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Italian For Travelers

Taking a trip to Italy and want to learn Italian? You might have purchased tickets for a group tour to Tuscany, or are visiting relatives in southern Italy, but what if you can't ask a question, decipher a menu, or use the phone?

Traveling To Italy
Italian Language Spotlight10

Trigramma

Sunday April 13, 2014

In Italian linguistics the term trigramma (trigraph) refers to a group of three letters indicating a unique sound. Examples include the combinations sci before the vowels -a, -e, -o, and -u (as in the words sceneggiato, scimmia, scivolo); and gli before a vowel (as in the words paglia, moglie, aglio).

Isole Egadi

Tuesday April 8, 2014

The Isole Egadi (in Sicilian, ╠suli ╚gadi) are a group of small mountainous islands in the Mediterranean Sea off the northwest coast of Sicily, near the cities of Trapani and Marsala. The three main islands are Favignana, Levanzo, and Marettimo. The name of the islands, which originated from the Greek, means "islands of goats," and the locals residing on the islands are known as egadiani.

There are Paleolithic and Neolithic cave paintings on the island of Levanzo, and the islands were the scene of an important sea battle betweens the Romans and Carthaginians in 241 BC; the Roman victory ended the First Punic War.

Catching Some Zzzz's: The Letter Z in Italian

Sunday March 30, 2014

One of the major challenges of Italian spelling is the graphic rendering of the intervocalic z, which can be both the single letter -z- and the double -zz-. Examples include: rizappare, trapezista, mozzarella, and pizza.

Missing Something? Maybe It Was an Elision.

Sunday March 30, 2014

In Italian elision is the omission of an unstressed final vowel of a word before the initial vowel of the next word. In writing the elision is indicated by the apostrophe.

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