Monday, July 28, 2008

Italian vs English

Italian can be a complicated language. This week's assignment -definite article plus preposition phrases is the epitome of complexity. There are fifty different forms we need to use. English does not do this at all, French and Spanish a little (3 forms that I can think of) For instance, the expression 'in the' is nel, nello, nell', nella, negli, nei depending on the gender and plurality of the noun and in some cases, it is different if the word starts with st or not or a vowel. Lots of prepositions too. Alot of my fellow students haven't even grasped the basics so this will be fun for them.

And idioms can be fun. The Italians were wishing us good luck on our mid-terms with weird expressions like a wolf is in your mouth and kill the wolf and one said piss in your mouth but he might be kidding for all I know. They have trouble with our various meanings of take and get. Why do we take a piss when we are actually giving a piss? Bookworms are library mouses and 'a bird in the hand being worth more than 2 in the bush' is 'an egg today is better than a hen tomorrow'. We are supposed to get together with an Italian and compare idioms this week.

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