Italian the language of poets.


Once again I have completely mangled the beautiful but difficult Italian language.

This morning I stopped at a bar with Mrs Sensible, I ordered a spumante and received a frosty look from Mrs S.

Spumante! at 9 O’clock in the morning!

Yes I love one in the morning, it’s full of vitamins.

Spumante!!!

Just as I started to go through my mental dictionary of Italian words and phrases, this normally doesn’t take too long. A glass of prosecco arrived in front of me and my wife raised an eyebrow.

Better than orange juice

But I ordered freshly squeezed orange juice, didn’t I?

No you ordered Spumante (Prosecco) not Spremuta (freshly squeezed orange juice)

It was still a good way to start a day.

Do I need to tell you about ordering Minced dog (Cane) instead of minced meat (Carne) at the local butcher? The poor woman stood there looking at me with big round eyes and her mouth hanging open, until her husband stepped in and solved the problem by mooing and barking.

Yes moo moo half a kilo of moo moo

I still have to stop and think when I want to say egg or grape, one is uova and the other is uva. At the moment I can’t remember which is which.

But try asking for six grapes at the corner shop, or try explain how you spent the morning collecting eggs so your friend could make some wine.

Uova treading or is it uva?

Speaking of the corner shop, I once asked for five fish pesche instead of five peaches pesce, Maria came back with fish fingers, dried fish, frozen fish and asked me which I wanted, I was a little perplexed we both thought each other was related to the village idiot, while I was stood pointing at some peaches in the corner of the shop with the sign don’t touch!

Another word to be especially careful of is year (anno) it must be pronounced with a double sounding n. Just to be sure, I normally add a couple more n’s for example: annnnnno, otherwise it might come out sounding as ano. How can I politely explain what ano is on my blog? Hmm, may I suggest you go over to google translate and tap ano in. 🤪

Oh let me finish off with my all time favourite.

One Christmas I asked for una bottiglia di prosciutto. Prosciutto is ham and prosecco is fizzy plonk.

I’m sure you guys also know words that have caused you problems, feel free to add them in the comments

20 thoughts on “Italian the language of poets.

  1. Once I went to the post office to receive a large package sent by my niece who was coming to visit with her baby. The ragazzi there wondered what it was. “Una cula,” I said, proudly. Except a crib is a “culla.” 🤪 Queue the hysterics by everyone at Poste Italiane!

    I suggest those confused use Pechora Nera’s advice to Google translate “cula.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I asked for a spritz sensa ulivo, and got funny looks. Turns out that means ‘olive tree’, I should have said ‘oliva’ if I didn’t want an olive. Oh, well, I always shrug and say ‘Sono da Australia’, that gets me off the hook, usually.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a young American traveling in Italy with a very poor Italian vocabulary, when the waiter rattled off a list of desserts, I wasn’t at all sure what I had requested. But, it didn’t take
    me long to figure out what all the snickering around me was about when a plate of prunes arrived as my dessert. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very funny 😀
    Uva is grapes, the same in Spanish.
    In the beginning I mixed up a lot of words in Spanish here, like Huevos (eggs) and cebollas (onions). You can get some fun out of that too.
    One of the first real bad mistakes, as I made was to tell my boyfriends mother, that it was very warm outside, so I was perspiring a lot. I told her that I was very Caliente and should have said Calor, but Google didn’t explain that to me. Caliente means Hot for sex in the way, as I told it. So the mother smiled big at me and started laughing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. does it count that I said ‘my fanny pack’ while in australia and was met with uproarious laughter? here is is an embarrassing back you wear around your waist, there is it something below with waist

    Liked by 1 person

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