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Lesson Transcript

Cinzia: Buongiorno tutti! Mi chiamo Cinzia.
Marco: Marco here! Beginner series Season 1, Lesson 4 - Tell Them How You Are in Italian! Hello, and welcome to ItalianPod101.com. My name is Marco, and I’m joined here by Cinzia. Cinzia, come stai?
Cinzia: Benissimo, Marco, grazie. Benvenuti! Welcome!
Marco: We will be guiding you to basic grammar and vocabulary.
Cinzia: And don’t forget that we’re going to discuss different aspects of the language, culture, and customs you’ll find in Italy.
Marco: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask “How are you?” in Italian
Cinzia: This conversation takes place on the streets of Italy.
Marco: And it is between Luca and Elena.
Cinzia: They will be speaking both formal and informal Italian.
Marco: I will be Luca Marini.
Cinzia: While I will be Elena Rossi.
Elena: Ciao Luca. Come stai?
Luca: Sto bene, grazie. E tu?
Elena: Non c’è male.
Marco: One more time, slowly.
Elena: Ciao Luca. Come stai?
Luca: Sto bene, grazie. E tu?
Elena: Non c’è male.
Marco: Once again, this time with the translation.
Elena: Ciao Luca. Come stai?
Elena: Hey, Luca. How are you?
Luca: Sto bene, grazie. E tu?
Luca: I’m fine, thanks. And you?
Elena: Non c’è male.
Elena: I’m all right.
Cinzia: So Marco, who are these two people?
Marco: Well, if we take a look at how they’re greeting each other, I’d say they’re friends.
Cinzia: Yeah, friends like you and me.
Marco: Exactly! And friends use the Informal Italian, yes, because, remember, in the case of strangers or older people, it’s better to use the Formal Italian.
Cinzia: Yes! In the bonus track.
Marco: So please stop by and download the bonus track on the formal conversation. Now, we will take a look at the vocabulary and phrases for this lesson.
Cinzia: come [natural native speed]
Marco: how
Cinzia: come [slowly - broken down by syllable] come [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: stare [natural native speed]
Marco: to be, to stand, to lie, to be located, to be situated
Cinzia: stare [slowly - broken down by syllable] stare [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: bene [natural native speed]
Marco: well, good, fine
Cinzia: bene [slowly - broken down by syllable] bene [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: tu [natural native speed]
Marco: you
Cinzia: tu [slowly - broken down by syllable] tu [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: male [natural native speed]
Marco: bad, badly, ill, not well
Cinzia: male [slowly - broken down by syllable] male [natural native speed]
Marco: Now Cinzia, for example, bene is “well, good, fine,” right?
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: Male is “bad, badly,” and so on, but bene is an adjective, but we can also use it as a noun like “the good,” right?
Cinzia: Yes, sure, but even for male, it’s the same thing.
Marco: So, il bene is “the good.”
Cinzia: Yes. And il male is “the evil.”
Marco: So, let’s say we’re two forces. We’re the forces of evil and the forces of good, right?
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: And- well, I think you can be bene, so you’re the force of good and I will be male, the force of…
Cinzia: Evil.
Marco: As always, hahaha.
Cinzia: Marco, are you sure you wanna be the evil?
Marco: Yes.
Cinzia: Okay.
Marco: Evil is fun.
Cinzia: Okay.
Marco: Good is boring.
Cinzia: Okay. Now, let’s have a look at the usage for some of the words.
Cinzia: The first word we will look at is come.
Marco: Cinzia, can you give us an example sentence, please?
Cinzia: Come stanno?
Marco: “How are they?”
Cinzia: The next word we’re going to look at today is bene.
Marco: Let’s have an example with bene.
Cinzia: Stiamo bene.
Marco: “We are fine.”
Cinzia: Yes! I’ve used stiamo bene so many times with my parents.
Marco: Really? What are you answering to?
Cinzia: Well…my brother and I used to spend every summer in Gaeta. It’s a resort, one-hour drive from Napoli and my parents used to call us every few days asking - Come stavi? “How were you?” And we would always answer- Stiamo bene. “We are fine.”
Marco: So, it really is a very common expression, isn’t it?
Cinzia: Yes, it is.
Marco: Okay, okay. Then, what is the next word?
Cinzia: The next word is the opposite of bene and that is male.
Marco: Perfect! Can you give us one example, please?
Cinzia: Sto male.
Marco: “I am ill” or “I am not feeling well.”
Cinzia: Yeah, sto male. I’ve used it so many times, Marco, to skip school.
Marco: What do you mean?
Cinzia: Why? Don’t you ever use sto male to skip something?
Marco: Well, I used to whine a lot before going to swimming lessons. I was afraid of the water.
Cinzia: Really? Marco, how old were you?
Marco: Eh… I think I was 6 or 7.
Cinzia: Oh, that’s okay. So, Marco, in the end, did you go to classes?
Marco: Well, I whined. I said to my parents I wasn’t feeling well. I was saying- I was saying to them, non sto bene, non sto bene. So, I skipped a few classes, maybe 6 months of classes, if I remember correctly.
Cinzia: Oh my God! Didn’t your mom say to you - Devi andare “You have to go”?
Marco: I don’t really remember. I mean I was 6-7, maybe even younger. I don’t remember. But, no, they let me be and after a while, when I was so bad at swimming, I was- I was falling behind in classes, then I realized that I had to do something myself. So, when swimming, swim more than everybody else and improve.
Cinzia: Oh, finally! That’s my Marco. That’s the Marco I want. You have some hidden talent.
Marco: Ma grazie, “Well, thank you.”
Cinzia: You are more than welcome, Marco.
Marco: Now, on with the grammar.

Lesson focus

Cinzia: Stare is an important verb to know and use.
Marco: Although often used as a near synonym for essere, it does not carry the same underlying meaning as essere “to be.”
Cinzia: In fact, stare describes a more temporary state or characteristic.
Marco: While essere defines or describes how something is characterically.
Cinzia: For example, come stai is asking “How are you?”
Marco: While the same question using essere, come sei is asking, “What are you like?”
Cinzia: Okay, Marco. So, let me give our loyal listeners the conjugation of stare.
Marco: Perfect! I’m sure you’re waiting for it.
Cinzia: Stare.
Marco: First person singular.
Cinzia: Io sto.
Marco: “I am.” Second person singular.
Cinzia: Tu stai.
Marco: “You are.” Third person singular.
Cinzia: Lui/lei sta.
Marco: “He/she/it is.” First person plural.
Cinzia: Noi stiamo.
Marco: “We are.” Second person plural.
Cinzia: Voi state.
Marco. “You are.” Third person plural?
Cinzia: Loro stanno.
Marco: “They are.” Now, another way to answer, “How are you?” is non c'è male, which also means “I’m fine.”
Cinzia: So, non c'è male means “I am fine,” but the literal meaning is “there is no bad,” isn’t it?
Marco: True! Very, very true.
Cinzia: So, Italians use it to avoid revealing anything too personal or thinking too much.
Marco: Well, yes! This is because it does not refer directly to the person speaking, and it can also be used when responding to questions about food, places, and events.
Cinzia: For example - Com'è il vino? Non c'è male.
Marco: Com'è la pizza?
Cinzia: È buonissima.
Marco: Oh, come on! Non c'è male, yeah. Say non c'è male.
Cinzia: Yes, but my pizza is buonissima.
Marco: Okay. Anyway, let’s give it for the students, please. So, com'è la pizza?
Cinzia: Mm, non c'è male.
Marco: Perfect! But remember, Napoli pizza is the best. That’s what she says. Okay.
Cinzia: Of course! Oh, wait, wait, Marco. We didn’t explain c'è to our listeners. I think it’s a little bit complicated.
Marco: Yes, yes. We’re gonna be explaining it in the newbie lesson, so we’ll probably tell them now. Well, c'è is the contraction of ci è, that means…
Cinzia: “There is.”
Marco: Yes. That is the literal meaning.
Cinzia: So, how do you write it?
Marco: You write it with a “c” followed by an apostrophe and then an è with a grave accent on it.
Cinzia: So, it’s just the third person singular of the verb essere, isn’t it?
Marco: Perfect! Yes, just ci and third person singular of the verb essere, è.


Marco: That’s it for today’s lesson.
Cinzia: Don’t forget to check out the lesson transcript in the PDF at ItalianPod1010.com.
Marco: Also, feel free to use our forum for your questions. And if you like to leave a comment, we’d be happy to respond.
Cinzia: And drop by!
Marco: Venite a trovarci!
Cinzia: Marco, happier!
Marco: Venite a trovarci!
Cinzia: Ok, that’s better. Ciao ciao!
Marco: Ciao!

Dialog - Formal

Video Vocabulary