Italian is known as a melodic and musical language all around the world: to foreign ears, Italians seem to sing what they are saying instead of speaking. Well, today I am here to tell you just how right you are, but not as you would imagine. Today, we are here to talk about how much music influenced the Italian way of speaking and expressions.  Whe...

On May 1st the departments of Modern Languages and Literatures and Spanish and Latino Studies, hosted a reception to launch the B.A. in Language, Business & Culture. Guests, included business representatives, political figures, alumni, and university faculty who came together to celebrate this unique academic program linking the learning of world l...

In Italy, there isn’t a word as typical of Summer as tormentone (tohr-mehn-toh-nai). Our dictionaries say the word, which comes from the verb tormentare (to torment, to plague) and began being used commonly in the early ‘80s.  Tormentone is something that is so popular, so common and widespread to turn into  a torment. And quite a big one at that,...

To feel like you can have an authentic conversation, knowing the body language is nearly as important as the spoken word. Interestingly, the reason is much more historically significant than most Americans realize. If you have mastered the Italian language and traveled up and down Italy, you’d hear how the different regions have their own unique di...

The art of understanding Italian languages and dialects is difficult – for me anyway. Throw Italy’s hand language into the mix and it’s nigh impossible for an outsider… Ever travelled to Italy with a basic understanding of Italian only to discover that you really can’t understand much at all? I’m not surprised. A little background What compelled me...

Finally, one of the biggest debates in the history of Staten Island can be put to rest: How do you say mozzarella? The borough has a proud Italian-American population that loves to share its food and culture with us. And while no one complains about the food, some question how these delicious eats are actually pronounced. The correction pronunciati...

This week’s word is...not a word. Or at least it isn’t in the strictest of senses. The interjection boh(pronounced just as it is written, “boh”) is commonly used to show uncertainty, indifference, even reticence about a specific topic or situation.This is what our beloved Accademia della Crusca teaches us. Finding “boh”’s etymology can be tricky,...

And here we are again on our journey together around the Italian dialects and languages. This time we are going to the region called Emilia-Romagna, a region that almost crosses Italy entirely from East to West. It is the last northern region and it is known for its medieval villages and its amazing food that I am sure you have heard of, such as ra...

Language allows the transmission of cultural information and it gives the opportunity to pose questions on some uses which belong to a certain nation. In fact, by analyzing some expressions typical of a language, we can understand a lot about what a culture gives importance to, its history and the mentality of that particular culture. Through the u...

Nel ricordo del professor Dean Michael Lynn, idolo tra gli studenti della Wayne University e pietra miliare del progetto qui a Gagliano Aterno (L’Aquila), così come nell’omaggio dell’ex governatore Giovanni Pace, davanti ai suoi familiari, si è aperta la 14esima edizione del “Summer language program” promosso dall’ateneo del Michigan. Ogni anno, ne...