Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Business Italian for Beginners Season 1 Lesson 20 - Asking for Directions at an Office Reception. Eric Here.
Ofelia: Ciao, I'm Ofelia.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask for simple directions at a reception desk. The conversation takes place at reception.
Ofelia: It's between a Receptionist and Linda.
Eric: The speakers are strangers, so they will use formal Italian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Receptionist: Signora Baker, può accomodarsi. Leonardi la sta aspettando.
Linda: A che piano è l'ufficio del Dottor Leonardi?
Receptionist: Al terzo piano.
Linda: Ho capito. Dove sono le scale?
Receptionist: Può utilizzare l'ascensore, in fondo al corridoio a sinistra.
Eric: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Receptionist: Signora Baker, può accomodarsi. Leonardi la sta aspettando.
Linda: A che piano è l'ufficio del Dottor Leonardi?
Receptionist: Al terzo piano.
Linda: Ho capito. Dove sono le scale?
Receptionist: Può utilizzare l'ascensore, in fondo al corridoio a sinistra.
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Receptionist: Ms. Baker, you can go inside. Leonardi is waiting for you.
Linda: Which floor is Mr. Leonardi's office?
Receptionist: On the third floor.
Linda: OK. Where are the stairs?
Receptionist: You can use the elevator, down the hallway to the left.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Are elevators and escalators common in Italy?
Ofelia: Not that much. Sometimes you'll be surprised to find that some companies have their headquarters in very old places or buildings, but it’s because in Italy old buildings, after being restored, keep being used.
Eric:That means that in many cases there isn't an elevator available, so you just have to use the stairs.
Ofelia: Right, even if an average Italian building isn't higher than three floors, this situation has created many issues in Italy, especially when you consider that some years ago finding an elevator even in a station was a problem.
Eric: Has the situation changed now?
Ofelia: Thanks to various laws, the situation has now improved, and cities and buildings are becoming more accessible, getting rid of what is known as barriere architettoniche.
Eric: which means "physical obstacles". Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Ofelia: aspettare [natural native speed]
Eric: to wait
Ofelia: aspettare[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: aspettare [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: piano [natural native speed]
Eric: floor
Ofelia: piano[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: piano [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: terzo [natural native speed]
Eric: third
Ofelia: terzo[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: terzo [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: dove [natural native speed]
Eric: where
Ofelia: dove[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: dove [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: scale [natural native speed]
Eric: stairs
Ofelia: scale[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: scale [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: utilizzare [natural native speed]
Eric: to use
Ofelia: utilizzare[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: utilizzare [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: ascensore [natural native speed]
Eric: elevator
Ofelia: ascensore[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: ascensore [natural native speed]
Eric: And last...
Ofelia: corridoio [natural native speed]
Eric: hallway
Ofelia: corridoio[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: corridoio [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let's have a closer look at the usage of one of the phrases from this lesson. That is..
Ofelia: al terzo piano
Eric: meaning "on the third floor"
Ofelia: This phrase is not difficult, because it never changes except for the ordinal number.
Eric: Unlike the numbers in English, in Italian, ordinal numbers have a distinct form for the numbers one through ten. Let’s quickly review them, “first” is
Ofelia: primo
Eric: “second”
Ofelia: secondo
Eric: “third”
Ofelia: terzo
Eric: “forth”
Ofelia: quarto,
Eric: “fifth”
Ofelia: quinto,
Eric: “sixth”
Ofelia: sesto,
Eric: “seventh”
Ofelia: settimo,
Eric: “eighth”
Ofelia: ottavo,
Eric: “ninth”
Ofelia: nono,
Eric: “tenth”
Ofelia: decimo. After decimo, we form ordinals by dropping the final vowel of the cardinal number and adding the suffix -esimo.
Eric: Can you give us an example using the phrase meaning “on the third floor”?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say... L'ascensore è rimasto bloccato al terzo piano.
Eric: ..which means "The elevator got stuck at the third floor."
Ofelia: Finally, remember that in Italy "ground floor" is called pianterreno and it is counted as 0 in the elevator. So what you call the second floor in the United States, is called primo piano in Italy.
Eric: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask for simple directions at a reception desk.
Ofelia: Being able to ask for directions could be very useful if you are working in a new place.
Eric: And asking for directions is simple.
Ofelia: Most of the time, you use the verb essere meaning “to be” in the present indicative, plus dove, meaning “where,” as a question word or another phrase such as a che piano…
Eric: meaning “which floor…”
Ofelia: or in che reparto…
Eric: meaning “in which section…” Which are the examples from the dialogue?
Ofelia: A che piano è l'ufficio del Dottor Leonardi?
Eric: “Which floor is Mr. Leonardi's office?”
Ofelia: Dove sono le scale?
Eric: “Where are the stairs?”
Ofelia: Other similar questions are Dov’è la segreteria?
Eric: “Where is the administrative office?”
Ofelia: Or In che reparto è l’ufficio del Signor Giorgi?
Eric: “In which section is Mr. Giorgi’s office?” Now, let’s take a look at how to give directions. What are the examples in the dialogue, Ofelia?
Ofelia: Al terzo piano.
Eric: “On the third floor.”
Ofelia: … in fondo al corridoio a sinistra.
Eric: “… down the hallway to the left.” As you can see, if the direction is simple, you don’t have to repeat the verb, just give the direction.
Ofelia: The most challenging part of giving directions is probably the prepositions, which can be used alone, for example di, a, da, or attached to the definite articles, for example del, al, or dal.
Eric: Let’s review some tips for using prepositions. For example, before the name of a city you always have to use...
Ofelia: ...the preposition a, for example a Milano or a New York
Eric: before the name of a country...
Ofelia: Please always use the preposition in, for example in Italia or in America.
Eric: Now let’s give some phrases that are useful for giving directions with prepositions.
Ofelia: In fondo a or Di fronte a
Eric: These mean “at the end of” and “in front of” respectively.
Ofelia: For example, you can say La sala riunioni è di fronte agli uffici della contabilità.
Eric: “The meeting room is in front of the accounting offices.”
Ofelia: when referring to the right you can say, A destra or Sulla destra
Eric: respectively meaning “to the right” and “on the right”
Ofelia: when referring to the left you can say, A sinistra or Sulla sinistra
Eric: respectively meaning “to the left” and “on the left.”
Ofelia: Here is an example - Sulla sinistra della portineria c’è la macchinetta del caffè.
Eric: “On the left of the reception, there is the coffee machine.” Now, let’s take a look at some useful phrases for an office environment.
Ofelia: First of all, in ufficio meaning “in the office”
Eric: This doesn’t have a definitive article, so when do we need to use that?
Ofelia: When you refer to a specific office, you should use a compounded preposition, for example Nell’ufficio di Linda
Eric: “In Linda’s office”
Ofelia: Other useful phrases when working in an office are, In segreteria
Eric: “In the administrative office”
Ofelia: In direzione
Eric: “at the director’s office.” Ok, let’s wrap up this lesson by giving a question and answer.
Ofelia: The question could be A che piano è la direzione?
Eric: "What floor is the director's office on?"
Ofelia: The answer could be È al terzo piano, a destra, in fondo al corridoio.
Eric: Meaning "It's on the third floor, on the right, at the end of the hallway."

Outro

Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Ofelia: A presto!

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Try to give some directions in Italian!