Monday, January 31, 2011

Italian lesson #1

Since I work with a bunch of Italians, it's only natural that I would start to pick up a bit of the language. As far as the actual spoken language is concerned, I've really only learned some cuss words (what else would they teach me?) and "we'll see" (because I wanted to politely decline their invitation to a disco party).

But the real Italian language is in the hands. Seriously. I thought it was a stereotype that Italians gestured a lot when they spoke, but they definitely do. Not only that, but it's not just generic gesturing. The gestures actually have meanings, like an Italian sign language. It's fascinating. To me, at least. Hopefully to you too because I'm going to start giving Italian lessons through my posts.

So lesson #1: delicious. Now, you could kiss your fingertips and make the smarmy Italian face (don't act like you don't know what gesture I'm talking about; that description is spot-on), but that doesn't apply specifically to food. It can also mean beautiful or really good. To say something is delicious, do this:
Then you kind of rotate it back and forth.
So if you kept flipping back and forth between these two photos, I'd be saying delicious. 

Don't press too hard, though, or you could get a permanent dent in your face.

Disclaimer: I know I sound like an expert and all, but I'm not actually Italian. So if you make one of these gestures to a mob boss and I told you the wrong meaning and you get whacked, I can't be held responsible. 


  1. Hmm I thought you were in the Netherlands? Shouldn't you be learning Dutch cuss words?

  2. No one speaks Dutch at work! (Except on the elevators, where I just laugh and laugh and pray that they don't ask me a question).