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Category Archives: Italian

How to roll the ‘R’ in Italian

Learning Italian is a fun and challenging task — whether you’re working towards full fluency or just want to master key phrases before an upcoming trip. Either way, you definitely want to be able to roll the ‘R’ in Italian before you attempt to speak the language in public. The Italian language is beautiful, romantic, […]

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Posted on June 6, 2018 by

Motivate Your Kids to Learn a Second Language

How to Motivate Your Kids to Learn a Second Language As a parent, you can clearly see the importance of learning a foreign language when it comes to job or educational opportunities in today’s competitive market. What’s not always so clear, however, is how to motivate your kids to learn a second language so they […]

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Posted on March 9, 2018 by

Language Family Tree

One of my previous articles was about Chinese Family Tree, so it gave me the opportunity to think about a wider concept of family tree.   Before speaking of a language family tree, it might be useful to introduce the concepts of familiarity and kinship in languages. There is a genealogical classification for languages used […]

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Posted on December 15, 2017 by


Warning: contains coarse language I knew it! You read “coarse” and you are curious about this article. So, pardon my French and keep reading it. From the back cover: After centuries of war we Europeans are trying to get along together, but we keep treading on each other’s toes. Tread on an English toe and […]

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Posted on October 15, 2017 by

How To Curse In Italian

I’m not sure about you, but when I think of Italy I think of the food. I think of the romance of the old cities. I think of the charm of the Amalfi Coast and of passing afternoons on a café terrace overlooking the sea, or perhaps an old town square. The Italian language comes […]

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Posted on September 21, 2017 by

Step by step and you will learn it!

    Recently, I was in a conference and some students asked me: Matteo, are there any steps we should follow to learn a foreign language properly?  I think about it. My conclusion is: there are no official steps to reach, for example, an intermediate level in a language. But, surely, there are some steps […]

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Posted on September 15, 2017 by

Italian: Soft Z or Hard Z?

The Soft Z is usually written   as “long z” in phonetical dictionaries. It comes from latin, of course. Here are some examples: prandium – pranzo (lunch); radius – razzo (rocket). Here the Z with a soft sound: 1) when it is  followed by two vowels, but the first one is not an  “I”: zoo, zuavo […]

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Posted on March 30, 2017 by

Italian accents

What are the rules for using accents? What are the exceptions? There are many things to say regarding accents. Let’s start with this one: when we speak, although we don’t always realize it, we put an emphasis on each word. And rightly so, because all words have an accent. But when we write, it is […]

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Posted on December 15, 2016 by

Italian gestures (?)

When you learn a language, even our body is involved in the learning process. Especially our hands and our heads. Gestures are a fundamental part of the language experience and they  are often difficult to understand and explain. So,  I asked myself: are you sure that gesture is Italian? The majority of people in the […]

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

The dictionary of untraslatables

Do you struggle to understand some concepts, words or even sentences in the foreign language you are learning? Maybe it is time to read the weirdest book the twenty-first century ever published so far: Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon. Written by a French philologist, Barbara Cassin, this fantastic and interesting book is also available […]

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Posted on July 30, 2016 by