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Raising a Bilingual Baby in Italy

“You’re so lucky your baby is going to be born bilingual!” You can’t imagine how many times I heard that statement or something similar when expecting Adeline. Eventually, because I’m petty, I couldn’t stop myself from gently reminding people that babies aren’t born with any language. They have to acquire it, whether “native” or a second language. I… Read more »

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Italy’s Traditions: Italian Proverbs about Food

These days Italy might have fiber optic internet, sushi and matcha, but it is still a very traditional country. Family still reigns supreme and dinner time is still sacred. In fact, I find that the vast majority of Italian’s traditions and have to do with food and their values can be found in the daily rituals… Read more »

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The Language Barrier: When The Two Families Meet

Marco and I had been married for nearly four months when our parents met each other for the first time. My parents had met Marco, and his parents knew me and each had to hold that as good enough for a marriage. Trans-atlantic relationships being what they are, the two sets of parents had never… Read more »

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Adventures in Language Learning

“Gina, are you boring?” my Italian cousin asked me, her eyes worried and sincere. After regularly repeating this question the next two weeks I lived with her I finally came to terms with the slip up. My sweet, odd Italian relative who I connected with via email was worried about my boredom, not inquiring about my personality. Anyone who has studied a… Read more »

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How to Speak English While Abroad

So you’re a native English speaker, huh? Somehow, from no effort of your own, you were born speaking fluently the world’s predominant language. The linga franca, if you will. Lucky you! You can now read, write, use the Internet, travel and work with ease. You respond to any speaker in English, confident that they’ll understand you… Read more »

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Why I Study Languages

The benefits of bilingualism are proven. Studies show that knowing two or more languages makes us smarter, protects us from Alzheimer’s disease and allows the brain to look at things in a fresh way. Of course none of those are what pushed me to study Italian. I began my Italian language journey with a spark… Read more »

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Time to Get Back to Business – Il Rientro

Buon Rientro! This Italian phrase, translated literally as “Good Return!” is heard a lot after the Christmas, New Years and Epiphany festivities end and everyone has to get back to business. After nearly a month of holiday celebrations and vacation time, the rientro can be rough. I understand most Italian expressions wishing someone goodness or well-being, but… Read more »

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The History of The English Language – In One 10-Minute Video

I recently stumbled upon this video, “the History of The English Language in 10 Minutes,” that explains our language evolution from the Anglo-Saxons in 400 a.d. through King James Bible’s influence, Shakespeare, the Internet and finishing with Global English today. I just wish I could translate it for my Italian students flabbergasted by English words,… Read more »

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Huh? What did you say?

After discussing the language used in mixed-culture relationships in a previous post, I realized that there are more nuances than are immediately noticeable. There’s one syllable in particular that can’t be ignored. It’s the question-word noise. The “word” that means “what?” in any of its forms of incredulity. In America, it’s “Huh?!”.  In fact, the… Read more »

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So Like, What Language Do You Talk To Each Other In Anyway?

Since we met Marco and I have fielded the question, “Sooo…what language do you use with each other?” Asked continuously and repeatedly by friends, family and a surprising amount of strangers, I think it’s time to address it head on. It’s a fair question. Marco, native Italian and my husband, didn’t speak much English when… Read more »