Tag Archives: Italian

Reading lesson

After 8th lessons of Dutch- Italian we decided that we were ready to read something… but not too much!

Sanne showed me the cute character for children Nijntje; she is a young white rabbit, created by the Dutch artist Dick Bruna during the second half of the last century. It seems very famous among children in The Netherlands, her English name is Miffy.

We used the official Nijntje’s website¬†http://www.nijntje.nl/ (very well-studied and children-friendly) and we start reading on it one of her adventure: in the children’s park with her family.

We was laughing and making fool of ourselves (in a positive way) all the time because the style is of course very childish, but it was a very good starting point for this complicated language. I tried my best but Dutch has many diphtong and other exceptions about the sound of groups of letters so I wasn’t really good… but it’s ok!

Then I choose some poems for children by Gianni Rodari, an extraordinary Italian writer who is a master in playing with the Italian language to create rithm in his poetry. I asked Sanne to try and she was definitely much better than me… I have a great student!

Cultural gap

For our fifth meeting Sanne and I choose to focus about the cultural aspect of our countries.

Firstly I used an Italian political map to quickly surf on the Peninsula, saying the name of each region and some brief note about people who live there and main cities. Everybody knows Rome for the Coliseum and Milan for fashion but there are many other things in Lombardy and Lazio which are much better!

I realize that I was quite proud for all the cultures we have in Italy, they surely are our richness ūüôā

Then I show Sanne (twice) a nice video about an italian city: Matera. this city will be the 2019 European Capital of Culture (together with Plovdiv, Bulgary). We stopped the video several times to underline typical elements of italian ordinary life.

For the Dutch part of our meeting Sanne show me some “funny facts” about people in The Netherlands. You can find a complete, very funny list here: http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/

We also speak about the Royal Family and the Soccer Teams. Sanne was a soccerplayer when she was little, but she is still very enthusiastic!

Sorruounded by Dutch in a Finnish closed market

Have you ever been to the Tampereen Kauppahalli? Go there! It’s a¬† very nice place in the city center.

Here you can find a lot of goods, from high quality foods, shoes, to souvenirs and a lot of affordable cafè (in some of there kahvi costs only 1 euro!).

I had my fourth EOTO meeting with Sanne, but this time there was something special (apart from the different setting): there were two Sanne’s friends, Rianne and Lieke, who were visiting her from the Netherland, so this time I had 3 teachers, great!

We spoke a lot about their hometown and the they taught me some words to improve my poor vocabulary. In particular I learnt brother (broer) and sister (zus) and different ways to create the diminutive form of a word ( adding -je, -tje, -mpje, -pje, -itje). Maybe it could be a secondary aspect of a language but… everything has started from a discussion about the size of the cup of coffe we were drinking in this very cosy place, protected against the cold wond outside.

When it was my turn of teaching I stressed on useful terms for a turist in Italy. It’s definitely better to know those words because often Italian peole don’t speak nor understand English at all. So we spoke about church (chiesa), sea (mare) , main square (piazza centrale), street (via or strada) museum (museo), hill (collina), mountain (montagna), lake (lago), dinner (cena), lunch (pranzo), breakfast (colazione), restaurant (ristorante), hotel (albergo, or hotel as well) and so on…

I think it was not too boring for our guests, they seemed quite interested and they helped Sanne to teach me as well. And remember to go to kauppahalli!

Carlo Soregotti




Practising verbs

For the third time I met Sanne in Tamk, and we try to improve our grammars knoledges teaching each other something about the most important part of any sentence: the verb!

The first thing was to learn how to say personal pronouns. we started from Dutch, but here I will report also the italian version all together to make it more clear.

I                               ik                                                        io

you                         je / jij / u (formal version)       tu

he/ she / it           hij / zij / het                                  lui / lei / egli (generic, no neutral form)

we                           wij / we                                           noi

you                         jullie                                                 voi

they                        zij                                                      essi / loro

While I was teaching the Italian forms to Sanne I suddenly realized that in formal situation we can use both “lei” (3rd person female), “voi” (2nd pers. plur.) or “loro” (3rd pers. plur.). This varies according to wrhich region of the Italian speaker belongs to, the standard version is the use of “lei”.If the person is very important (and a little bit arrogant maybe) can even use pluralis maiestatis (latin expression) to refer to himself!

The we moved to verbs. Dutch has only one scheme for the conjugation of the verbs (and quite easy for me actually), in which the first person is the root of the verb, second and third persons singular add -t and all the plural forms add -en. I learnt also the main verbs to be (zijn) and to have (hebben).

Unfortunately for Sanne the conjugation of italian verbs is much more complicated. It has 3 different schemes according to the termination of the infinitive form of the verb, and every form is different from the others. So there are many differences between to love (amare), to believe (credere) and to hear (sentire) The verbs to be (essere) and to have (avere) are so irregular that they need their schemes. Poor Sanne!

Carlo Soregotti

Dutch and Italian basis: letters and numbers

The second time me and Sanne met in the campus. We found a very small room in building H for only two-three people, so we were fery focused!

This time we learnt some grammar rules, starting from the Dutch alphabet… It’s crazy! at the beginning it was quite easy, not too different from the German ones but then the problems begin: they have a lot of diphthongs (couple of vowels in which the tongue moves from one position to another) and sometimes two vowels must sound completely different from their original sound when they are alone.

In particular the couples ij and ei have the same sound but the second is longer, ee sounds /ei/, ui is /au/ and eu /öu/ .

I still have to practise a lot before to be able to manage those weird sounds and changings!

the following step was to learn numbers from 1 to 20 (oops! Sanne told me that they almost use the letteral form to express numbers so: from een to twintig). They are not too difficult, quite similar to German, and I had some problems only with the number five (vijf sounds /veif/) and nine (negen, ’cause I still have problem with the sound of the letter “g”).

We skipped to Italian, which alphabet is probably easier (and shorter: letters j, k, w, x, y are not formally part of our alphabet and they appear only in some foreigner words, like koala, wurtsel, yoghurt). Sanne was really good in spelling and she was always able to spell correctly any words. I have a really good student!

On the contrary to count in Italian is quite harder. While numbers from 1 to 10 (we use arabic numerals more the letteral forms) are somehow similar to Spanish and French, numbers from 11 to 20 and over are full of irregular forms and many consonant shifts. For example 4 is¬†quattro, but 14 is¬†quattordici; 7 is sette” and 17 is diciassette. Poor Sanne! I never realized how difficult can be counting in Italian!

This lesson was quite hard but very useful!

Carlo Soregotti

First: Dutch-Italian lunch in a Finnish ravintola!

Me and Sanne had our first Dutch-Italian lesson in the canteen of our campus (Campusravita). According to our preliminary plan we tried to start from the basic things of our languages… and we discovered how hard it is to go step by step! Every time we were skipping to more difficult grammar rules and words and then we realized that we were going too fast. It is indeed that the more you learn, the more you desire to know. In this quite messy (but very funny) way I learnt some words (mostly related to the food we were eating at that time). Dutch determinative articles and I tried for the first time in my life the sound of the Dutch “g” which is very complicated and sounds very weird! in my notebook I wrote it as /chr/ to memorize how to say it! So:

  • Articles:¬† De or Het… every word has it’s own sepcific article but there no other rule to decide which one you have to choose!
  • Wortel = carota (carrot);
  • Brood = pane (bread)
  • Vork = forchetta (fork)
  • Bord = piatto (plate)
  • Twee = due (two)
  • Schnitzel = cotoletta (cutlet)
  • Water = acqua (water)
  • Salade = insalata (salad)
  • Aardappel = patata (potato)
  • Stoel = sedia (chair)
  • Bloem = fiore (flower)
  • Melk = latte (milk)

Carlo Soregotti

Several Italian-Dutch lessons all together!

Hey everybody!

I’m Carlo Soregotti, an Italian student of Social Work, here in Tampere as an Erasmus+ exchange student.

During these months here in Finland I have been experienced a new language ( a part of Finnish of course): Dutch!

My EOTO partner is Sanne Klapwijk, from the Netherlands and we really enjoyed our lessons during which we compared our languages and customs, cultures and hobbies. We have always been practising both languages throughout our lessons.

Luckily we are quite advantaged, both me and Sanne speak English (she speaks much better than me but I’m Italian, so probably it’s normal ūüôā ), but¬† she also speaks very good French Spanish and German, while I can speak German as well and I can easily uderstand Spanish and French.

Unfortunately, due to our busy lives we both were not able to write on this blog every time so now I will make up for those be-lated posts to show what we have been learning until today.

Carlo Soreogtti