Monday, August 27, 2012

Que causa vol dire?

First of all it was perque meaning both why? and because. Now it's a double negative: non o niente - I don't have nothing = I have nothing.

Those who say English is a complicated language to learn must not never have tried learning Italian.

Husband and I can usually say what is required on our teach-yourself-Italian course - between us and if we're allowed 3 minutes per sentence. But it will be irrelevant anyway as we won't be able to understand what's being said to us. 

Yesterday the man on the cd said, 'Now you're going to hear a conversation that will be conducted at what is more like normal speed for Italians.' Ha ha ha ha ha. I couldn't follow at less-than-normal speed.
Que causa vol dire? What does that mean? We learned that yesterday and could be saying it a lot. That and 'non capisco' (I don't understand) and 'parla troppo velocimente, per favore' (speak more slowly please).

And we're on lesson 29 and still no mention of ice cream. We can, in theory, tell you how many miles to Venice, ask you to put petrol in the car, and find out where the toilet is; we could even follow simple directions or ask for the bill; but gelato hasn't figured anywhere and there are only 30 lessons in part 1 of the course.

We watched Montalbano on television on Saturday. Italian with English subtitles. I understood maybe three words ...


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

What you could do with is watching a few episodes of an Italian soap opera ... a sort of Corrie with nonnas and pioggia . Anyway , you'll be honoured guests and charm them all !

nick said...

I think a double negative like non ho niente is found in quite a few languages. And I totally sympathise with not understanding what's being said to you. Most Italians speak so fast it's impossible to grasp a word unless you're totally tuned in to the language (which I'm not). Not only that, but as soon as they realise you're not fluent in Italian they switch to English so you don't get much chance to learn the language.

Gelati! Gelati! Dové sono i gelati?