Perche ride? Parlo tante male l'italiano?
Translation: Why are you laughing? Is my Italian that bad?
I just know they are phrases that will come in handy in Italy....thanks for the new phrasebook, Mom...er, grazie, Mama, I mean. :)
Just before I went to Italy in 2003 I took a class in conversational Italian. Since then most of it has flown right out of my head alas.
It didn't help that I've taken French classes since. Ah, the Romance languages...all lying around lanquidly tangled up in my brain waiting to be retrieved in halting sentences delivered in pigeon-turistico speak.
I'm a little embarrassed NOT to be bilingual actually. The European friends I know usually speak at least two languages and sometimes three, as well as a smattering of anything that borders them.
Of course, in Europe one could conceivably get in a car and drive through several countries with different languages before stopping for the night whereas in west coast Canada you have to drive a long, long time before this becomes an issue.
Anyway, that's not a very good excuse so I'm carrying my Italian books with me every day on my coffee break... it's nice to at least try and speak Italian when you're in Italy.
I remember a fellow laughing behind a take-out food stand in Capri after I did my best to order in Italian: "Oh, you speak-a Italian! I'm-a going to give-a you a bigger piece of pizza! "
I miss Italy. :)
Most Amusing Compliment Received in Italy: "You are more beautiful than Barbie!"
38 more days till we go and counting!