Tag Archives: italian

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Freddo/Freddissimo (adj. cold/freezing)

Freddo (Freddissimo)

adj. cold, glacial, frigid
adj. fig. dead, lifeless
adj. fig. detached, aloof, impassive, rational
n.   cold, cold weather

from Word Reference

Freddo

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Adesso, fa freddissimo!–Right now, it’s freezing! (You can find an explanation of how freddo changed to freddissimo in my previous post.)

The reason I chose freddo this week is obvious. Il Regno di Ghiaccio (The Reign of Ice, i.e. the Italian title of the Disney movie Frozen) is an apt description of the current weather. The roads are iced over, frostbite is a few minutes of exposure away, and my car is making weird noises. D.C. doesn’t have it as bad as the rest of the country, but it was cold enough for me to dig out my gloves, scarf and hat from storage.

One of the first things one learns in Italian class is that (as with the case in French), one “has” cold as opposed to one “is” cold. In other words, ho freddo literally translates to “I have cold” but is the Italian equivalent of saying “I am cold.” Additionally, the weather “does” freezing as opposed to “is” freezing–(Il tempo) fa freddissimo. The idiomatic equivalent of fa freddissimo is fa un freddo cane, which, as far as I can tell, literally translates to (the weather) makes a frozen dog.

And since I get lethargic and sleepy whenever it’s cold out, this is all the effort I can muster for today. But calma e sangue freddo! (Keep calm and don’t panic–lit. calm yourself and keep your blood cold). My next Italian Word of the Week will hit the interwebs next Thursday.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment.  

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – [Buon] Anno ([Good] n. year)!

Happy New YearAnno

n. year

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Buon anno, tutti! (Happy New Year, everyone!–translation not literal) This week’s word came up a day early since it is the New Year. I’m going to put myself on a limb here and say buon anno is the Italian equivalent of “Happy New Year”. The only source I have to back this up are dubbed episodes of How I Met Your Mother (which are hilarious, by the way), so please feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken. Literally, the New Year is il capodanno (m. s.), and New Year’s Eve is la notte di capodanno (f.s.).

Anno (n. year) is a word that has given me much grief because I instinctively say per anno instead of all’anno whenever I refer to recurring events. In English, one says “X happens twice per year”, which somehow causes per (for) to tumble out of my mouth instead of the correct all’. I’m pretty sure I get corrected on this error at least 3 times a day while classes are in session.

Some useful phrases related to this word are ogni anno (every year, annually), l’anno scorso (last year), l’anno prossimo (next year), tutto l’anno (all year, year-round), and qualche anno fa (a few years ago). Of course, the romance writer in me zero’d in on the psychological term crisi del settimo anno (seven-year itch).

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Lupo (n. wolf)

Lupo

n. wolf

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

You might be wondering why I picked a straightforward noun–an animal of all things–as this week’s Italian word. Honestly, I did it because it provides the perfect segway for me to plug my new release, Delicious Delay. No, said book is not a shifter romance (though I do have one bouncing around in my head, threatening to break free). However, in case anyone out there is wondering, the Italian words for “werewolf” are licantropo and lupo mannaro (yes, I have a vampire edition of this post planned for the not too distant future).

It’s always a relief for students to find idioms that exist in both English and Italian. Gridare al lupo (id. to cry wolf; to raise a false alarm), lupo vestito da agnello (id. wolf in sheep’s clothing) and chi si pecora fa, il lupo se la mangia (id. those who make themselves sheep will be eaten by the wolf) are great examples. 

And here comes the segway. Italians (or so my teacher told me) are superstitious. As such, they would rarely say “Buona fortuna.” Instead, they prefer to use “In bocca al lupo” (lit. in the mouth of the wolf) whenever they want to wish anyone good luck, to which the person would respond “Crepi il lupo” (lit. the wolf dies). Since my new book releases tomorrow, I’m need quite a bit of luck, so I’ll go ahead and say this a few more times to myself.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well.