Italian dialogue (found in my notebook)

Alena/Arina the Russian with the gorgeous red hair said lots of funny things. She could communicate in English, but it takes a patient listener. Her Italian was hardly comprehensible  and the poor girl had so many problems understanding the grammar, because they don’t have most of the same verb tenses or the same alphabet. But here are some of the things she said in class.

“Ohhhhh! The ice cream in Italy. It’s yum.”


Teacher: You like garlic?

Me: Yes.

Her: Oh, yes! Garlic… garlic is wow. In St. Petersburg, we (she runs her finger down her neck) little garlic in winter. Not (chews) but (gulps). Just little garlic.


In Russia, you have two ways to get vodka. You can go to store an buy it, or you can make it. The kind made in home is good.

I think the Texan said this: You make vodka? (In Italian) several repeated tries… You know how to make vodka?

Her: Si si! of course! It’s very easy! Everybody knows. Only three ingredients. (She then draws instructions and tries to explain to us how to make vodka.


Somehow, she accidentally said she was in the Russian mafia. I think she was telling the story of how someone in the mafia tried to rob her and she said no, and someone misunderstood and asked her if she was in the mafia.



Language things! :

In class one day, the teacher explained the word fiasco. In Italian, it means two things, a catastrophe like in English, but it also means a really big bottle of wine.


A long time ago, only the first definition existed. Well, in Venice the glass blowers were making their Venetian glass.

urlGlass blowing is really cool. And hard, from what I understand. I should go to Venice.


imgresAll that work makes something pretty like this.



Sometimes, the glass blowers would accidentally make a vase or something too big and say “Guarda, ho fatto un fiasco!” Look, I made a fiasco! They also made a new word that spanned across several European languages.

Just looking at the sign for a terracotta store in Italy made me think. Obviously, “terra” is Earth, “terre” in French and the basis of “[extra]terrestrial,” “terrain,” and lots of words. Prosciutto cotto is cooked  ham/bacon. So literally and linguistically, terra cotta is cooked Earth.

Other random things people said:

It’s important to know that the David statue is in Florence, and they have a few replica Davids around town.

Clothilde, a French English teacher told Jess the New Zealander after we’d been sitting somewhere dusty, “Jess, you have a white bum like David.”

Itai: And, it’s another fake David.

Me: Made of copper, it looks like. hehe David Copperfield.

Itai: David Copperfake.

Clothilde: Mm. I don’t like him in green.

Lena from Germany: pelle de gallina

Me: Oh yeah, goose bumps. A goose is an animal. With wings.

Lena: A bird?

Oh yeah, thats what those are called. I’m afraid I came off condescending, but I really just didn’t know how to speak English anymore.

Me: The sign said there was another panoramarama place over there.

Itai: Panorama-rama?



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