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Syndication

ITALIAN

Rachel: Hai bisogno di qualcosa dal supermercato?

Carlotta: No, no, dai, non ti preoccupare.

Rachel: Macché! Tanto, oggi vado al supermercato comunque.

Have you ever heard an expression like the one above that starts with “tanto?” You might already know that “tanto” means “a lot” but obviously in this case, that translation doesn’t make much sense. I hear all the time that this sentence structure is confusing! So what does “tanto” mean when used this way? It’s simple, so let me demystify it for you.

In this example, “tanto” is used a bit like, “really,” “anyways,” or “as” in English. So for example, in the previous dialogue, the conversation might have looked something like this:

ENGLISH

Rachel: Do you need something from the supermarket?

Carlotta: No, no, come on, don’t worry about it.

Rachel: Nonsense! Really, I was going to the supermarket today regardless.


Other Examples of “Tanto”

1.) Non abbiamo fretta, tanto andiamo in macchina ci metteremo al massimo 5 minuti.

2.) Tanto anche se piangi non otterrai niente!

3.) Non ti preoccupare se si è rotto, tanto era un oggetto vecchissimo.

4.) Non importa quanto ti ha fatto arrabbiare, tanto appena ti chiama corri ai suoi piedi!

5.) Provaci tu, ma tanto non funziona.

6.) Ho provato a dirglielo in tutti i modi ma è inutile, tanto non vuole ascoltarmi!

7.) Perchè piangi? Tanto ormai il guaio è fatto!


Using “tanto” like this is a very common expression, but at times it's difficult to translate for English speakers since the definition isn’t precise. However, thinking about it in terms of “anyways”, “as” or “really” in English can help you make sense of everyday conversations in Italy.

Another Way to Use Tanto

When the nouns of a sentence are the same, you use il comparativo di ugualianza, or the comparative of equality.

To do this, you can use a few different forms:

— (così)…come – This is used for adjectives and adverbs; così is in parenthesis because you don’t always have to add it.

— (tanto)…quanto – This is used for nouns or adverbs; tanto is in parenthesis because you don’t always have to add it.

Esempi

— La torta al cioccolato è (tanto) buona come la torta alla vaniglia. – The chocolate cake is as good as the vanilla cake.

— I ragazzi giocano (tanto) a calcio quanto a basket. – The kids play just as much soccer as they do basketball.

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village.

DID YOU KNOW…?

We have a program called the Pronouns Challenge that helps you get better at using… you guessed it… pronouns in Italian. And beato/a te, you get 20% off just by being a listener of the podcast. To claim that discount, click here and enter the code ‘LISTENER’ at checkout.


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If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

Direct download: 215_Italian_Word_Speed_Date__Tanto.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

// SENTIRE

WordReference lists it as meaning:

— To taste

— To feel

— To hear

— To smell

And you might be confused because you know that “ascoltare” can mean “to hear / to listen,” too.

Verbs in Italian can have so many different meanings, so the entire goal of this article is to help you identify which ones you have to know in order to have fluid + enjoyable conversations in Italian.

Ways to Use the Verb “Sentire”

Here are examples and explanations for each of the definitions.

To taste

— Hai sentito? Io lo adoro!! – Did you taste it? I adore it!!

(The above line is a snippet from a dialogue at an olive oil tasting. Check it out here.)

— Fammi sentire quel cocktail. – Let me taste that cocktail.

What’s the difference between “sentire” and “assaggiare – to sample / to taste” in this sense? There’s no difference! They’re perfect synonyms. YAY for simplicity.

To feel

— Hai sentito quel terremoto ieri mattina? – Did you feel the earthquake yesterday morning?

— Sento la mancanza dell’Italia.* – I miss Italy.

— Sento caldo. – I feel hot.

— Faceva così freddo che non sentivo più la faccia. – It was so cold that I couldn’t feel my face anymore.

— Senti la morbidezza di questa maglia. – Feel how soft this shirt is.

If you’re wondering how to say the “I feel…” like “I feel sick,” then you want to use “sentirsi,” which is a reflexive verb. You can learn more about reflexive verbs here.

*An easier way to say this would be “Mi manca l’Italia,” using the verb “mancare,” but I wrote it that way just to show that it’s possible.

To hear

— Hai sentito quel rumore? – Did you hear that noise?

— Ho sentito dire  che Bologna è una città fantastica. – I heard that Bologna is a fantastic city.

— Prontooooo?! Mi senti? – Helllloooo?! Can you hear me?

— È una buona idea sentire l’avvocato. – It’s a good idea to consult / listen to a lawyer.

What’s the difference between “sentire” and “ascoltare – to listen / to hear” in this sense?

When you’re saying something like “Senti, volevo dirti una cosa – Listen, I wanted to tell you something,” you can use “ascoltare” instead. However, “sentire” is more commonly used these days.

Also, “ascoltare” is used more often to talk about giving attention to something, like “ascoltare la musica – to listen to music” or “ascoltare ad un discorso – to listen to a conversation / argument.”

Common phrases

— Ci sentiamo presto. – We’ll hear from each other soon.

— Senti (informal) / senta (formal)… – Listen…

To smell

— Senti quest’ odore? È la pizza più buona della città. – Do you smell this  (scent)? It’s the best pizza in the city.

— Dopo che ho sentito quel profumo, l’ho comprato immediatamente. Si Sente l’odore del miele! – After I smelled that perfume, I bought it right away. It smells like honey!

// TROVARE

While the verb “trovare” is often taught as “to find,” don’t let that one-shade definition fool you. Just like in English, the verbs in Italian do more than one job. (Aren’t we so lucky?)

I’ve talked before about how many nuances verbs like “perdere – to lose,” “mancare – to miss,” and “fare – to do / to make” have. Now I want to tackle “trovare,” because I think it adds a more conversational tone when you can use it just like Italians do.

So, here are 3 ways to use “trovare” in Italian.

How to Use “Trovare” in Italian

1) Come hai trovato Bologna? – What’d you think of Bologna?

And if I were being asked that question, I would answer: L’ho trovata bellissima! – I thought it was beautiful.

CPF: “Trovato” ends in an -a, instead of an -o, because all cities are considered feminine in Italian. Take that, patriarchy.

Other examples:

— Come trovi il corso d’italiano? – What do you think of your Italian course?

— Lo trovo molto molto moltooooo difficile… però mi piace. – I’m finding it really really reallyyyyy difficult… but I like it.

— Trovo che Maria sia una persona davvero educata. – I think Maria is really a good-mannered person.

Include usbjunctive mood article

2) Fatti trovare pronto. – Make sure you’re ready (to go).

Here I’m using the phrase “farsi trovare,” which can be defined here as a more demanding version of “to be.”

Other examples:

— Fatti trovare là alle sette. – Be there at 7.

— Giulia e la sua amica si faranno trovare pronte per le sette. – Giulia and her friend will be ready at 7 pm.

— Puoi darmi dei consigli per farmi trovare più facilmente sui social network? – Can you give me some advice to make people search more easily for my page on social networks?

— Ti farò trovare una cenetta deliziosa al tuo rientro! – I’m going to prepare for you a delicious dinner by the time you’ll be home.

3) Vado a trovare mio nonno. – I’m going to visit my grandfather.

In this situation, “trovare” is meant as “to visit.” Unlike in English, Italians wouldn’t use the verb “visitare – to visit” to talk about people. They only use it when talking about places, like “Ho visitato il duomo a Firenze! – I visited the Duomo in Florence!”

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village.

LINKS I MENTIONED:


Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts!

If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

Direct download: 214_Did_You_Know_You_Could_Use_Sentire_and_Trovare_In_These_Ways_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

In Italian, a pronominal verb is basically a verb mixed with pronouns.

Pronominal verbs look similar to verbs you already know, making it a little bit easier to take a guess at their meaning.

We’re all familiar with the Italian verb ‘andare,’ meaning ‘to go’.

The pronominal verb that looks similar to andare is andarsene.

You can guess by how it looks that andarsene probably has something to do with going somewhere.

Andarsene means ‘to go away somewhere’.

Pronominal verbs often end in –sene.

The ‘se’ is actually the pronoun ‘si,’ but it changes to ‘se’ because it is preceding another pronoun.

The pronoun it is preceding in this case is ‘ne,’ which is called a pronominal particle. The ‘ne’ often refers to something or somewhere. In the case of andarsene, it relates to somewhere.

Here are some other pronominal verbs that end in –sene:

– pentirsene – to regret something

– fregarsene – to not care (only used colloquially) about something

 

Besides –sene, pronominal verbs can have other endings too.

They can end in –sela, -sele, -cisi and –ci, just to name a few.

The common thread is that they are all combinations of verbs and pronouns.

Here are a few other pronominal verbs before we get into how to conjugating them.

– volerci – to take (as in time, effort, etc.)

– cavarsela – to manage, to get by

– avercela – be angry or upset by someone

-- entrarci - to have to do with

 

Where do all the pieces go?

Visit http://icebergproject.co/italian for full show notes for this episode and additional resources.

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show. Special ad music by 4barrelcarb on freesound.org.


DID YOU KNOW…?

When you become a supporter of the podcast for a remaining 2-month commitment, you’ll get exclusive audio recordings and transcripts from a native Italian speaker, just like the snippet with Beatrice included at the end of this episode!

To become a supporter of the podcast and get Patreon-exclusive bonuses, click here.

Not Your Typical Tourist Retreat: Language Immersion in Tuscany

To learn more about our 2019 retreat to Tuscany, visit: http://icebergproject.com/italian/


Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts!

If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

 

Direct download: 212_Figuring_Out_Verbs_Like_Andarsene_Volerci_Avercela_and_Entrarci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

What do you say when you freeze and forget how to speak Italian? Don't worry -- it happens! Here are some useful phrases to try.

For more resources visit: http://iceberg.co/italian

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village.


Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts!

If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.


Much like in the US, you can buy cheese at the deli counter. Near the deli there is usually some already pre-packaged and pre-weighed cheeses for you to browse as well.

Personally, I like my cheese fresh cut, so I recommend going to the deli versus buying it pre-packaged.

Alternatively you can get cheese from a caseificio, which is a shop that specializes in dairy products. These shops are usually close to the farm where the sheep / cows are bred.

Vorrei… – I would like…

Parmigiano Reggiano 24 mesi (DOP): This is the good stuff. You can grate it or eat it; it’s good on or with just about every primo or secondo.

Poi? – Anything else?

Hint: Rachel prefers 24 months to 12 months aged… the 24 months aging time makes it not too hard, and not too soft, but you can find both younger and older. Carlotta says that the 36 months is the best but to be prepared for a veeeery high cost!

Basta. – That’s enough.

Pecorino (Romano, Toscano, Sardo) DOP: Pecorino is a sheep’s milk cheese. I prefer the Sardo version slightly more (to me it tastes more earthy), but they are all delicious. You can find fresh pecorino, aged, or super aged pecorino cheeses. Obviously the more it’s aged the “stinkier” it gets, meaning it has a bolder and less milky flavor.

Fetta – Slice

Fettina – Thin slice

Ricotta: Want to know my secret to buying a good ricotta? Goat’s milk ricotta over cow’s milk ricotta, all day every day. The goat’s milk ricotta is sweeter and so delicious. I love an afternoon snack of ricotta on toast drizzled with oil and salt. Mmmm.

Un etto – 1/10th of a kilo, aka 100 grams. 1kg =2.2 lb so 1/10 of 2.2 is just barely under ¼ lb

Due / tre etti – Plural of etto, for more than 100 grams

Grammi – Grams, you can also order in grams instead of saying etti

-- Buongiorno! Oggi vorrei tre etti di pecorino. – Good morning! Today I would like 300 grams of pecorino.

Burrata: Burrata is essentially mozzarella, but a softer, milkier, buttery version. It’s great to be eaten when you want even more mozzarella flavor and texture.

-- Bene allora, ma che tipo di pecorino? Abbiamo pecorino sardo o toscano. – OK, that’s’ fine but what type of pecorino? We have pecorino from Sardinia and Tuscany.

Stracchino: This is a type of cow’s milk cheese that is delicious and gooey and so good as an appetizer with prosciutto crudo. It’s a fresh cheese, no rind, and sometimes known as “crescenza.”

-- Ohhh quello Sardo di certo! – Oooo, the Sardinian one of course!

Stracciatella: I would be a bad Pugliese girl if I didn’t mention this cheese! A cow’s milk cheese, similar again to mozzarella, it is produced by stretching and pulling. Delicious with an antipasto or some fresh tomatoes and olives!

-- Un mezzo kilo per favore. — Half a kilo, please!

Ricotta salata: Salted ricotta is AMAZING. Not everyone has tried it, and it’s definitely not a cheese you eat by the slice (too salty to eat alone) but grated on top of pasta in place of parm, or served in small cubes baked into a pasta dish, it’s truly fantastic.

OK, quanto ne vuoi? – How much do you want?

When the deli worker is done, he will usually say, “poi?” (or “altro?” or “vuole dell’altro?”) meaning, “anything else?”

I continue this way, asking about or ordering just one or two items at a time, until I am done and I give a hearty, “basta, grazie” or “that’s enough, thanks”.

OTHERS

CPF >> Wondering what DOP means? Denominazione di Origine Protetta or Protected Designation of Origin, which means it was produced according to super strict standards. This label is definitely something you want to look for when buying a cheese like parmigiano.

For more resources visit: http://iceberg.co/italian

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village.


Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts!

If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

Direct download: 210_How_to_Buy_Cheese_in_Italy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

I don’t know why, but I love the word “altrimenti”. It might be the way it rolls off the tongue or the elegant way it connects phrases together, but I’m off on a language-nerd tangent now.

The point is that today we are learning how to use the word “altrimenti” in Italian.

(Seriously, say it loud now. Shivers. Kind of like “la schiuma del cappuccino”.)

“Altrimenti” can be defined as:

  • Otherwise
  • Or else
  • If not

Here are some examples to give you an idea of how you can use it:

Non lavorare troppo, altrimenti ti esaurisci/viene un esaurimento. - Don’t work too hard, otherwise you’ll burn out.

Se pensi altrimenti, dimmi. - If you think otherwise, tell me.

A: Perché hai imparato l’Italiano al liceo? - Why did you learn Italian in high school?

B: Perché altrimenti avrei dovuto imparare lo spagnolo e già riuscivo a parlarlo. - Because otherwise I would have had to learn Spanish and I already spoke it.

Devo imparare il mandarino, altrimenti non riuscirò a comunicare con la mia famiglia quando starò a Taiwan. - I have to learn Mandarin, otherwise I won’t be able to communicate with my family when I’m in Taiwan.

Lo so che non è una buona idea, ma non posso fare altrimenti. - I know that it’s not a good idea, but I can’t do otherwise/have no other choice.

Non posso fare altrimenti! - I cannot do otherwise!

Sinomino:

  • Sennò/Se no - If not; This is used more often in spoken Italian and can only be substituted with “altrimenti” to mean “if not” or “or else”.
  • Altrimenti detto - Also known as
  • Fare altrimenti - To do otherwise

 

For more resources visit: http://iceberg.co/italian 

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village.


Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts!

If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

Direct download: 209_Italian_Word_Speed_Date__Altrimenti_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In episode 208 of the 30 Minute Italian Podcast, Rachel and I talk about what Christmas holiday is coming up in Florence and the reality of being a foreigner - an American - in Italy.

We answer questions like - What’s it like to...

  • Pay bills in Italy?
  • Be far away from friends in Italy?
  • Make Italian friends?
  • Buy a house in Italy?

Vocabulary Mentioned:

  • L'Immacolata Concezione - Immaculate Conception
  • Il vin brûlé - Mulled wine
  • Mercatini di Natale - Christmas markets

Links Mentioned:

For more resources visit: http://iceberg.co/italian

Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village.


Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts!

If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

Direct download: 208_CULTURE_-_Whats_it_like_to_be_an_American_Living_in_Florence_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

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