Language lunedi’ – La Famiglia
It has been ages since I put up a language post. But having just returned from visiting my family, I thought what could be more appropriate than a little lesson related to center of Italian life: la famiglia?
I think most Americans view Italian families like something from The Godfather: five-ten kids and cousins all over the place. (ok, well, my hubby really does have cousins all over the place). But generally speaking, a lot has changed over the years, in fact, Italy’s birth rate is the lowest it has been in 150 years. In all of Europe, only Portugal’s birthrate is lower.
But apart from the low birthrates, the family still takes center stage in Italy and in this respect, the culture is still VERY much like The Godfather. Or maybe a more lighthearted movie example would be Moonstruck. They make a toast to the famiglia at minute 1.39 in this trailer, but the entire clip is worth a watch – SUCH a great movie!
Anyway, back to learning family names in Italian. Here is the vocabulary associated with one’s relatives. It might seem easy in the beginning, but once you REALLY start looking at it, you realize how many different relations we have outside our immediate families.
|dad/father||papa’/padre (Make sure to really say the accent at the end, otherwise people will think you are talking about he pope – which is papa.)|
|cousin||cugina (feminine) cugino (masculine)|
|nephew||nipote (yes, the same word for all four)|
|sister or brother-in-law||cognata or cognato|
|stepsister and half-sister||sorellastra|
|stepbrother and half-brother||fratellastro|