are not as close as they seem.

1. Nearly identical basic grammar, except that with the Spanish you can get away with just a past tense or two, a conditional, a future, a few participles here or there and you will sound reasonable since half the tenses are not used. Just like in French but more so, many of the past ones are redundant in conversation and have more accessible equivalents (such as the perfect past), are literary or archaic.

Italian on the other hand uses EVERY SINGLE tense. There is a very precise temporal order of proximal past, remote past, super-remote past and all the conditionals and imperfects that intersperce them. In Spanish after a few lessons, you can talk happily away. In Italian, all it takes is to trip in one or two places, and your Italian will sound extremely awkward and nearly stop making sense.

IE, if in Spanish you want to say yo hice or yo he hecho it means "I did/I have done" and they are more or less equivalent depending on the world region (some use one form, some use another). In French that is the case as well, except that the one-word Passe simple is literary only: you'd say J'ai fait, but the classics essays would write je fis.

In Italian, yes, south of Rome the Passato prossimo/Passato Remoto is considered equivalent, *BUT*, according to strict Italian grammar, io ho fatto is used to express to say you just did something. Io Feci on the other hand someone who is at least 30-40 years old would use to describe childhood events OR a set of events done prior to what was described using the regular passato prossimo standard past tense. And if there were a third string of events even further in the past that are in expected sequence, then you'd throw in the trapassato remoto "io ebbi fatto" just like French, except now you have THREE time slots for the past in Italian instead of more or less two in Spanish or French.

This is an oversimplification, but you get the point, sorry for the ramble.

2. Nearly identical pronounciation: Italian has its foibles, as does Spanish, and those of one language don't pronounce the other as a native (Catalans do well with both). However, there are only 5 vowel sounds in Spanish, and you will find the same "loyalty" in Spanish.

3. A few vocabulary words like "Casa". But most words are quite different, shockingly so.

Other than that, changing from Italian to Spanish is relatively easy once you have enough vocabulary (tough at first), but changing from Spanish to Italian is very, VERY hard.

As an Italian native I later learned Spanish and it was not as easy as everyone would make it out to be. But Spanish neophyte to Italian, whoa, I'd suggest taking a class or two at a community college first.

maelström

Post by maelström » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:11 am

Cresasso wrote:And if there were a third string of events even further in the past that are in expected sequence, then you'd throw in the trapassato remoto "io ebbi fatto"
I think that no Italian native speaker would ever say "io ebbi fatto", in neither spoken nor written language. Some tenses are definitely old-fashioned.

TheeVirtuoso
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Post by TheeVirtuoso » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:02 pm

Thanks, I did mention I plan on taking Italian in college this fall, I'm just impatient. I want to learn a little bit of the basics and struggle through harder stuff even if I have to now.

Cresasso
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Post by Cresasso » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:18 am

maelström wrote:
Cresasso wrote:And if there were a third string of events even further in the past that are in expected sequence, then you'd throw in the trapassato remoto "io ebbi fatto"
I think that no Italian native speaker would ever say "io ebbi fatto", in neither spoken nor written language. Some tenses are definitely old-fashioned.
I agree with you 98.5%. You live in Italy, so you have the upper hand.

I think I have used this tense less than 5 times in the last 10 years. The possibility however is there.

In relation to your PM's, Italian is the *LOVELIEST*, *SEXIEST*, most *ROMANTIC* and *SEDUCTIVE* language for politicians to use rambling on run-on sentences with dozens of clauses, participles, conditionals and tenses. This way, they use quadruple negatives therefore making a grandiose, charming impression, but in the end saying nothing and preserving their plausible deniability.

I know a lot about finance.... I once went to a bank to give a relative advice. I eventually was able to give the good advice, but despite my still excellent Italian (e mi difendo!), it took me more than a week to figure out and decode what some crooked banker was trying to sell this relative (some junk bond SICAV or the like). He was so glib and fast talking that even I couldn't understand him even though I understand both the topic and Italian very well.

But back on topic, the super-remote past is one area where my decent, but comparatively shaky Italian can still shine because I can compare it to French and Spanish.

You use WAY more imperfects and conditionals as well in spoken Italian, but I just can't verbalize at the tip of my tongue the rules for the imperfects and conditionals. They also don't apply very well to English, making talking about it in English harder.

Like I said, I went Italian -> Spanish and it wasn't hard because I tried hard and wanted to succeed, and the grammatical structure was the same. But neophyte Spanish to Italian will be rocky.... just warning someone just like I'd warn someone who wants to move to Italy. It can be fun, but is fraught with pitfalls and requires... preparation!

maelström

Post by maelström » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:14 am

Cresasso wrote:I think I have used this tense less than 5 times in the last 10 years. The possibility however is there.
Five times in ten years is quite a frequent usage for such an unusual verb tense :-)
Yes, it is possible to use the trapassato remoto, but even the passato remoto is slowly vanishing in both written and spoken language, in favor of passato prossimo, so using such a super-remote tense could only mean one of the two following options: 1) you left Italy in 1811, then you came back in 2011 and now you claim to speak as in the old days; 2) you are a foreign learner who just learnt the language from a grammar book and never spent a single day in Italy.

Cresasso
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Post by Cresasso » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:44 pm

maelström wrote:
Cresasso wrote:I think I have used this tense less than 5 times in the last 10 years. The possibility however is there.
Five times in ten years is quite a frequent usage for such an unusual verb tense :-)
Yes, it is possible to use the trapassato remoto, but even the passato remoto is slowly vanishing in both written and spoken language, in favor of passato prossimo, so using such a super-remote tense could only mean one of the two following options: 1) you left Italy in 1811, then you came back in 2011 and now you claim to speak as in the old days; 2) you are a foreign learner who just learnt the language from a grammar book and never spent a single day in Italy.
HA HA HA HA!

You made me chuckle and smile!

Yes, you are 100% right, and 100% wrong.... I do like to pull out the old tenses just for the sake of practicing them and just being archaic as well.

In truth, you could say that I want to act like an Italian born in the early part of the 20th century before the wars through the interwar period. I modeled myself in the image and likeness of my nonni and bisnonni and uncles and aunts etc whom I still go visit every year, but sadly there are always less and less. Even Italians are shocked at my behavior. I dress like an American (because I don't care about appearance, but that's a different story), and they all say that I do and say and enjoy all these things that "old people like". But that's how you keep the tradition alive, and that is what I show my children! If I hadn't left Italy as a small child, I wouldn't be that way.

Interestingly, I will say one thing: the modern Italian is *TOTALLY* butchering the language. I don't know the grammar as well as I used to (I did study Italian), but even know people will comment that I tend to use subjunctive more correctly than even people living in Italy.

Do you remember the series "Conan il Ragazzo del Futuro?". I just bought it off amazon.it. It was a reminder of my childhood and I started watching it again this week. There are three different translations you can use, the "original dubbing", the "more popular dubbing" that I probably saw when I was a child, and the "retouched" version. The (Italian) subtitles that I turned on for the benefit of my wife reflect the older dubbing. Would you believe that the 1980's dubbing had subjunctive etc while the new dubbing does not. Furthermore, the new dubbing pronounces the English like words like "High Harbor" very much American like. I remember seeing it as a kid, and even now the old dubbing says it "hyarbor" just like the Japanese version.

Italian is musical as ever, but in my humble opinion the unpleasant winds of change to our precious peninsula are not just economic and political.

I know change is the only constant, but when your homeland, your original country is not as good as you remember, and every year seems to be getting worse and worse, that is kind of sad. It makes you even more nostalgic and melancholic than you would already be having emigrated.

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Davide
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Post by Davide » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:55 pm

I'll make this short and sweet - language is organic and we all know that it changes with time. However, I loathe the influx of so many foreign (particularly English) words that are entering the Italian language, especially when there is already a perfectly suitable Italian word/expression. Why do we have to have 'lo shopping' when we can 'fare la spesa'? Why 'il weekend' when there is 'il fine settimana'?

I recently read an 'italian' article on fashion and in the entire article, almost a third of the words were foreign. To native Italians, these words may sound exotic, but to me (as a native English speaker) they jar and detract from the distinctive musicality of Italian.
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maelström

Post by maelström » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:47 pm

Cresasso wrote:Interestingly, I will say one thing: the modern Italian is *TOTALLY* butchering the language.
This is the same old story :) : the ungrateful modern times destroying what grandparents carefully built in the past. It is not so, in my opinion. We are misled by living our time, the present. What is present, however, if not future's past?
We should consider that languages - as well as ourselves - are "framed" in their own historic period (though we cannot comfortably accept the idea of being someone else's past).
Languages, being mostly influenced by current usage, are among the ficklest aspects of human life. It always happened in human history that languages "tainted" each other and it will always be so. Italian would not be the language we speak today, weren't it "infected" by Spanish, French, German, and even Arabic. Today, however, also given the technologic progress and the capability to exchange information in a blink of an eye, we are not able to keep up with the rate of those continuous changes. Proclaiming a crusade to defend any language's purity is, in my humble opinion, a losing battle :)

maelström

Post by maelström » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:15 pm

Davide wrote:However, I loathe the influx of so many foreign (particularly English) words that are entering the Italian language, especially when there is already a perfectly suitable Italian word/expression.
Some "foreign" words do not enter everyday's Italian because they sound "exotic" to native speakers, but because that is the same old usage-based process already happened in the past to any language - English included. In other words, it is not a mere matter of fashion, but a necessity due to communication. A language is a means to communicate and certain anglicisms are best suitable to convey certain meanings; they are just better than their Italian equivalents. Let's be honest: how can we effectively translate such straight-to-the-point terms as "sport", "bar", "jazz", "compact-disc", "mix", "partner", "pay-tv", "airbag", "beauty-case", "fast-food", "tunnel", "thriller", "rockstar", "clown", "black-out", "body building"?
Especially in the computer field ("monitor", "mouse", "computer", "hard disk", "file") English is practically mandatory. I once was speaking with a French colleague who kept talking about his ordinateur. It took me quite a long time to understand that it was just a computer. Forcing a language's transformation, by resorting to foreign terms whenever possible, is oviously wrong, but firmly opposing the normal evolutions of a language is wrong as well: tilting at windmills, in my opinion. Not that I do not consider certain "intestine" changes very unpleasant. In Italian, for example, many people say "areoplano" and "areoporto" (wrong: they should be "aeroplano" and "aeroporto") but that "re" vs. "er" is just a nuance in spoken language, and I'm very afraid that, with time, the wrong version will be acknowledged as correct usage by dictionaries.
In a few words, being a language-chauvinist is a waste of time and a losing battle :)
Last edited by maelström on Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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-Luca-
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Post by -Luca- » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:20 am

Ciao ! :)


L'inglese sta influenzando più di ogni altra lingua (negli ultimi decenni intendo) la lingua italiana e non solo (praticamente molte delle lingue europee).

Che fare? A mio avviso si dovrebbe cercare di utilizzare la versione inglese di un termine se e solo se non vi sia una valida alternativa nell'italiano.

Utilizzare termini di lingua inglese nei giorni nostri, infatti, sta diventando sempre più frequente. Spesso tale tecnica è utilizzata per esprimere uno stesso concetto in maniera più sofisticata e moderna ( come se l'alternativa inglese fosse più specifica, tecnologica e all'avanguardia )

In questi giorni notavo ( andando a fare dei preventivi per auto ) che molti venditori utilizzano dei termini inglesi ,per esprimere un sistema tecnologico ,anzichè la loro traduzione italiana. A livello psicologico infatti un probabile acquirente (non esperto nell'oggetto della compravendita) viene più facilmente soggiogato ed accattivato se gli viene proposta una spiegazione con alcuni termini inglesi.

Oltre a ciò la società odierna, tramite i giovani, pubblicizza l'utilizzo di varianti inglesi per i normali termini italiani, appunto per ostentare una marcata
avanguardia rispetto agli altri.... Bah....

Io, di mio, cerco sempre di utilizzare termini italiani ove possibile.

Naturalmente,per molti dei termini "intraducibili", mi adeguo .

Insomma, la lingua italiana va preservata.
Ciò non significa essere totalmente riluttanti ai neologismi di derivazione straniera, ma nemmeno aprire totalmente le porte al dizionario inglese :)
maelström wrote:Let's be honest: how can we effectively translate such straight-to-the-point terms as "sport", "bar", "jazz", "compact-disc", "mix", "partner", "pay-tv", "airbag", "beauty-case", "fast-food", "tunnel", "thriller", "rockstar", "clown", "black-out", "body building"?
Especially in the computer field ("monitor", "mouse", "computer", "hard disk", "file") English is practically mandatory.
Per quanto riguarda i termini inerenti il mondo informatico ammetto che l'inglese ne fa da padrone. Praticamente l'evoluzione dell'informatica è stata Americana e Giapponese, ed essendo l'inglese la lingua utilizzata come compromesso, sono stati loro a coniare i primi termini del settore, e noi italiani ovviamenti li usiamo a nostra volta. Non c'è la variante di mouse in italiano (topolino? :P), nè di computer (effettuatore di computi?:P), ...Mentre per hard disk esiste " disco rigido", e probabilmente per file la traduzinoe "documento" andrebbe bene in molti dei casi ( ma non tutti)

Riporto i termini per cui la variante italiana è compatibilissima invece fra quelli da te elencati :

hard disk : disco rigido
mix : nel campo della musica non credo esista una traduzione, ma in altri campi la parola "miscuglio" è la sua traduzione specifica.
partner : socio, compagno, fidanzato...etc etc (per ogni campo c'è la sua versione)
pay tv : tv a pagamento
beauty case : porta trucchi
tunnel : galleria
rockstar : stella del rock
clown:pagliaccio

A proposito : quali sono quelle parole italiane che invadono la lingua inglese? Sono curioso ! Ok, pizza ,spaghetti, mozzarella.....ma non intendo i prodotti tipici italiani, ma intendo termini la cui variante inglese esiste ma è in disuso.

Denghiu :)
Italians don't know what Caesar salad is !!

Cresasso
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Post by Cresasso » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:51 am

maelström wrote:
Cresasso wrote:Interestingly, I will say one thing: the modern Italian is *TOTALLY* butchering the language.
This is the same old story :) : the ungrateful modern times destroying what grandparents carefully built in the past. It is not so, in my opinion. We are misled by living our time, the present. What is present, however, if not future's past?
We should consider that languages - as well as ourselves - are "framed" in their own historic period (though we cannot comfortably accept the idea of being someone else's past).
Languages, being mostly influenced by current usage, are among the ficklest aspects of human life. It always happened in human history that languages "tainted" each other and it will always be so. Italian would not be the language we speak today, weren't it "infected" by Spanish, French, German, and even Arabic. Today, however, also given the technologic progress and the capability to exchange information in a blink of an eye, we are not able to keep up with the rate of those continuous changes. Proclaiming a crusade to defend any language's purity is, in my humble opinion, a losing battle :)
I agree with you maybe 66%. The French have an interesting example. They have to do everything their way. I understand well if you're in the computer field that English is important, and that the "ordinateur" mentality is annoying.

On the other hand, what is going on in Italy is that people who don't even know Italian are starting to use English words whose meaning they barely know.

It happens with languages!

I happen to live in New England where many ethnic French people also live (French Canadians or Canucks as they call them). Did you know the harsh, almost germanic sounding Canadian/Quebecois French was the original archaic French? And did you know that the very flat, elongated, "silent R" (as in paaaehk the caaaaeh in the garaaaaehge) Bostononian/Rhode Island accent was the original English that King George the III and his cohort spoke. Sometime in the 19th century the English and French wanted to be like each other, so it changed.

I agree, language needs to be plastic, and I feel the urge, because my Italian is stagnant, almost dying except for its once a year revival when I go back to Italy.

With regards to that, it's a return to the Italian of pre-WW2. I take care of a lot of "little old Italians" who were born before WW2; the biggest thing for dialect was born before 1930. Dialect from each village was so different, to the poing where in the war officers would command their men, and no one would follow because no one would understand.

Yet at the same time, I see people ignoring grammar and using whatever terms are linguistically convenient... I don't want to sound racist, but the result is almost like a Puerto Rican Spanish, the worst, almost "lowest" sounding Spanish there is. "Camionista" in Spanish turns to "truquero" because the English it Trucker, and most people in PR don't go to school, live well below the poverty line, and have no idea what real English nor Spanish should sound like.

There is something so refined, distinguished, so special, so polished about an individual who speaks a language in its "high level" form. Sometimes you meet people who appear destitute, immigrants from anywhere in Latin America who had *REAL* Spanish, and it sounds better even than that lispy stuff in Andalusia. They might be janitors here, but used to be doctors, lawyers, engineers in their home countries but didn't have the resources to restudy their stuff here (because many titles of study are not transferrable). It's like hearing a poem to hear them....

So I see both sides, but still, I like that archaic, "correct", poetic note. It may not appeal or be practical to those without resources, but to speak it like that, it puts you a head and shoulders above the rest!

maelström

Post by maelström » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:01 am

-Luca- wrote:Che fare? A mio avviso si dovrebbe cercare di utilizzare la versione inglese di un termine se e solo se non vi sia una valida alternativa nell'italiano.
Nei fatti non è così che funziona. Non si possono imporre regole del genere alla comunicazione. L'uso la fa da padrone, invece. I puristi farebbero meglio a mettersi l'anima in pace. Quando si comunica, si cerca la via più diretta per trasferire certi concetti. Se a questo si aggiunge il fatto che l'italiano è una lingua particolarmente prolissa...
-Luca- wrote:Utilizzare termini di lingua inglese nei giorni nostri, infatti, sta diventando sempre più frequente. Spesso tale tecnica è utilizzata per esprimere uno stesso concetto in maniera più sofisticata e moderna ( come se l'alternativa inglese fosse più specifica, tecnologica e all'avanguardia )
Vedi sopra. Non è una "tecnica" e non lo si fa apposta. C'è sicuramente chi ostenta, ma la maggioranza lo fa per un motivo specifico: l'inglese è la lingua più usata per esprimere certi concetti perché di fatto esprime, meglio di altre lingue (i.e. in maniera più diretta, sintetica, completa), gli stessi concetti. Difficile, in certi contesti, sostituire parole come "default" o "standard". Poi esiste sicuramente chi usa i termini inglesi per mascherare la realtà delle cose. Se anziché "body rental" si dicesse "affitto dei corpi" forse qualche naso in più si storcerebbe, per esempio.
-Luca- wrote:Insomma, la lingua italiana va preservata.
Ci hanno provato in molti a preservare la propria lingua. Gli ultimi sono i francesi che si stanno pian piano arrendendo. Le lingue non possono essere "preservate". L'italiano di Dante non è quello parlato nell'ottocento e quello dell'ottocento non è uguale a quello degli anni '60 e quello degli anni '60 non è uguale a quello odierno. L'italiano, oltretutto, non sarebbe la lingua che oggi ti appare "pura" e da preservare, se nei secoli non fosse stata contaminata da lingue estere.

Io lavoro nel campo dei computer da una vita e ti assicuro che nessuno userebbe "disco rigido" al posto di "hard disk" o "documento" al posto di "file" (cosa peraltro imprecisa: un file non è necessariamente un documento) o "elaboratore" al posto di "computer". C'è stato un tempo in cui si è provato a "preservare" la lingua, in questo campo (con buffi tentativi come "inizializzare" al posto di "to format"), ma ci si è dovuti arrendere. L'inglese ha un indubbio vantaggio rispetto all'italiano e cioè consente di creare verbi dai sostantivi. Oltretutto, nei campi tecnici è frequente dover leggere libri scritti in inglese, quindi è sicuramente meglio avere un unico dizionario di riferimento. Se poi ti piace "miscuglio" a "mix" o "porta trucchi" a "beauty case" o addirittura "stella del rock" a "rockstar", sono pronto a sentirti dire in pubblico tutti questi termini, così come ad assistere alla conseguente valanga di risate. A che pro dire "stella del rock" se dicendo "rockstar" si fa meno fatica? La parola "tunnel" non corrisponde necessariamente a galleria ed è usata in molti contesti diversi, con significati diversi. Il punto è appunto questo: in inglese esiste una parola, come "partner", che esprime una "partnership", di qualunque tipo essa sia (collega di lavoro, compagno di vita, compagno al gioco, compagno di ballo, socio in affari, etc..). In una base dati, per esempio, il concetto di relazione tra due entità è appunto modellabile usando questo unico termine; sarebbe impossibile declinarlo a seconda della relazione precisa (socio, compagno, fidanzato...). Espressioni come "pay-tv" sono ormai diventate nomi comuni; dire "tv a pagamento" è più prolisso e non rende più efficace la comunicazione.

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