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Lesson Transcript

Cinzia: Buongiorno! Mi chiamo Cinzia.
Marco: Marco here! Beginner series Season 1, Lesson 9 - Italian Pets and the Most Important Italian Phrase to Know! Buongiorno tutti! So welcome to today’s lesson of the Beginner series.
Cinzia: Thank you for joining us at ItalianPod101.com. We are going to teach Italian in a fun and interesting way.
Marco: I’m Marco and we’d like to welcome you to the ninth lesson of the Beginner series in ItalianPod101.com. 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 that you’ll find in Italy.
Marco: So please, keep following us, we have such a nice show today!
Cinzia: Yes, it’s true! Come with us!
Marco: In this lesson, you will learn how to say "how do you say…?" in Italian.
Cinzia: This conversation takes place on the streets of Italy.
Marco: And it is between Anna and Peter.
Cinzia: They are friends, therefore they will be speaking informal Italian. So, let’s have a listen and find out what happens.
Anna: Peter, hai un animale domestico?
Peter: Sì: ho un cane, due gatti e...un...come si dice “hamster?”
Anna: Hamster?
Peter: Sí, un animale piccolo come un topo.
Anna: Ahh! Un criceto!
Marco: One more time, slowly.
Anna: Peter, hai un animale domestico?
Peter: Sì: ho un cane, due gatti e...un...come si dice “hamster?”
Anna: Hamster?
Peter: Sí, un animale piccolo come un topo.
Anna: Ahh! Un criceto!
Marco: Once again, this time, with the translation.
Anna: Peter, hai un animale domestico?
Anna: Peter, do you have a pet?
Peter: Sì: ho un cane, due gatti e...un...come si dice “hamster?”
Peter: Oh, yes! I have a dog, two cats, and…a…how do you say “hamster?”
Anna: Hamster?
Anna: Hamster?
Peter: Sí, un animale piccolo come un topo.
Peter: Yes, a small animal like a mouse.
Anna: Ahh! Un criceto!
Anna: Ahh! A hamster!
Marco: So Cinzia, do you have any pets at home?
Cinzia: Oh yes, Marco, I have a lovely, lovely kitty cat.
Marco: A kitty cat? How do you say “kitty cat” in Italian?
Cinzia: una gattina, che carina.
Marco: So, gattina carina.
Cinzia: Sì, so sweet!
Marco: “A cute kitty cat.” And what’s her name?
Cinzia: Her name is Yuki.
Marco: Yuki? That’s not an Italian name.
Cinzia: No, in fact, it’s a Japanese name.
Marco: Japanese name?
Cinzia: Yes, because my cat is white.
Marco: All white?
Cinzia: It’s completely white, so she’s white like snow and Yuki means “snow” in Japanese.
Marco: And how do we say “snow” in Italian?
Cinzia: Neve.
Marco: Okay then. Snow is neve. Now, onto the vocabulary.
Marco: First
Cinzia: animale domestico [natural native speed]
Marco: pet
Cinzia: animale domestico [slowly - broken down by syllable] animale domestico [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: criceto [natural native speed]
Marco: hamster
Cinzia: criceto [slowly - broken down by syllable] criceto [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: cane [natural native speed]
Marco: dog
Cinzia: cane [slowly - broken down by syllable] cane [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: gatti [natural native speed]
Marco: cats
Cinzia: gatti [slowly - broken down by syllable] gatti [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: piccolo [natural native speed]
Marco: small, tiny (masculine singular)
Cinzia: piccolo [slowly - broken down by syllable] piccolo [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: topo [natural native speed]
Marco: mouse
Cinzia: topo [slowly - broken down by syllable] topo [natural native speed]
Cinzia: So, let’s have a look at the usage for some of these words. The first word we will look at is - animale domestico.
Marco: Cinzia, can we have an example sentence, please?
Cinzia: Hai un animale domestico?
Marco: “Do you have a pet?”
Cinzia: Next word is criceto.
Marco: “Hamster.” One example, please.
Cinzia: Il criceto è piccolo.
Marco: “The hamster is small.”
Cinzia: Okay. The next vocabulary word is - cane.
Marco: “Dog.” One example, please, Cinzia.
Cinzia: Il cane è un bell'animale.
Marco: “The dog is a nice animal.”
Cinzia: The next vocabulary word is - gatti.
Marco: “Cat.” Let’s have an example.
Cinzia: Peter ha due gatti.
Marco: “Peter has two cats.”
Cinzia: The last word for today is - topo.
Marco: “Mouse.” Let’s have an example, please.
Cinzia: Il gatto mangia il topo.
Marco: “The cat eats the mouse.”

Lesson focus

Marco: Let’s take a look at today’s grammar. Now - Come si dice...? is a useful phrase for asking about the meaning of words and phrases.
Cinzia: Si dice is the impersonal form of the verb dire and it stands for the English, “How do you say...?”
Marco: The impersonal construction is commonly used in Italian when the action of a verb is performed by people in general or by a subject, which is indefinite - in English "you" or "one."
Cinzia: This construction uses si + (the third person of the verb) and it is called si impersonale.
Marco: Now, all these difficult terms are just here for a brief explanation, but you don’t need to remember them. What you need to remember is how to use them.
Cinzia: So, Marco, let’s take a look at the examples.
Marco: Yes, yes, sorry, sorry.
Cinzia: Okay. First example - Si mangia per vivere.
Marco: “People eat in order to live.”
Cinzia: Second example - Non si può pagare con la carta di credito.
Marco: “You can’t pay by credit card.”
Cinzia: Third example - Come si dice "cane" in inglese?
Marco: “How do you say “cane” in English?” Oh, and cane is “dog.”
Cinzia: Fourth example - Non si paga molto in quel ristorante.
Marco: “You don’t pay much in that restaurant.”
Cinzia: And then we have the fifth example - Si vedono le montagne.
Marco: “You can see the mountains” or “The mountains can be seen.” So, it’s also complex, but in the end, it’s also easy to use. So, dear listeners, please, don’t be scared and don’t worry because even if it seems very difficult, you’re gonna get used very easily as soon as you get to Italy because these kinds of sentences with si impersonale, you’re gonna hear them very often.
Marco: Yes. And usually, it’s so easy. For example, let’s take today’s dialogue, come si dice “how do you say.” Just remember it as a set phrase for now. We’ll see it in more detail in future lessons.


Marco: This is the end of today’s lesson.
Cinzia: Be sure to check out the vocabulary list with audio in the Learning center at ItalianPod1010.com. Also, ask us a question in the forum or leave us a comment. And thank you!
Marco: Thank you for today! A presto!
Cinzia: Ciao!

Video Vocabulary