Category: Culture

Roma, the perfect place to learn Italian

Rome is considered as one of the oldest cities in the world and with the enclave of the Vatican City within its territory, Rome is also the center of Roman Catholicism and according to UNESCO, over 60% of the world’s art treasures are discovered in Italy.

Rome is the cultural center of Italy and tourism is an activity extremely important to the Italian economy. Universities in Rome are also significant parts of the financial system. Many people say that Italian is the most beautiful verbal language in the world.

1. Learn Italian in the External City

Rome has the largest institution of higher education in Italy and Rome is a main epicentre for artists. Speaking Italian will give you the opportunity to understand social and cultural references, by going to the theater or to the cinema this can help improve your knowledge of the country.

Nacel International offers an excellent Home Lessons program to students who want to learn Italian and discover the Italian culture by living in a teacher’s home which prevents the student from speaking his own language after class and thus destroying a great part of what he has learnt during classes. This is the key to rapid learning. Because the teacher is also in charge of the accommodation, the homestay in Italy program offers the unique opportunity to fully integrate. Students will have the unique opportunity to be in a full immersion experience, to live with and be individually taught by their own private teacher.

English is known as the international spoken language in tourism and in the business industry in general, but it is always better to exchange with locals in Italian if you are traveling in Italy for two main reasons. First of all, speaking Italian can facilitate the interaction with locals and secondly, locals will appreciate your effort in studying their language and culture. Therefore, learning Italian in Italy with a personal teacher will give you the opportunity to network easily and improve your fluency.

2. Rome: Culture and Gastronomy

The Romani culture is a part of the European cultural tradition. They like maintaining values such as promptness and organization. Social life and interaction is important to Romans that is why they enjoy public events and parties. People like to go out, go to the cinema, museums, theaters and music is considered an essential part of Italian life. Italian people are also famous for their attention to clothing and family values.

Rome’s cuisine has evolved through years but this city became a major gastronomical pole. In Rome, the typical serving dish is pasta. Italians have a varied range of pasta that they prepare it with all kind of sauces; the Bolognese and the Carbonara are the most famous. Generally, in restaurants plates are filled with food.  It is commonly said that Italian pasta has a different taste than any other pasta in the world. There is infinity of dishes you can taste in Rome mainly made with fish, vegetables and cheese.

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Top Five Italian Words You Wouldn’t Dare Mispronounce

Going to Italy? Well good for you! Just as with traveling to other countries, learning a little of their language would do you good. It doesn’t matter if you master it by heart or have a handy dandy translating dictionary with you, as long as you know the words and what they mean then you’re in good hands. However, knowing the meaning of words are sometimes not enough.

As you know, languages have different intonations with words. And in some languages, a little difference in intonation can lead to a difference in meaning. Thus, pronunciation is vital especially if it’s a foreign language. So, if you’ll be traveling to Italy and decide that you want to show off some of your Italian skills then here are the five Italian words that you wouldn’t dare mispronounce.

Fico

This word is a noun, which means fig. Sweet and succulent, figs are quite well loved, right? Yes, just make sure that you maintain saying this word in a masculine way in which it ends with a powerful and clear “o”. Be wary, since once you make it slang and say it like “figa” or “fica” then you are in big trouble. Why? Because the last two are Italian words that actually refer to the female anatomy’s vagina.

However, if you would desire to say that something’s generally cool or a certain man is attractive, then you could say “figo.”

Penne

This is yet another noun, which could mean penne, or basically the type of pasta. It may also mean “pens” in which the singular form would be “penna”. It would be helpful to know that the Italian language is quite particular with the letters on their words, in which you have to pronounce each letter clearly. Thus, the word “penne” should be pronounced as “pen-ne”.

Although non-Italian ears wouldn’t be able to discriminate the difference with regard to pronouncing correctly the double “n” or not; Italian ears however would definitely do, most especially with this word. Why? Since once you pronounce it as “pene” you are actually referring to the word “penis”. Such little variation in pronunciation could lead to a big difference with meaning!

Pisolino

This is a noun for “nap”. When saying this word, make sure that you pronounce it the way it is written. Do not forget the long “o” in the middle too. If ever you become lazy, and say it like “pisellino” which literally means “small pea”. However, even though “small pea” is the literal translation, it is also Popeye’s Sweet Pea in Italian, which is the slang word for “tiny pene”. Hence, to put it briefly, go have a nap and not a tiny penis.

Scappare

This verb means “to escape”. This is yet another word that you should be careful in pronouncing the middle vowel. If you mispronounce it to “devo scopare” then you are actually telling somebody that you’ve got to sweep the floor. Although that seems not so bad at all, you should know that it’s also the slang for making love.

Scoraggiare

This verb means “to discourage”. If ever you mispronounce it to “scoreggia” what you’ll be talking about actually is to pass gas in a very unpleasing manner. This is quite a common mistake by foreign teachers who are teaching students English in Italy.

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