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Parla Italiano: Lesson 5

Ciao!  Today we are going to learn the days of the week (I giorni della settimana) and the months of the year (I mesi dell’anno).  Unlike in North America, the Italian week begins on Monday.  Let’s begin –

I Giorni della Settimana lunedì (Monday) martedì (Tuesday) mercoledì (Wednesday) giovedì (Thursday) venerdì (Friday) sabato (Saturday) domenica (Sunday)

Fun Fact –  When a religious festival or holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday Italians will often “fanno il ponte”  or make a four day holiday by taking off the Monday or Friday respectively.

Some other useful words are oggi (today), domani (tomorrow), dopodomani (the day after tomorrow), ieri (yesterday), and l’altroieri (the day before yesterday).  Now you can ask/answer the following questions:

Che giorno è oggi?(What day is today?)  Oggi è lunedì. (Today is Monday) Quando parti? (When do you leave?) Parto martedì. (I leave Tuesday) Quando giochi a tennis? (When do you play tennis?) Gioco a tennis il mercoledì e il venerdì. (I play tennis Wednesday and Friday) Quando non lavori? (When are you off work?) Non lavoro la domenica. (I don’t work Sunday)

Now, we continue the lesson with the months of the year.

I Mesi dell’Anno gennaio…

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Parla Italiano: Lesson 4

Ciao a tutti!  At our last Italian conversation night ‘Professor’ Gabriella taught us all about numbers and time.  To start, let’s review how to count to 100.

When -tre is the last digit of a larger number, it takes an accent: ventitrè, trentatrè, quarantatrè The numbers  venti, trenta, and so on drop the final vowel before adding  -uno or -otto: ventuno, ventotto The masculine singular definite article is used with years

Now you can answer questions like –

Quanti anni hai? (How old are you?)  Ho trenta anni. (I am 30 years old) Che anno è? (What year is it?)  E’il 2012. (It’s 2012)

Learning the numbers is also important for being able to ask ‘Che ora è?’  or ‘Che ore sono?’ (What time is it?).  To answer this question simply say sono le + number of the hour (example: Sono le tre).  You can add the minutes by adding e +  minutes (example: Sono le tre e venti).

Un quarto (a quarter) and mezzo (a half) often replace quindici and trenta.  Un quarto d’ora  and mezz’ora mean  a quarter of an hour and half an hour.  You can also exchange è mezzogiorno for noon and è

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Parla Italiano: Lesson 3

Ciao a tutti!  This past Tuesday was our third lesson with ‘Professor’ Gabriella.  We were lucky enough to have five Italians from five different regions join us – each with their own unique dialect & sayings.

For our third lesson, Gabriella focused on gender & articles.  Like many Latin based languages, most words have a specified gender and require an article.  But beware – there are many exceptions.  The common endings are –

If you follow the common endings you can usually figure out whether the word is masculine or feminine.  Once you determine whether the word is maschile or femminile you can add an article.

In Italian, there are two kinds of articles –  derterminativi  & indeterminativi.  When you are speaking about a specific noun (ex: the pizza I’m eating tastes delicious) you use the determinativi.  If you are just speaking about a topic without reference (ex: a pizza would be good for dinner) you use the indeterminativi.  The articles are –

                            Determinativi                        …

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Parla Italiano: Lesson 1

Buongiorno a tutti!  Last Tuesday was our first Italian Conversation Night at PPS Bridge Street – and it was a blast!  Thank you to everyone who attended our first lesson with “Professor” Gabriella.  Just in case you missed our first lesson I will be posting notes from each session to keep you up to date.

For our very first lesson Gabriella started with the basics – pronunciation.  Although Italian uses many of the same letters as English they pronounce them very differently.  Luckily Italian is a phonetic language, so if you master this step you can read every word like a pro.

This chart explains how to pronounce vowels in Italian.  Use the English pronunciation to feel the shape of your mouth when you say each letter.

Italian Vowels

English Pronunciation

[i]

Vino

ee as in meet

[e]

Vedi

ay as in bait

[ɛ]

Era

eh as in bet

[a]

Cane

ah as in father

[u]

Uva

oo as in boot

[o]

Sole

oh as in boat

[ɔ]

Modo

aw as in law

[Soft Break]Semi-Vowels

[w]

quando, uomo

wuh as in won

[j]

piano, ieri, piove

yuh as in ye

Next, we will work on common…

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