Recent Blog Posts
- La Pasqua: Easter Eye Candy [a foto blog]
- Top 10 Reasons People Study Italian
- International Women’s Day – Auguri alle donne!
- Verona is for lovers… and graffiti artists + Valentine’s Love Phrases
- “Blackbird Days”: Italy’s Distant Cousin to Groundhog Day
- A proposito di propositi… Speaking of Resolutions… + Quizlet Practice Set!
- Arriva la Befana | The Befana Is Coming
- Lentils for Luck – Italian Recipe for a Prosperous New Year
Tag Archives: italian expressions
[Note: Any text in Italian is followed by the English translation.]
È giunto quel momento: un nuovo anno luccicante è iniziato! Un anno pieno di possibilità e buoni propositi, cioè tutti quegli atti e nobili intenzioni che vorremmo riuscire a mettere in pratica nei prossimi dodici mesi.
That moment has arrived: a shiny new year has begun! A year full of possibilities and resolutions, that is to say, all those actions and noble intentions that we’d like to be able to put into practice in the next twelve months.
Ecco i miei, o perlomeno tre dei miei più importanti obiettivi:
Here are mine, or at least three of my most important goals:
– Get back in shape… seeing that last year I put on weight and can no longer get into my jeans… darn it! I have already signed up for an intensive exercise program.
– Imparare a gestire e investire intelligentemente i soldi… visto che ormai sono diventata responsabile con le finanze, è giunto il momento di procedere al prossimo traguardo… Sono brava con le parole, ora voglio migliorare le capacità finanziarie.
– Learn to intelligently manage and invest money… seeing that by now I have become responsible with my finances, the moment has arrived to move to the next milestone… I’m good with words; now I want to improve my financial skills.
– Imparare a cantare e a usare bene la voce. È sempre stato il mio sogno poter cantar bene, o almeno decentemente (possibilmente evitando che i cani abbaino mentre intono una canzone). In più, visto che parlo per mestiere, apprendere l’uso corretto dell’apparato vocale-respiratorio penso sia un buon investimento nella mia vita professionale.
– Learn to sing and use my voice well. It has always been my dream to be able to sing well, or at least decently (possibly avoiding that dogs howl when I sing a song). Moreover, seeing that I speak for a living, I believe that learning to correctly use my vocal-respiratory apparatus is a good investment in my professional life.
Questi sono i miei propositi per il 2015. Le aspirazioni e i sogni che punto a realizzare. Dichiararli agli altri è sempre difficile, ma fondamentale. Per questo vi chiedo di condividere anche i vostri. Che cosa farete nel nuovo anno? Come investirete il vostro tempo? Per quali obiettivi lotterete?
These are my resolutions for 2015. Aspirations and dreams that I aim to realize. Declaring them to others is always difficult but essential. For this reason, I’m asking you to share yours, too. What will you do in the new year? How will you invest your time? What goals will you strive for?
Auguro a tutti un anno felice e pieno di creatività!
I wish everyone a happy new year full of creativity!
March 8th is International Women’s Day. This day is observed widely in many countries around the world. Oddly though, it is not observed in the United States. In fact, the first time I’d heard of it was shortly after I’d moved to Italy.
In italia la Festa della Donna si festeggia l’8 di marzo. | In Italy, Women’s day is celebrated on March 8th.
Gli uomini regalano i fiori, solitamente le mimose, alle colleghe di lavoro e a tutte le altre donne importanti nelle loro vite… mamme, sorelle, fidanzate, ragazze, ecc. | Men give flowers, usually mimosas, to their female colleagues and to all the other important women in their lives… moms, sisters, fiances, girlfriends, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, the mimosa is not just a popular cocktail made from succo d’arancia (orange juice) and champagne, though I suspect this drink was inspired by the true mimosa.
The mimosa is the fragrant and fluffy yellow pom-pom-like flower of the acacia tree. California is full of these trees this time of year, as is Italy, which is why this flower is so common on this day. I love the smell of these flowers — their fragrance zooms me straight back to wonderful memories.
Below are a few Women’s Day auguri (greetings) to share with someone special:
- “Questa mimosa è bella come te che splendi e profumi nel giorno della tua festa.” | This mimosa is as beautiful as you that shine and are fragrant on your special day.
- “Auguri a tutte le donne del mondo ed in particolare alla mia che è la più bella che ci sia!” | Good wishes to all the women of the world and in particular to mine who is the most beautiful there is!
- “La donna è la colonna portante del mondo, senza te tutto crollerebbe e la nostra famiglia andrebbe in rovina… Grazie donna, grazie mamma.” | The woman is the main supporting column of the world, without you everything would collapse and our family would go into ruin… Thank you woman, thank you mom.
Women’s Day is a celebration of all that is wonderful about women, and it is a day to pause and reflect on the accomplishments and importance of the role of women in our world. It’s also a moment to consider improvements and changes needed to better the quality of women ‘s lives in general, and especially of women and girls whose rights and life conditions are extremely compromised or perilous.
Remember to give an extra hug or shout out to the women who matter in your life today. And remember also the women whose lives are not what they could be. We’ve come a long way baby, ma c’è ne ancora di strada da fare! (there’s still a ways to go!)
Have you heard of Women’s Day before? Do you celebrate it? Which mimosa do you prefer, the flower or the cocktail? 😉 Love your comments!
Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) didn’t check everything off your list? Not to worry. You get a second chance tonite.
Kid’s all over Italy are getting ready to hang up their stockings for la Befana to fill this eve of Epiphany, January 6, the day of when the wise men are said to have arrived in Bethlehem.
Just like Babbo Natale, la Befana flies through the air (in place of a sleigh with reindeer, the Befana flies a broomstick – both pretty incredible, really) from house to house where there are bambini, entering by way of il camino (the chimney) and leaving treats for i bambini che sono stati buoni (the kids who have been good) and coal for i bambini cattivi (the naughty children). No mention is made of whether she has a list that she checks twice, but I digress . . .
Where Babbo Natale is rotund, merry, white-bearded and dressed in red and white, la Befana is depicted as a smiling , grandmotherly-looking witch, wearing tattered clothing and covered in soot astride a broomstick.
So what do we know of la Befana’s origins? Well, it’s all pretty much lore; just like what we know of Santa from “Santa Claus is coming to Town”, etc., it’s pretty fantastical… and both seem like stories that pre-date Christian traditions.
The most common story I encounter is that la Befana lived along the route the Magi took to the Natvity Scene. In this version, they stopped at her house seeking food and shelter, but she wasn’t feeling sociable and sent them away. Later, la Befana has a change of heart and sets out to find the Magi, and to accompany them to find the Christ Child. But by now, she’s too late to catch up, and she never finds the child. So, as the story goes, to this day, at this time of year, she still travels the world, leaving gifts for every child, lest they be il Gesu` Bambino (the Baby Jesus).
What does the Befana bring to good children? That depends on the traditions (and budget) of the household where they live. Most just get little treats, candies and gizmos, similar to what St. Nick (from whom Santa Claus derives) puts in stockings of kids whose families observe St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6), but some lucky kids get iPods and other such fancy loot!
Most cities hold special events and parties dedicated to celebrating la festa dell’Epifania/la Befana (Epiphany holiday). People play bingo and cards, and gather outdoors in the piazze (squares) for festivities, including music, processions, live nativity scenes, open-air markets, live appearances by la Befana, and more. You’ll find links to a few of these happenings below.
And while it’s mainly a celebration for the kiddies, you’ll find adults getting in on the action, too, dressing up and parading around as la Befana in carne e ossa (in the flesh). The picture here looks like a sort of Befana bunny hop!
Feeling festive? Perhaps you want to get into the act, too. This could be a great time to adopt a fun new tradition, with kids and family or friends and housemates. All you need is una calza (a sock or stocking) – any type, even a long sock will do – and some little treats!
Have you ever heard of or celebrated la Befana? Comments welcome!
Let me just start this blog post with a disclaimer: I am fully aware that while the pun “A good sign” works in English, it gets lost in translation. Still, it was catchy, so I went with it.
This blog post is about signs, the kind you read, so the post title, A Good Sign, is a play on words. [My inner grammar geek wants you to know those are homonyms: 2 different words with the same spelling and pronunciation: sign, as in road sign, and sign like an omen.] In Italian however, there is more than one word for sign: the sign you read is un cartello, a road sign is un’indicazione stradale , street signs are targhe stradali and an omen is un segno (as in un buon segno, as in the blog title).
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let me introduce this week’s Foto Blog gallery. Looking through the Venice photos from my recent Italy trip, I noticed a preponderance of really cool signs (the kind you read), and I thought to myself, this is a sign to do a blog post!
So without more ado, here are some of my favorite signs around Venice. Che ne pensate? (Whaddaya think?) These are some good signs, aren’t they?! My favorite is the last one. What about you?
Lavori in corso / Work in progress (Men at Work)
Un operaio che affigge un permesso di costruzione dal Comune di Venezia / A construction worker displays a work permit from the city of Venice
Targa stradale per la calle del Ponte Storto / Street sign for Crooked Bridge Lane (The word calle is Venetian dialect, pronounced /cahl-lay/, means alley or lane; the Italian word is vicolo.)
Dei volantini e annunci vari / Various fliers and announcements
Cartello attaccato ad un cancello: “basta BASTA e basta CON LE CACCHE DEI CANI. SIAMO INCAZZATI FURIOSI.” / Sign stuck to an entry gate: “enough ENOUGH and enough WITH THE DOG DOO-DOO. WE ARE FURIOUSLY P*SSED OFF.”
TO READ IN ITALIAN, SCROLL DOWN PAST PHOTOS
I must admit I have a soft spot for those little 3-wheeled trucks you see in Italy – they’re adorable. That’s why I didn’t miss any chances to let them mug up to the camera during my recent trip to the Bel Paese (Italy’s nickname, meaning “Beautiful Country”).
You see so many more vehicles with fewer than 4 wheels in Italy than in the States… of course bicycles and motorcycles are included in this group, but the object of my fascination today is the mini 3-wheeler pick-up trucks that you see in towns and cities used as service vehicles and for deliveries. With their one front wheel and 2 in the back, I’m always amazed that these things can balance, and by how small they are (1-2 seats), and by how much they can haul … perfect for zipping thru the windy, narrow streets of an ancient Italian city!
Reminiscent of a rickshaw, these mini pick-up trucks, called Ape (meaning bee and pronounced /AH-pay/), have been produced since 1948 by the Piaggio company (also maker of the Vespa, meaning hornet). In fact, the first model was made from a Vespa with two rear wheels attached to a small boxed-in flatbed structure. The 3-wheeled Ape was the answer to merchants in post-war Italy who could not afford larger 4-wheeled trucks, and it played an important role in powering Italy’s economic reconstruction.
Today the 3-wheeler “Bees” are still widely used in Italy for transporting materials and goods and for light work in the country… and, for a number of years now they have enjoyed a new-found application—people have been outfitting them with high-powered (1.8-2.0 liter) car engines for racing in popular “Ape-Car” races!
Omg! Hilarious, I think I have discovered a new guilty pleasure. Ape-Car races (I can no longer make fun of Nascar fans…) this must be so much fun to do, I want to race an Ape! Watch for yourself, and then come back and leave a comment on this page — Per favore!
Comment: Have you seen any “Api” in Italia? Got any “Ape” stories? Which is your favorite photo? Wanna race an Ape?
VIDEO: Ape-Car Races!
Devo ammettere che ho un punto debole per quei furgoncini a tre ruote che si vedono in Italia – li trovo adorabili. Ecco perche’ non ho perso nessun’occasione per fotografarli nel mio recente viaggio nel Bel Paese.
Si vedono tanti veicoli in piu’ con meno di quattro ruote in Italia che negli USA… e certo che anche le bici e le moto vengono compresi in questa categoria, pero’ l’oggetto del mio fascino oggi e’ il camioncino a tre ruote che si vede utilizzato nei paesini e le citta’ come veicolo di servizio e per le consegne. Con la loro unica ruota davanti e le due di dietro, sempre mi meraviglio che riescano a tenersi in bilico e a quanto sono piccoli (da 1-2 posti) e a quanto possono trasportare… sono perfetti per sfrecciare per le strette e serpeggianti strade delle antiche citta’ italiane!
Rievocativo di un riscio’, questi motocarri si chiamano Ape e vengono prodotti dalla Piaggio (la stessa societa’ che fabbrica le Vespa) fin dal 1948. In fatti il primo modello fu costruito da una Vespe a due ruote motrici con applicato sopra al telaio un cassoncino. L’Ape era una soluzione ai mercanti dell’Italia post-guerra che non potevano permettersi l’acquisto di un mezzo a quattro ruote ed ha giocato un ruolo importante nella ricostruzione dell’economia italiana.
Oggi i motocarri “Ape” vengono ancora molto utilizzati per il trasporto merci e materiali o per piccoli lavori di campagna… e da qualche anno a questa parte vengono utilizzati anche per vere e proprie gare di “Ape-Car” utilizzando motori d’auto anche di grossa cilindrata 1600/2000cc!
Hai visto delle “Api” in Italia” Hai qualche storia in merito? Qual e’ la tuo foto preferita?
(Tante grazie al mio amico ed assistente editoriale onorario Enzo D’Albis!)
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