Italian Word of the Day: Treno (train)

The word for train in Italian is, you guessed it, treno (masculine, plural: treni). It entered the language via the French word train, which in turn comes from the verb traîner meaning to drag. Some common verbs you will see used with treno include: andare in treno = to go by train viaggiare in treno …

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Italian Word of the Day: Macchina (machine / car )

The words machine in English and macchina (feminine, plural: macchine) in Italian both derive from the Latin “machina”, which in turn comes from the Greek “mekhos” meaning contrivance. Both refer to a mechanical apparatus with several parts, which together perform a particular task. Hanno costruito una macchina complicata con semplici materiali domestici. They built a …

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Italian Word of the Day: Barca (boat)

The Italian word for boat, which is barca (feminine, plural: barche), derives from the Latin term of the same spelling. There are many different types of boats in existence, the most common of which include: barca a remi = rowboat barca a vela = sailboat barca a motore = motorboat barca a vapore = steamboat …

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Italian Word of the Day: Bicicletta (bicycle)

The word for bicycle in Italian is bicicletta (feminine, plural: biciclette). Both the English and Italian terms were borrowed from the original French word for bicycle which was, you guessed it, bicycle. (These days the French prefer the words bicyclette and vélo.) Just as the English word bicycle is normally abbreviated to bike, so too …

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Italian Word of the Day: Slitta (sleigh)

Today’s word of the day is part of our Italian Christmas Word Advent Calendar series. Each day throughout December, we’ll post a word that is related to the holiday season. Enjoy! Without his faithful sleigh – or slitta (feminine, plural: slitte) in Italian – and the help of his eight reindeer, Santa Claus wouldn’t be …

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