Ciao a tutti; sono di california

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Gnarmageddon
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:46 am

Ciao a tutti; sono di california

Post by Gnarmageddon »

I just started my first semester of Italian at community college here in Sacramento, California. Mi chiamo Evan e sono studente della lingua--language, meaning linguistics (don't know many nouns yet).

I've studied French for two years and from what I hear my progress in that time is very good. It helps that I love almost everything about French culture, film, music, whatever. I'm trying to find that same love in things Italian and while I've always loved i film gialli (right? film doesn't change?) and italian horror from masters such as fulci and argento, not to mention spaghetti westerns, I've had a harder time finding music and other pop-cultural things that I am crazy about in French.

But the country is beautiful and my girlfriend's grandmother lives in Palermo so I could mix my love of language and celebrating my beautiful gf's beautiful heritage. Plus, being a linguistics major, having a new language to pick apart is like having a new toy; I'm having a blast!

Unfortunately, as some of you (or most) might know, first-semester language courses are taught as if no language has ever been learned, meaning I want to die right now. I bought a half dozen or so books and am working through them, teaching myself stuff that isn't covered until the second or third semester, but I've never had to do that and I only CAN do that because of the similarity between French and Italian.

Anyway, I'll knock it off for now (I tend to ramble), but yeah if anyone can point me in the direction of awesome Italian arts and culture (especially some more contemporary stuff), I would greatly appreciate it!
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umberto
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:39 pm
Location: Italy

Post by umberto »

Ciao Evan,

benvenuto, welcome, what an enthusiastic introduction: it’s the best way to start! I love French culture too. You’re going to find lots of similarities between French and Italian, even though, considering all the Latin languages, French is quite different from Italian. I think Italian is easier: for instance, if you have already got through French spelling, the Italian one will look like a game to you!!

By the way, Dario Argento is my favourite Italian director!!!
Gnarmageddon
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:46 am

Post by Gnarmageddon »

Ciao Umberto, piacere mio! I'm making a lot of progress with verbs; since I'm comfortable with my understanding of almost all French verbs (excepting maybe the simple past and the past subjunctive), the easiest thing so far has been to learn Italian conjugations.

What's hard is needing to learn all new Italian nouns, prepositions, conjunctions, syntax... the "little" things that essentially ARE a language. You know? But Italian is just so fun to speak! I love the way it sounds and feels to speak it, the way the tongue moves in the mouth; French is my first love but even it doesn't give the satisfaction.

If you know both languages, what would you say the differences are between the two, in terms of syntax and such? I've already noticed that you can attach pronouns to the end of an infinitive, which is VERY cool. It's just that I think French is easier in terms of grammar and syntax for English speakers to learn. Many of our words are the same, too. Sure, Italian and English share a lot of Latin roots, but one has to remember those words got into English via Middle French, so the advantage is still on the side of French there.

Anyway, I tend to ramble, I'm sorry. Being a linguistics major, I never have enough to say about language, hehehe. In the future I'll be using much more Italian, however. That's the goal!
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umberto
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:39 pm
Location: Italy

Post by umberto »

French and Italian are quite different: hardly ever will an Italian understand what a French is saying if he doesn’t speak French and viceversa. This doesn’t happen with Spanish, where the mutual comprehension is higher and surely more immediate, even though it mustn’t be taken for granted!

I don’t know whether French is easier to learn for an English speaker. In terms of pure grammar, the structure of French is basicly the same of Italian. The most evident differences that occur to me are that in Italian – as you pointed out - you can attach pronouns to the end of an infinitive (it’s called “enclisi”), you needn’t express the subject pronouns every time (vado, mangio, parlo vs. je vais, je mange, je parle), and you only need an adverb, “non”, for negative sentences (non parlo vs. je ne parle pas). The use of preopositions is approximately the same (the French “de” is “di” or “da” in Italian, then in Italian you don’t have “chez”, mostly replaced by “da”).
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coffeecup
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Australia

Post by coffeecup »

Ciao Evan, e benvenuto anche questa ragazza australiana! :D

I've studied Italian right through primary school (albeit I hated it then with a passion; the teachers ruined the experience) and now am doing my final year of high school with Italian as one of my all-time favorite subjects. :D

I love everything about it, the sound, the grammar, the roots of words and similarities to English, everything right down to the world and culture behind Italian. I'm a bit like you - I adore language, and I'd love to learn others once I've finished my final Italian exams at the end of this year.

Mi piacerebbe imparare lo spagnolo per primo, perchè la mia ragazza è da colombia e parla lo spagnolo. Poi, mi piacerebbe provare il russo, perchè quella lingua mi da perchè quella lingua mi fa curiosità. Poi, forse latino, indonesiano.....
без тебя я не я. нас никогда не догонят! я тебя люблю.
maelström

Post by maelström »

coffeecup wrote:Mi piacerebbe imparare lo spagnolo [...]Poi, mi piacerebbe provare il russo[...]Poi, forse latino, indonesiano.....
Beato te che hai tanto tempo a disposizione! :)
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