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


Who you callin' crehggerrrruh?

This is a recent conversation I had (in Italian) in the supermarket. You must read this old post first (click on the words "old post"), for there are many examples of how we native English speakers have to adjust our language to be understood in an Italian world. Say it out loud and just think how this poor old Texana must feel while she rolls her Rs away.

Me (to the girl stocking shelves in supermarket): Where can I find the cracker? (pronounced in Italian, CRA-kehrrr)

Girl stocking shelves in supermarket: The...what?

Me (trying to pronounce my English word better in Italian): Um, CRA-kehrrrrrrrrr-uh. Where can I find the CRA-kehrrrrrrrrr-uh?

Girl stocking shelves in supermarket (suddenly exasperated by my stupidity): AH! You mean CREH-gehrrrrrrrrrrr-uuh! Downstairs.

Right. I'll keep that in mind...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaaaaahahahahahaha! I remember trying to 'correctly' mispronounce English words so that Italians would understand me. Good times.

1/10/2007 12:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, totally. Here's me when I first came to Italy 5 years ago when a certain movie came out, everyone asked me if I had already seen in it the States. "Hai visto a-ric-otta?" I'm like, have I seen ricotta cheese? Um, what? No, no, aaaaahhhh-rrreeee-cottt-ah!! What? Spell it! H-A-R-R-Y... OH, Harry Potter. Right, right, I knew I was saying it wrong before.

1/10/2007 3:55 PM

Anonymous stacy said...

hehehe - my Italian and I got a good laugh out of that when i was telling him about your post this evening. too funny

1/10/2007 9:53 PM

Anonymous Buzzurro said...

Some other examples that come to my mind:

Manhattan: Mah-'NAHTTT-ahn
Albuquerque: Al-boo-koo-'ehr-koo-eh
Arkansas: Ar-'kan-sahss
backup: beh-'kup.

1/10/2007 10:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am-booor-gar...would you like ketchup with that? Grrr

1/11/2007 6:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being from southeast Texas I cannot imagine anyone, anywhere in the world not being able to understand us when we speak amurrricun, even if we are trying to translate it into eyetiillluuun.
Just keep hangin in there sweetie and I am sure you will have everyone over there at least understanding proper South East Texan dialect with ease. By the way remember to laugh with them even if they don't understand your cra-kehrrr without the -uuh and a little unrolled rrrrr.

1/11/2007 7:41 AM

Anonymous ale said...

yes really!! enunciate your english words in italian bettaaaahhha!

1/11/2007 1:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hilarious. for some reason my name Arlene, seems impossible to pronouce. so my friend's friend Roberta just told eveyone to call me Arrrrrlen.

1/11/2007 1:59 PM

Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Funny! I just had a conversation with my new boss about where I'm from. She knew Chicago was in Illinois but thought the s was pronounced (totally understandable in my book) and then asked me about the u in Massachusetts, if it was an "uh" sound or an "oo" sound. After that, she was sooo embarassed. I actually felt bad for her. Spaniards do this too: My old roommate's mom pronounced her favorite Hollywood actor's name "HA-mes Es-TE-vart" (James Stewart)

1/11/2007 3:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trac. . . she just didn't get it with that Texas drawl. . .

1/11/2007 7:46 PM

Anonymous Tina said...

Today I told a girl I was from Seattle, and her eyes lit up and she said:

"Aaaahhh - ZeeeATTELLLL!! GrrrrrrAHnge-uh. Pehrrl eh-jehm-uh."

(ah, Seattle! Grunge. Pearl Jam.)

1/12/2007 12:21 PM

Anonymous Clare said...

Hi, I've been sitting in the UK anonymously reading your blog for almost a year now, I love your stories, they're so true! My napolitan ex boyfriend spoke english well but with an "i'm an italian-speaking-english accent", which, I'm ashamed to say, I couldn't stop myself imitating when I spoke english to him...how are they ever gna learn to speak the Queen's english when there are people like me?!?

1/12/2007 1:57 PM

Anonymous Cyn said...

Too funny Tracie! It always kills me when I have to do that! And Shelly, I always say "a-ricotta" when speaking about the Harry Potter movies, otherwise no one knows what I am talking about!

A little off the subject Tracie, but I was wondering if the google adds were worth adding to my blog?

1/15/2007 2:05 AM

Anonymous Jessica said...

More language hysterics. Keep 'em coming! :)

1/16/2007 3:35 PM

Anonymous Ann said...

Reminds me of the time I went to the pharmacy to get Malox for my husband. First asked the pharmacist for it with the English pronunciation, she was like what do you want?!?!? Long story short, mAAAAlox.

1/22/2007 6:55 AM

Anonymous Michael said...

Some of my faves:

YAM-AK-KA - Not a hat for the jewish... At some time in the past, some Italian must have thought the 'H' in YAMAHA was a 'K' and it caught on.

Since I am talking about motorcycles, I have learned how to tell people about my:

(Harley Davidson... and don't forget to REALLY roll that R in Ayr )

Did you know that I am from:
'Lohz'Ahngelezz-ah' ?
(Los Angeles)

and no matter how hard I try to teach them, my name is:


Would you like a:
Ammm Boor-Gherrr-ah ?

I could go on forever...

10/15/2007 8:17 AM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home