Tag Archives: italianglish

Italianglish

“That’s a bullshit.”

Giuseppe can’t seem to remember that the correct phrase is “that’s bull.” Instead, he makes it sound like we’ve sighted cow dung.

 

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On raising a bilingual baby: Our Mommyhood

 

Yesterday Our Mommyhood published my post on our little Italian-American family culture; hear my take on raising a bilingual baby.

 

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Thanks, baby

At 13 months, Paolo talks, but not in a language that we can really understand. It may be his own little combination of Italian and English.  He doesn’t really say anything that means anything in either language.

In fact, every time that we try to coach Paolo to say “Mamma,” he responds by shouting “DADDADADADA!” And then he laughs manically.  Really, he laughs his little head off.  Giuseppe thinks it’s absolutely hilarious. Me, less so.

To my delight, “Dada” doesn’t really mean anything in Italian.  Giuseppe refers to himself as “Papa`.” So I  just keep telling myself that Paolo doesn’t know what he is saying.

But let’s face it. We live in America, and I am absolutely sure that Paolo knows exactly what he is saying.  Little meanie.

At least he gives me lots of little baby kisses on the reg.

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Italianglish

“This just won’t work. He’s walking on his tips!” Giuseppe stated, a bit exasperated.

We had Paolo test driving baby walkers at the store yesterday.  (Yes, we had to leave the MINI Cooper in Hawaii. Even disassembled, it wouldn’t fit into a luggage and it would cost $120 (!) to ship it to Iowa.  I cried when I learned that the beloved walker was staying in the Land of Aloha.)  These baby walkers are assaultingly ugly, but I am really left with no choice. I cannot find a decent-looking baby walker in the entire city.

And we NEED A BABY WALKER.

After having stayed with my family for most of the month, Paolo has had a taste of the sweet life and now expects a full audience every minute, all day long.  He is used to five of us doting on him constantly, and, frankly, it’s a tough act to keep up on my own.  So, I was desperately in need of any and all baby entertainment on the market.  Let me just say, thank heavens for Baby Einstein videos and their blue sock puppets.

Hence the baby walker test driving.  I wanted to buy the collapsible walker, but as Giuseppe so aptly put, Paolo could only walk on his “tips.”  Tips being, his tip toes…obviously.  (I speak three languages: Italian, English, and Giuseppe.) So instead of the ugly collapsible walker, we purchased what is possibly the absolute ugliest baby walker ever to be put on the market.

Aesthetics aside, the baby walker is a-mazing.  Paolo loves it. And it gives me enough time to wash the breakfast dishes before dinner time.  Hopefully  now I can unpack our luggage sometime in the next week.

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Romance languages

English speakers pride themselves with their brevity of language. Or they at least strive to.  I know that, while I am not always successful, I sure do try to make my point succinctly and effectively.

Italian speakers, on the other hand, do just the opposite.  The best descriptions are ornate, flowery, and, shall we say, dramatic?  But always beautiful and always expressive.

Case in point: my darling husband expressing (in Italian, of course) how happy he is that we are back home from Hawaii: “When you are gone, it is like I am living my life in black and white, but when you are here, life comes back to being in bright color.”

There is a reason why Italian belongs to the Romance Language family.

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Italianglish

“That lady is really, how do you say it, street raging,” announced Giuseppe today while we were driving in Des Moines.

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