Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - piante e fiore

Today's word list in Italian is about plants and flowers.

Pianta, piante - plants
margherita - daisy
rosa - rose
rose - roses
rosaio - rose bush
arbusto - shrub
arbusti - shrubbery
felce - ferns
verde - greenery,also the color green
ciclamino - cyclamen
lilla - lillac
giglio - lily
mughetto - lily of the valley
lavanda - lavender
violetta - violets (violetto is the color violet)
viola - pansy
vaso - vase, flower pot
semi - seeds
girasole, girasoli - sunflower, sunflowers
garofano - carnation
bocca de leone - snapdragon
giancint0 - hyacinth

These flowers need no translations:

and one of my favorite flowers - scabiosa

What are your favorite flowers?

P.S. I'm still reviewing so the list is longer than 10 words but soon, I'll be whittling them down to 10 new words.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - La Familia

Tomorrow, we are having a combination birthday party for mia carina prozia and a family re-union pot luck picnic so while I am waiting for stuff to cook, I thought I catch up on all the various names for family members in Italian.

genitori - parents
madre/padre/mamma/papà - you know these guys
babbo - dad
Nonno/a/i - grandfather/grandmother/grandparents
bisnonno/a/i - great-grandfather/great-grandmother/great grand parents
trisavolo/a/i - great-great grandparents
zio/zia/zii/zie - uncle, aunt
prozio/a - great-uncle/aunt
nipote - grandchild/niece/nephew
pronipote - great grandchild/nephew/niece
trisnipote - great-great grandchild, etc.
cugino/a/i- cousin/s
fratello - brother
sorella - sister
figlio/figlia - son/daughter
fratellino - little brother
sorellina - little sister
fratellastro - stepbrother
sorellastra - stepsister
figliastro/a - step-son/daughter
matrigna - step-mother
patrigno - step-father
suocero/a - father/mother-in-law
genero - son-in-law
nuora -daughter-in-law
cognato/a- brother/sister in-law
parente - relative
parenti acquisiti - in-laws
gemelli - twins

Did I forget anyone?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - pesce, crostacei and frutti di mare

The review list is getting shorter! I'm not a big fish or seafood fan so why did I bother to learn these words? Because nothing is worse than ordering something you don't like! I love to eat dungeness crab and shrimp or fish and chips when I am in London, otherwise, I would just as soon avoid eating octopus, eel or what we always used for bait when my dad took us fishing - mussels. So, here is the list of foods, I'd rather not eat for the most part!

pesce, crostacei e frutti di mare fish, shellfish and seafood
lo squalo - shark
il salmone - salmon
spigola/branzino - bass
acciughe fresche - fresh anchovies
sogliola - sole
merluzzo - cod
gambaretto - shrimp
vongole - clams
calamari - squid
pesce spada - swordfish
cozze - mussels
granchio - crab
polpo/piovra - octopus
anguilla - eel

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - Veggies!

Okay, I know this is another list larger than 10 words, but they are review and believe it or not, posting them on the internet has motivated me work on my italian lessons this last week. Today's review list is verdure or vegetables. Yes, I know that tomatoes are really fruits and mushrooms aren't really veggies, they are more likely to be part of insalati (salads) or contorni (side dishes) than desserts. I wish I knew the most popular word for corn in italian but I cannot figure out what it is. Any help out there? In the dictionary, the word is listed as grana. But if you look up grana, it says it means wheat. To further complicate matters, my italian cooking magazines use grana for a sort of generic cheese when you don't specify parmesan or pecorino.

aglio - garlic
asparago - asparagus
barbabietola - beet
bietola - chard
carota - carrot
cavolfiore - cauliflower
carciofo - artichoke
cavolo - cabbage (can be used as a mild cuss word, Cabbage!)
cetriolo - cucumber
cipolla - onion, cipolletta - green onion
cipollina - shallot
fagiole - beans
fagiolino - green bean
finocchio - fennel (slang for homosexual, also)
funghi - mushrooms
lattuga - lettuce
melanzana - eggplant
patata - potato
peperone - pepper
piselli - peas
pomodoro - tomato
porri - leeks
prezzemolo - parsley
sedano - celery
spinaci - spinach
zucca - squash

Any other connoctations for any of the listed veggies? My portugese friend once told me, if you called a man an onion, it was a bad thing. But she didn't know exactly why.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - frutti

Today's volcabulary review list is a bit easier and shorter:

Tipo di frutta:
albicocca/che - apricot, albicocco, albicocchi apricot trees
ananas - pineapple
arancia - orange, arancio - orange tree
caco, cachi - persimmon
ciliegia/gie - cherry/ies - ciliegio - cherry tree
datturo - date
fico - fig (also used to describe someone, male or female (fica), who is good-looking)
fragola - strawberry
lampone - raspberry
limetta- lime
limone - lemon
mela - apple, melo - apple tree
melagrana - pomegranate, melograno - pomegranate tree
melone - melon
mora - blackberry
pera - pear
pesca/che - peach
susina - plum, susino - plum tree
frutti di mare - sea fruit, okay I'm just messing with you here because this is seafood.

oops I forgot uve - grapes, how could I!

Sometimes I feel as if I am in the 3rd grade looking up words to make sure I have spelled them correctly (I have trouble with the double consonants) or caught the words spell check has decided to change before I finally turned it off.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - Carriere

Well, as my last post was a week ago, I am having a bit of trouble keeping up with 10 words a day. Today, I have been doing a bit of reviewing and today's review words are carriere or careers.

Bambinaia - nanny
Professore/professoressa- professor
Insegnante - teacher
Infermiera - nurse
Dottore/medico - doctor
Dentista - dentist
Veterinario - veterinarian
Ingegnere - engineer
Geometra - surveyor
Calciatore - soccer player
Atleta - athlete
Batterista - drumer
Chitarrista - guitarist
Musicista - musician
Cantante - singer
Scrittore - writer
Artista - artist
Scultore/trice -sculptor
Attore - actor
Pittore - painter
Regista - director
Operatore - operator
Operaio - laborer
Giardiniere - gardener
Sarto - tailor
Autista - (bus) driver
Camionista - truck driver (not too sure about this word, I think I made it up)
Falegname/carpentiere - carpenter
Idraulico - plumber
Elettricista - electrician
Saldatore/trice - welder
Pompiere - fireman
Commesso - sales clerk
Impiegato - clerk
Tecnico - technician
Fornaio - baker
Macellaio - butcher
Fruttivendolo - greengrocer
Pescivendolo - fish vendor
Imprenditore - entrepreneur
Capocuoco - chef
Cuoco - cook
Contadino - farmer
Pescatore - fisherman
Barbiere - barber
Parrucchiere - hairdresser
Prete/suora/frate - priest/nun/monk
Marinaio - sailor
Polliziotto - policeman
Banchiere - banker
Segretaria - secretary
Avvocato - lawyer
Cameriere - waiter
Albergatore/trice - hotelier
Programmatore/trice - programmer
Ragioniere - accountant
Commercialista- accountant
Notaio - notary

A few later additions:
allenatore/trice - trainer
palestra personale - personal trainer
biologo - biologist
geologo - geologist (Io sono una)
scienziato - scientist
stillisto - stylist
ciclista - cyclist

Note: coaches are sometimes called tecnico or allenatore

I'm not sure of the technical differences between commercialista and ragioniere unless ragioniere is more like a bookeeper and commercialista is our equivalent of CPA. I couldn't find many words for the building trades except for idraulico, falegname/carpentiere, saldatore and operaio. Operaio seems that it can be a laborer or a factory worker while operatore is more an description for tour operator. I'm sure that there are other names for tradesmen like heavy equipment operator, crane operator but I couldn't find them even in the big dictionary. Any additions or corrections?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day - lunedì

As I've not been very good about studying my italian lessons, I've decided to take my lessons online and post 10 words to learn a day whenever possible. When I tried this at first, I had a bit of difficulty due to being under the influence (legally and medically) of vicodan. I kept having to look up the word, allora. They say allora on italian TV about every 30 seconds. So after about the 6th time I had to look up the word allora in my dictionary, I thought, this is going to be tough, if I can even remember what one stinking word means for 5 minutes. Needless to say, I decided to quit the vicodan that very epiphanous moment and stick with the italian. After a while, I was able to memorize 7-8 of the 10 words a day almost instantly, since the brain is like a muscle, in that if you don't use it, you'll lose it. Then, I take all the words and write them on flash cards to review before I go to sleep or when I'm out walking. At the end of the week, the words I have trouble with go into the special pile of words I have trouble with for further flash carding.
Here's the word that peaked my interest yesterday - barocco. I watched an award show called Barocco on RAI. Massimo Moratti of the Inter Football Club won one. Surely, barocco must mean something similar to an award? No? No. Anyhoo, my list got stuck in the b's. I just love reading the dictionary don't you? Here's where my niece usually says I'm so weird.

1. barocco - baroque (as in the a style of art, over the top)
2. baracca - shed, hut (like Barack-a Obama just a memory technique )
3. baffi - mustache
4. basetta - sideburn
5. barbiere - barber (crossfile under carriere - career)
6. barba - beard (farsi la barba - to shave oneself)
7. barbuto - bearded
8. i bassifondi - the slums
9. barella - stretcher
10 barzelletta - joke or funny story

P.S. I went and got the man killing size dictionary and it says barocco = baroque. And, please anyone, feel free to correct me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Just a few more photos

Sea Kayaking, Sea Otters and the Aquarium

I was off on vacation last week doing my own "bridge" between Memorial Day and my sister's wedding. She got married in along the coast in a lovely town called Monterey. My *almost* sister Arlene and I came down a little early to have a day before all the wedding madness started. We had been talking about going sea kayaking for a couple of years now and finally got to go out and do it! This is her looking quite the pro. This is me. I wouldn't pass her my camera so she could take my photo. As I was the wedding photographer the next day, it would be slightly disasterous should my camera go kerplunk in the ocean. I finally got brave enough to take it out of the dry bag and take a few shots. I missed a photo of the most ridiculous harbor seal posing for us on a rock. With his flippers and head up and little rotund body and comical expression, he looked like a big happy smile! Here are some photos of sea otters. They were almost hunted to extinction for their beautiful fur.
What, you can't see them? They're dead center of the photo wrapped in kelp. Three little heads. And, I'd like you to know that contrary to the look of the photo, the sea was not as calm as it appears. Wind and a few boat wakes makes taking shots on the sea a bit of a challenge. I tried to post all of the lopsided photos but I guess I have a limit of how many photos I can upload per post.Can you sea them now? They're at the top of the photo, floating on their backs. Hmm, well, I could only get within 50 feet of them and not disobey the marine mammal protection act... According to our guide, they have no natural predators a nd not very tasty being all skin and bones. You might guess that it would be tough to hunt them without getting tangled in all that giant kelp. Okay, you can't really get an idea of how cute they really are unless you see them a little closer. Here is a photo showing one of the little guys in the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
They are very curious and playful. And, especially interested in "people" aka little kids closer to their own size. Here they are on top of the water after being fed. I can almost hear them say, "What a racket!" Free food, chew toys and constant entertainment of those foolish humans!