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 21 - Accepting a Gift in a Business Setting. Eric Here.
Ofelia: Ciao, I'm Ofelia.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn How to Handle a Gift in a Business Context. The conversation takes place at the office.
Ofelia: It's between Paolo Grassi and Linda.
Eric: The speakers are acquaintances, so they will use formal Italian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Paolo Grassi: Vi abbiamo portato un pensiero. È un vino della nostra zona.
Linda: Grazie mille! Non dovevate disturbarvi.
Paolo Grassi: Nessun disturbo.
Linda: Conosco questa cantina, è molto rinomata!
Paolo Grassi: Sul serio?
Linda: Certo! Comunque, avviamoci la signora Martini ci raggiungerà al ristorante.
Eric: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Paolo Grassi: Vi abbiamo portato un pensiero. È un vino della nostra zona.
Linda: Grazie mille! Non dovevate disturbarvi.
Paolo Grassi: Nessun disturbo.
Linda: Conosco questa cantina, è molto rinomata!
Paolo Grassi: Sul serio?
Linda: Certo! Comunque, avviamoci la signora Martini ci raggiungerà al ristorante.
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Paolo Grassi: We brought you a little present. It's a wine from our region.
Linda: Thank you so much! You didn't have to trouble yourself!
Paolo Grassi: No problem.
Linda: I know this winery, it's very well-known!
Paolo Grassi: Really?
Linda: Sure! Anyway, let's go, Mrs. Martini will join us at the restaurant.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Ofelia, is it common to exchange gifts between business partners in Italy?
Ofelia: Actually, it’s not so common, especially if the relationship is new. In general, treating someone to a meal is more common than giving a present.
Eric: It's also easier to return a meal than a good gift.
Ofelia: Right, if you want to bring a gift anyway, remember to bring something of good quality, though not necessarily expensive.
Eric: Any suggestions?
Ofelia: For example, local delicacies are a very common option and very appreciated. Also remember that opening the gift in front of the person who brought it is the rule in Italy. Before doing that you could say Lo apro subito!
Eric: which means "I'll open it right now!" Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Ofelia: portare [natural native speed]
Eric: to take, to bring
Ofelia: portare[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: portare [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: pensiero [natural native speed]
Eric: thought
Ofelia: pensiero[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: pensiero [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: zona [natural native speed]
Eric: area
Ofelia: zona[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: zona [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: disturbarsi [natural native speed]
Eric: to trouble oneself
Ofelia: disturbarsi[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: disturbarsi [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: conoscere [natural native speed]
Eric: to know
Ofelia: conoscere[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: conoscere [natural native speed]
Eric: And last...
Ofelia: sul serio [natural native speed]
Eric: seriously
Ofelia: sul serio[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: sul serio [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is..
Ofelia: disturbarsi
Eric: meaning "to trouble oneself"
Ofelia: This reflexive verb is commonly used in Italian when someone is given a present.
Eric: the one who is given the present states that he or she doesn't deserve such attention.
Ofelia: Right, it's mostly used in a formal or business setting, while in an informal and friendly one it risks sounding very sarcastic.
Eric: Can you give us an example using this verb?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say.. Che bel regalo! Non dovevi disturbarti!
Eric: ..which means "What a beautiful present! You didn't have to trouble yourself!" If you are told this, what could you answer?
Ofelia: you can answer with Nessun disturbo or Figurati!
Eric: which both can translate as "No problem at all!", meaning that it was no trouble, but a pleasure to look for a present. Okay, what's the next phrase?
Ofelia: sul serio
Eric: meaning "really, seriously"
Ofelia: This phrase is made up of the preposition sul, literally meaning "on the," and the noun serio, which can be translated as "serious matter."
Eric: You can use it any time you hardly believe something or you want to express your surprise. Can you give us an example using this word?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say.. Hai vinto sul serio?
Eric: .. which means "Did you really win?"
Ofelia: Other similar expressions are davvero or veramente.
Eric: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you'll learn How to Handle a Gift in a Business Context.
Ofelia: Though it’s not so common in Italy, it’s possible that you’ll be given a present as a way to thank you for your work or to show a willingness to make the business relationship grow stronger.
Eric: Whether you are the one who receives or the one who gives, it’s important to know what kinds of expressions are best to use. Let’s start with giving a gift – which is the sentence used in the dialogue?
Ofelia: In the dialogue we have Vi abbiamo portato un pensiero.
Eric: “We brought you a little present.”
Ofelia: The word pensiero is the key word when you are giving someone a present in Italy.
Eric: It literally means “thought” and it symbolically refers to the kind thought that someone has when deciding to offer a present. It moves the attention from the present itself and its material value to the act of giving someone something.
Ofelia: There are several possible combinations, for example È solo un pensiero.
Eric: “It’s just a small present,” or literally “It’s just a thought.”
Ofelia: or Ecco un pensiero per te.
Eric: “Here is a small present for you.”
Ofelia: Also the diminutive version pensierino is often used. For example, La nostra ditta vi ha mandato un pensierino.
Eric: “Our company sent you a little present.” Another thing you should pay attention to when in a business setting is the person in which you conjugate the verb. Especially if you don’t have a high position, when you speak as a representative of your company if you use the plural, “we,” instead of “I,” you’ll definitely sound more professional and leave a good impression.
Ofelia: For example, in the dialogue Paolo Grassi states Vi abbiamo portato un pensiero.
Eric: meaning “We brought you a little present.” Ok, let’s now see how to receive a gift.
Ofelia: When receiving a gift in Italy, people usually show unconditional thankfulness and they also often try to express how flattered they are by stating that it was not necessary, which may sound strange if you are not used to it.
Eric: Let’s see the expressions in the dialogue
Ofelia: Grazie mille! Non dovevate disturbarvi.
Eric: “Thank you so much! You didn't have to trouble yourself!” Linda first thanks the giver, then says that the host shouldn’t have worried about bringing a present.
Ofelia: Other possible expressions are Non c’era bisogno!
Eric: “It was not necessary!”
Ofelia: or Che bel pensiero!
Eric: “What a beautiful thought!” Another important thing is to show interest in what you are given.
Ofelia: Right, in the dialogue, for example, Linda states Conosco questa cantina, è molto rinomata!
Eric: “I know this winery, it's very well-known!”

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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Which gift would you bring to your Italian business partner?