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Lesson Transcript

Laura: "Buon giorno!"
Marco: Marco here! Basic Bootcamp Season 1, Lesson 1, Self Introduction and Basic Greetings in Formal Italian.
Marco: Hello, and welcome to the Basic Bootcamp S1 lesson 1 at ItalianPod101.com, where we study modern Italian in a fun, educational format!
Laura: So, brush up on the Italian that you started learning long ago, or start learning today.
Marco: Thanks for being here with us for this lesson. Laura, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Laura: Okay, now you probably think with a name like Bootcamp, this is going to be painful.
Marco: No, in our Bootcamp, you definitely won't suffer.
Laura: We'll take it slow and be nice to you.
Marco: We should have called it BootSpa, actually.
Laura: Ha ha! So...
Marco: In this lesson, you will learn how to initiate a first contact with a person in Italian and introduce yourself.
Laura: This conversation takes place in the reception lobby of a hotel in Italy.
Marco: The conversation is between the receptionist and a tourist.
Laura: The speakers will be speaking formally.
Marco: Okay, now let's listen to the conversation.
Portiere: Buon giorno, signora. Mi chiamo Giovanni.
Signora Lenti: Piacere, signore. Mi chiamo Lenti Barbara.
Portiere: Piacere, signora.
(one time slowly)
Portiere: Buon giorno, signora. Mi chiamo Giovanni.
Signora Lenti: Piacere, signore. Mi chiamo Lenti Barbara.
Portiere: Piacere, signora.
(one time natural native speed with the translation)
Portiere: Buon giorno, signora. Mi chiamo Giovanni.
Marco: Hello, madam. I'm Giovanni.
Signora Lenti: Piacere, signore. Mi chiamo Lenti Barbara.
Marco: Nice to meet you, sir. I'm Barbara Lenti.
Portiere: Piacere, signora.
Marco: Nice to meet you, Madam.
Post-Conversation Banter (30 sec -> 1 min.)
Laura: So the receptionist's name is Giovanni.
Marco: I bet it's a popular name in Italy.
Laura: Yes, it's very popular.
Marco: As for the customer, her first name is Barbara. Barbara has also been very popular in Italy for quite a while, hasn't it?
Laura: Yes, this name doesn't seem to age.
Marco: Now I noticed that she introduced her name starting with her last name, Lenti. Is that a usual thing to do?
Laura: No, it's not. Here, she is giving her name to a receptionist. That's why she is starting with her last name, so he can check her reservation. Usually when you introduce yourself to someone, you say your first name first.
Marco: And sometimes you can only say your first name, right?
Laura: Yes, most of the time actually. The more formal the situation is, the more formally you will speak. And saying both your name and your last name is very formal.
Marco: You would do that in a business context, I assume.
Laura: Absolutely.
Marco: Now, do people in Italy shake hands when meeting for the first time?
Laura: At work, when it's your first encounter with your co-workers, then yes, you will shake hands.
Marco: No kisses?
Laura: Kisses come later, once you know people better.
Marco: And outside of a business context?
Laura: That's different. In casual situations, people will sometimes kiss each other when meeting again after being introduced. Men with women, and women with women.
Marco: What about men with men?
Laura: Well, men tend to shake hands. But when they are really good friends, they will kiss.
Marco: A kiss on each cheek, correct?
Laura: Yes, so don't be shy when you go to Italy, and kiss everybody!!!
Marco: Well, not if it's your boss or a client...
Vocabulary and Phrases
Marco: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Laura: buon giorno [natural native speed]
Marco: hello, good day
Laura: buon giorno [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Laura: buon giorno [natural native speed]
Laura: signora [natural native speed]
Marco: madam, lady, misses
Laura: signora [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Laura: signora [natural native speed]
Laura: Mi chiamo… [natural native speed]
Marco: My name is…
Laura: Mi chiamo… [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Laura: Mi chiamo… [natural native speed]
Laura: Piacere [natural native speed]
Marco: Nice to meet you.
Laura: Piacere [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Laura: Piacere [natural native speed]
Vocabulary and Phrase Usage
Marco: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Laura: The first phrase we'll look at is...
"Buon giorno signora."
Marco: This is "Hello, Madam."
Laura: Yes, and "buon giorno" is used during the day from morning through the afternoon and up to the evening. It literally means "good day."
Marco: That's right, and at both evening and night, Italians say "buona sera," meaning "good evening."
Laura: This greeting is usually used after five or six p.m.
Marco: What else do we have here?
Laura: We have "Buon giorno signore."
Marco: Which means "Hello, sir."
Laura: A lot of people don't say "signore" or "signora" anymore when introducing themselves.
Marco: Really? Do you?
Laura: Very rarely. I assume I would say it if I met President Obama.
Marco: You would speak to Obama in Italian?
Laura: Just for the greetings.
Marco: So it is possible for me to say "buon giorno" only when I meet an unknown person?
Laura: Yes, that's what you say in stores, at the bank, everywhere. But you can definitely say "signore" and "signora" if you want! People always appreciate politeness!
Marco: Okay, what do we have next?
Laura: Next is "piacere."
Marco: Which means "Nice to meet you."
Laura: Yes.
Marco: What would it be literally? "Pleasure?"
Laura: Exactly. I know it's a little over the top.
Marco: It's really nice. And next we have...
Laura: "Mi chiamo…"
Marco: Which means "My name is..."
Laura: Yes, "Mi chiamo Laura." "My name is Laura."
Marco: And "Mi chiamo Marco." What is this verb?
Laura: It is the verb "chiamarsi." Okay, let's have a quick recap together. Marco and I are going to introduce ourselves to each other.
Marco: Let's go! "Buon giorno."
Laura: "Buon giorno."
Marco: "Mi chiamo Marco."
Laura: "Piacere, Marco. Mi chiamo Laura."
Marco: "Piacere."
Laura: Great, you can all introduce yourself in Italian now.
Marco: How do I ask someone what his or her name is?
Laura: Oh, yes, that can be useful! Well, you can ask "Come si chiama?"
Marco: One more time slowly, "Come si chiama?" That's formal. What's the informal way?
Laura: It will be "Come ti chiami?"
Marco: Okay. So when addressing someone you don't know or in a formal situation, you will say "lei"/" si."
Laura: Yes, and when it's informal, with friends or family, it will be "tu"/"ti."
Marco: I have a tricky question here.
Laura: Go ahead.
Marco: What if I introduce myself to a friend of yours. Should I use "tu," since he's a friend of a friend? Or should I use "lei," since I don't know him?
Laura: You should use "tu" and say "Come ti chiami?" because, that's right, he's a friend of mine.
Marco: The use of "lei" and "tu" in Italian is hard to get. But don't worry, you'll get there.
Laura: Yes, and Italian people are very tolerant when they're used by a foreigner.
Marco: Okay, now let's focus on ways to say your name.

Lesson focus

Laura: We already saw that you can use the phrase "mi chiamo" followed by your name.
Marco: "Mi chiamo" means literally "am called." It is not necessary to add "I," which is "Io," as in "Io mi chiamo," which is literally "I am called." Italians only use "I," which is "Io," "you," which is "tu," and so forth for emphasis. You guess who is speaking or the person you are addressing from the context anyway. So there's no need to specify personal pronouns.
Laura: Now another way to say your name is just like in English, "Io sono Laura." "I am Laura."
Marco: "Io," again, being "I," and sono, being "am." "I am," "io sono." Again, you would usually skip "io" and just say "sono Laura."
Laura: Now you know two ways of introducing yourself. Marco, could you sum them up?
Marco: No problem. One, "Mi chiamo," and two, "sono."
Laura: Just a quick note about the verb "chiamarsi." "Chiamarsi" is the infinitive form of "mi chiamo." And it ends with "si."
Marco: If you see a verb ending with "si," it is a "verbo riflessivo" or "reflexive verb." Many verbs can be used in a reflexive form.
Laura: Yes, and the reflexive verbs are when the action is directed to the subject, literally "I call myself" or "I wash myself," and so forth. "Mi chiamo" means "I am called," as in "I call myself."
Marco: All right. I think that's enough grammar for today.
Laura: Yes, and don't worry, if you don't remember what is what, it doesn't really matter.
Marco: What matters is that you know how to say "My name is" or "I am."
Laura: Before we wrap up this conversation, I would like to introduce you to some popular Italian names.
Marco: My friend from Italy named her baby Rocco.
Laura: Rocco is one! Nowadays baby names tend to be short and sometimes a bit unusual. Rocco, Matteo, and Tommaso are common for boys, and Emma, Sofia, Sara, and Jessica are popular for girls.
Marco: Some almost don't sound Italian.
Laura: Some of them are not actually. And I will end with my favorite name for a girl…Isabella.
Marco: It's really cute.
Laura: Okay, I think that will be it for today.
Marco: That just about does it for today.
Marco: Okay, some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool on ItalianPod101.com...
Laura: line-by-line audio.
Marco: The perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension...
Laura: by listening to lines of the conversation again and again.
Marco: Listen until every word and syllable become clear. Basically, we break down the dialogue into comprehensible, bite-size sentences.
Laura: You can try the line-by-line audio at ItalianPod101.com.
Marco: Bye, everyone!
Laura: "Arrivederci!"