Monthly Archives: May 2011

Lost in Translation and False Friends in Italian/English

I stumbled into this old commercial on youtube which made me laugh so hard once again. Certainly one of my favorites ! It’s also most appropriate for language instructors, you can share it with your students, I think they will enjoy it as well.



Italian False Friends/Falsi Amici in Italiano

Attualmente: currently NOT actually (in realtà)
Camera: room NOT camera (la macchina fotografica)
Cocomero: watermelon NOT cucumber (cetriolo)
Comprensivo: understanding NOT comprehensive (completo)
Confetti: sugared almond NOT confetti (coriandoli)
Confrontare: to compare NOT to confront
Crudo: raw NOT crude (volgare)
Educato: polite NOT educated (istruito or colto)
Educazione: good manners NOT education (istruzione)
Eventuale: any NOT eventual (finale)
Fabbrica: factory NOT fabric (tessuto)
Fastidio: annoying NOT fastidious (pignolo)
Fattoria: farm NOT factory (fabbrica)
Firma: signature NOT firm, as in company (azienda) or firm, as in a mattress (rigido)
Gentile: nice NOT gentle (dolce or leggero)
Intendere: to understand NOT to intend
Libreria: bookstore NOT library (biblioteca)
Magazzino: warehouse NOT magazine (rivista)
Morbido: soft NOT morbid (morboso)
Noioso: boring NOT noisy (rumoroso)
Parente: relative NOT parent (genitore, madre, padre)
Patente: license NOT patent (richiesta di brevetto)
Peperoni: peppers NOT pepperoni, the spicy sausage (salame piccante)
Preservativo: condom NOT preservative (conservante)
Pretendere: to expect NOT to pretend (fare finta)
Rumore: sound NOT rumor (voce)
Sensibile: sensitive NOT sensible (ragionevole)
Simpatico: nice NOT sympathetic (comprensivo)
Stravagante: eccentric NOT extravagant (sprecone)

List provided by Michele Fabio @


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Contemporary Italy — online course at Brooklyn College

 There is a new course being offered at Brooklyn College starting Fall 2011, the title of which is Contemporary Italy — Italian 3515 Net1. The course will be fully online. This course would be particularly suited for students who need or want to take an extra course but can’t because of a conflict or time constraints, or need another course for their major or to graduate. The course is given in English and is open to everyone. Italian majors who want to count it toward their major will be required to do the work in Italian Registration information for visiting students from other CUNY and non-CUNY campuses can be found at

Course Description: A survey of thought, art, literature, politics, and the social and economic milieu of contemporary Italy. Emphasis will be placed on the historical and cultural forces that have transformed Italy from an agricultural country into one of the world’s major economic powers. This course will introduce students to Italy’s social and political institutions, artistic and literary movements, intellectual trends, the economic system, the family, the role of the Catholic Church, the environment, the “Southern Question,” traditional political parties and recent transformations, language and dialects, feminism, education, “Tangentopoli,” current trends. The material for the course will be supplemented by films and documentaries about contemporary Italy.

Required text: Mario Mignone, Italy Today: Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2008 (Paperback)

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ILAC Resource Page

We just updated the resource page of our website in which you will find all sorts of resources pertaining to Italian language, literature, culture, music, comics, opera, etc. that can be shared with students and colleagues at your institutions. You might also want to add this link to your syllabi

If you want to share other useful resources with our community, feel free to contact us either by twitter or email.

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