Saturday, September 28, 2013

More Roman tidbits

You never know what you're going to learn when you travel. This time I learned the Italian equivalent of "the floor is open" (for input from the assembly): "A voi la parola" (the word goes to you all). I also picked up a new, one-word way of saying "The question/comment I was going to raise has already been made by someone else": "assorbita."

So much for parliamentary vocabulary.

What about social vocabulary? Lots of people know that "ciao!" is the Italian all-purpose greeting (for hello or good-bye). Most may not realize that it is an extremely casual and familiar way of speaking. In all other circumstances, you can never go wrong with a "Salve" (this is a "hello" sort of greeting, but where you are just passing someone in a hall; the sort of situation that a nod of acknowledgement might work for in the US).

Little gossip bit? Cardinal Ruini (served as Vicar for Rome under John Paul II) is a race car fan, and waits each month for his Formula One magazine to arrive. That's probably because he's from the same province as Ferrari.

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