Dialogue

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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 25 - Politely Declining an Invitation. I’m Eric.
Ofelia: Ciao, I'm Ofelia.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how To Politely Decline an Invitation. The conversation takes place at the office.
Ofelia: It's between Torri and Linda.
Eric: The speakers are boss and employee, so they will use both formal and informal Italian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Torri: Linda, hai tempo per un aperitivo stasera? Siamo io, la Martini e Rossi.
Linda: Stasera? ...mi dispiace, ma ho già un impegno stasera!
Torri: Non faremo tardi.
Linda: Sì, ma purtroppo non posso proprio trattenermi.
Torri: Ho capito, non insisto! Sarà per la prossima volta.
Linda: Grazie, la prossima volta non mancherò! Buona serata!
Eric: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Torri: Linda, hai tempo per un aperitivo stasera? Siamo io, la Martini e Rossi.
Linda: Stasera? ...mi dispiace, ma ho già un impegno stasera!
Torri: Non faremo tardi.
Linda: Sì, ma purtroppo non posso proprio trattenermi.
Torri: Ho capito, non insisto! Sarà per la prossima volta.
Linda: Grazie, la prossima volta non mancherò! Buona serata!
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Torri: Linda, do you have time for a drink tonight? It's me, Martini, and Rossi.
Linda: Tonight?...I'm sorry, but I already have a commitment tonight!
Torri: We won't stay until late.
Linda: Yes, but unfortunately I really can't stay.
Torri: I got it, I won't insist! It will be for the next time!
Linda: Thank you, next time I won't miss it! Have a nice evening!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Is getting an aperitif common in Italy?
Ofelia: Yes, it is.
Eric: What’s involved with having an aperitif?
Ofelia: Aperitivo in Italy is a drink served before dinner, usually in pubs or cafes. It comes along with a variety of finger food, for which you don’t have to pay.
Eric: Is it a good team-building opportunity?
Ofelia: Yes, it is, as in Italy there aren’t so many team-building activities officially organized. So in a business setting aperitivo can be a nice informal occasion, to get to know your co-workers better. And unlike a long dinner, you can make it last just one drink and leave with a simple excuse.
Eric: It sounds like a good idea! Now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Ofelia: aperitivo [natural native speed]
Eric: aperitif
Ofelia: aperitivo[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: aperitivo [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: la [natural native speed]
Eric: the (feminine singular)
Ofelia: la[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: la [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: già [natural native speed]
Eric: already, formerly
Ofelia: già[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: già [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: fare tardi [natural native speed]
Eric: to be late
Ofelia: fare tardi[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: fare tardi [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: purtroppo [natural native speed]
Eric: unfortunately
Ofelia: purtroppo[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: purtroppo [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: trattenersi [natural native speed]
Eric: to stay, to remain
Ofelia: trattenersi[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: trattenersi [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: insistere [natural native speed]
Eric: to insist
Ofelia: insistere[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: insistere [natural native speed]
Eric: And last...
Ofelia: mancare [natural native speed]
Eric: to miss, to be lacking
Ofelia: mancare[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: mancare [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 phrase is..
Ofelia: la Martini
Eric: meaning "Martini (referring to a woman)"
Ofelia: In colloquial Italian, when referring to a woman by her family name, it's common to add the feminine definite article, la, "the."
Eric: Though commonly used on a daily basis, this usage of the article, limited to women’s names, is considered politically incorrect by some, right?
Ofelia: Yes, that’s because it highlights the gender of the person you are referring to only when the gender is feminine.
Eric: To give a better idea, it's like if in English when referring to a woman, instead of using only her family name, for example "Smith," you would say "Smith, the woman."
Ofelia: Right, something similar. Remember though that in the North of Italy you may hear people doing the same for men, for example saying il Martini.
Eric: In this case, since it’s common for both men and women’s names, that isn’t incorrect, but it’s just a regional difference. Can you give us an example demonstrating this way of referring to people?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say.. La Rossi è assente.
Eric: ..which means "Rossi is absent. (referring to a woman)." Okay, what's the next word?
Ofelia: trattenersi
Eric: meaning "to stay, to remain"
Ofelia: This is a reflexive verb, from the verb trattenere, meaning "to keep back."
Ofelia: It is similar to rimanere or restare. You use trattenersi when you want to highlight the idea of remaining somewhere on purpose.
Eric: Can you give us an example using this word?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say.. Il nuovo cliente si è trattenuto tutta la mattina.
Eric: ...which means "The new client stayed all the morning long." Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you'll learn how To Politely Decline an Invitation.
Ofelia: Sometimes you might be invited somewhere last-minute by a coworker or by your boss, but you can’t join because you already have plans.
Eric: In a situation like this, you’ll need to know how to decline politely so as not to disappoint the person who has invited you.
Ofelia: When declining an invitation, it’s important to communicate your regret at not being able to join, so some conjunctions and adverbs may come in handy.
Eric: Which ones are those?
Ofelia: For example, ma is an adversative conjunction and means “but,” and you can use it anytime you want to state two opposing facts or ideas.
Eric: In this case, you want to set the fact that you would like to go against the fact that you can’t actually go.
Ofelia: Another useful word is già, an adverb meaning “already.”
Eric: Let’s see how these two words are used in the dialogue.
Ofelia: ...mi dispiace, ma ho già un impegno stasera!
Eric: “...I'm sorry, but I already have plans tonight!”
Ofelia: Also ...ma purtroppo non posso proprio trattenermi.
Eric: “...but unfortunately I really can't stay.”
Ofelia: Some other useful words are purtroppo and proprio. Purtroppo is an adverb and means “unfortunately.” You could also substitute it with sfortunatamente. Also, proprio is an adverb and means “really.”
Eric: Let’s hear other useful sentences.
Ofelia: Sure thing. Vorrei unirmi, ma purtroppo ho già un altro impegno.
Eric: “I’d like to join, but unfortunately I already have another commitment.”
Ofelia: Non posso proprio restare.
Eric: “I can’t really stay.” After making it clear that you can’t join, remember to thank them and to wish everyone a good time.
Ofelia: In the dialogue we have Grazie, la prossima volta non mancherò! Buona serata!
Eric: Which means “Thank you, next time I won't miss it! Have a good evening!”
Ofelia: In this case, the phrase la prossima volta, “next time,” is important, as you promise that you won’t miss the next occasion. You can also just say, sarà per la prossima volta,
Eric: Meaning “it will be for the next time,” which is almost a fixed expression in Italian.
Ofelia: Right, with prossima volta we always use the future tense, for example La prossima volta verrò sicuramente.
Eric: Meaning “Next time I’ll go for sure.”
Ofelia: La prossima volta ci sarò anch’io.
Eric: “Next time I’ll be there too.” Finally, if you remember to wish everyone a good time, you’ll sound very nice. What does Linda says?
Ofelia: she says Buona serata!
Eric: “Have a good evening!”
Ofelia: You can create other similar formulas, using the adjective buono, “good.”
Just remember that when buono precedes a noun, it changes form like the indefinite article.
Eric: Let’s give an example.
Ofelia: Buon divertimento!
Eric: “Have a good time!”
Ofelia: in this case Buon has the same ending as un, which is the indefinite article for divertimento.
Eric: How do you say “Have a nice dinner!”
Ofelia: Buona cena!
Eric: Ok, let’s wrap up with a couple of sample sentences that are useful for when you want to refuse an invitation.
Ofelia: Sfortunatamente sono già impegnato.
Eric: "Unfortunately I have a prior commitment."
Ofelia: Non posso proprio liberarmi dall'altro impegno.
Eric: "I can't really free myself from my other commitment."

Outro

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

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What would you say in Italian to decline an invitation?