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Old May 4th 2009, 2:57 pm   #1
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Question TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Ask all your question on the Italian language, its rules, quirks, sayings and irregulars here.
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Old May 4th 2009, 3:10 pm   #2
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Is there a way to say 'mind your own business' and still stay polite? I reveal waaay too much to people because I don't know how to not tell them something....
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Old May 4th 2009, 3:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

You could say :

sono affari miei .......... that's my business.
It can come across as dead rude or acceptable depending on the way you say it, and if you smile and wink or not.

Non sono affari suoi/tuoi ............. none of your business
and
fa gli affari suoi - fai gli affari tuoi .......... mind your own business
almost always sound much ruder than the first one.

A way to get out of long lengthy explanations about things like - why are you here - how long for - what for, is to say,

Ahhhh - è una lunga storia ......... that's a long story - or
Ti racconto un'altra volta ............... I'll tell you some other time.
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Old May 4th 2009, 4:43 pm   #4
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Or just say non capisco even if you do. Sometimes not being fluent can help.
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Old May 4th 2009, 5:38 pm   #5
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSALINDANN View Post
Or just say non capisco even if you do. Sometimes not being fluent can help.
That's true
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Old May 4th 2009, 6:51 pm   #6
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Thankyou Lorna. So many things in Italian seem to be about how you say them and not what you say. I used to like saying 'vorrei' when asking for things in shops. However only I seem to use this. I mostly hear 'Mi da' or 'Mi dai' which (I think!!) is 'give me'. Now this seems rude to me!!

Testarossa that be what I normally try... that is when you discover how many people know a bit of English... and then it feels very rude to not help them a bit AND answer all their flipping questions.
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Old May 4th 2009, 7:15 pm   #7
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Just been watching Allo Allo we have the series, Captain Alberto bertorelli was on thats a lot like my Italian and I have Had lessons. LOL
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Old May 4th 2009, 7:20 pm   #8
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

It IS rude in our books.

I once had this conversation with a butcher that I became friends with about dammi - mi dai - voglio -

he said he didn't think about it anymore as it was all perfectly normal in the sense that folks had been asking for stuff like that for ages and ages.

I pointed out that "I want" and "give me" was shite rude. When he thought about it he agreed, but still said - that how folks ask here. he did say though that a nicer request did not go amiss.

I can still not bring myself to say "dammi un etto di cotto" and I always say :

posso avere due etti di cotto per favore
vorrei per favore due etti di cotto
due etti di cotto per favore


and I don't like the people that take their packet of ham or bread and cheese and stick it in their basket without saying grazie when it gets handed over the counter !
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Old May 4th 2009, 7:39 pm   #9
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

I feel so much better now!! I like 'posso avere' for asking for lots of things really and always 'per favore' and too many 'grazie's but you hardly ever hear a 'per favore' at least not a sincere one anyway!!

Basically as a foreigner I should keep my quirky lingua then as it is part of my english personality??

also another thing!! : 'mi raccomando' (sp??!!) is this a polite request or a 'do it!!' ???
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Old May 4th 2009, 7:57 pm   #10
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indiebird View Post
I feel so much better now!! I like 'posso avere' for asking for lots of things really and always 'per favore' and too many 'grazie's but you hardly ever hear a 'per favore' at least not a sincere one anyway!!

Basically as a foreigner I should keep my quirky lingua then as it is part of my english personality??

also another thing!! : 'mi raccomando' (sp??!!) is this a polite request or a 'do it!!' ???
My kids grew up with me and a few trips to England where my parents, sisters, aunts, cousins are etc.

They grew up with the never ending English : please , thank you, may I, excuse me, pardon, etc.

Both of them have naturally seemed to translate these little every day words into Italian. They are now both known as two of the most polite kids in school.

When Chloe's elementary teacher first said to me how polite she is and how nice, I just said "no she's not, that's normal for us. I know us English have a bit of a reputation for being fixed on Ps and Qs - she translated those things herself into her everyday Italian."

All of her teachers, both old and young have commented on it but the nicest one was an old teacher about to retire. When I said "that's us in England fixated on manners" she told me that in all her years she has seen hundreds of kids but if only half of them had said thank you when getting a piece of new paper or something she would never have had to correct so many kids.

When I half jokingly said to the same teacher that it was that British thing and manners and stiif upper lip and all that she seriously said to me -

"Signora - don't ever change and don't let anybody here tell you different. I think you're doing a fantastic job and if we had more kids like yours the classroom would be different. Don't let anybody tell you that you are doing things the wrong way."


It was the nicest compliment I have ever had here !
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Old May 4th 2009, 8:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

my son has gone a bit the other way, but he was almost 8 when he started school here and I think that he has copied a lot of the kids linguistically here in order to fit in and pick up the language. We visited our friends parents in the UK at Christmas and they pointed out (rather rudely actually!!) that my son was not saying please and thankyou. At the time we felt that we had let behaviour slip a bit, but on reflection I think he has done the opposite to your daughter Lorna. I think he has begun to translate his Italian back into his English!!
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Old May 5th 2009, 7:39 am   #12
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Mi Raccomando can be used in different ways as phrase reinforcement but a literal translation is quite hard to come up with.

1. Don't forget.
See you tomorrow at 5pm ...mi raccomando. Don't forget / don't be late.

2. I'm warning you/telling you.
That bedroom better be tidy before dinner, mi raccomando.
Mi raccomando - stay in bed for three days and don't put any weight on that foot.

3. Please do .....
Ring if you need anything mi raccomando. Ring me - please do.

I might come up with some more examples later - or somebody else might have some.
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Old May 5th 2009, 7:41 am   #13
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Thanks Lorna. That is really helpful. I have heard it a lot outside the school in the mornings when the parents say 'Behave yourself -mi raccomando' which is why I wondered if it was 'do it'!! does 'forse' mean something similar too??
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Old May 5th 2009, 7:51 am   #14
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Forse:

maybe
perhaps
roughly /approximately.
maybe someday

Are you going tomorrow? Forse.
Forse lo sai gi√ - perhaps/maybe you already know this

How many kids arre invited? Buh ... forse 10. Maybe/ approx 10.

Forse un giorno cambio casa. Might/may move house someday.
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Old May 5th 2009, 10:05 am   #15
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Default Re: TALK THE TALK. ITALIAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS.

Not 'forse' then.... maybe it is 'forza'?? I have heard big men shouting it at little kids.... which is why I wondered if it was like 'do it!!'
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