If only I had taken the trouble to learn some Spanish before I landed in Marid. Shopping and mingling with the locals would have been so much more pleasurable. It never ceases to surprise me just how unnecessary it is to the locals to speak English there. But who can blame them? Like the Italians, their TV shows are dubbed and their idea of Charlie Sheen’s voice is completely different to his American alter-ego. At least, by the end of the trip, the words ‘rebajas’ (sale) was burnt into my mind. I thought my basic knowledge of Italian would get me by in Spain, but I was wrong. The grammar may be similar and some words may be similar but pronunciation is quite a curve ball.
I am a big believer in always making an effort to learn some of the local lingo so that you can immerse yourself in a foreign land and truly experience its culture. Not only will it help with reading price tags and ingredients on menu items but you gain a certain respect from shop assistants who realise that as a tourist, you have made the effort to truly connect.
The phrase ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ implies living, eating and partying with the locals without complaints, but more than that, by learning their language, you understand their mental scheme. Learning a language is more than just memorising a few words. It includes familiarising yourself with the grammar of the language, understanding the thought process behind it and understanding the importance of placing stress on syllables and rolling every ‘R’.
After a three month break, I finally get to resume my Italian language lessons next week and in the spirit of experiencing cultures and shopping in Italy, of course, I thought it would be worthwhile to equip you with some basic phrases and a simple guide to Italian grammar that will make it so much easier to find each Fendi bag in the right colour and every Prada shoe in the perfect size 🙂
The important thing to note here is that verbs conjugate for every Pronoun.
Example: The verb ‘to buy’ is comprare
I (io) – I buy = ‘compro‘
You (tu) – You buy = ‘compri‘
He (lui) /She (lui) /It (e’) – She buys = ‘compra‘
We (noi) – We buy = ‘compriamo‘
You (all) (voi) – You (all) buy = ‘comprate‘
They (loro) – They buy = ‘comprano‘
- Black – nero
- White – bianco
- A bag – la borsa
- A pair of shoes – un paio di scarpe
- A shirt – una camicia
- A skirt – una gonna
- A jacket – una giacca
- Pants – pantaloni
- Sale – Saldi
- Clothes – i vestiti
- The shop – il negozio
- Credit card – carta di credito
- How much is it? – Quanto costa?
- It’s expensive – e’ caro
- I want the big bag– Voglio la borsa grande
- Can I pay? – Posso pagare?
- Do you have a black shirt?– Ha una camicia nero?
- We want to go shopping – Vogliamo fare ‘shopping’
- At what time do you close? – A che ora chiusi?
- Is there a bank near here? – C’e una banca qui vicino?