Fluent English speaker to chat with fluent Italian.

Join us here for some fun chit chat, or share your opinions on rumours and gossip in the news. Beginners and advanced Italian speakers are all welcome!
maelström

Post by maelström » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:58 am

[...]it puts you a head and shoulders above the rest![...]

Which has very little importance when you are going to be swept away by that flooding river called "usage" :)

Note that English itself has been greatly influenced by other languages: umbrella and bandit came from Italian, in ancient times, as well as cruise, yacht and landscape from Netherlands, while etiquette and police came from French. The word slogan comes from Gaelic, hurricane from Carribean, caviar and kiosk from Turkish, dinghy from Hindi, caravan from Persian, mattress from Arabic. What about Kindergarten, obviously borrowed from German? Not to mention panini, bruschetta, and confetti (which actually means coriandoli; confetti are candies in Italian). You say that Italian use words but they are unaware of their meaning. What about Americans saying one panini, two panini's? Or pronouncing bruschetta as bruscetta and correcting the Italian tourists who try to help them pronounce the word properly. Do you know that two streets in Hyde Park, Rotten Row and Elephant and Castle, actually derive from the French la route du roi and Spanish Enfanta de Castilla? We Italians even invented new words, such as footing (for jogging) or scotch (for Sellotape). We keep saying manager to refer to whom actually is an executive. We also say ticket to refer to a tax on medications.
English, today, is mixed with other languages: in Japanese they say hotto doggo (hot dog), orenji jinsu (orange juice), and aisu-kurimu (ice-cream). They even call a divorced man kuraama-zoku (from Kramer vs. Kramer !!). Germans call t-shirts Teeshirt, Swedish girls wear tajt jeans (tight jeans), leave their friends with baj baj (bye bye). Spanish say sueter (sweater) and nocaut (knock-out). Serbs say miting, imotokali, and izingilazi (meeting, motor cars, and seeing glasses). Russian say no-khau (know how), dzheenzi (jeans), seksapil (sex appeal), fifty-fifty (to mean "so-so"!), viskey (whiskey), and dzhin-in tonic (gin and tonic).
Sad but true :)

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Davide
Posts: 627
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:38 pm
Location: UK

Post by Davide » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:39 pm

'We Italians even invented new words, such as footing (for jogging) or scotch (for Sellotape)'

Actually not quite true. Scotch is the name of the most famous company to produce Sellotape and it has been know in Britain as Scotch Tape for many years.
Skype: storebror2

Please identify yourself first before you add me.

maelström

Post by maelström » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:12 pm

Davide wrote:it has been know in Britain as Scotch Tape for many years.
What about "Please give me some scotch"? Would it mean asking for some adhesive tape, in Britain? That's the point indeed: in Italy we say "Hai un po' di scotch?" to mean that we need some Sellotape, not that we need some whisky.

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-Luca-
Posts: 546
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: Italia, Abruzzo

Post by -Luca- » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:46 pm

maelström wrote:That's the point indeed: in Italy we say "Hai un po' di scotch?" to mean that we need some Sellotape, not that we need some whisky.
Si ma tutto dipende dal contesto.
Se chiedo dello scotch in un bar mi viene dato del whisky, e non del nastro adesivo.
Italians don't know what Caesar salad is !!

maelström

Post by maelström » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:55 pm

-Luca- wrote:Se chiedo dello scotch in un bar mi viene dato del whisky, e non del nastro adesivo.
Ma in quale paese vivi tu? Hai mai sentito qualcuno chiedere uno "scotch" in un bar? In Italia semmai si usa "whisky". Non c'entra niente il contesto. Si discute di una parola specifica, che in italiano ha un significato preciso, perlomeno prevalente.

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-Luca-
Posts: 546
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: Italia, Abruzzo

Post by -Luca- » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:14 pm

Beh in Italia un wiskhy indica un qualsiasi whisky, mentre uno scotch indica un whisky prettamente scozzese.

Poi naturalmente se si prende il bar della stazione allora posso darti ragione....Ma in un buon bar con esperienza e professionalità, alla richiesta di uno scotch ti porterebbero un whisky scozzese.

"A Scotland whisky" abbreviato come "scotch".
Last edited by -Luca- on Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Italians don't know what Caesar salad is !!

Cresasso
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:45 pm

Post by Cresasso » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:16 am

maelström wrote:[...]it puts you a head and shoulders above the rest![...]

Which has very little importance when you are going to be swept away by that flooding river called "usage" :)

Note that English itself has been greatly influenced by other languages: umbrella and bandit came from Italian, in ancient times, as well as cruise, yacht and landscape from Netherlands, while etiquette and police came from French. The word slogan comes from Gaelic, hurricane from Carribean, caviar and kiosk from Turkish, dinghy from Hindi, caravan from Persian, mattress from Arabic. What about Kindergarten, obviously borrowed from German? Not to mention panini, bruschetta, and confetti (which actually means coriandoli; confetti are candies in Italian). You say that Italian use words but they are unaware of their meaning. What about Americans saying one panini, two panini's? Or pronouncing bruschetta as bruscetta and correcting the Italian tourists who try to help them pronounce the word properly. Do you know that two streets in Hyde Park, Rotten Row and Elephant and Castle, actually derive from the French la route du roi and Spanish Enfanta de Castilla? We Italians even invented new words, such as footing (for jogging) or scotch (for Sellotape). We keep saying manager to refer to whom actually is an executive. We also say ticket to refer to a tax on medications.
English, today, is mixed with other languages: in Japanese they say hotto doggo (hot dog), orenji jinsu (orange juice), and aisu-kurimu (ice-cream). They even call a divorced man kuraama-zoku (from Kramer vs. Kramer !!). Germans call t-shirts Teeshirt, Swedish girls wear tajt jeans (tight jeans), leave their friends with baj baj (bye bye). Spanish say sueter (sweater) and nocaut (knock-out). Serbs say miting, imotokali, and izingilazi (meeting, motor cars, and seeing glasses). Russian say no-khau (know how), dzheenzi (jeans), seksapil (sex appeal), fifty-fifty (to mean "so-so"!), viskey (whiskey), and dzhin-in tonic (gin and tonic).
Sad but true :)
I agree 110% about your computer science posts (see my next post) regarding languages and English.

Still, being distinguished (distinto) is like Fornography (word is banned from forum, it deleted my post and warned me it was spam!). It's damn near impossible to define, but you know it when you see it!

You don't have to be all stiff and perfect linguistically, but too many Italians, or any other nation that is too prosperous to allow people to shun entry level jobs that are passed on to illegal immigrants, have sunk to the level of the equivalent of tobacco chewing redneck. "Ma come si dice budget in Inglese?"

Terrone is not just a pejorative term for those who come from south of Rome. It's one thing to be that ignorant and think the world is flat like my great grandmother from Arezzo who was born in the 1890's and never did a day of school (strangely she had more common sense than most who have advanced degrees). It's yet another to be a dirt clod (terrone) 10x worse than that who has a doctoral degree. The unviersities sadly are full of people like that and it makes me cringe. (see next post)

It's the spirit that counts.

Cresasso
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:45 pm

Post by Cresasso » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:28 am

maelström wrote: 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.
Lo faccio per hobby! Ti rispondo in Inglese siccome l'argomento e` stato tutto scritto in Inglese, e communque hai ragione, l'inglese e *MOLTO* piu` semplice per esprimere tante, ma tante cose!

I will always try to say everything in Italian just because I think it's cool. I will say the strangest things, but Italians will not laugh because they know I am American. And in some way, especially if I find them to be ignorant, I will do this to show a command of both languages.

Situations change... sometimes you get someone who pretends to know everything about something. People in Romagna especially can be that way. Don't get me wrong, it is my own people, but no one knows how to be a sborone like the Romagnoli. And the best way to put them in their place is not to tell them they are idiots, but rather show it by indicating greater mastery of not only English, but also their own language by being able to banter back and forth. It's very hilarious, and the laughter this habit of mine has drawn is not so much laughing at me, but nervous laughter of humility and shame.

It's fun to play these mind games.

At other times, with my wife in public I might say something in Italian slang, but translated in English, or vice versa. My wife told me a story that she had a Swedish friend when she lived in Italy whose Italian boyfriend also spoke Swedish. They would use that language as the "secret communication" between them, except that over time, more people than they thought could understand them.

But what about these odd bilingualisms? If you do the literal translation for one language's slang directly into textbook other language and back again? If we are at a counter in line, and someone is really disrespectful, rude, mean, vulgar etc, I want to say "CRETINO" to my wife hoping no one will understand. But what do I say? I might say in English "Greek Islander" or "Lacking Iodine in Childhood".

I also force my children to say these potentially awkward things in English and Italian just to excercise their minds. And I do it too. The day I stop will be the day I get alzheimer's.

Cresasso
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:45 pm

Post by Cresasso » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:35 am

maelström wrote:Io lavoro nel campo dei computer da una vita e ti assicuro che nessuno userebbe....
Beh, io sono medico e nel mondo medico le cose sono piuttosto piu` rigide. Bisogna essere sia esatti che sensibili!

Te lo racconto in Inglese perche` fa piu` testo ma....

Let's say I have to examine a person's genitals, man or woman. If you were having your testicles, ovaries, cervix, schlong, whatever examined, you would want it to be all good right? I have had patients anxiously blurt out asking me "does it feel like it's all good?" Or some such.

The natural answer would be "Yes it feels good". You should *NEVER*,

EVER say "It feels good" when examining another person's private parts!

Furthermore in the medical world slightly changing some words that are already borrowed from mostly greek, sometimes latin will drastically alter their meanings and create problems for you, sometimes totally changing the recognized diagnosis.

The artistic element is totally there in medicine. For example you should ask someone "what kind of drugs do you enjoy" instead of "DO YOU DO DRUGS?" so they are more likely to be honest. But when it comes down to it, it's good to be exacting.

Granted, it's also 100% easier for me because I already live and work in an English speaking world. I wonder what challenges would await me if I had to do business in Italian aside the forementioned problems of living and working in Italy that we have discussed!

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