You’d think having an Italian husband who speaks four languages and a father-in-law who is a retired Italian professor would help my quest to perfect the language.
The problem is, they think it is cute when I butcher their beautiful words and they take their sweet time correcting me on them.
I’ve lived in Italy almost four years-and informally studied Italian years before that-the problem is, my husband and his family won’t correct me.
At least not every time.
Here are four words I mispronounced in Italian for years before somebody came clean and made a correction.
Italophiles will notice an extra little “n” added to that word and realize it is just plain wrong. However, when your husband picks up your mistake and repeats it incessantly in his normal day-to-day dealings, you don’t realize it is wrong.
It wasn’t until the TV mini-series, “Mostro di Firenze” aired at the end of last year that I realized my mistake.
“But why didn’t you tell me?” I quizzed my husband.
“Because it’s so funny,” he told me. “And coming from you … it’s paradiso.”
(In fact, as I was typing this post, he walked in and without even breaking a grin said, “Hey, Monstra, you want to eat?”)
Hmmm … .
I don’t know why my mouth insists of creating an “O” where there should so obviously be an “A,” yet for me, this derivative of the word “Mafia,” has always been repeated, “Mofioso.”
Here’s an example.
Me: “That little boy (who is running up and down the aisles at church) is so cute.”
Husband: “Si, he is … he is a little mofioso!”
Admittedly I have pronunciation issues with many of the “ini” and “ione” –type endings in Italian, however, for years I didn’t realize piedini was one of them.
Yes, I know piedi is feet. Yes, I know the logical extension of that would be piedini.
No, I don’t say it that way.
The first Italian song I feel in love with was the Ricchi e Poveri hit “Sarà Perchè Ti Amo.”
A line in the song says,
“Che confusione, sarà perché ti amo
è un emozione, che cresce piano piano”
Instead of the Italian “confusione,” I’d Americanize it by saying “confushione.” For the record, I also butchered emoshione,” but that was years ago … I really should get a pass on that one.
Come on Italian-language speakers, speak up! I confessed! What words did you mispronounce when learning the language?
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