A Traveler’s Terrene

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Language Blunders November 17, 2009

Filed under: Italian Life — italicana kitchen @ 9:15 pm
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I always have to laugh when I make language blunders.  Actually, I start laughing when I see the look of shock or confusion on the other person’s face…

Cannibalism, The New Fashion:

After a coffee date with a friend the other day, we were walking back towards the car through the narrow cobblestone streets and I commented on his down jacket that zipped all the way up to the tip of his hood much like a mummy sleeping bag.

“Your jacket looks like un sacco di pelle,” I say to him.

He stares back at me, his eyes narrowed with confusion.

“You know…for camping,” I continue.

Then his eyes lit up and he bent over laughing. Historically might I add, to the point that I thought he might choke from not getting enough air in his lungs. Oh, cause don’t you know “un sacco a pelo” means sleeping bag, where as “un sacco di pelle” means skin. Yup, that’s right my friend, you’re jacket looks like a sack of skin.  Nice one Cindy.

TMI….Too Much information:

Of course, not to be out done, my Italian friend who likes to practice speaking English with me also experienced quite the hilarious language blunder. We had just packed up our books and were leaving the library when she whispered something in my ear.

“I need to go to the bathroom to put on my fart,” she said.

Sometimes her English is missing a word or two, so I translated that phrase to, “I need to go to the bathroom to fart.”

“Uhh, huh….interesting…well, thannnnks for sharing friend,” was my first thought.  That is until after I realized that she probably said “fard” which is another word for make-up.

Even so, Italian gals, when talking to someone in English, just remember the word make-up….never, never, say the word fard. I promise…you will get quite the shocked look if you do.

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Another Vocab Blunder… March 31, 2009

Standing outside a restaurant last week, my friend introduced me to a group of friends.  While he turned to continue his conversation with another person I began to chat with one of the women.

Of course, our conversation started out by saying the introductory greetings of “Ciao/Hello…” “Come stai?/How are you?”….etc.  Later in the conversation, I noticed her beautiful red necklace.

“Che bel collare!” I exclaimed.

I received a puzzled look from the woman. Then I pointed to her red necklace hanging around her neck.

“Oh!” She said a wide grin flashing across her face, “La mia collana.”

Ah yes…”collana” because “collare” means collar.

“What a beautiful collar!” …so…I basically just told the woman she looked like a dog. Awesome.