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badbadger
Thursday 08th of March 2007 12:53:11 AM
Everyday stuff: Ciao a tutti,

I have been learning italian for a couple of years on my own mainly, with books, supplemented by the odd evening class. I am not too concerned about getting everything spot on grammatically, and really want to do more conversational work. However, there seems to be a dearth of Italian tutors in the Surrey area of the UK, so thought you guys might be able to fill some of the gaps left by the rather dry, repetitive text books...

The thing is, I can order a meal, book a room and so on but when it comes to talking to a native it is very easy to get stumped by day-to-day expressions. For example, when on holiday in January I went to my uncles house for lunch and as I entered the house he said something like "come sta la parte...?" or something similar. This really stumped me. I know it sounds like a little thing to be stumped on but when all you have learnt from books is either "come sta, come stai or come va?", when something is added it suddenly makes you think there is something you have missed, or were they really saying hello or something else, and so on. By the time my brain decided it was probably nothing and to reply, I was getting that "well, are you going to answer?!" look!!

So, I don't know if anyone would be interested in expanding on the stock expressions people do daily things with but it would be very helpful to me at least...

So, Situation 1 : in English we say:

how are you?
how are things?
how are you?
what's up?
hows it hanging (very informal!)?

Can anyone provide a list of expressions that one would say to someone in an informal way in Italian?

Situation 2: you have greeted everybody and have come into the house. I guess the next thing is sitting down...so in English we have such expressions as:

pull up a pew
take a seat
sit down
take the weight off...

what are the various Italian expressions for this situation?


I guess I will wait to see if there are any replies before I suggest any new situations that I could do with a bit of help with!

One final question - in what context would one use "senz'altro"?


Many thanks for any replies!



Carla
Thursday 08th of March 2007 07:04:35 AM
Hi badbadger and welcome to the Italian forum :)

I found your post very interesting.
In fact, I've been thinking what Italian phrases/expressions would be useful for a foreign speaker to learn, but it's difficult to figure them out for a native speaker; besides, that depends on the situation: phrases that fit for a tourist may not be good for anybody who needs to interact more closely with the natives.

So, I have a suggestion: could you please add phrases to the two situations you have mentioned and think of some other real situations and post here a phrase list in English (include every English phrase or expression you would say in that situation)? If you want, you can even post here a short dialogue for each situation: I'll post the Italian translations and the audio.

Here are the Italian sentences for the Situation #1:

how are you? = Come stai?
how are things? = Come va? Come vanno le cose?
what's up? = Che c' di nuovo? Che mi racconti? Che si dice?
hows it hanging (very informal!)?

I'm not sure about the last one, please can you explain better in which situation you would use this sentence? I need your help because I'm not very familiar with English colloquial expressions...

pull up a pew = siediti
take a seat = prendi una sedia o prenditi una sedia
sit down = siediti, accomodati (a bit more formal)
take the weight off... = ?

Please help me with the last one... when would you use "take the weight off"?

"Senz'altro" basically means "of course! Sure, I'll do it!"
Example:
Mi telefoni domani? Senz'altro! - Will you phone me tomorrow? Yes, of course!











badbadger
Thursday 08th of March 2007 07:38:04 PM
Hi,

Thanks for replying! And I am glad you found the post interesting - it means you are more likely to keep replying!!

Well, to start with situation #1:

A few more expressions:

hows it going?
all right? (as in "all right mate?!" when greeting someone you know well)

and an explanation for "hows it hanging?" - well, in graphic terms it basically means "how is your penis hanging?" but it is NOT seen as a dirty or crude expression. You wouldn't use it to greet someone, for example, in a business meeting, and it would mainly be used as an informal expression between friends, but it isn't seen as a particularily crude expression - as in nobody would be offended by it if they heard two people greeting each other in that way.

For situation #2:

"take the weight off..." is short for "take the weight (body weight) off your feet" ie "sit down". It is fairly informal and you would use it if you had friends around at your house and you were suggesting they sit down.


I am in a bit of a rush at the moment but will be back with some more situations as soon as I get a minute to think about what other situations I have been lost for words in...!




Carla
Thursday 08th of March 2007 08:30:26 PM
Of course I'll reply! I'm here for that! :)

First, I have to say that language expressions/idioms are difficult to translate (in any foreign language) and literal translations often don't make sense.

hows it going? = "come va?"
all right? = "tutto bene?"

Thanks for the explanation about "hows it hanging?". I think there's no equivalent in Italian. You could say: "come va la vita?", "come ti vanno le cose?", "come ti butta?".

As for "take the weight off...", I don't think we have a similar expression in Italian. We would just say "siediti", "accomodati".

Carla


badbadger
Friday 09th of March 2007 04:53:59 PM
Okay, another situation I would like a bit of help with is the "thank you" followed by the "don't mention it" type situation. So, in English to say thanks we have things like:

cheers
thanks
thanks a lot

and to reply to this we would say things like:

you are welcome
no problem
no worries
don't worry about it
forget it
it is nothing
any time...


So I guess a dialogue encompassing what we have already gone over could look like:

A goes to B's house and rings the doorbell...

A: hello mate, how are things going? Just thought I would pop around to see if you fancy going for a drink?
B: Hey, sure, I'd love to. I just have to get ready so come in for a minute. Okay, take the weight off and do you want something while you wait?

A: Yes, give me a beer if you have any?
B: Of course I have a beer. Here you go.

A: Thanks.
B: No worries. Make yourself at home and I will be ready in a minute.


I am not very good at making up conversations but I guess that covers stuff pretty well...and I don't know the best way for you to reply - so maybe could you provide one complete dialogue with just how you would translate this, and then maybe one with every turn of phrase put in like "A/B/C just thought I would see ecc..."?

Nick


badbadger
Monday 12th of March 2007 06:22:25 AM
I have thought of another situation that occurs quite a lot that can be a bit tricky...the interaction with a shopkeeper/barman/waiter type situation!

So in English when you are in a pub or a shop counter the person would ask:

what do you want?
what can I get you?
well?
what would you like?
what can I do for you?
what are you after?

And then during and at the end of the transaction he/she could ask things like:

is that everything?
is that all?
anything else?


and of course the replies would be what it is you want for the first set of questions and for the second set:

thats all
thats everything
I'm done


I think this sort of interaction is largely overlooked in the textbooks, but is absolutely crucial for interacting, so as much help as you can give would be great! And of course if you think I am missing something in the whole exchange please fill in the gaps!!


badbadger
Wednesday 14th of March 2007 12:46:14 AM
Another situation is when you are sitting around the dinner table and someone asks something like:

do you like it?
its good isnt it?
what do you think?
how is it?
is it ok?


and the replies could be:

i like it (and not only using piacere!)
its good
its great
its fine
i love it

and so on....


Carla
Wednesday 14th of March 2007 05:49:30 PM
Ringraziamenti in italiano

How to say thanks in Italian:
cheers - grazie
thanks - grazie
thanks a lot grazie mille


How to reply:
you are welcome - prego
no problem di niente
no worries non fa niente
don't worry about it non ti preoccupare
forget it lascia perdere, di niente, non fa niente
it is nothing di niente
any time... quando vuoi

Here's a sample dialog:
A goes to B's house and rings the doorbell...

A: hello mate, how are things going? Just thought I would pop around to see if you fancy going for a drink?
B: Hey, sure, I'd love to. I just have to get ready so come in for a minute. Okay, take the weight off and do you want something while you wait?

A: Yes, give me a beer if you have any?
B: Of course I have a beer. Here you go.

A: Thanks.
B: No worries. Make yourself at home and I will be ready in a minute.

Here is the dialog in Italian:
A va a casa di B e suona il campanello...

A: Ciao, passavo da queste parti e ho pensato di venirti a trovare. Ti va di bere qualcosa?
B: S, volentieri. Vado a prepararmi, intanto entra. Dai, siediti posso offrirti qualcosa mentre aspetti?

A: S, una birra se ce lhai.
B: Certo, ecco una birra

A: Grazie
B: Di niente. Fa come se fossi a casa tua, sar pronto (pronta) tra un minuto


This is not a literal translation, but it's what probably Italians would say in that situation.
I'll post the audio soon.
Click below to listen to the audio








>



badbadger
Wednesday 21st of March 2007 06:13:13 AM
here are two things that get me a bit tongue/brain tied on occasion, though they arent really situations per se.

firstly, do you use "per" before verbs to imply "in order to", like:

ti posso aiutare (can i help you?) wouldnt use it whereas,

ci andavo per aiutarti ( i was going there to help you) would. is this correct?


also, with farsi vedere as "to show", how does one formulate:

can i show it to you?

she showed it to me

i was showing it to them..

i will show you it tomorrow



i tend to get into a lot of confusion over where the pronouns and things go...

many thanks for any reply


Carla
Wednesday 28th of March 2007 06:32:29 AM
Hi :)

Yes, "per" (among the other things) means "in order to".

ci andavo per aiutarti = i was going there to help you
mi alzo presto per arrivare puntuale in ufficio = I get up early in order to get to work on time.

To show = mostrare, fare vedere (not farsi vedere), though "fare vedere" is more used than "mostrare".

can i show it to you? = posso fartelo vedere?/posso mostrartelo?

she showed it to me = me l'ha fatto vedere, me l'ha mostrato

i was showing it to them.. = lo stavo facendo vedere loro/ lo stavo mostrando loro

i will show you it tomorrow = te lo far vedere domani/te lo mostrer domani




badbadger
Friday 06th of April 2007 04:21:48 PM

what about these:

do you like it?
its good isnt it?
what do you think?
how is it?
is it ok?


and the replies could be:

i like it (and not only using piacere!)
its good
its great
its fine
i love it

and so on....


and also:



what do you want?
what can I get you?
well?
what would you like?
what can I do for you?
what are you after?

And then during and at the end of the transaction he/she could ask things like:

is that everything?
is that all?
anything else?


and of course the replies would be what it is you want for the first set of questions and for the second set:

thats all
thats everything
I'm done


Carla
Thursday 12th of April 2007 07:07:16 AM
Asking someone's opinion about something.

do you like it? - ti piace?
its good isnt it? - è buono, vero?
what do you think? - che ne dici? / che ne pensi?
how is it? - com'è?
is it ok? - va bene?
and the replies could be:
i like it - cheers - mi piace
it's good - è buono
it's great - è fantastico
it's fine - è bello
i love it - mi piace molto / mi piace moltissimo

Ordering a drink/some food at the coffee bar.

Notice that the formal lei is used. When you get into a coffee bar, the waiter will probably ask:
what do you want? - Che cosa vuole? / Che cosa desidera? / Desidera?
what can I get you? - Che cosa le porto? / Che cosa prende?
what would you like? - Che cosa desidera? / Desidera?
what can I do for you? - Cosa posso fare per lei?
what are you after? - Desidera?
And then during and at the end of the transaction he/she could ask things like:
is that everything? - Desidera altro? / basta così?
is that all? - nient'altro?
anything else? - altro?

and of course the replies would be what it is you want for the first set of questions and for the second set:
thats all - no grazie, basta così
thats everything - Nient'altro
I'm done - Basta così


badbadger
Friday 04th of May 2007 04:23:36 PM
here are two more things that i get very confused with!:


one is how to say something hurts, so how do yo translate:

my arm hurts

the sun is hurting my eyes

does it hurt?




and the seocnd thing is how to say things like:

that smells good

something smells good

that tastes good

whats that smell?



any help would be appreciated...


Carla
Sunday 06th of May 2007 06:22:31 AM
Italian words/phrases for to hurt, to smell, to taste

to hurt = fare male, dolere, dare fastidio

my arm hurts - mi fa male il braccio / mi duole il braccio
the sun is hurting my eyes - il sole mi dà fastidio agli occhi
does it hurt? - ti fa male?

To smell = avere odore,
To smell good = avere un buon odore, avere un buon profumo, profumare

that smells good - ha un buon odore
something smells good - questa cosa ha un buon odore / ha un buon profumo/profuma
whats that smell? - che cos'è quest'odore? / che cos'è questo profumo?

To taste = avere sapore, sapere
To taste good = avere un buon sapore

that tastes good - ha un buon sapore / è buono
What does it taste like? - Che sapore ha? / Di che sa?
It tastes of onion - ha sapore di cipolla / sa di cipolla

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