Thursday, April 26, 2007

ASK A DUMB QUESTION.........

******************Photo Courtesy of Gino Campioni*****************
ASK A DUMB QUESTION ABOUT THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE AND YOU ARE APT TO GET A VERY SPECIFIC ANSWER FROM “LA NOSTRA COSTA” LINGUIST GINO CAMPIONI, WHO IS PICTURED ABOVE AS A YOUNG “BOBBY DELLA COSTA” CIRCA 1950.


Gino.
What is the difference between "della" and "dalla" I noticed that certain songs such "Quel Mazzoline D'Fiori use dalla as in "dalla montagna". Either way you deserve the title “Cavaliere Supremo della (or dalla) Costa. ivn0


About della vs. dalla. Della is "of the" and Dalla is "from the". Molto semplice, no? If it refers to a source which is plural, such as a family, etc. then Degli means "of them" and Dagli means "from them".

Italian in all its simplicity is so much more specific than English. Nouns have gender, i.e. masculine, feminine or neuter. Their spelling indicates that. The adjectives must agree with the nouns. There are a few exceptions. Some nouns which are masculine if singular become neuter when plural. A notable one is the word "lenzuolo" (bed sheet)
It is masculine when singular. When referring to several bed sheets it becomes "lenzuoli", (masculine) but when referring to a pair it becomes "le lenzuola" (neuter)

Where things really get simple is in spelling and pronunciation. I used to ask my mother how to spell something in Italian, and she would tell me that spelling is not even taught. If you know how to pronounce it, you can write it just fine. Not so in English, in which all the vowels can have 3 to 5 different pronunciations depending on the word.

Here's a funny: How do you pronounce GHRETI GHOTI ? It is "FRESH FISH! (GH as in "rough", TI as in "fictitious") That sort of confusion would never happen in Italian. The "O" in "GHOTI" is pronounced like the "O" in "Phoenix".



You ask a simple question and I send you a book.

Ciao Gino

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ivano, There you go posting "uglygrams" again.

BTW, that photo was not circa 1950, but more like 1945.

If you keep putting ugly pictures on this blog, you may lose readers.

Fai come ti pare.

Gino

ivano said...

Eh!! 1945 e cerca 1950,---no?? Si
"Il Blagga Masta" fa com ci pare.
Besides, what other foto could I have put under the caption,
"Ask A Dumb Question"

Hmmm... Do your Jack Benny inpersonation on that one my friend. ivn0