Italian Word of the Day: Baracca (hut / shed)

The word baracca (feminine, plural: baracche) in Italian, which comes from the Catalan barraca, literally translates as a hut, shed or shack used as temporary shelter for people, animals or goods. It should be quite easy for English speakers to remember as it shares the same origin as the word barracks. Learn with our video …

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Italian Word of the Day: Ritrovo (meeting place / haunt)

Ritrovo (masculine, plural ritrovi) is the word for meeting place, haunt, or hangout in Italian. More specifically, it refers to a place where several people meet on a regular basis to chat amicably, or to entertain themselves with a common interest. It comes from the verbs ritrovare (to find again / to recover) and ritrovarsi …

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Italian Word of the Day: Biblioteca (library)

The word for library in Italian is biblioteca (feminine, plural: biblioteche). Its origin can be traced back to the ancient Greek word βιβλιοθήκη which is a combination of βιβλίον (biblion meaning book) and -θήκη (-theke meaning box or chest). Some different kinds of biblioteche include: biblioteca comunale / pubblica = public library biblioteca scolastica = …

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Italian Word of the Day: Paradiso (paradise / heaven)

Whereas in English, we distinguish between the words paradise and heaven, there is just one word in Italian: paradiso (masculine, plural: paradisi). It comes from the Latin word paradisus which in turn derives from the Greek paradisos. Paradiso, in the sense of heaven, is the place regarded in various religions as the abode of God, …

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Italian Word of the Day: Supermercato (supermarket)

The Italian word supermercato (masculine, plural supermercati), which is modelled on the English supermarket, is a combination of two parts: the prefix super- (meaning in this case excellent, top quality) and mercato (market). Some of the major supermarket chains (catene di supermercati) in Italy are as follows: Auchan Bennet Carrefour Conad Coop CRAI Esselunga Eurospin …

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Italian Phrase: Di dove sei? (Where are you from?)

If you happen to make some Italian friends whilst travelling around or living in Italy, at some point in the conversation you can expect them to inquire about your place of birth. The informal way to ask this question is: Di (of) + dove (where) + sei (second person of verb essere ‘to be’)? Where …

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