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Lesson Transcript

Consuelo: Ciao
Marco: Marco, here. Absolute Beginner Season 1 Lesson 3: Of Course You're Doing Well If You're In Italy! Hi, my name is Marco and I'm joined here by Consuelo.
Consuelo: Ciao, Consuelo.
Marco: In today's class, we will focus on asking about how someone is.
Consuelo: This conversation takes place at the bar.
Marco: The conversation is between Ilaria Ravazzi and Alessio Martini.
Consuelo: In the first conversation, they will be speaking informal Italian. In the second conversation, they'll use formal Italian.
Marco: Let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Marco: Informal.
Alessio: Ciao Ilaria, come stai?
Ilaria: Benone, e tu?
Alessio: Non c'è male, grazie.
Marco: Formal.
Alessio: Buona sera, signora Ravazzi. Come sta?
Ilaria: Molto bene, grazie. E lei?
Alessio: Mmm. Io sto così così.
Marco: Let's hear it slowly now.
Alessio: Ciao Ilaria, come stai?
Ilaria: Benone, e tu?
Alessio: Non c'è male, grazie.
Alessio: Buona sera, signora Ravazzi. Come sta?
Ilaria: Molto bene, grazie. E lei?
Alessio: Mmm. Io sto così così.
Marco: And now with the translation.
Alessio Ciao Ilaria, come stai?
Marco Hi, Ilaria, how are you?
Ilaria Benone, e tu?
Marco Terrific, and you?
Alessio Non c'è male, grazie.
Marco Not too bad, thank you.
Alessio Buona sera, signora Ravazzi. Come sta?
Marco Good evening, Mrs. Ravazzi. How do you do?
Ilaria Molto bene, grazie. E lei?
Marco Very well, thank you. And you?
Alessio Mmm. Io sto così così.
Marco Mmm. I'm not so well.
Consuelo: Marco, did you know that Italians tend to be more formal than Americans?
Marco: Oh yes, they often use titles in addressing each other. Why don't you tell us some of the most common courtesy titles?
Consuelo: Okay, Marco, let's start with "signore."
Marco: "Mister."
Consuelo: "Signora."
Marco: "Mrs."
Consuelo: In Italy, Marco, I am called "signorina."
Marco: Ah, "Miss", because you're not married! And what about professional titles?
Consuelo: The most used are "professore," masculine, and "professoressa," feminine.
Marco: "Professor."
Consuelo: Then we have "ingegnere."
Marco: "Engineer."
Consuelo: "Avvocato."
Marco: "Lawyer."
Consuelo: ...and "dottore," masculine, and "dottoressa," feminine.
Marco: "Doctor." Oh, thank you, Consuelo.
Marco: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Consuelo come [natural native speed]
Marco how
Consuelo come [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo come [natural native speed]
Consuelo benone [natural native speed]
Marco very well, terrific
Consuelo benone [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo benone [natural native speed]
Consuelo grazie [natural native speed]
Marco thank you, thanks
Consuelo grazie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo grazie [natural native speed]
Consuelo buona sera [natural native speed]
Marco good evening
Consuelo buona sera [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo buona sera [natural native speed]
Marco: And today's last word is…
Consuelo: Signora
Marco: Madam, lady, missus.
Consuelo: Signora
Marco: Consuelo, what expression are we studying today?
Consuelo: Today we talk about forms of greeting in Italian. As we have seen in the dialogues, "buona sera" is the exact equivalent of "good evening," and, as such, we should use this term only when we meet someone. Instead, you may use "buona serata" to wish someone a nice evening.
Marco: Ah, okay. But you should not use this greeting when meeting someone for the first time or upon entering a place. For example, when I enter a shop at nighttime, and the shopkeeper greets me with "buona sera," I can reply "buona sera," right?
Consuelo: Yes, of course, Marco, and when someone is about to go to bed we say "buona notte."
Marco: "Good night!"
Consuelo: As we saw in the previous lesson, "good morning" in Italian is…
Marco: "Buon giorno." But I also heard "buon pomeriggio."
Consuelo: Oh, that's "good afternoon" but it's not used much. So let me say "buona serata" to our listeners.
Marco: "Buona serata!"

Lesson focus

Consuelo: Let's take a look at today's grammar point.
Marco: The focus of this lesson is on asking how people are doing.
Consuelo: "Come stai" means "How are you?" referring to the second person singular "you" ("tu").
Marco: We use "come sta" in formal expressions, such as "How are you, sir?" This term has two alternative meanings.
Consuelo: To explain this better, let us look at our first Italian verb conjugation in present indicative form.
Marco: But before we jump in, let's tell our listeners that the meaning of the verb "stare" depends on the context in which it is used. Please note that the direct equivalent of to be is "essere." And now let's see the conjugation of the verb "stare."
Consuelo: "Io sto"
Marco: "I am"
Consuelo: "tu stai"
Marco: "you are"
Consuelo: "lui/lei sta"
Marco: "he/she/it is"
Consuelo: "noi stiamo"
Marco: "we are"
Consuelo: "voi state"
Marco: "you are"
Consuelo: "loro stanno"
Marco: "they are"
Consuelo: As you can clearly see, the informal way to ask "How are you?" uses the second person singular, "tu."
Marco: So when we want to speak formally, we just have to switch to the next person, "lui/lei," creating a distance between the speakers.
Consuelo: So "come sta" means "How are you?" in formal speech.
Marco: And "How is he/she?" in informal speech. The same happens for "tu" and "lei."
Consuelo: "Lei" means either "her" in informal speech or "you" (either masculine and feminine) in formal speech.
Marco: Its meaning is determined by the context it is used in. "Lui" can only mean "him." That’s just about does it for today.
Consuelo: Ready to test what you just learned.
Marco: Make this lesson's vocabulary stick by using lesson-specific flashcard in the Learning Center.
Consuelo: There is a reason why everyone uses flashcards.
Marco: They work.
Consuelo: They really do help the memorization.
Marco: You can get the flashcards for this lesson at…
Consuelo: ItalianPod101.com.
Marco: Okay.
Consuelo: Ciao