Category Archives: Languages

Potatoes and peas lost in translation

This is not about food, it’s about language. Potatoes are served as a side dish just about anywhere in Italy, but they’re not typically part of the vaunted regional cuisines. Pasta, rice and polenta are more like it. Last week’s … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Humour, Italy, Languages | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Football and Fado in Rome

Last week I connected to the Portuguese side of my ancestry. When there are major international competitions I have back-up choices. Italy is one of the temples of football (=soccer) and I dutifully did my bit of “tifo” for my … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Cultural, Italy, Languages, Portugal | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Brief history of gatecrashing Romans

The Portuguese Empire at its height had a very close relationship with Rome and the Vatican. It played an important role in the life of the city, and owned a lot of land and palazzi in the very heart of … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Cultural, Food, Humour, Italy, Languages, Portugal | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Olives and coriandoli on Italian trains

  Post WW II European films were all about neo-realism, and scenes in crowded 2° or 3° class train compartments were often a perfect setting. Third class has disappeared since, and most trains nowadays have open space carriages with rows … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Food, Italy, Languages, Sociology | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Reading in different languages

The nasty toddlers in the British nursery school in Paris never found out they did me a favour. The vaguely Asian/Spanish accent I started off with in English apparently didn’t appeal to them, and as a result they didn’t want … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Cultural, Languages | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

From away

I thought going up to Maine by coach would feel a bit adventurous, reminiscent of Hollywood Greyhound driven road trips. It turned out to be pretty tame, a very sedate and well-organized three and a half hours on a comfortable … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Cultural, Languages | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Bravo les Immortels!

 Canadian path to l’Immortalité – or was that a Haitian, an American or a migrant? For anyone who dabbles in French language and literature, last week marked a major watershed. To the sound of Garde Nationale drums, the staid, respected … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural, French, Languages | 8 Comments

Past conditional

(this isn’t a grammar lesson). Past conditionals obviously can’t be disregarded. In most Latin-origin languages, these verb forms and endings are often extremely difficult and a major hurdle for foreign learners. Italian past conditionals are particularly difficult, yet Italian culture … Continue reading

Posted in Languages | Tagged , | 7 Comments