In Italian, when taking a photo, we encourage our subject to smile by saying "sorridi!" ("smile!"), if you are being informal, "sorrida!", if you are being formal. If you were to translate directly from the English and say "dici formaggio!" your subject would be completely dumbfounded! If we happen to be taking a photo of more than one person, we say "sorridete!".
Often these days when teaching, as you turn from writing on the board towards the class, you see a mobile phone aimed at you and a student is taking a picture of what you've just written or the storyboard we are using. We make a joke of it of course: "Johnny Depp has joined us today!", or "When I loose weight, I'll be happy to pose for you!", etc. So yesterday, for fun, I took a photo of my class taking photos of of the board, which reminded me of some photos I took last october of tourists taking photos of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus and Primavera, at the Uffizi Gallery, and, of course, of Martin Parr's famous photograph (above) of tourists taking photos of Leonardo's La Gioconda at the Louvre Museum. Ecco le foto:
Our next term of Italian language courses in the very heart of Sydney's CBD will be starting on the first week of April. There are plenty of days to choose from and ample flexibility if you cannot attend your regular Italian class. So, to paraphrase the Prime Minister, there's never been a better time to learn Italian - at Italia 500 of course! Not to mention that it's a lot of fun and, studies prove, quite good for you! Learn more about Italia 500's Italian courses in Sydney.
Domani è la festa di San Valentino and one of our students, la bellissima e simpaticissima Norah, is holding open the page dedicated to Italy of a lovely pop-up book published in 2009: Everyone Says I Love You: A pop-up trip around the world, illustrated by Beegee Tolpa. Italian has two ways of saying I love you: "Ti amo", and "Ti voglio bene". For Saint Valentine's day, "Ti amo" is definitely the one to use. What is, however, the difference between the two? Here is how Italy Magazine explains the difference:
"The first interesting point is that Italians distinguish clearly between romantic passionate love and love for friends and families. Amore is a word exclusively dedicated to your lover and Ti amo leaves no space for doubts or questions about one’s feelings. In a country where love and passion usually go hand in hand, the possessive Amore mio (my love) is very common.
Ti voglio bene (which we could translate with “I am fond of you”) is the appropriate expression to use with children, parents, friends and pets. But it is not unusual for lovers to say both as a way to express passion and care for each other."
Auguri a tutti gli innamorati!
La settimana scorsa è stata l'ultima settimana delle vacanze estive di scuola e noi abbiamo avuto due ospiti d'eccezione ad Italia 500, insieme alle loro due amichette scimmiette: Shaun la pecora e Grumpy cat - se avete figli piccoli sapete esattamente di stiamo parlando. Le due scimmiette, oltre a fare un "casino", hanno disegnato anche dei ritratti molto lusinghieri di Giacomo! Cambiando tema, stamattina abbiamo ricevuto una simpatica email riguardante le lezioni online di uno "studente" in Libano! (Dobbiamo riprendere a filmare le lezioni ma Giacomo sta procrastinando come al solito!) Ecco l'email e grazie Mostafa - nessuno ha mai detto a Giacomo che "spacca"!
Last week was the last week of the summer school holidays and we had two very special guests visit us at Italia 500 with their two cheeky monkey friends: Shaun la pecora (Shaun the Sheep) and Gatto irascibile (Grumpy cat) - if you have children you know who we are talking about. The two cheeky monkeys, apart from making a huge mess, also produced some very flattering portraits of Giacomo! On a different topic, this morning we received a lovely email regarding our online lessons from a "student" in Lebanon! (We really ought to get back to producing the videos but Giacomo has been procrastinating as usual!) Here's the email e grazie Mostafa - Giacomo has never been told that he "rocks"!
At Italia 500 we've been offering Italian courses, in Sydney, since 1995 and one of the most beautiful aspects of learning Italian is that it opens the door to a culture of unrivalled richness and diversity. In this blog we'll be sharing some of our favourite books, movies, places in Italy to visit, music, links to podcasts, information about local and international Italian themed events, and the odd "personal" view, in the hope that it will encourage you to delve further into a culture which continues to inspire us and millions of people all over the world.