Tips For Learning Italian – Part 7

Italians will use body language and hand gestures to emphasis a point and add just a little more meaning that the word or phrase is missing on its own. Since you don’t want to be mistaken for the indifferent, non-native Italian, learn a few Italian hand gestures and other nonverbal responses.

Upon asking an American the colors of the flag of Italy and most of them will tell you rosso, blanco, e verde, which means red, white and green. Even though the colors are correct the order in which they were said will sound grating to most native ears. If someone said the colors of the American flag were blue, white and red, it would sound the same to us as using the red, white and green is to the Italians. We have had the red, white and blue ingrained into our society and into the DNA of our language that saying the colors of our flag any other way is just not the same.

The same holds true for the Italian. To respond correctly to the question of the colors of their flag, you should answer verde, blanco, e rosso or green, white and red. It may seem as a trivial difference, but it will tag you as a non-native speaking Italian.

Here in America as the winter months fade away and the spring and summer starts warming up you will see many Americans dining outside whether it is at home or in a restaurant. Many restaurants have outside setting areas and as Americans we refer to this as dining al fresco. There are several restaurants named Al fresco all across the United States.

When you make you next trip to Italy and upon arriving at your favorite restaurant for lunch, the hostess will ask you if you want to dine indoors or outdoors. The hostess will probably snicker if you tell her you want to dine al fresco. In Italian the word al fresco means in the cooler, which is a slang term for being in jail or prison. If you wish to dine on the patio in a restaurant in Italy you will be better off using the term all’aperto or all’areia aperta or even fuori.