My Italian Word of the Week - Trovare

DVD Cover - Lo Hobbit: Desolazione di Smaug - Amazon.it - Warner Brothers (C)

DVD Cover - Lo Hobbit: Desolazione di Smaug - Amazon.it - Warner Brothers (C)

Trovare (v.)

v. to find, locate, spot
v. to find, get, obtain (a desired object, goal, or outcome)
v. to find, uncover, retrieve (an object that was once yours)
v. to find, discover, observe, notice, come across, catch, stumble upon
v. to find, reckon, have an opinion
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com
conjugations Italian Verbs

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW.

This week, we're touching upon what I consider to be one of the most useful first conjugation (-are) verbs, trovare (note: I'll treat the reflexive version trovarsi to it's own post). Trovare means "to find", and as I've tried to illustrate in the translations listed above, it's used literally and figuratively in much the same way as "to find" is used in English.

The simplest use refers to locating an object, person, or place. For example, (io) Ho trovato le chiavi translates to "I found the keys." Devo trovare mio marito means "I must find my husband." The verb can also be used when referring to surprising or chancing upon something or someone. Ho trovato i ladri in casa  means "I found the burglars in the house."

When used in conjunction with adjectives and adverbs, trovare can come in handy for expressing opinions. Trovo noioso il film translates to "I found the film boring," and the informal greetingTi trovo bene means "I find you well/You look well." One can also use it to pass judgement on other people--Trovo scortese da parte tua dire queste cose roughly translates to "I find it rude on your part that you said those things."

Which brings us to the Italian trailer for Lo Hobbit: La Desolazione Di Smaug (okay, that was a horrible segway, I admit). While I'm mainly motivated by the prospect of looking at Orlando Bloom in elf form, my attempt to translate the first minute or so will definitely touch upon the verb "to find" (un anello, meaning a ring, for those not in the know). I'll also confess to needing to go back and forth between the English and Italian versions since there are lots of low frequency words in the opening. Ready?

Davvero. I raconti e le canzoni non rendono giustizia, a la tua enormità, o Smaug...l'immenso. 

I will probably never ever say this in Italy, but hey, picking out the words is kind off fun. Davverro means really or truly. Un raconto is a tale or story. Una canzone is a song. Rendere means a lot of things, but in this case it's used as to give. Giustizia means justice, and immenso means limitless. Put it all together, and you get: Truly. The tales and songs don't give justice to your enormity, or Smaug...the Limitless.  

Siamo i nani di Erebor. Siamo venuti a reclamare la nostra terra natia.--Io vi offro mio aiuto.

So un nano is a dwarf (yes, I looked it up). Venire means to come, reclamare to reclaim, and offrire to offer. La terra natia is the homeland, and l'aiuto is helpAll combined, we get: We are the dwarves of Erebor. We have come to reclaim our homeland. -- I offer you (all) my help.

Pretty easy once you break it all down, isn't it?

Come sappiamo che non ci tradirà? Non lo sappiamo. 

Okay, this one gave me a hard time (I couldn't make out tradirà, so I had to Google it). Now that I know however, it's pretty easy since there are only two verbs. Sapere - to know, and tradire - to betray. With all the little words, the sentence comes together as: How do we know that he won't betray us? We don't know (it). 

Non c'è ancora un re sotto la montagna e mai ci sara. 

There's actually only one verb in this sentence--essere, the verb to be (in third person present and third person future). Un re is a king. Ancora means already, and mai means ever/never. Adding the cognate and the pesky little ci, we get: There isn't already (fig. has never been) a king under the mountain and there never will be. 

Non finirà qui. Con ogni vittoria questo male si rinforzarà. 

Today seems to be a verb day. Finire means to finish/end, and rinforzare to strengthen. Vittoria means victory and male means badness/evil. Summed up, we get: (It) will not end here. With each victory this evil strengthens (itself).

Now we can get to my favorite line. 

Legolas è molto affezionato a te. Non dargli speranza dove non c'è. 

Affezionato is an adjective meaning attached to or fond of. Dare means to give and speranza means hope. Together with all the annoying pronouns, the sentence means: Legolas is very attached to you. Don't give him hope where there isn't. 

Non ai alcun diritto di entrare in quella montagna. -- Sono l'unico ad averlo. -- Siamo stati ciechi. Nella nostra cecità, il nostro nemico e tornato. 

So here we get to witness the wonderful world of subject-verb-tense agreement. Sono (1st person singular present) and siamo stati (1st person plural simple past) both derive from essere, the verb to be. Diritto means right, cecità blindness, and cieco blind. You also get avere, the verb to havein infinitive form (combined with the direct pronoun "lo") and in second person present "ai". Dulcis in fundo, nemico means enemy, and tornare to return. Altogether, we arrive at: You don't have any right to enter that mountain. -- I'm the only (one) (who) has it. -- We were blind. In our blindness, our enemy has returned. 

And now the last sentence, which obviously contains this week's word: 

Ho trovato una cosa nella galleria degli Orchi. -- Cosa ai trovato? -- Umm.... Il mio corragio.

Cosa  means something, and galleria a tunnel or underground passage. The rest of the words are cognates, so the sentences are: I found something in the tunnel of the Orchi (a made-up word, meaning goblins only in the Lord of the Rings world). -- What did you find? -- Umm... My courage. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Raffreddore

Photo Credit: Flikr Creative Commons  - SuperHua (C) - Attribution License

Photo Credit: Flikr Creative Commons  - SuperHua (C) - Attribution License

Raffreddore (n.m.)

n.m. cold (acute respiratory inflammation)

definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

This week's installment of IWOW is going to be the shortest yet because (io) ho il raffreddore, meaning "I have a cold." It's nothing serious, just one of those change of season things, but I tend to be an absolute baby when I'm under the weather. On top of that, writing while blowing one's nose lends itself to typos, so I beg your forgiveness in advance. 

According to the CDC, over 200 viruses can cause il commune raffredore (n.m. the common cold), although the rhinovirus is the most common type. By the way, a virus in Italian is il virus (thank goodness for life's small blessings). Symptoms include stanutire (v. to sneeze), il naso che cola (n.m. runny nose), il mal di gola (n.m. sorethroat), gli occhi lacrimosi (n.m.pl. watery eyes), and il mal di testa (n.m. headache). 

Il raffredore non si cura (one doesn't cure the cold), but there are multiple methods of symptom relief, including riposare (v. to rest), bere molta acqua (v. to drink a lot of water), and popping multiple caramelle per la tosse (n.f.pl. cough drops).

On that note, devo fare una buona tazza di tè (I must go make a nice cup of tea), so I'll bid you all a hasty adieu.  

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Giusto

DVD - La Ragazza di Fuoco - Amazon.it - Universal (C)

DVD - La Ragazza di Fuoco - Amazon.it - Universal (C)

Giusto (adj., adv., n.m.)

adj. just, fair, impartial
adj. legitimate, righteous
adj. correct, true
adv. exactly, precisely, on point
adv. just (recently)
n.m. the "right"

definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW.

 

So you probably noticed the new theme in my Italian Word of the Week posts. Ever since my classes ended, it's been a struggle to maintain the language, especially when it comes to listening comprehension. So I decided to link these posts to a movie trailer, allowing me to get a few minutes of deciphering spoken Italian in every week. 

This week's word is giusto, which you can see has a plethora of uses. For explanations of the adverb and noun forms, you can mosey on to the above-linked WordReference post. Today, I'm going focus on its use as an adjective.

Giusto is a cognate to the English adjective "just" and is used similarly to indicate a sense of fairness. For example, Il giudice e severo ma giusto means "the judge/prosecutor is severe but just/fair." By the way, judges and prosecutors in Italy are interchangeable, and they are both called giudiceGiusto can also mean "morally good/right", as in Credo che sia giusto andare da loro, which means I think it would be good/right to go to their place. 

I most commonly heard this word as part of the sentence (tu) Sei giusto  (you are right/correct) or E giusto (it's right/correct), and in my mind there's a connotation of precision or exactness to the word. Vorrei trovare la parola giusta per spiegare i miei pensieri (I would like to find the right word to explain my thoughts) is a stalling tactic I may have used once or twice in class.

On that note, let's check out the trailer for Hunger Games: La Ragazza di Fuoco (there is a tie-in to this word, I promise). 

Okay, I'll admit to needing to watch the English trailer before I was able to decipher the first 10 seconds. I'll tell you why it was so difficult in just a sec. 

Katniss: Qualsiasi cosa farò si ritorcera su di te and su di mama, e io non voglio.

So the reason I couldn't understand it (aside from the speed), was because I had never come across the reflexive verb ritorcersi before today. I looked it up, and it means "to backfire." Qualsiasi cosa is equivalent to the English "Whatever." Farò is the first person future tense of fare, the verb "to do." Su means "on". Te is the direct object pronoun for tu (you). Mama means "Mom" (thank goodness for cognates!), and voglio is the first person present tense form of the irregular volere, the verb "to want." Put that all together, and we get: Whatever I will do will backfire on you and on mom, and I don't want (it).  

Ready for the next sentences?  

Prim: Dagli ultimi Hunger Games, qualcosa e cambiato. Lo vedo. 
Katniss: Che cosa vedi?
Prim: Speranza

If you've been following these posts, you'd know that vedere is the verb "to see." Vedo is the first person present tense conjugation, and vedi is the second person informal present tense conjugation. Ultimo (adj.) means "last/most recent". Qualcosa means "something" while che cosa means "what (thing)". Yes, if you're wondering, cosa is the Italian equivalent of "thing." From here, you just need cambiare, which is the verb "to change", and it's used in the past tense in this case. Last but not least, speranza is the noun "hope."

Put it all together, and you get: Since the last Hunger Games, something changed. I see it. What do you see? Hope. 

Still with me. I'm stopping at the 0.45 mark, don't worry. We're almost there.

Peeta: Ci hai salvati. Lo so. Ma sono stanco di recitare per le telecamere, per puoi ignorarci nella vita reale. 

This is a bit easier. Once you know Ci means "us," it's easy to guess Ci hai salvati means "You saved us." Lo so means "I know it." Lo is "it", and so is the first person present tense conjugation of sapere, the verb "to know." Ma means "but", recitare is the verb "to act," and you're just going to have to trust me when I say ignorarci (a combination of ignorare and the direct object ci) translates to "ignore each other."

Since the rest of the words are cognates, we can put it all together as: You saved us. I know. But I am tired of acting for the cameras, to then ignore each other in real life. 

All right. Last set of phrases (and now you'll know why I picked giusto). 

President Snow: Lei non e quello che credono. Deve essere eliminata. 
Plutarch Heavensbee: Certo ma nel modo giusto. Al momento giusto. 

Lei in this case means "she," though it can also be used as the formal form of "you." Quello che translates to "what." Credono is the third person plural present tense conjugation of credere, the verb "to think." Deve is the third person present tense conjugation of dovere, the verb "must." Essere is the verb "to be", which you've already seen in the first person (sono), second person informal (sei),  and third person (è). And, modo means "way," leaving us with cognates. 

Putting all those words together, we get: She isn't what they think (she is). She must be eliminated. Certainly, but in the right way. At the right moment.

And thus concludes my attempt this week to keep my Italian fresh. Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Ghiaccio

DVD - Frozen - Amazon.it - Walt Disney Pictures (C) 

DVD - Frozen - Amazon.it - Walt Disney Pictures (C) 

Ghiaccio (n.m.)

n. ice
adj. ice-cold, frigid
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW.

It seemed only fair after my post on fuoco (n.m. fire) to do a post on ghiaccio (n.m. ice), which is somewhat related to my post on freddo (adj. cold). I was inspired by the recent tempesta di ghiaccio (n.f. ice storm) that somehow arrived in Washington, D.C. even though it's the end of March and technically the official beginning of primavera (n.f. Spring). It doesn't feel like inverno (n.m. Winter) is over since it's freddo come il ghiaccio (adj. ice-cold, frigid) right now.

On that note, check out the Italian trailer of Disney's Frozen, aka Il Regno di Ghiaccio. Not only is it a good learning tool, it's funnier in Italian than in English. 

Since ghiaccio is a pretty straightforward masculine noun meaning "ice," I decided to do something different today and attempt to translate the first 20 seconds of the video above. It has quite a few useful weather-related words, and for an Italian student with only 6 months of formal lessons under her belt, understanding it is no simple task. See if you can follow along. 

L'estate nella citta di Arundel non potrebbe essere piu calda o piu soleggiata, ma tutto sta per cambiare per sempre.

So let's pick out a few useful words. I gave away primavera (Spring) and inverno (Winter), and now you can add estate (Summer) to your list of seasons. While we're at it, I might as well mention autunno (Fall/Autumn). On the topic of weather, caldo/calda means hot, and soleggiato/soleggiata means cold. Without getting into the verbs, I'll give you the literal translation: Summer in the city of Arundel can not be more hot or sunny, but everything is about to change for always.

Ready for the next line? It's really short.

Arundel ... e completamente ghiacciata

You can probably guess at this point that ghiacciato/a is the adjective derivative of ghiaccio, and it means frozen. is the third person present tense form of the irregular verb essere (to be), and completamente (adv.) is a cognate meaning completely. On a side note, "-mente" in Italian is used to form adverbs in very much the same way "-ly" is used in English.

Freddo, freddo,  freddo, freddo, freddo, freddo, freddo, freddo, freddo...

The above is my reaction whenever I step outside lately, and I'm not wearing a ball gown with no shoulder coverage. Freddo is the singular masculine form of the adjective "Cold"

Una bufera di neve a luglio, sì?

Dulcis in fundo (last but not least), una bufera (n.f.) means "storm, blizzard or squall" and can also be used figuratively to mean an "upheaval or distubance." Neve (n.f.) means "snow," luglio (n.m) means "July," and  means "yes." Put that all together, and you get: A snow storm in July, Yes?

And thus concludes my attempt this week to keep my Italian fresh. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Fuoco

Photo Credit: Flikr Creative Commons - Thomas's Pics' (C)

Photo Credit: Flikr Creative Commons - Thomas's Pics' (C)

Fuoco (n.m.)

n. fire, flame, blaze (the effect of a combustion)
n. a source of heat for cooking; a hearth
n. a blast or explosion from a firearm or explosive
n. fig. a sensation of ardor, heat, enthusiasm
n. tech. (in geometry) a focal point where two rays meet
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

It seemed logical to follow up mirare with fuoco, which literally translates to fire or flame.  I've run across it, along with calore (n. heat), quite a bit lately as I've decided to maintain my Italian via reading un romanzo rossa (a "pink" novel, aka Romance). In case you're wondering, said fuoco calore (fire and heat) were often located tra le cosce (between the thighs). Obviously, this use employs the figurative meaning of fuoco, which expresses enthusiasm or ardor (and not just in a romantic or sexual context). Just as il fuoco dell'amore can mean "the fire/ardor of love," il fuoco della fede can mean "the fire/ardor of faith."

We've already gone over un arma da fuoco (n. firearm) in my previous post, so you already know fuoco can mean a blast or explosion from a weapon. Aprire il fuoco translates to "open fire" and cessare il fuoco to "cease fire." Fare fuoco (lit. to "do" fire) is the synonym of sparare (v. to shoot at, to fire at). One cool derivative of this meaning is un gruppo di fuoco (n. pl. hired killers, gunmen). 

Since a lot of Italian life seems to revolve around food, fuoco also means a source of heat for cooking (n. hearth). For example, a stove top with 4 sources of heat is una cucina a quattro fuoco, and mettere sul fuoco  means "to put (something) on the stove or burner." This should not be confused with mettere a fuoco, which means to bring into focus or sharpen and is probably based on the geometric meaning of fuoco (n. focal point).

This brings us to some cool idiomatic expressions. Mettere troppa carne al fuoco (lit. to put too much meat on the fire) is equivalent to the English "to bite off more than one can chew." It's sort off related to C'e molta carne al fuoco (lit. there's a lot of meat on the fire), which is a close approximation of "there are plenty of fish in the sea" (i.e. lots of opportunities to take advantage of).

Una giornata di fuoco (lit. a day of fire) is equivalent to our "day from hell" (i.e. busy/hectic day). Since I do need to get on with some other chores, I'll leave off here. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Mirare

Photo Credit: State Library of South Australia

Photo Credit: State Library of South Australia

Mirare (v.)

v. (intransitive, mirare a) to take aim with a weapon
v. (transitive) to closely/carefully observe something or someone
v. fig. to aim for an objective or goal
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com
conjugation Italian Verbs

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

In continuation with this week's firearms theme (you really should check out my Firearms Firsts post, perche quest'articolo e molto interessante), my word of the week is mirare. The most literal meaning of the word is to take aim at something or someone con un'arma di fuoco (un'arma = a weapon, fuoco = fire, convenient, sì?). To convey this meaning, mirare is used intransitively, as in you "aim something at some one," with the preposition "a" taking the place of "at." If I were to channel Nalini Singh's cacciatrice di vampiri (vampire huntress) for a moment, I would say Elena mira la sua balestra al cuore del vampiro (Elena aims her crossbow at the heart of the vampire).

Obviously, unless one plans on joining the Carabinieri (Italian police), this use of mirare isn't terribly useful. However, when used transitively (without the preposition a, to grossly oversimplify), mirare can mean to carefully observe something or someone.  Continuing with my Cacciatrice della Corporazione (Guild Hunter) theme, you can think of it thus: Elena mira il suo bersaglio (no a) translates to "Elena observes her target", whereas Elena mira al suo bersaglio (with a) translates to "Elena aims at her target (presumably with a gun or crossbow)"

Dulcis in fundo (you can probably tell I love this phrase), one can use mirare figuratively to mean taking aim at an objective or goal. Mirare al cielo is a song (video), literally means to aim at the sky, and is the figurative equivalent of the English phrase "shoot for the stars." Similarly, mirare alto or mirare in alto means to aim high or be ambitious. 

And thus concludes la mia prova di essere ambiziosa (my attempt to be ambitious) this week. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Sangue

Casa Editrice Nord (C)

Casa Editrice Nord (C)

Sangue (s.m.)

n. blood (anatomical)
n. fig. kinship, blood relation
n. fig. a state of being/disposition (ex. cold-blooded)
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

 

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

I picked sangue (n.m. blood) for this week's word in celebration of the fact that I just made my way through Il Profumo del Sangue (lit. The Scent of Blood), which is the Italian translation of Nalini Singh's Angel's Blood. If you don't already know, Nalini Singh is my favorite author, and, in my humble opinion, the Guild Hunter series is her best work. As such, I was psyched to find out three of her books had been translated to Italian. 

I began reading Il Profumo del Sangue by switching back and forth between the English and Italian versions. As my language skills improved, I went from page-to-page switches to chapter-to-chapter switches, and I eventually was able to eschew the English version all together. Given, I've read Angel's Blood more than half a dozen times (I tend to re-read the entire series whenever a new book comes out), so I know a lot of the scenes by heart. Nonetheless, I like to pat myself on the back whenever I can.

Some not so useful words I learned from this exercise include: un vampiro = a vampire; un succhiasangue = a bloodsucker; una cacciatrice dei vampiri = a vampire hunter (female); and Cacciatrice della Corporazione = Guild Hunter.

So I probably should get to the actual word of the week. Obviously, there's the anatomical use for the word sangue (blood), which is a singular masculine noun. On a related note, "to bleed" in Italian is sanguinare, which is a regular first conjugation verb. Similar to English, una banca di sangue is a blood bank, una trasfusione di sangue is a blood transfusion, and con parentela di sangue or di parentela di sangue is how one might indicate a blood relation. 

There are actually a lot of figurative uses of the word that corresponds perfectly to English. Sangue caldo (lit. hot blood) is used to describe someone who's hot-headed or impulsive, just as sangue freddo (lit. cold blood) is used to describe a cold-blooded (i.e. emotionless) person. Di sangue blu (lit. blue blood) is likewise used to describe someone with a aristocratic heritage, and di sangue misto or mezzo sangue (lit. mixed blood, half blood) indicates someone of mixed ethnic heritage (and no, it's not a polite thing to say in either language).

Far andare il sangue alla testa (lit. to make blood go to one's head) and sentirsi montare il sangue alla testa (lit. to feel blood climb to one's head) is pretty close to "to make someone blow a gasket" or "to blow a gasket," respectively (i.e. to make someone angry/to feel angry). Con calma a sangue freddo (with calm and cold blood) is something you might hear when someone is asking you to "calm down" or "keep your cool". Dulcis in fundo, one decidedly Italian idiomatic expression is Il vino fa buon sangue (lit. wine makes good blood), which is their equivalent of the English "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." I personally prefer the Italian version.

And since I must go in search of my bicchiere di vino (for health reasons, obviously), I'll end this post. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Amare

Romantic Heart from Love Seeds was provided by   epSos.de  (c).

Romantic Heart from Love Seeds was provided by epSos.de (c).

Amare

v. to love
v. to be in love with
v. to adore, have affection for, enjoy
definitions Corriere.it
conjugations Italian Verbs

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Buon San Valentino (in advance)! And no, amare isn't a typo.

Amare is the verb "to love," which is often confused with the noun amore (love).  Neither should be mistaken for the adjective amaro, which means "bitter." By the way, amare is almost exclusively used in a romantic context. Volere bene is what most would use to indicate platonic love (including but not limited to familial love).  

This is a rather momentous post since it's the last one before my full-time Italian classes officially end. Tomorrow, I get to take the dreaded test (which isn't so scary since I don't actually work for the U.S. government). Mio marito (my husband), however, is on pins and needles, and I have a suspicion he'll forget my Valentine's Day present all together. Nonostante (nonetheless), this blog feature will continue since it forces me to keep up my italiano.

I probably should get back on topic. Amare is followed by a direct object. Per esempio, (io) amo mio marito–I love my husband. I was confused about this at first because one often hears (io) ti amo (I love you) or (tu) mi ami? (Do you love me?). For the longest time I thought ti and mi were indirect objects, and then I discovered certain forms of direct and indirect objects are the same. The only time it gets tricky is when we're in the third person. Amo lui  or l'amo (I love him) is correct while gli amo (I love to him) is incorrect.

Perhaps because piacere (to like) is a bit of a pain to conjugate, some of my fellow students prefer the use of amare or adorare (to adore) in lieu of to like. This is a perfectly acceptable usage (with things, not people). Si può dire (one could say), mio marito ama il cioccolato scuro, particolarmente quello con 99% cacao (my husband loves dark chocolate, especially the ones with 99% cacao). Sì, lui e un po pazzo (yes, he's a little crazy).

Now, you're probably wondering how to say "I'm in love with you." The Italian equivalent of this is (io) sono innamorato/a di te, or (io) sono innamorato/a cotto di te for further emphasis (cotto literally means "baked", but innamorato/a cotto di is the English equivalent of smitten). 

At the risk of getting too deep into the grammar quagmire, amare (or amarsi) can be used reflexively. (Io) mi amo means I love (and/or am satisfied with) myself. It can also be used reciprocally: (noi) ci amiamo means "we love each other", and i miei genitori si amano means "my parents love each other."

And on that note, I'll excuse myself to go study for my test.

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Magari

Photo Credit: My cousin's FB Page (She got this for her B'day). – Magari io avessi questa!

Photo Credit: My cousin's FB Page (She got this for her B'day). – Magari io avessi questa!

Magari

idiom. I wish!
idiom. If only
idiom. If possible
conj. Even if
adv. Maybe, Probably
definitions Corriere.it

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Have mentioned I'm learning the congiuntivo (subjunctive)? As any student of Romance languages knows, the subjunctive is one of the more difficult moods to master (even in English). One of the difficulties is that the change is triggered by a subset of words and phrases. Magari happens to be one of them. 

Grammatical intricacies aside, magari  happens to be one of those all-purpose and extremely useful words. The most common use is as a response for when someone asks you something you wish were true. For example: Guadagni molto soldi come una scrittrice? Magari! - Do you make a lot of money as a writer? I wish!

Related to this use is the idiomatic use of magari to mean "If only." Since I'm a huge fan of green tea-flavored Kit Kat (which is impossible to buy outside Japanese specialty stores), I might be compelled to make this comment on my cousin's Facebook page: Magari avessi ricevuto questi dolci per il giorno di mio compleanno! - If only I received these sweets for my birthday! (Side note: avessi ricevuto  is the trapassato congiuntivo mood for ricevere)

One can also use magari to signify "Yes, if possible." For example, when asked Vorrei una prenotazione? (Would you like a reservation?), you could answer "Sì, magari" or even just "Magari."

Using magari as a conjunction "even if" can be a bit tricky, but here's my attempt: Scrivo piu libri, magari non guadagnassi nessun soldi (I'll write more books even if I won't earn any money).  

Dulcis in fundo (Last but not least), magari is the equivalent of the English adverb maybe or probably. For example, I could say, magari lui è qui (maybe he is here) or magari parlerò italiano quando sarò in Italia (I probably will speak Italian when I'm in Italy). 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink

My Italian Word of the Week - Quarantotto

Photo Credit: Flikr, Mark Hogan (C)

Photo Credit: Flikr, Mark Hogan (C)

Quarantotto

adj. forty-eight
n.m. fig. a state of great confusion, bedlam, and/or pandemonium

definitions Corriere.it

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Due to my Italian classe's recent focus on the congiuntivo (subjunctive mood–believe it or not, it's worse in English), my brain is un po stanco (a little tired)so I must keep this post short and sweet. 

Quarantotto literally means forty-eight. Yes, you guessed right: quaranta means fortyand otto means eight. Since we're on the subject of numbers, I probably should at least go over 1-10:

1-uno, 2-due, 3-tre, 4-quattro, 5-cinque, 6-sei, 7-sette, 8-otto, 9-nove, 10-dieci

So you're probably wondering why I picked 48 as my word of the week. Apparently, 1848 was a particularly unpleasant year in Italy. Secondo Wikipedia (According to Wikipedia, which is something I've said a surprising number of times lately), the period was marred by sconvolgimenti (mayhem) as a result of a series of revolts against Austrian control. 

The situation was so bad, in fact, that the word quarantotto became synonymous with a general state of confusion or bedlam. Depending on the situation, it is now also used to signify a "catastrophe". This expression would be appropriate, for example, when describing the current mess in Atlanta (seriously, folks–2 inches of snow should not a state of emergency make).

In context, one could say fare un quarantotto (to create mayhem), or è successo un quarantotto (great confusion occurred). And on that uplifting note, I'll end this week's post! 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

Permalink