Italian, Lesson 4: Languages

Ciao a tutti! Sono Taras. È voi? – Greetings all! I’m Taras. And you?

Coliseum from inside
Coliseum from inside
  • Oggi noi parliamo Italiano – Today we speak Italian
  • Oggi parliamo Italiano – Today we speak Italian

As usual we skipped noi (we) pronoun. By the parliamo ending the actor is clear – we. See Lesson 3 for the forms of parlare (to speak) verb.

We learned stress rules, and we gonna add some spelling today. And we’ll pick up few new words – name of different languages in Italian.

Lingue – Languages
  • Portoghese
  • Inglese

  • Francese
  • Cinese
  • Italiano
  • Spagnolo
  • Russo
  • Tedesco

I think it’s easy to guess the translations – Inglese is English, Cinese is Chinese of course. Spagnolo is Spanish.

Except last one. Special case again – tedesco means german. Poor German! Germans call it Deutsch, russians call it Niemeckiy language, englishmen say German, spaniards call it Alemàn, italians – Tedesco. Very unusual, ha?

Spelling rules
  • gh before vowel sounds like hard english g  (like in ‘Goal’ word) – portoghese [porto:g'eze]. Without adding h, plain g will sound like [dgi:] (like in Jeans)
  • Italian c before vowel sounds as english ch – Francese [franche:ze], Cinese [chine:ze]
  • But, sc before vowel just sounds like an English sc (NOT like sch!!!) – Tedesco [tedesko]
  • gn spelling – we write two letters g+n, but only soft n sounds – Spagnolo [span'iolo]
  • Single s between vowels sounds like [z] – Francese [franceze]
  • Double s sounds like [ss] – Russo [russo]
Remembering words – tip 1

So, we have 8 new words to remember. There’s an easy tip – start saying 3 words first:

1. Italiano – Francese – Inglese. Inglese – Italiano – Francese. …

Then add one more and repeat all 4 words forwards and backwards:

2. Italiano (Italian) – Inglese (English) – Francese (French) – Russo (Russian)

Then add one more:

3. Italiano (Italian) – Inglese (English) – Francese (French) – Russo (Russian) – Tedesco (German)

And one more to make it 6:

4. Italiano (Italian) – Inglese (English) – Francese (French) – Russo (Russian) – Tedesco (German) – Portoghese (Portugal)

5. Italiano (Italian) – Inglese (English) – Francese (French) – Russo (Russian) – Tedesco (German) – Portoghese (Portugal) – Spagnolo (Spanish)

And finally add last words and repeat all together:

6. Italiano (Italian) – Inglese (English) – Francese (French) – Russo (Russian) – Tedesco (German) – Portoghese (Portugal) – Spagnolo (Spanish) – Cinese (Chinese)

See, we just remembered 8 new words – 8 languages! :)

Tedesco, tedesco, tedesco. Repeat that few more times. Tedesco means German!