Thursday, May 1, 2008
An Italian Word/Everyday in May
The Italian word for breakfast is (la) colazione (koh-lah-tsee-oh-neh). (Although my husband doesn't consider this breakfast, I do.)
When I was in my twenties I spent the month of May one year traveling in Italy. I loved everything about it – the people, the language, food, art and the lovely scenery. When I was cleaning out a closet recently I came across Italian flashcards, a language DVD and a course book I had purchased years ago and then stuck away in a closet. It was the inspiration I needed to commit to the Everyday in May drawing challenge. I'll use my daily drawings to illustrate an Italian vocabulary word every day. By the end of the month, I will have added 31 random Italian words to my vocabulary.
The rules I’ve set for myself are to post everyday, even if I dislike what I’ve drawn or painted. And to give myself permission to do a very simple contour drawing, if that’s all I feel like doing. No daily masterpieces required.
Oh, and if there are any Italian speakers viewing this, please feel free to let me know if I make mistakes.
NOTE TO MYSELF: Most Italian nouns (i nome) end in a vowel. Nouns that end in a consonant are of foreign origin. All nouns in Italian have a gender (il genere); that is, they are either masculine or feminine, even those referring not to people but to things, qualities, or ideas. Generally, nouns ending in -o are masculine, nouns ending in -a are feminine. MASCULINE: amico, treno, dollaro, panino . FEMININE: amica, bicicletta, lira, studentessa. Nouns ending in -e may be masculine or feminine. The gender of these nouns must be memorized:MASCULINE: studente, ristorante, caffè . FEMININE: automobile, notte, arte. Nouns ending -ione are generally feminine, while nouns ending in -ore are almost always masculine. Nouns ending in a consonant are usually masculine: bar, autobus, film, sport. Abbreviated nouns retain the gender of the words from which they are derived: foto f. (from fotografia) cinema m. (from cinematografo) moto f. (from motocicletta) auto f. (from automobile) bici f. (from bicicletta)