Despite the obvious irritations of always having underfoot a small human, the risk of wine being spilled, or getting bitten when trying to brush tangled hair, there are plus sides.
Such as being forcibly reintroduced to songs for young children, which can, I admit, be entertaining, and also educational.
One of our staples for journeys by automobile, and other desperate moments, is ‘Il coccodrillo come fa?’ (‘How does the crocodile do (it)?’) which is a lot of fun, even when heard over and over.
The lyrics can be found here.
Read them while listening to the song and watching the video, here, if you can manage keeping both windows open at once and flicking from one to another. iPad users, the bane of my customer service hours, eat our dust!
You could memorise the words, learn the melody, and so be ready to entertain tots on trips.
Or to make your online Italian teacher wet her knickers, in hysteria.
Don’t have an online Italian teacher? Not to worry – we have an offer coming up in the first week of July…
Or, if you’re not into learning things by heart, just pick out a few bits that you like. Roomie, for example, snatched up ‘Boh’ for her growing lexicon.
Ask her anything that she doesn’t know the answer to (‘Why did you pour your milk on my bedsheets?’, ‘How do crocodiles do (it)?’) and she comes out with:
It means something like, hell, why ask me, what would I know, and is very common in spoken Italian.
Though I don’t recall seeting it in textbooks. Why might that be?
You get the idea.
Another good bit from the song is this fine example of a pronominal verb (my bolding):
Come fa il coccodrillo?
Lui mezzo addormentato se ne va
Loads of people find pronominal verbs utterly mystifying, but there you have one in the wild, so to speak, ready to be pinned to a board and labeled.
You got it
How does the crocodile do it?
Half asleep, off he goes.
Or ‘he takes himself off (there)‘ if you prefer.
I linked to our lesson on the topic above (and here it is again) but, personally, I find it easier just to remember phrases I find useful (or songs for Roomie).
Me ne vado!
N.b. My wife says there are lots of examples of the subjunctive / congiuntivo in the song too.
But life’s too short for yet another set of conjugations, and no one ever says ‘punga’, so why bother with it?
P.S. Last few days to save 25%
Here’s a final reminder about this week’s new easy Italian reader ebook, Plinio e l’eruzione del Vesuvio.
It’s level B2/C1 so upper-intermediate/advanced, but it’s probably accessible for some lower-level learners, too.
Look at the Free Sample Chapter (.pdf) to get an idea of the level and format, and to find the link to the FREE online audio, for the WHOLE story (no purchase required!)
“Roman-era admiral and ‘natural historian’, Plinio, is having a lazy afternoon with his scrolls, when his sister rushes in, alarmed by smoke rising from nearby Vesuvio!”
Caio Plinio Secondo, più conosciuto come “Plinio il Vecchio”, ha scritto la più grande enciclopedia del mondo antico. Quest’opera, intitolata “Osservazione della natura” (Naturalis historia) è un immenso trattato di antropologia, storia dell’arte, zoologia, botanica, medicina, geografia e mineralogia.
Durante i suoi numerosi viaggi come comandante militare e governatore delle province di Roma, Plinio non ha mai smesso di osservare i fenomeni naturali, le piante, gli animali e le persone, né di raccogliere informazioni.
Nell’anno 79 d.C., Plinio è a capo della flotta militare romana, tenuta nel porto di Miseno, perciò vive in una villa vicino a Napoli. Proprio in quell’anno, dal Vesuvio, enorme vulcano attivo della Campania, comincia a uscire del fumo…
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (allow up to 24 hours), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook (.mobi/Kindle-compatible, .epub) cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them.
Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news was published, despite it being a public holiday in Italy.
Roomie and I walked down to ‘duck park’, round the lake, and back home again, to give the editor a chance to check and publish it.
Read/listen to it (it’s FREE), so our sacrifice isn’t in vain.