Italian Word of the Day: Semaforo (traffic light)

cover image with the word “semaforo” and a traffic light in the background

Semaforo, also known as a semaforo stradale, is the word for a traffic light in Italian. It is from the French ‘sémaphore’, which was formed irregularly from the Greek sēma ‘sign’ and –phoros ‘bearing’. If you feel this word looks familiar, that’s because it shares the same origin as the English word semaphore, a system …

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Italian Word of the Day: Camion (truck / lorry)

cover image with the word “camion” and a lorry in the background

The generic word for any kind of large truck (US) or lorry (UK) in Italian is camion, which comes from the French word of the same meaning. Camion is an invariable masculine noun, which means that it does not change in the plural form. il camionthe truckun camiona truck i camionthe trucksdei camion(some) trucks Important: …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pullman (coach / bus)

cover image with the word “pullman” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

Pullman is one of my favourite words in Italian, not because it sounds particularly sweet to the ear, but because of its interesting history. Before we turn our attention to the Italian definition, let’s take a brief look at the original meaning associated with the term. In America, pullman actually referred to a luxurious railway …

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Italian Word of the Day: Camminare (to walk)

The verb to walk in English usually translates as camminare in Italian. It derives from the noun cammino (walk, journey) which entered the language from the Latin camminus. Learn with our video Camminare is a regular-first conjugation verb finishing with -are, which means it conjugates in the following manner in the present tense: io camminoI …

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Italian Word of the Day: Clacson (car horn)

Today’s word of the day is clacson, which is the word for horn, or more specifically, car horn in Italian. Now, you may be thinking to yourself that clacson doesn’t look very Italian, and you’d be right. This is because it comes from the English word klaxon, a type of electromechanical horn or alerting device …

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Italian Word of the Day: Volare (to fly)

The verb for to fly in Italian is volare, which derives from the Latin verb of the same spelling. Below is how you would conjugate volare in the present tense: Io volo(I fly) Tu voli(You fly – informal) Lui vola(He flies) Lei vola(She flies) Lei vola(You fly – formal) Noi voliamo(We fly) Voi volate(You fly …

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