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Category Archive for 'Articles'

We don’t have those letters!

When you start learning the Italian alphabet you realize that some letters are missing. You may wonder why… The letters j k w y x  don’t belong to the traditional Italian alphabet, although, in everyday speaking, some words that contain those letters are present in modern Italian. Those words are usually adaptation of foreign words, mostly […]

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Get to know what kind of traditions Italians celebrate in the month of December and learn a few new words in Italian. On December 1st, Italian children start a brand new Advent Calendar (Calendario dell’Avvento). This is a one page calendar with 24 little windows. The children open one window each day, starting on December […]

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Q: How do I make my language learning easy and effective? A: Choose a language learning method that is right for you and establish a daily or weekly routine. It is that simple! If you can commit a certain amount of time every day or every week, you will make steady progress that will take […]

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In Italian, idioms (figures of speech) are called “espressioni idiomatiche”. They can be tricky and hard to understand, because when you translate an idiom, you don’t get its real meaning, but only the meaning of the words it is made of. That is why, for those interested in understanding the Italian language and culture, it […]

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How children play in Italy

Young Italian children play a game that is very similar to the one known as “Ring-a-Ring-o’-Roses”. It is called Girotondo. How to play: The children make a ring by holding hands and walking in a circle while chanting a short rhyme. At the end of the song they throw themselves down onto the ground and […]

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Italian families all over Italy are getting ready to celebrate Christmas in their homes. In the cities decorations and Christmas trees adorn streets and squares, while many churches display nativity scenes. A nativity scene (Presepe, in Italian) is a representation of the nativity story of Christ, and can be done in a live form (Presepe […]

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October is a great month for Italian festivals, especially food festivals and wine harvest celebrations. But what about Halloween? Well, Halloween is not a big celebration in Italy and does not belong to the Italian tradition, but it is becoming more popular especially in the larger cities. Halloween in Italy is All Saint’s Eve. All […]

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This weekend many Italian communities around the world will be celebrating San Gennaro (Saint Januarius), and this will give anyone an opportunity to enjoy a festive event, eat Italian food and try to practice some Italian with other festival participants. But who was San Gennaro? He was a martyr saint and Bishop of Naples during the […]

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Almost all human beings acquire a language (and sometimes more than one), to the level of native competency, before age 5. Most researchers agree that children acquire language through interplay of biology and environmental factors. A challenge for linguists is to figure out how nature and nurture come together to influence language learning. Language acquisition […]

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The one-parent-one-language method (OPOL) is a popular method for teaching young children to speak multiple languages. With this method each parent speaks only one language with the child. The language used by the parent is usually the language that is native to that parent. Although the OPOL method is very popular and very effective, there […]

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