Not a medical school in Malaysia, a Hawaiian underground oven, or even the largest native bird in Australia, IMU (pronounced “emu”, like the bird) is one of Italy’s newest taxes: Imposta Municipale Unica, which means “Sole Municipal Tax”.
I expect you didn’t know that, did you?
Which brings us to the point of today’s post: how useful is a knowledge of a foreign language, without a knowledge of the culture, day-to-day events, and general goings on that influence it?
Many of my problems with Italian, and especially with listening to and understanding the language, have not been with Italian as such, the words and grammar, as actually knowing WHAT THE HELL people were going on about, and why.
IMU, IRPEF, IRAP, ICI, TARSU, and so on are all terms for Italian taxes, but unless you actually live here for a while, how on earth would you know that?
But don’t expect it to be easy! Your ignorance of who is who and what is what will at first make it hard to understand anything, even the headlines.
Read the press regularly though and, over time, your “cultural” knowledge will increase and you’ll begin to follow what’s going on here. Which, in turn, will help you improve your Italian!
Test your knowledge of Italian acryonyms and abbreviations with this exercise on our sponsor school’s website: Abbreviations Essential To Life In Italy
And here, you’ll find a full list of our Interactive Italian Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises.
If there are any that you find particularly useful (or if you want to report any mistakes), leave a comment below!