|Englishmen going to Italy|
|click image to open video page|
Ever wonder how Italian lifestyle may look from a British perspective? Well, this video won't give you much information about that, but at least you can get a comical view of it. Enjoy.
- So we're finally going to Italy, eh?... Oh my g-, look at this! In Italy, right?, there are 54, 54 police forces. And they all have pistols. Even the traffic warden, right? or so called "vigili", is armed with a pistol. Why would you give a traffic warden a pistol?
- Well, so they can shoot you, obviously.
- For doing what?
- Well, say, for example, you parked your car in a disabled parking space.
- Well, then, they'd shoot you in the legs.
- But then, I would be disabled.
- Exactly, and then, you'd be parked legally.
- Are you OK Dave?
- Yeah, I'm just reading this book. It's called "Italian body language".
- No, not that kind of body language, apparently, 40% of the Italian language is all physical gesture.
- David, this is 2011, we're in Italy, Europe. Everybody speaks English, just speak English.
- It's going to be really useful.
- I bet, yeah.
- What's that?
- This means, what do you want?
- Very useful, yeah.
- What's that one?
- This is, "what the hell do you want?"
- If you are going to go around Milan doing that, tell me now and I'll go around on my own, OK?
- John, this one's a bit more complicated, can you help me?
- One, go on. Right, "swing your left arm across your chest. Now block your left elbow with your right hand". You're a liar, look, you have to talk, when you block your elbow you have to say 'toe!'.
- Toe, toe, toe. What's this one called? Toe.
- What? It means, your sister.
- My sister?
- But I haven't got a sister.
- Well, then you can't do it then.
- Oh my... look at this one. No, this is impossible, this is only for Italians. It's 7 movements, Dave, 7 movements! All at the same time.
- No problem, I can do it, come on!
- No, come on, you can't, you can't.
- Come on, I can do it, come on.
- All right.
- Put your hands out in front of you. Right. When I say 'go', turn your hands out externally, push your belly out, your chest out, your shoulders back, your head back, and make a sad face like that.
- Oh my god, that's really complicated.
- It's impossible, really, forget it.
- Come on, read it out to me again. I know I can do it, I'll concentrate.
- Alright, when I say 'go', turn your hands out externally, push your belly out, your chest out, your head back, your shoulders back, and make a sad face like that. Are you ready?
- Like this?
- I don't know, there's not a video, Dave.
- So what's this one?
- I don't know.
- But John, it's written.
- It's written, yeah. "I don't know", that's what it means.
- [captain's announcement in Italian announcing strong turbulences ahead]
- Beautiful language, isn't it?
- Yeah, it is nice.
- What do you think he was saying?
- Don't worry. It'll be in English now, I'm sure.
- There it is.
[captain translates the message in horrible broken English]
- What language was that?
- Oh my god! Dave.
- All the men, all the Italian men are holding in their hands their testicles.
- Why are they doing that?
- I don't know, to protect them, maybe.
- To protect them? If I'm going to protect a part of my body, I'm going to cover my face, surely.
- Oh, John, if we crash into those mountains down there, it isn't going to make any difference which part of your body you're protecting, is it?
- Oh yes, it will make a difference actually, because I'll be covering my face and so at least they can identify me.
- Well, maybe Italians are identified by their...
- You know, in fact, John, be very careful when we get to Milan because if you get arrested they don't take a picture of your face.
- What? I want to go home.
- Ah, finally. We've landed.
- Oh my gosh! They're clapping the pilot! Dave, they're clapping the pilot... Why are you doing that?
- I don't know, but who cares, we're in Italy!
TRAFFIC WARDEN= A kind of policeman whose job is to supervise traffic and report traffic offences.
ARMED= Having a weapon.
SAY= We use this in conversational English when we want to give an example or introduce a hypothesis:
- Ok, say you win the lottery. What would you do?
- Why's a mobile useful? Well, say your car breaks down in the desert. You can use your mobile phone to call a mechanic.
A DISABLED PARKING SPACE= A place in the street reserved for the disabled (people who can't walk, etc).
ARE YOU OK?= In this context, it is a very subtle and polite way (very British) of saying "what's wrong with you? are you crazy?".
PERVERT= A person who like strange sexual practices considered really weird or even illegal.
APPARENTLY= We use this word to inform of something that people say, but we are not sure about it or we find the information surprising.
- Apparently, it's going to rain tomorrow (but that's what the TV said, will it be true?)
- We went to the shopping centre but, apparently, they're closed on Sundays (we went there, it was closed, and a person or notice informed us that they're closed on Sundays. I can't believe they close on Sundays, it's incredible!)
- Apparently, I make many spelling mistakes (that's what people say but they're probably exaggerating)
GESTURE= /dʒestʃə/ Hands, face or body movements.
I BET= I'm sure of that (in this case he says it ironically because he doesn't believe that)
WHAT THE HELL...= We use "the hell" to emphasize wh-questions, for example when we are angry or surprised:
- Who the hell are you?
- Where the hell did you find that?
Some people consider this a bit rude, so they prefer to use euphemisms like "the heck" or "on earth":
- Why the heck are you so tired?
- Who on earth is that boy who was with you?
GO AROUND= If you go around a place, you just go to different places with no particular direction, for example because you are just having a walk or visiting the area.
ON MY OWN= Alone, with no help or company.
We can also say "on your own", "on our own", etc.
TOE= The gesture they're doing is an insult, very similar to the English raising of the middle finger. "Toe" is a phonetical rendition of the Italian expression "to" /to/, which means "there you go", or in this context something like "this one's for you" (in an offensive way, cause we're talking about an insult). They say it means "your sister" because sometimes, when doing that gesture, people say "your sister" or "your mother", meaning that the insult is addressed to their sister or mother, which makes the insult much more offensive (never mess with an Italian's mamma :)
GO ON= Continue.
BELLY= (colloquial) Stomach.
MEN ARE HOLDING...= In many parts of Italy, covering your privates with your right hand is a gesture for good luck, to protect you from bad luck, so if you see a bad situation, or someone says a bad thing, or a bad thing may happen, they do that gesture just to keep bad luck away. Of course, most people do it as a culturally learned habit, not because they really think that's a protective charm. On this video, they do it because they want the landing to be safe.
ACTUALLY= /æktʃəlɪ/ We use this word to make a polite contraditcion:
- Is that John?
- No, that's Mike. (a bit too direct for a British)
- No, actually that's Mike. (more polite and acceptable)
- I thought he was French, but actually he was German (I'm just correction myself)