Wednesday

Buon Natale!


Possa questa stagione di festa portare
May this holiday season bring

 Serenità, Pace e Salute a tutti quanti!
Serenity, Peace & Health to all!

Alex on www.viaoptimae.com


Want to send your holiday wishes to friends & family in Italian?  

Here are a few common FRASI DI AUGURI:


Auguri!
Best wishes! / All the best!
Can be used for any holiday or special occasion (including birthdays)


Tanti auguri!
Many of the best wishes!
(More emphatic version of the above.)

Buon Natale!
Merry Christmas!

Auguri di Buon Natale!
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas!

Buone Feste!
Happy Holidays!

Un augurio di buone feste e felice anno nuovo.
Wishing you happy holidays and a happy new year.


~



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Saturday

The most-used nouns: no. 008 VITA

n.008 VITA Caffè Dolce Vita a Roma, foto da Guanche, as seen in ITALIAN: The most-used nouns series on Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com


In this series, we're covering the most used nouns in the Italian language 
(I sostantivi più utilizzati nella lingua italiana)


Numero 8 è…..

 vita (la)

N.008 VITA - life pronunciation & examples excerpt from ITALIAN: The most-used nouns digital magazine from Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
N.008 VITA in ITALIAN: The most-used nouns digital magazine



VITA means life, which you might have known because it is part of a famous movie title and often-used phrase:

LA DOLCE VITA

la dolce vita
the sweet life


Which refers to a life filled with indulgent pleasures and comforts.

You can also say:

la bella vita
the good life
(literally the beautiful life)



fare la bella vita
 to live the good life



Questi sì che fanno la bella vita!:
These guys really are living the good life!:




Pronunciation Note:
When American English speakers say the word vita they have a tendency to pronounce the "T" as more of a "D" sound (because t -> d in between vowels is a common pronunciation rule in American English) In Italian, however,  the "T" should very clearly be a T!


Practice your pronunciation, see more expressions, listen to songs, and more in the newly updated multimedia magazine: 


ITALIAN: The most-used words ITALIAN: The most-used nouns
ITALIAN: The most-used nouns digital magazine





Can you write a sentence using the word vita? Or try Wikiquote and find an aphorism that uses it!



La vita e la bici hanno lo stesso principio, devi continuare a muoverti per stare in equilibrio…
J-Ax
Life and bicycles have the same basic principle, you must keep moving to maintain your balance.  

Comment below! (or on Facebook if you prefer)



Buono Studio!
Alex on www.viaoptimae.com


Initial photo by Guanche su minube.it
all others © 2014 VIA OPTIMAE


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Previous posts in this series:

Sunday

Aggettivi di personalità… Come sei tu?

La personalità.. Come sei tu? Describing your personality, "Shadows in Italy" image by ab for Via Optimae, http://www.viaoptimae.com/2014/11/aggettivi-di-personalita-come-sei-tu.html
La personalità… Come sei tu? Describing your personality… 

In this lesson:
VOCAB: Adjectives of Personality 
GRAMMAR: Masculine vs. Feminine Adjectives 
GRAMMAR: The verb "ESSERE - to be" 
CULTURE: Gender & Addressing a group

Adjectives of Personality


Come sei tu?

Word for word, this is "How are you?", but because it uses the verb "essere" (sei) [and not "stare" as in Come stai?] it is not asking your current state or mood, but rather, generally, how are you... as in What do you look like?, or What is your personality like?

This time, we're going to focus on the personality aspect of this question and look at some possible answers.

No matter what your personality type (or your gender) the answer could start with:


Sono una persona …
I am a …… person.



"Persona" is a feminine noun, no matter if the person is male or a female, so the adjective describing it will be in the feminine as well.



Try browsing some of the possible answers and see which, if any, you recognize. Write down a few, or as many as you like, that apply to you:




Now that you've browsed, use the definitions below to look up any of the terms that you don't know or are unsure about and edit or add to your own personal list as necessary:



AGGETTIVI DI PERSONALITÀ*
*again, all the adjectives are in the feminine, because "persona" is a feminine noun
—also, masculine forms get enough attention as far as I'm concerned! 
(See the Cultural Note at the bottom of this post!)

allegra
cheerful

amichevole
friendly

ansiosa
anxious

arguta
sharp/witty

arrogante
arrogant

assennata
sensible/level-headed

audace
audacious/bold

calma
calm

cattiva
mean/bad

codarda
cowardly

compiacente
obliging/eager to please

comprensiva
understanding

coraggiosa
courageous

decisa
decisive

diligente
diligent

disobbediente
disobedient

disonesta
dishonest

dispettosa
mischievous

distaccata
detached

divertente
fun

dolce
sweet

educata
well-mannered

elegante
refined/graceful

emotiva
emotional

estroversa
extroverted

felice
happy

forte
strong

fredda
cold

gelosa
jealous

generosa
generous

gentile
kind

impacciata
clumsy

impaziente
impatient

impulsiva
impulsive

infelice
unhappy

intelligente
intelligent

introversa
introverted

lunatica
moody

maleducata
rude/ill-mannered

mite
mild-mannered/gentle

modesta
modest

noiosa
boring

obbediente
obedient

onesta
honest

ottimista
(invariable)
optimistic

ottusa
obtuse/dumb

paziente
patient

permalosa
sensitive/touchy


pessimista
(invariable)
pessimistic

pigra
lazy

premurosa
caring/thoughtful

presuntuosa
presumptuous

prudente
prudent/cautious

ribelle
rebellious

sbadata
scatterbrained/careless

scettica
skeptical

scherzosa
joking/playful

scontrosa
surly

scortese
impolite/unkind

sensibile
sensitive

seria
serious

sgarbata
rude

snob 
(invariable)
snobbish

spigliata
self-assured


spregiudicata
unscrupulous/unprejudiced


tetra
gloomy/glum

timida
shy

vanitosa
vain



Looking at your list of adjectives, practice saying them aloud and in full sentences. Starting with the formula from above:


Sono una persona …
…emotiva e permalosa.
...onesta e pigra.
(Just for examples!)


Just as in English, it is possible to say 'I am' and then launch into the adjectives without saying 'a person.' In Italian, however, this means that you will have to be aware of your gender, as well as the gender of your adjectives. If you're female, then you can use all of the adjectives in the form given above. If you're male, however, you will have to switch your adjectives to the masculine form. 

In most cases, if the adjective ends in "a", you change the ending to an "o", as in:

Sono …
…tetra e lunatica. (female)
…tetro e lunatico(male)

In most cases, if the adjective ends in "e", it remains the same for male and female.

Sono …
…sensibile e scortese(male or female)




In the above examples, we see the question in the "tu" or "you" (informal) form: 

Come sei tu?

And the answer in the "io" or "I form":

Sono una persona...

It is, of course, possible to talk about the personalities of other people as well. For this, you will need to know the other forms of the verb ESSERE:


Essere in the present tense, conjugations, io sono tu sei lui/lei è, noi siamo, voi siete, loro sono, by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com

So, following this chart, we could say..

(io) Sono… comprensiva.
(tu) Sei… comprensiva.
(lui) È… comprensivo.
(lei) È… comprensiva.
(Lei) È… comprensivo/a.
(noi) Siamo… comprensivi.*
(voi) Siete… comprensivi.*
(loro) Sono… comprensivi.*


Tutto il mondo è comprensivo!
The whole world is understanding!


*Notice how the adjective ending changed?  That's because noi, voi, and loro are PLURAL forms and so require also PLURAL adjectives. Not sure about pluralization rules?  Check out: Pluralization

For additional practice, think of people in your life and use the adjectives above to describe them.

—Com'è tua madre?
—Mia madre è…

—Com'è il tuo amico?
—Il mio amico è…

—Come sono i tuoi professori?
—I miei professori sono… 


Hai capito? (Got it?)  

"Like" Via Optimae on Facebook and share your own personality descriptions!


Ciao! Mi chiamo Alex e sono una persona 
cattiva e dispettosa
 (o forse solo scherzosa!)
or maybe just a jokester!


Come sei tu?


Buono studio!
Alex on www.viaoptimae.com





CULTURE: Gender & Addressing a group
In general, you use masculine forms to address men and feminine forms to address women, but what if you're addressing a mixed group?  Well, in that case, the masculine form wins out. Even if there are three hundred women and just one man— the grammar books say that you should use the masculine.

I watched a television series recently in which they played with this idea.  The boss of a women's magazine frequently addresses her employees using feminine forms, much to the dismay of the lone male employee.   He cites grammar rules as justification for why she should use masculine forms, but this only drives her character to use the feminine with more gusto.  This shows how changing gender roles can affect longstanding linguistic rules—or at least how those rules can be used as fodder for comedy in a television series! {I'm on the lookout for the clip and will post it if I find it— From what I remember, it's pretty funny!}




Potrebbero interessarti
ITALIAN: Beginners Series:
  (1) How Italian verbs work(Intro to verbs & grammar terms)
  (6) Ogni quanto? Quante volte? (Describing 'how often'/ how many times)
  (7) C'è & Ci sono  (There is | There are)





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Wednesday

Fiume di Luna | Moon River

Frasi celebri — Colazione da Tiffany  |
Famous quotes in translation — Breakfast at Tiffany's


I've always been interested in how films are translated from one language to another, especially the iconic and often highly idiomatic lines that are quoted and used in conversation time and again. Thanks to Halloween (and my need for a costume)— Breakfast at Tiffany's has been on my mind.  I wondered, what does Italian Holly Golightly—the main character played by Audrey Hepburn— call the rats and super rats that she frequently dates?  The answer:  


verme (il)
worm, maggot, despicable person
(in Breakfast at Tiffany's— rat)


superverme (il)
an especially despicable person
(in Breakfast at Tiffany's— super rat)

Pensavo che fosse un verme.
I thought he was just a rat,
Invece è un super verme, ecco.
but he was a super rat all along.
Un super verme, sotto spoglie di verme. 
 A super rat in rat's clothing.



sotto spoglie di ____
in _____'s  clothing


~

In some cases, the lines must be changed dramatically and in others, the translation offers a simple glimpse into a new vocabulary word or the grammatical differences between English and Italian.  Take a look at some of the lines— including the classic theme song Moon River by Henry Mancini— and see if you can understand first without looking at the original English.  Then compare the two and see if you can glean any new words, expressions, or grammatical structures.  



Moon River translation in Italian: Fiume di Luna, citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
Original: Moon River, wider than a mile.  I'm crossing you in style… some day.

Fiume di Luna
Moon River
più ampio di un miglio
Wider than a mile
Ti attraverserò con stile, un giorno
I'm crossin' you in style, some day
Vecchio creatore di sogni
Old dream maker
Tu spezzacuori
You heartbreaker
Ovunque tu andrai io seguirò il tuo corso
Wherever you're goin' I'm goin' your way
Due vagabondi in giro a vedere il mondo
Two drifters off to see the world
C'è così tanto mondo, da vedere
There's such a lot of world, to see
Entrambi cerchiamo la fine dello stesso arcobaleno
We're after the same rainbow's end
Che ci aspetta dietro la curva
Waitin' round the bend
Il mio migliore amico
My huckleberry friend
Fiume di Luna, ed io.
Moon River, and me.
~
Povero amore senza nome (Poor slob without a name) citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
He's all right! Aren't you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name!
  ~


Se io trovassi un posto a questo mondo che mi facesse sentire come da Tiffany, comprerei i mobili e darei al gatto un nome.
If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name.

da ______
at _______'s place/house

da PensieriParole <http://www.pensieriparole.it/film/c/colazione-da-tiffany-(1961)/citazione-57612?f=w:502>

~



Qualche volta è bello essere presa per una balorda, citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
Original: It's useful being top banana in the shock department.



balordo(a) (il/la)
fool, imbecile, buffoon



 ~


Ti ci vorrebbero almeno quattro secondi per andare di qui alla porta: te ne do due.
It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I'll give you two.





volerci
to take/require (as in time to do something)


 ~


Perché non passiamo la giornata a fare cose mai fatte prima, citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
Well, I've got a wonderful idea. We'll spend the day doing things we've never done before. We'll take turns. First, something you've never done, then me. 'Course I can't think of anything I've never done.


~

Niente male se ti piacciono gli uomini bruni, belli e appassionati, con l'aria da nababbi e troppi denti.
He's all right, I suppose. If you like dark, handsome, rich-looking men with passionate natures and too many teeth.

nababbo (un)
lit. Nabob (historically— an Indian ruler)
fig. somebody who's very wealthy, influential or powerful

~

Certe luci della ribalta rovinano la carnagione a una ragazza, citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion.

ribalta (la)
front/center stage


~

Non permetterò a nessuno di mettermi in gabbia!, citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
I'll never let anybody put me in a cage.
La gabbia te la sei già costruita, citazione / quote, image © Paramount Pictures 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Colazione da Tiffany, text added by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com
Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.



All photos: Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961 © Paramount Pictures
(Italian quotes added by Alex for Via Optimae)



What do you think?  Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!


Buono studio!
Alex on www.viaoptimae.com

~

Vedi anche….(See also)
 "Alla tua salute, bambina"— Casablanca quotes in translation
(Also includes tips on how to watch movies to improve language)


See also:

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae
Acque del sud (To Have and Have Not) original: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow."