The Italian word for ADAM SANDLER is CHECCO ZALONE:
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There are some terms you will never find in the dictionary. Nor would you ever look for them in the dictionary. Because they haven't been translated. And they don't need to be translated. And actually, they can't be translated. Probably no attempt should be made to translate such terms, because such an attempt would be a massive waste of everyone's time. But anyway, here they are:
The Italian word for ADAM SANDLER is CHECCO ZALONE:
With such similar lyrical and musical tastes, they should definitely start a band, but how could they ever decide who was the better lead singer? And who had better moves? And a hotter girlfriend? Well, let's let them sort it out...
Italians tend to be more direct than Americans. It was difficult to find a single conversation that was able to completely capture the full range of consequences this directness implies. But finally, I settled on this exchange between myself and a colleague:
Self: Hey, do you like our new light?
Thanks to globalisation, knowledge about health and hygiene has been successfully disseminated through much of the developed world. We all pretty much know the same things about germs, covering our mouth when we cough, hand washing and other important hygienic practices.
For example, as all American women know, the washing of your nether region is an extremely delicate matter, and can absolutely only be done with specialised detergents developed only for women and calibrated to a pH of precisely 5.5. Everyone knows that, right? Right?
Did you feel that the English were more or less behaving reasonably (give or take their attack strategy), while the French were ridiculous? In that case, you are American.
Did you feel that the French were more or less the reasonable ones, while the English were ridiculous? In that case, you are Italian.
Glad I could clear that up for you.
Americans, if an Italian appears to be warming up to ask you a question concerning English grammar, change the subject IMMEDIATELY. You are about to enter a world of pain from which the mercifully horrendous American school system has heretofore shielded you. Ablatives, subjunctives, participles, and various other forms and tenses of language of which you have, until now, been blissfully unaware.
You can often predict the onset of a grammatical conversation because an Italian will generally begin by complaining about the irrational pronunciation of "though" and "cough." However, if you are caught off guard, quickly deflect onto a perennially acceptable topic such as food or transportation strikes. If you were to proceed with such a discussion, and I were you, I should shortly wish it had never begun. Oy.
In general, Italians consider themselves entitled to say offensive things out loud, while in America you can say offensive things out loud only as long as you don't mind people mentally placing you in the same circle of hell with Hitler. On the other hand, Americans generally consider themselves entitled to take silent, active steps against offensive persons, while Italians generally consider this to be unfair.
Consider the following conversation with a geriatric neighbour:
Self: I'm so happy they finally put these new benches in the park.
Geriatric Neighbour: Yes, well, it's only a matter of time until horrible, dirty, homeless people come set up camp on them.
S: You know, in the States all the new benches have uncomfortable dividers to keep people from lying down on them. And in England they even put spikes to keep homeless people away.
GN: How awful! The homeless people like to sleep outside when it's warm out, but the ground is all wet! No, no, no, better this way...
Italians will never, ever understand American race category names. In a million years, this will still be an area of WTF.
In American there is a crisis of education, putting the nation at risk of disparate access to higher education and high-paying jobs across racial and class lines.
In Italy, the schools are outstanding. They are likely to remain this way until any Italian employer that is not a school begins paying its employees. Moreover, there can never, ever be a true crisis in Italian education because if there were, no one would be able to understand the tax code.
Probably the most Italian thing that has ever happened to me (and possibly the most Italian thing that CAN happen, scientifically speaking) happened on my birthday last year.
It was after a day of either moving into our apartment or touring around, I can't remember which, but in any case we were a sweaty, irritable mess, and that includes the baby. My husband decided to take me out to dinner notwithstanding this, at a place he had heard was good in a one-horse town: eight houses, a church, and this restaurant.
To our surprise, the place was professional in the extreme. Gloved waiters. Gloved busboys. Silver crumb-removers. Polite disregard for my t-shirt. "May I remove your dish, madame" (except in Italian). The works. And the chef was outstanding.
At the end of the night, my husband ordered an amaro (if I say "digestive," I'm not sure I am making myself any more understandable - at any rate, an after-dinner drink). The busboy brought us one they made themselves - liquorice-based, in an unlabelled black bottle encased in a block of ice. Impressed with the flavour, my husband initiated the following dialogue:
Husband: "Who makes the amari?"
Busboy: "We do."
H: "Ok, but who does it, actually?"
B: "Not I, certainly."
H: "Ok...so not you, but then who? The chef?"
Here there was a brief pause. Then the busboy pointed a gloved hand at the ceiling, implying an apartment directly above, and said:
I'm an American living in Italy and making gross generalizations about it.