Tag Archives: Italian language

Learn Italian Through Signs

above: Here where the Archbishop of Milan held court, where with the bitter duel of Ramengo and Lupo amidst the jokes and songs of Tremacoldo, T. Grossi [the author?] gave a life of courtesy and tragic passions to Ottorino and Bice, a faithful portrait of an ungrateful age in which will dominate the figure of Read More…

above: Here where the Archbishop of Milan held court, where with the bitter duel of Ramengo and Lupo amidst the jokes and songs of Tremacoldo, T. Grossi [the author?] gave a life of courtesy and tragic passions to Ottorino and Bice, a faithful portrait of an ungrateful age in which will dominate the figure of Marco Visconti. Here [in] the hundred and first year since the publication of the novel “The Bellanese”, with wishes for a new century of faith, probity, and glory, this memorial [set] on September 8th, 1935 – 13th year of the Fascist era.This plaque on a building in Bellano commemorates a novel we’ve never heard of – evidently the pious hopes of those who set the stone have not come true (but it appears that they themselves forgot to commemorate the book’s 100th year!). Note that there has been some attempt to whitewash that last line about the Fascist era.
handicap

Awareness Campaign

I can’t think of a good translation forsensibilizzazione. It means to make someone sensitive to or aware of something.

City Government of Lecco

Comune can refer to the city, the city government, or the town hall building (though the building can also be called the municipio).

Want my [parking] place? Take my handicap!

Note the use of the English word. A handicapped person is called un portatore di handicap or (less PC)handicappato. The h is usually not pronounced.

stoppanimori

“In this place where Engineer Edoardo Stoppani accidentally died, His son Eugenio to the eternal memory of his defunct parent, Erected this refuge 1905” – note use of the passato remoto (remote past tense), rarely used in everyday speech anymore, at least in northern Italy. A rifugio is a mountain refuge to give shelter to hikers.

 

Smoke hurts/is bad for you.
Better not to smoke.
That’s good for everybody.

sign in a restaurant in Intra (or thereabouts)

il fumo fa male

salviamo la costituzione

^ Committee “Save the Constitution Born from the Resistance” (members of a parade on April 25th, Italy’s Liberation Day)

ricchi snob

^ “Rich snobs [who] pretend to be pop artists.” A comment added to wall graffiti, presumably by real pop artists.

lanimaleabb

The Abandoned Animal

Two big eyes, an infinite sadness
Hunger, thirst, the will to live!
After the past, they took away his future,
But he’s there to love you again, ever more, that’s sure,
He speaks to you in silence, he asks you for a hand
And you, dear friend, why do you look away?

Eva Bertolini

This sign sits in a piazza in Lecco.

learn italian in signs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Education in Italy: One Foreign Parent’s Views & Experiences

Caveat: The articles in this section are based on my family’s experience of the Italian education system in a specific time and place: Milan, and later Lecco, from 1991 to 2007. I haven’t lived in Italy all my life, nor ever attended any Italian educational institution myself, so my views may be biased, and your mileage may Read More…

Caveat: The articles in this section are based on my family’s experience of the Italian education system in a specific time and place: Milan, and later Lecco, from 1991 to 2007. I haven’t lived in Italy all my life, nor ever attended any Italian educational institution myself, so my views may be biased, and your mileage may vary based on your location, specific school, and specific child.

Homeschooling in Italy

Yes, it is possible. I don’t know much about it, though I investigated briefly a few years ago.

Adult Continuing Education

One option for distance learning: the Open University (I did my MBA with them).

Learn Italian in Song: I Watussi

One of the most popular songs of all time in Italy, written and recorded by Edoardo Vianello. Outside of Italy, the lyrics don’t stand up to today’s politically-correct scrutiny, but keep in mind that, when this first came out in 1963, Americans were dancing "The Watusi," and it was still okay to call black people Read More…

One of the most popular songs of all time in Italy, written and recorded by Edoardo Vianello. Outside of Italy, the lyrics don’t stand up to today’s politically-correct scrutiny, but keep in mind that, when this first came out in 1963, Americans were dancing "The Watusi," and it was still okay to call black people (er, African-Americans) "negroes".

 

 
Nel continente nero,   In the black continent  
alle falde del Kilimangiaro,   at the slopes of Kilimanjaro  
ci sta un popolo di negri   There’s a population of negroes  
che ha inventato tanti balli   who have invented many dances  
il più famoso è l’hully gully, hully gully hully guuu…   the most famous is the hully-gully  
       
ritornello:   refrain:  
Siamo i Watussi, siamo i Watussi,   We’re the Watusi, we’re the Watusi,  
gli altissimi negri,   the very tall negroes  
ogni tre passi, ogni tre passi,   every three steps, every three steps  
facciamo sei metri.   we make six meters.  
       
Noi siamo quelli che nell’Equatore   We are those who on the Equator  
vediamo per primi la luce del sole   see the light of the sun first  
siamo i Watussi.   we’re the Watusi.  
Siamo i Watussi, siamo i Watussi,   We’re the Watusi, we’re the Watusi,  
gli altissimi negri,   the very tall negroes  
quello più basso, quello più basso,   The shortest [of us]…  
è alto due metri.   is two meters tall  
Qui ci scambiamo l’amore profondo   Here we exchange profound love  
dandoci i baci più alti del mondo   giving each other the highest kisses in the world  
siamo i Watussi.   we’re the Watusi  
Alle giraffe guardiamo negli occhi,   We look giraffes in the eye  
agli elefanti parliamo negli orecchi,   We talk to elephants in their ears  
se non credete venite quaggiù,   If you don’t believe, come down here  
venite venite quaggiù…   come, come down here.  
       
Ogni capanna del nostro villaggio   Every hut in our village  
ha perlomeno tre metri di raggio   is at least three meters in diameter  
siamo i Watussi.   we’re the Watusi.  
       
Quando le donne stringiamo sul cuore   When we hug the women to our hearts  
noi con le stelle parliamo d’amore   we talk with the stars of love  
siamo i Watussi.   we’re the Watusi.  

Learn Italian in Song: Volare

To Fly The original, as sung by Domenico Modugno fifty years ago at the Eurovision song contest. The Dean Martin version is far from a literal translation. I have trouble hearing this song without picturing Ricardo Montalbano singing about a car with "rrrrrich Corrrinthian leather."     Penso che un sogno così non ritorni mai Read More…

To Fly

The original, as sung by Domenico Modugno fifty years ago at the Eurovision song contest. The Dean Martin version is far from a literal translation. I have trouble hearing this song without picturing Ricardo Montalbano singing about a car with "rrrrrich Corrrinthian leather."

 

 
Penso che un sogno così non ritorni mai più:   I think a dream like this can never return again:  
mi dipingevo le mani e la faccia di blu,   I painted my hands and face blue  
poi d’improvviso venivo dal vento rapito   Then suddenly I was swept away by the wind  
e incominciavo a volare nel cielo infinito…   and I began to fly in the infinite sky…  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!   to sing…  
nel blu, dipinto di blu,   In the blue, painted blue,  
felice di stare lassù.   happy to stay up here.  
E volavo volavo felice più in alto del sole ed ancora più su,   And I flew, I flew, happy, higher than the sun and higher still,  
mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù,   while the world slowly disappeared far away down there,  
una musica dolce suonava soltanto per me…   a swee music played only for me  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
   
Ma tutti sogni nell’alba svaniscon perché,   But all dreams vanish in the dawn because  
quando tramonta, la luna li porta con sé,   when it sets, the moon takes them away with it  
Ma io continuo a sognare negli occhi tuoi belli,   But I keep dreaming in your beautiful eyes  
che sono blu come un cielo trapunto di stelle.   which are blue as a sky studded with stars  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!   to sing…  
nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu,   In the blue of your blue eyes  
felice di stare quaggiù.   Happy to stay down here.  
       
E continuo a volare felice più in alto del sole ed ancora più su,   And I continue to fly happily, higher than the sun and higher still,  
mentre il mondo pian piano scompare negli occhi tuoi blu,   While the world slowly disappears into your blue eyes  
la tua voce è una musica dolce che suona per me…   Your voice is a sweet music that plays for me…  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!   to sing…  
nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu,   In the blue of your blue eyes,  
felice di stare quaggiù.   happy to stay down here  
con te!   with you!  

Learn Italian in Song: Voglio Volere

I Want to Want Ligabue Voglio un mondo comico voglio un mondo che faccia ridere un cielo comodo che qualcuno s’affacci a rispondere voglio svegliarmi quando voglio da tutti i miei sogni voglio trovarti sempre qui ogni volta che io ne ho bisogno voglio volere tutto cosi voglio riuscire a non crescere voglio portarti in Read More…

I Want to Want

Ligabue

Voglio un mondo comico
voglio un mondo che faccia ridere
un cielo comodo
che qualcuno s’affacci a rispondere
voglio svegliarmi quando voglio
da tutti i miei sogni
voglio trovarti sempre qui
ogni volta che io ne ho bisogno

voglio volere tutto cosi
voglio riuscire a non crescere
voglio portarti in un posto che
tu proprio non puoi conoscere
voglio tenere qualcosa per me per me

voglio il tempo libero
si ma libero proprio ogni attimo
e alzare il minimo
con la vita che mi fa il solletico
voglio restare sempre sveglio
con tutti i miei sogni
voglio tornare vergine
ogni volta che io ce n’ho voglia

voglio volere tutto cosi
voglio riuscire a non crescere
voglio portarti in un posto che
tu proprio non puoi conoscere
voglio tenere qualcosa per me
per me

voglio volere
io voglio un mondo all’altezza dei sogni che ho
voglio volere

voglio deciderlo io se mi basta o se no
voglio volere
voglio godermela tutta fin quando si può
voglio un mondo comico
che se ne frega se sembra ridicolo
un mondo facile
che paga lui e vuole fare lo splendido
voglio non dire mai “è tardi”
oppure “peccato”
voglio che ogni attimo
sia sempre meglio di quello passato

voglio volere tutto cosi
voglio riuscire a non crescere
voglio portarti in un posto che
tu proprio non puoi conoscere
voglio tenere qualcosa per me
per me

voglio volere
io voglio un mondo all’altezza dei sogni che ho
voglio volere
voglio deciderlo io se mi basta o se no
voglio volere
voglio godermela tutta fin quando si può

I want a comic world
I want a world that makes me laugh
a comfortable sky
that someone shows his face to respond
I want to wake up when I want
from all my dreams
I want to find you always here
every time I need you.

I want to want everything like this
I want to manage to not grow
I want to take you to a place that
you really can’t know
I want to keep something for me
for me
I want free time
yes, but really free, every moment
and to raise the minimum
with life that tickles me
I want to always stay awake
with all my dreams
I want to return to virginity
every time I want to

I want to want everything like this
I want to manage to not grow
I want to take you to a place that
you really can’t know
I want to keep something for me
for me
I want to want
I want a world worthy of
the dreams I have
I want to want
I want to decide if that’s enough for me or not
I want to want
I want to enjoy it all as long as possible
I want a comic world
that doesn’t care if it seems ridiculous
an easy world
that pays and wants to be
splendid
I want to never say “It’s late”
or “too bad”
I want that every moment
is always better than
the one just past

I want to want everything like this
I want to manage to not grow
I want to take you to a place that
you really can’t know
I want to keep something for me
for me

I want to want
I want a world worth of the dreams I have
I want to want

I want to decide whether that’s enough or not
I want to want
I want to enjoy it all as long as possible