December 17, 2009 | Italian

Body Care, Italian Style

My vocabulary book doesn't shy away from intimate subjects.

I have been continuing with flashcards and my vocabulary book, McGraw-Hill’s Italian Vocabulary, by Daniela Gobetti. I love this book. It is idiosyncratic, modern, and also sometimes wicked and dark.

My Trusty Italian Vocabulary Book

Today, I learned how to say, “Madam, do you have oily or dry skin?” Signora, ha la pelle grassa o secca?

“Baby” is bimbo. Amusing.

Chapter 5, entitled “Body Care, Health, and Life,” also taught me struccarsi (remove one’s makeup), pannolino (sanitary napkin—seriously?), chirurgia plastica (plastic surgery), tatuaggio (tattoo), sieropositivo (HIV-positive), and anoressia (anorexia). I don’t recall ever learning this kind of stuff in my language classes.

I also learned avere un rapporto sessuale (con), meaning “to have sex with.” No way. That doesn’t sound sexy. There’s got to be something sexier that’s not considered totally vulgar.

I remain perplexed by a sentence I encountered that read, “Giovanna ha dato alla luce tre gemelli.” Meaning, I believe, Giovanna gave birth to three twins.

Tonight Brandt and I went over to our friend Julian’s apartment. His parents are in town, and the occasion was a birthday party he was throwing for his mother. She is American, and his father is Italian.

While there, I had a cute conversation with his dad in Italian. He said I did well. Of course, what’s he going to say while I’m standing there?

In any case, Brandt and I stayed for hours; it was a blast.

Comments (2)

Kim • Posted on Thu, December 09, 2010 - 12:34 pm EST

“Andare al letto con…” is another way to say “sleeping with someone…” or “Fare l’amore..” “make love..“Just a thought :) Very amusing stuff btw…

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Thu, December 09, 2010 - 1:43 pm EST

Kim! Thank you so much! I never did get this question resolved - until now, that is.

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