Friday, September 16, 2011

Mi piace, non mi piace

Words I hate in Italian (to say or write)

5. conchiglia - sea shell

4. sto piangendo - I'm crying. I don't know why I have a mental block in remembering this verb. And no worries, I'm not spending my days crying - it was part of my homework.

3. trenta tre - thirty three. Those rolling "r"s get me every time.

2. ciliegia - Cherry, and an undesirable combination of sounds foreign to American vocal cords.

1. Sciacchetrà - pronounced "shah-keh-traH", it's the local dessert wine of the Cinque Terre, made of grapes that have naturally aged on the vine (think raisins) and then are made into this rare and expensive after dinner drink. A blend of local Vermentino, Bosco and Albarola, Sciacchetrà is a dialect word for to "crush and take off", which is what is done to the grapes and the skins in the process of making it. Some research into this nightmare word revealed to me that a double "c" is not that common in dialect, and it is thought that it was influenced by Tuscan mispronunciation of Ligurian dialect, but, really, I don't need to point a finger at a specific region for inventing such a tongue twister.

My favorite words (primarily because I can pronounce them and I think they sound beautiful):

5. piuma: feather

4. zenzero: ginger root. It sounds zippy and spicy just like ginger with all those "z"'s

3. sirenetta: mermaid

2. figurati: a phrase that you can use for, literally, 1,000 things. It's not like the direct translation, but is used to say "you're welcome" or as a response to an "expression of gratitude". Sort of like a "oh, it was my pleasure, no worries". Here is a good list of some of the uses for it:
"Figurati" -
"You're welcome"

"Posso prendere un'altro biscotto?""Ma figurati..."
"Can I have another biscuit?""But of course..."

"Figurati se viene..."
"As if he's going to show up..." -

"Se io ho problemi di soldi, figurati per i disoccupati..."
"If I have money problems, what more for the unemployed..."

1. Right now, "certo" is probably my most said, but
it's hard to pick a favorite! Even the words I hate, when you start to say them correctly, they become words you love. It's such a beautiful language that I massacre every day. Sigh.

No comments:

Post a Comment