30 Minute Italian

In this episode, I chat with Gail Mencini, author of the fictional novel To Tuscany with Love, about experiencing an authentic Italy and telling your story.

Direct download: ICE_Ep98.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 9:54am PDT

Learn how to form and use articulated prepositions in Italian. (al, sul, nell', dall', etc.)

Direct download: ICE_Ep97.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 12:38pm PDT

Learn about authentic Italian cooking, learning Italian and raising an organic garden in Tuscany, Italy with Simonetta and Paola from Toscana Mia.

You'll learn:

  • Which one mistake most Americans make when cooking pasta
  • How they are able to grow organic vegetables (and some tips for dealing with pests that include beer)
  • One simple pasta recipe that you can make today
  • How to know what good olive oil really is and how much it should cost
  • How to find good olive oil in America
  • How Italians learn Italian growing up
  • Two tips for foreigners learning Italian that makes grammar much more interesting
  • How you can attend one of their cooking or language classes
Direct download: ICE_Ep96.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 12:02pm PDT

Simple Prepositions in Italian {or why the smallest words hurt the most}

Click play on the player at the bottom to listen to this podcast or listen to it on Stitcher or iTunes.

All on their own, prepositions can be a pain in the butt.

This is especially when you're at an upper intermediate level, and you think you're getting the hang of Italian and THE ONLY THING THAT KEEPS MESSING YOU UP IS PREPOSITIONS.

{No personal experience or anything. No. I'm not yelling.}

COMUNQUE. There are two main kinds of prepositions - simple prepositions and articulated prepositions.

Not sure what comunque means? Read this article: Italian Speed Dates - Appena, Addirittura, Comunque and Quindi

Simple prepositions look like this:

  • di - of, from, about, by, than
  • a - to,at,in
  • da - from,by
  • in - in, at
  • con - with
  • su - on/over/above/about
  • per - for/in order to/because
  • tra - between/among
  • fra - between/among

The fact that they exist is pretty easy to understand. I mean, here are some of the situations when you use each one.

*The examples in English below are used in "Italian-speak" or what English would sound like if translated directly from Italian to English. This is to help you turn off that inner translator constantly working in your head. Once this happens, you can start focusing on creating natural sounding Italian sentences.

di - of, about, from, by, than

  • To show possession of an object {This is the purse OF Giulia - Questa è la borsa di Giulia.}
  • To show where someone is from {Giulia is OF Verona. - Giulia è di Verona.}
  • To express who/what someone is talking about {She was talking OF Giuseppe. - Parlava di Giuseppe}
  • To talk about age {I have a son OF thirteen years. - Ho un figlio di tredici anni.}
  • To describe an object/person {It's a coin OF gold. - È una moneta d'oro.}

a - to,at,in

  • To talk about a location {IN Verona, AT home - a Verona, a casa}
  • To talk about how someone is thinking of another {I am thinking TO him. - Penso a lui.}
  • To talk about a certain time {I am meeting her AT noon. - La vedo a mezzogiorno.}
  • To describe movement {She went there IN foot. - È andata a piedi. }

da - from,by

  • To talk about a distance that was taken, like a trip {Maria left FROM Rome yesterday. - Maria è partita da Roma ieri.}
  • To talk about taking something from something {She took her wallet FROM her purse. - Ha tolto il portafoglio dalla borsa.}
  • To talk about a time period that's passed {From years (ago) - Da anni}

CPF: You can also use "Da" to talk about someone's home. So if you wanted to say Lucia's house, you would say "Da Lucia."

in - in, at

  • To talk about location in a larger area, like a state or country {She lives IN California, He lives IN Germany - Lei abita in California, Lui abita in Germania}
  • To talk about a place where someone is going {I'm going IN the library - Vado in biblioteca.}
  • To talk about a type of transportation {You're going IN train? - Vai in treno?}

con - with

  • To talk about being with someone {I am WITH my grandma. - Sono con mia nonna.}
  • To talk about a combination of things {I am eating pizza WITH the pumpkin. - Mangio la pizza con i fiori di zucca.}
  • To describe a person's behavior {He is very nice WITH me. - Lui è molto gentile con me.}

su - on/over/above/about

  • To talk about a topic: {I am reading a book on Italian History - Sto leggendo un libro SULLA storia italiana}
  • To talk about a location {He is ON the roof. - Lui è sul tetto.}

per - for/in order to/because

  • To talk about a length of time (a period of time that's now over. Otherwise you would use DA. {I've been reading this book FOR two days. - Sto leggendo questo libro DA due giorni.}
  • Example with PER: {I have lived in Italy for 2 years [meaning you are not there anymore]} = Ho vissuto in Italia PER due anni.
  • or: {I have been living in Italy for 2 years [meaning you are still living there} = Vivo in Italia DA due anni.
  • To talk about a reason/purpose {I'm going to school FOR my parents. - Vado a scuola per i miei.}
  • To talk about going somewhere {I want to leave for England/my holidays. - Mi piacerebbe partire per l'Inghilterra/per le vacanze.}
  • To talk about price {I bought a kilo of oranges FOR three euro. - Ho comprato un chilo di arance PER tre euro.}

tra - between/among
fra - between/among

  • To talk about a time period {I finish school BETWEEN a year. - Finisco la scuola fra un anno.}
  • To talk about a comparison {AMONG everyone, Theresa is the nicest. - Fra tutti, la più simpatica è Theresa.}
  • To talk about a location {Walk BETWEEN the trees. - Passeggiare tra gli alberi.}

Writing that was a little bit painful, which is amazing because I love grammar.

It was painful because there are still so many other usages that I left out for the sake of simplicity.

Understanding the basics first is a must, and I'll be sure to write some more article about the nuances and the fun {read: not fun} exceptions with prepositions.

Want to finally be conversational in Italian? Download Mango Languages for Italian.

MangoLogo_CherHaleWant to keep your language learning going? Check out Mango Languages' downloadable language-learning software, and mobile apps, too!

Mango's conversational approach will get you talking ASAP. That's the most fun part, right?

Download Mango's program on up to five computers and use it on the go with your smartphone or tablet. And the best part? It costs less than a few tanks of gas.

Go to icebergproject.co/italianmango to get 20% off as a special discount to members of The Iceberg Project community.

Any questions for now? Drop ‘em in the comments below.

Direct download: ICE_Episode_95.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Learn how to research your Italian ancestry and genealogy with Mary Tedesco from Origins Italy.

Direct download: ICE_Ep99_.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 6:00pm PDT

Click play on the player at the bottom to listen to this podcast or listen to it on Stitcher or iTunes.

Trisha Thomas has been living and working in Italy for twenty years, but more than that, she has raised her entire family in Italy.

What it Means to Be an Italian Mamma and Build a Career in Italy with Trisha Thomas

This means that she's had a unique experience of growing up in America and raising Italian children, which has been a wonder and a challenge according to her.

Listen in to hear all about her adventures with being a mamma and how she's navigated the cultural landscape.

You'll learn:

  • What it means to be an Italian super mamma
  • Why formal vs informal language has given her so much trouble (and what she does about it)
  • Which two questions you need to learn in Italian when striking up small talk with Italians
  • How she got to Italy in the first place
  • How she felt when she first arrived in Italy since she didn't know the history, culture or the language
  • The differences in parenting styles between her Italian husband and her American beliefs
  • Which methods she found did not work with learning Italian (you'll love the one about grammar)
  • How she learned the Roman accent…on accident
  • What it's like to work with Italians on a daily basis (especially as the only American in the office)

My favorite articles from Mozzarella Mamma

Resources Mentioned

Get to know Trisha

Have an extra ten seconds? Say hi to Trisha on Twitter by pressing the click to tweet below!

Grazie @mozzarellamamma for giving great insight on living/working/raising kids in Italy! @icebergproject

Want to finally be conversational in Italian? Download Mango Languages for Italian.

MangoLogo_CherHaleWant to keep your language learning going? Check out Mango Languages' downloadable language-learning software, and mobile apps, too!

Mango's conversational approach will get you talking ASAP. That's the most fun part, right?

Download Mango's program on up to five computers and use it on the go with your smartphone or tablet. And the best part? It costs less than a few tanks of gas.

Go to icebergproject.co/italianmango to get 20% off and get started.

Direct download: ICE__Ep94.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 11:28am PDT

If you're interested in renting an apartment in Italy, it's likely that you'll have a more authentic experience.

You might be thinking that you need to stay 1-3 months in order to justify renting an apartment, but I've heard of people renting out apartments for one night, one week, or two weeks.

How to Rent an Apartment in Italy & a Sample Email in Italian for Booking Accommodation

The availability does depend on the season, so if you're going to Italy during the tourist season during the summer, it isn't as likely that you'll be able to book an apartment for one night or one week.

Want to get a free e-mail script for how to book inquire about an apartment/hotel in Italian? Find out how to at the end of this article.

The price all depends on everything that would go into account if you were looking for an apartment to rent at home. How many people are staying with you, what amenities do you expect, and what area of the city do you prefer?

Vocabulary for Renting an Apartment

affittasi appartamento

ah-fee-TAH-zee ah-par-tah-MEN-toe

apartment for rent

ammobiliato

ah-mo-bee-lee-AH-toe

furnished

i servizi disponibili in casa

ee sehr-VEE-zee dee-spo-NEE-bee-lee een kah-zah

home amenities

My editor Maria suggests that we all visit Santa Maria Capua Vetere, a town near Naples, where you'll find the famous Spartacus Arena. She says it's magic. I don't know about you, but describing anything as magical is enough to get me there.

Here is a list of the most popular rental sites for booking apartments in Italy.

Because I haven't had a ton of experience booking apartments in Italy, I consulted Reid's Italy and have summarized a list of the most important facts about renting.

  • Reserve in advance from 7 months to 1 year.
  • Each apartment rental will require a deposit that is between 30-50% of the total price.
  • Ask about all extra fees.
  • Remember to bring toiletries that a hotel would usually provide, like soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
  • The tourist season is approximately between April 20 - October and during the Christmas season.

It's also important to have cash when you pay for your rent on the apartment.

Want a free e-mail script for inquiring about a hotel or an apartment?

Here's what you can do.

1.) Click the button below and tell people on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus that you got this cool script.

2.) Click which social media site you'd like to post to.

3.) Post to it.

4.) Click the "Done! Gain access now!" button.

Want to finally be conversational in Italian? Find Mango Languages at your library.

MangoLogo_CherHaleMango's online and mobile language-learning programs are available for free through thousands of libraries. That means free access to Italian courses online and on your phone or tablet.

Mango's conversational approach will get you talking ASAP. That's the most fun part, right?

It's not just Italian though! You can learn over 60 languages (including English as a second language). You can even learn while watching foreign language films like the Italian films “Days and Clouds” and “Corpo Celeste.

Visit icebergproject.co/mango and type in your zip code to see if your library offers Mango Languages.

If not, let your librarian know you'd love to learn with Mango Languages.

In the comments below, ask me a question or leave some helpful advice that you learned from your experiences renting an apartment in Italy!

Direct download: ICE_EP93.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 6:26pm PDT

Click play on the player at the bottom to listen to this podcast or listen to it on Stitcher or iTunes.

How Lisa Chiodo and Her Family Followed Their Dream and Renovated a Farmhouse in Italy

Lisa and her husband began their journey by wanting to renovate an entire Italian village.

While that hasn't happened yet (and isn't one of their big goals anymore), they have managed to renovate a farmhouse or two in Italy.

When you listen to Lisa talk about the small village (max five families) where her family lives, it's such a dream and will make you want to book a trip there right now.

Especially if you love organic vegetables and a simpler pace of life.

You'll learn:

  • How Lisa and her husband got started with renovations
  • How they have managed to raise their children between Australia and Italy
  • Why they left Italy in the first place and how they managed to return
  • How her children have adapted to the Italian language after just one year
  • Three methods Lisa is using to learn Italian
  • Three Italian words/phrases that Lisa loves hearing and saying
  • A glimpse into the daily life of Lisa and her family

My favorite articles from Renovating Italy

Resources Mentioned

Lisa Chiodo and Husband

Get to know Lisa

kids-and-lisa

Have an extra ten seconds? Say hi to Lisa on Twitter by pressing the click to tweet below!

Such an inspiring episode w/ @RenovatingItaly & @icebergproject about following your dream & renovating a farmhouse in Italy

Lisa Chiodo Picture

Want ridiculously helpful support when learning Italian? Use Italki.

Italki LogoItalki is an online community of language learners and teachers to help you take whatever foreign language you're learning to the next level.

What's cool about it is that you can learn directly from home via Skype on your own schedule and skip the traditional school curriculum – which I love because I've always been a rebel.

It's totally affordable, too. I spend $10 with my tutor Giulia – a native speaker - for each 45-minute session, and the lessons are based on what I want to learn, which helps me retain information because I'm genuinely interested.

This style also encourages me to take note of the areas I need to strengthen throughout the week when I watch Italian movies, read books or newspapers, and talk to friends from Italy.

Signing up with Italki is completely free, and you can use the site to find language partners for free until you feel ready to hire an informal or professional teacher.

Go to icebergproject.co/Italki and start tackling those problem areas you've been dealing with alone, like those pesky prepositions, the endlessly confusing sentence structure, and that subjunctive tense that's been driving you crazy.

Visit icebergproject.co/italki now and sign up for a free account.

Direct download: ICE_EP91.mp3
Category:Italian -- posted at: 10:13am PDT

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