Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...

2.28.2006

"English" word use in the Italian vocabulary

Being in Italy for 2 1/2 years now, I have learned to speak English in a whole new way...The Italian Way. You see, just as we have integrated (and surely massacred) many Italian words into the English language, so have the Italians welcomed, and subsequently massacred some of our words. However, to actually understand an Italian when he or she uses one of our words, or, conversely, be understood BY an Italian when speaking our words, there is a simple rule to follow: EVERY letter must be pronounced, and not just in the Martha Stewart-y, I-can-really-annunciate-the-letter-t way.

Below, I will give the word followed by the phonetic "Italian Way." I would suggest you pronounce our version out loud, following it with the much more fun versione Italiano. Don't forget to roll those Rs!

ENGLISH->ITALIAN
*internet EEN-tehrrr-neh-tuh
*spelling ZPEL-in-guh
*shopping SHOW-pi-nguh
*wafer VAH-ffehr-ruh
*computer comb-POO-tehr-uh

Then, there are words that appear to have English origins, but do not exist in our vocabulary:

*footing: (FOOOOT-teeen-guh) This apparently means jogging. Jogging is less frequently used, and if you don't pronounce it "yoe-geen-guh," no one will understand you.

*bloc notice: (BLOKE-uh noe-TEEEZ-uh) I'm pretty sure this means "note pad," but don't quote me on that one.

Those are just a few examples. One can imagine how silly I feel saying eeeenterrrrrrrrnetttuh, but the will to communicate has slowly taken the place of my pride. So if you run into me while I am "fooooteeenguh" in Naples, feel free to point and laugh, I would do the same.

12 Comments:

Blogger american girl in italy said...

welcome to my life. ahaaha this post is hilarious. this is SOOO my MIL.

2/28/2006 4:29 AM

 
Anonymous Jane said...

What is the italian word for "lonesome"?

2/28/2006 6:44 AM

 
Blogger Tracie B. said...

aw mom, are you trying to say that you miss me??

2/28/2006 8:27 AM

 
Anonymous franca said...

Hi Tracie.

Very very funny post. I really like your blog and the funny and interesting things you write about. Sounds like you really enjoy living in Italy.

2/28/2006 11:31 AM

 
Blogger Tracie B. said...

thanks american girl and franca :)

in addition to enjoying living in italy, making fun of it is a great past-time.

2/28/2006 1:45 PM

 
Blogger sammie96 said...

I am fairly new to blogs. I started mine after my daughter moved to Italy. She and her husband are currently living in Pozzouli. She is the better linguist between them. I am going to have her check out your site as well.
I am currently taking italian through adult education as I hope to go for 3 weeks in September. She tells me that the Neapolitan Italian is different. They have had some interesting times there and learn many things by experience.
Sammie is actually the dog. I am going to be 50 this year, Jessica is 29, her husband, Greg, is 28. He is a civilian working with the Navy.

2/28/2006 4:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, so funny - you crack me up!

3/05/2006 1:57 PM

 
Anonymous Jessica said...

I've been teaching introductory Italian for a year, and hoping someday to move to Italy... I love this post. :) I'm going to share it with my students!

1/16/2007 3:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"computer" is NOT english, "computer" is latin... oh oh

5/11/2007 7:21 AM

 
Anonymous Alice said...

funny post, but it's BLOC NOTES, not BLOC NOTICE.
:-)

11/27/2007 7:44 AM

 
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8/09/2009 10:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wafer is actually german. and bloc notes (not notice) comes from latin, just like computer. funny, uh?

1/02/2010 11:00 AM

 

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