Wandering and Wondering

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Conversations in Italian (Conversazione in Italiano)

These are some of the [very] small conversations I’ve been having over the last few days as I try out my Italian. As well as helping to improve my Italian skills, talking with the locals also helps improve my understanding of the culture. Disclaimer: My interpretation and translation of the conversations are subject to error.

Highlighting my ignorance about the time of year when basil is grown, I had the following conversation with a signora at the Sant’ Ambrogio fresh produce market:

Darren: [Pointing to a green looking herb that looks similar to basil]. “E questa basillico?” (Is this basil?).
Signora: [With a laugh]. “No, non e questa basillico! E troppo freddo per basillico.” (No, this isn’t basil! It is too cold for basil.)

The following conversation I had with an Italian student at a “Connecting Cultures” workshop run by the university highlighted my false impression that all Italians love soccer:

Darren: “Gioci calico?” (Do you play soccer?).
Italian student: “No, non mi piace calcio" (No, I don’t like soccer).

Not expecting anyone, I was surprised the other day when the doorbell rang in my apartment:

Darren: [Answering the intercom]. “Buongiorno” (Good morning).
Postman: “Buongiorno. Puoi aprire la porta, per favore? Sono il postino.” (Good morning. Can you please open the door? I am the postman.)
Darren: [Buzzing him in]. “Si, certo”. (Yes, certainly).

All of the mailboxes are located inside the security door for the block of apartments, so whenever the mailman has some mail to deliver, he needs someone to let him in. I’m not sure what happens to the mail when nobody is home.

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