Which I have discovered in Italian would be ODM! for O Dio Mio.
This weekend I have gotten quite an “education”.
With the idea of eventually moving to Venice I have enrolled in a beginning Italian class at the local community college. I already know a smattering of Italian. I can say hello, and please and thank you. I can ask for help finding what I need at the grocery store, order a cappuccino and ask for directions. But I can’t actually hold a conversation with anyone. I need to be able to do that. I want to be able to do that.
So since my class doesn’t start until April I have thrown myself into the books and CD’s that I already have. Of course those only work if someone a) asks you a question you understand and b) the answer to that question is one of those phrases you already know as I found out when on my last night in Venice someone asked me in Italian how I was. I understood him but didn’t have the Italian words to say that I was miserable at the thought of leaving Venice. He was also surprised that my Italian had not improved after my month in Venice and that I hadn’t learned at least a few “bad” words in the Venetian dialect. I finally realized that the reason my Italian hadn’t improved is that the people with whom I had actual conversations were people from the U.S., the UK, Shanghai, Thailand, Scotland and Taiwan. Not much Italian spoken there. And if I had heard any “bad” words I didn’t recognize them for what they were.
With all that in mind and thanks to the book “La Bella Lingua” by Diane Hales, and her website on “Becoming Italian Word by Word” I now at least know a few “bad” words in Italian…but not how to pronounce them. Not that I would want to say them to anyone but as one writer said in describing the book “Dirty Italian” it really helps in understanding Italian movies and you never know when you might actually need a phrase that resembles “Get lost, loser”.
Yesterday my new CD called “Hide this Italian CD” arrived. It deals with the basic greetings, ordering (mostly alcohol) and picking up the opposite sex. Probably nothing I’m going to actually need but I do now know how to pronounce what passes for the “F” word in Italian. I also know how to say “Would you like to spend the night with me?” and “Do you have a condom”…and I can buy them if I need them. Unlikely….but then you never know…;-)
And, yes, all of these books and CD’s are available from my friendly Barnes and Noble Book Store.