Nov
21
2014

Famous Italians – the Answers

Here are the answers to Monday’s quiz, Famous Italians. If you haven’t already had a go at it, you can find it HERE. I’ve added a few interesting facts about each of them which you may not already know.

1. Ennio Morricone, born in Rome in 1928, he has written music for more than 500 film soundtracks. In 2007, Morricone received the Academy Honorary Award "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music". The unforgettable whistle theme was written for Il Buono il Brutto e il Cattivo (the Good the Bad and the Ugly), the third and final film of the ‘Dollars Trilogy’.

2. Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 – 1519, is famous for his paintings, especially La Gioconda. However, he studied and wrote about many different subjects, including geology, flight, gravity, optics, and anatomy, the latter of which he used to depict the human body more accurately. He ‘invented’ the bicycle, airplane, helicopter, and parachute nearly 500 years before their time.

3. Marco Polo, Venice 1254 – 1324, travelled for over 20 years through Asia with his father and his uncle. Back in Venice, he took part in the naval conflict between Venezia and Genova, and in 1298 he was captured by the Genoese. During his captivity he recounted numerous stories from his travels, which were written down by a prison mate, Rustichello da Pisa. The resulting book is known as ‘The Million’ or the ‘Travels of Marco Polo’.

4. San Francesco d’Assisi, 1182 – 1226, was originally named Giovanni by his mother Madonna Pica, but his father, Pietro di Bernardone, a wealthy merchant who often travelled to France for business, nicknamed him Francesco, ‘the French man’. See this old post: San Francesco d’Assisi

giotto-san-francesco-predica-agli-uccelli-002
Giotto, San Francesco predica agli uccelli

5. Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1807 – 1882, lived in South America as an exile between 1836 and 1848, where he volunteered in two independence wars: the first was the attempt by the Rio Grande do Sul republic to break free from the Brazilian Empire, and then, in 1842 he took part in the Uruguayan war of liberation against Argentina. Garibaldi’s involvement with independence wars both in South America and in Italy led to his nickname l’Eroe dei Due Mondi (the Hero of Two Worlds).

6. Amerigo Vespucci, 1454 – 1512, was a Florentine cartographer and explorer. In 1501, during his travels along the South Coast of America, Vespucci came to realize that what he had found wasn’t Asia but an entirely new continent, which he referred to as the New World. It was the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller who first used the word ‘America’ on his 1507 map of the world.

7. Miuccia Prada (real name Maria Prada). In 1978 she decided to enter into the family business, which had been started by her grandfather Mario Prada in 1913. Prada manufactured beautifully hand-tooled suitcases, handbags, and steamer trunks. After a few years she moved into designing women’s wear, and her debut collection in 1988 immediately received critical acclaim.

8. Benito Mussolini was born on the 29th of July 1883 in Predappio, Emilia Romagna. He founded the Fascist political party and was the Italian Duce (leader) from 1922 to 1943. He was captured by Italian partisans and shot on 28 April 1945. Mussolini’s youngest son, jazz musician Romano Mussolini, married Anna Maria Scicolone, sister of the actress Sophia Loren. Their daughter, Alessandra Mussolini, is a politician, and member of Berlusconi’s party Forza Italia.

9. Amedeo Modigliani was born in Livorno in 1884 and died in 1920 in Paris, where he had moved in 1906. A painter and sculptor, Modigliani died penniless and destitute, giving his work away in exchange for meals in restaurants. Ironically, in June 2010 Modigliani’s Tête, a limestone carving of a woman’s head, became the second most expensive sculpture ever sold.

modigliani
Tête by Modigliani

10. Enzo Ferrari, Modena 1898 – 1988, started as a test and racing driver for Alfa Romeo. Despite growing up with little formal education in his final years he was often referred to as l’Ingegnere (the Engineer).

11. Sophia Loren was born the 20th of September 1934. Her real name is Sofia Villani Scicolone, but at the beginning of her career she changed it first to Sofia Lazzaro and then to the more exotic Sophia Loren. In 1961 she won the Best Actress Academy Award for the film La Ciociara (Two Women), directed by Vittorio de Sica, and in 1991 she received an Academy Honorary Award.

12. Maria Montessori, 1870 – 1952, was a very determined young woman who decided to become an engineer, but at that time such a career wasn’t open to women, so she changed direction and studied Medicine and Psychiatry instead. Montessori graduated in 1896 from the Università La Sapienza di Roma, becoming the first Italian female doctor! You can read more about her in this post: Maria Montessori.

Nov
20
2014

Beginner Spanish Conversation: Talking About Yourself

Image via Clipart

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? Espero que estés bien.

Today we’re going to practice asking and answering questions in Spanish, for beginners. First you’ll read a short text, then you’ll have some questions and answers to practice your speaking skills.

Listen and repeat the text as many times as you can. You’ll see that Spanish will actually “roll off your tongue in no time!

Let’s do this!

Text 01

Me llamo Juan Martín Sánchez. Martín es el apellido de mi padre y Sánchez es el apellido de mi madre. Nací el 8 de enero de 1984, así que tengo treinta años cumplidos. Trabajo como vendedor en una tienda de ropas desde hace tres años y estudio inglés en una escuela de idiomas. Vivo en Nueva York pero soy de Barcelona, España.

¿Cómo te llamas?
Me llamo Juan Martín Sánchez.

¿Cuál es el apellido de tu padre?
El apellido de mi padre es Martín.

¿Cuál es el apellido de tu madre?
El apellido de mi madre es Sánchez.

¿Cuándo naciste?
Nací el 8 de enero de 1984.

¿Cuántos años tienes?
Tengo treinta años.

¿A qué te dedicas?
Trabajo como vendedor.

¿Dónde trabajas?
Trabajo en una tienda de ropas.

¿Desde cuando trabajas en la tienda de ropas?
Desde hace tres años.

¿Estudias idiomas?
Sí, estudio inglés en una escuela de idiomas.

¿Dónde vives?
Vivo en Nueva York?

¿De dónde eres?
Soy de Barcelona, España.

Text 02

Mi nombre es Marina Souza Ferreira. Souza y Ferreira son los apellidos de mi padre. Nací el 29 de septiembre de 1987, así que tengo veintisiete años. No trabajo. Hago mi posgrado en la universidad Cristóbal Colón. Vivo en Perú pero soy de Recife, Brasil.

¿Cuál es tu nombre?
Mi nombre es Marina Souza Ferreira.

¿Cuáles son tus apellidos?
Mis apellidos son Souza y Ferreira. Son de mi padre.

¿Cuándo naciste?
Nací el 29 de septiembre de 1987.

¿Cuántos años tienes?
Tengo veintisiete años.

¿Trabajas?
No, no trabajo.

¿Estudias?
Sí, hago mi posgrado en la Universidad Cristóbal Colón.

¿Dónde vives?
Vivo en Perú.

¿Naciste en Perú?
No, soy de Recife, Brasil.

Want more free resources to learn Spanish? Check out the other goodies we offer to help make your language learning efforts a daily habit.

Nov
20
2014

Texting in French: Le Langage SMS

Photo by Mellna Sampalo Manfrinatti on Flikr.

Photo by Mellna Sampalo Manfrinatti on Flikr.

Slt sava ? (Hey sup?)

There’s a lot of English that goes beyond the scope of the common textbook, or even the common work of fiction. Many of us millennials grew up learning it, chatting and playing des jeux vidéos (video games) with friends. We would have contests of sorts to see just who could come up with the shortest way to say things. Not only was it convenient to save time, but it also made us feel cool.

In France, the very same thing happened, and similarly continues to happen to this day. Often referred to as le langage SMS (textspeak) there are a load of abréviations and otherwise hard to decipher symbols that will surprise a French learner when they receive their first text message in France.

As an example, “Bojour, ça va ?” (Hello, how are you?), can become “bjr sava?

To help you get started in understanding le langage SMS, here’s a small vocabulaire to help you with the basics:

 

lgtpslongtemps (Long time)

ttTout (All)

prPour (For)

sltSalut (Hi)

koi –  Quoi (What)

jamè –  Jamais (Never)

gravGrave (Serious)

eskeEst-ce que… (Is it…)

2m1Demain (Tomorrow)

bi1Bien (Well)

koi 2 9quoi de neuf ? (What’s new?)

gtJ’étais (I was)

mr6Merci (Thank you)

GJ’ai (I have)

CC’est (It is)

NRJÉnergie (Energy)

 

If you’ve run across any language SMS, feel free to laisser un commentaire (leave a comment) about it!

Nov
20
2014

Texting in French: Le Langage SMS

Photo by Mellna Sampalo Manfrinatti on Flikr.

Photo by Mellna Sampalo Manfrinatti on Flikr.

Slt sava ? (Hey sup?)

There’s a lot of English that goes beyond the scope of the common textbook, or even the common work of fiction. Many of us millennials grew up learning it, chatting and playing des jeux vidéos (video games) with friends. We would have contests of sorts to see just who could come up with the shortest way to say things. Not only was it convenient to save time, but it also made us feel cool.

In France, the very same thing happened, and similarly continues to happen to this day. Often referred to as le langage SMS (textspeak) there are a load of abréviations and otherwise hard to decipher symbols that will surprise a French learner when they receive their first text message in France.

As an example, “Bojour, ça va ?” (Hello, how are you?), can become “bjr sava?

To help you get started in understanding le langage SMS, here’s a small vocabulaire to help you with the basics:

 

lgtpslongtemps (Long time)

ttTout (All)

prPour (For)

sltSalut (Hi)

koi –  Quoi (What)

jamè –  Jamais (Never)

gravGrave (Serious)

eskeEst-ce que… (Is it…)

2m1Demain (Tomorrow)

bi1Bien (Well)

koi 2 9quoi de neuf ? (What’s new?)

gtJ’étais (I was)

mr6Merci (Thank you)

GJ’ai (I have)

CC’est (It is)

NRJÉnergie (Energy)

 

If you’ve run across any language SMS, feel free to laisser un commentaire (leave a comment) about it!

Nov
19
2014

Learning Imperative Sentence in Japanese

angry

photo from id-iom on flickr.com

 

Imperative sentence might be something you might not use too often but you definitely want to know because it will come in handy when you need to express your strong opinion. Typically in English, imperative sentence begins with the base form of verb, and it ends with a period or exclamation point.

It is similar in Japanese. However, in Japanese, it is a bit more different in that the ending of the verb will change. The key point to remember is, for the most part, it ends with ~ namai (~ なさい) or ~Re (れ) or ~Ro (ろ).

Let me show you with some examples.

 

Study hard!

This sentence could be translated in two different ways.

1)  Isshoukenmei benkyo shinasai! 一生懸命、勉強しなさい!いっしょうけんめい べんきょう しなさい!

2) Isshoukenmei benkyo shiro! 一生懸命、勉強しろ!いっしょうけんめい べんきょう しろ!

The second sentence is more abrupt and straight forward way of saying “Study Hard”. Perhaps, father might be saying this way to his children. It indicates a bit of frustration or anger on whoever is saying. The first one could also sound pretty strict, but it indicates more of guidance, often from mothers to children or teachers to students.

 

Read more books! 

1)  Motto hon o yominasai もっと本を読みなさい! もっと ほんを よみなさい

2) Motto hon o yome! もっと本を読め!もっと ほんを よめ!

 

Run faster! 

1)  Motto hayaku hashirinasai! もっと速く走りなさい! もっとはやく はしりなさい!

2) Motto hayaku hashire! もっと速く走れ! もっと はやく はしれ!

 

Stop talking!

1)  Hanasuno o yamenasai!  話すのを止めなさい! はなすのを やめなさい!

2) Nanasuno o yamero!   話すのを止めろ! はなすのを やめろ!

 

Stop fighting! 

1)  Kenka wa yamesanai!   喧嘩は、止めなさい! けんかは やめなさい!

2) Kenka wa yamero!  喧嘩は、止めろ! けんかは やめろ!

 

Go apologize!  

1) Ayamatte kinasai!   謝って来なさい!あやまって きなさい!

2) Ayamatte koi!  謝って来い!あやまって こい!

 

Go apologize!  

1) Ayamatte kinasai!   謝って来なさい!あやまって きなさい!

2) Ayamatte koi!  謝って来い!あやまって こい!

 

Stop it! or Stop doing it! 

1) Sore yamenasai!  それやめなさい!

2) Sore yamero!  それやめろ!

 

Do you get an idea how the Japanese imperative sentence works? ~nasai (~なさい)sentence is easy to make one.  In the next post, I would like to cover the “negative imperative sentence in Japanese” Stay tuned!