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Text: Crystal Jones
-  Voiceover: Maria Paola Guerrato*
  photo credit: freeparking : Painting by Amedeo Modigliani

Modigliani: Girl with Hat

Via Regina 26 is a contemporary soap opera. It's about the people living in flats in a late 19th century building in the centre of Milan. There are six floors and four flats on each of them. The chief character is Gelsomina, the caretaker, who looks after the building. She is helped by her husband Angelo, who can turn his hand to most things. They have two children, Renato, who studies medicine, and Chiara, who is 15. They have also a foster child of 9, Monica, who is very shy as yet. Let's see what happens to them in their everyday lives. The Italian used in Via Regina 26 is the sort of language you can't usually find in normal textbooks as it's real Italian conversation, with all the difficulties and charm of the spoken language. Every day log on to our website to read a new episode of this soap, you'll be surprised at the results: your knowledge of Italian will increase by leaps and bounds, and Italian won't feel like a foreign language anymore.
*DISCLAIMER: Via Regina 26 is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. Should you find an involuntary copyright infringement in the reproduction of paintings and works of art please notify us and we'll immediately remove the source of the infringement.


   ♪ AUDIO DOWNLOAD LINK    

01

IN PORTINERIA ALLE 6 DEL MATTINO
SIX O'CLOCK A.M. IN THE CARETAKER'S LODGE   

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  PRONUNCIATION ORIGINAL TEXT LITERAL TRANSLATION GOOD TRANSLATION NOTES

In portinera lle si dl mattno
In portineria alle 6 del mattino
In caretaker's_lodge at_the six of_the morning
Six o'clock am in the caretaker's lodge
NOTE A portineria is at the entrance of an Italian house where there are many flats or offices. It is a room where the caretaker sits and waits to be of help. For example, the postman delivers the post to them and then they sort it out and put it into the different post boxes. In Italy caretakers are deemed very important because they "protect" the flat dwellers from unwanted salespeople or petty criminals during the day. Also, when people go on holiday they often leave their keys with them so that they can water the flowers and generally see that everything is allright in the flat.

njelo, lo kymi tu Rento? l'ezme di anatoma stamattna!
GELSOMINA: Angelo, lo chiami tu Renato? Ha l'esame di anatomia stamattina!
Angelo, him do_you_call yourself Renato? He_has the_exam of anatomy this_morning
Angelo, would you call Renato please? He's got his anatomy exam this morning.
NOTE Stamattina is short for "questa mattina". Both mean the same thing: this morning. The use of sto/sta/sti/ste to mean questo/questa/questi/queste (this or these) is rather common in spoken Italian but should be avoided in written Italian unless you deliberately want to mimic the spoken language.

L' ja kyamto, si sta fando bllo in bnnho! A kwnto pre verr a prnderlo na sa amka.
ANGELO: L'ho gi chiamato, si sta_facendo bello in bagno! A quanto pare verr a prenderlo una sua amica.
him_I_have already called, himself he_is_making handsome in bathroom! At how_much appears (=apparently) will_come to fetch_him one his female_friend .
I've already called him *once, he is in the bathroom sprucing himself up! I think his friend is coming to pick him up.
NOTE Bello/Bella/Belli/Belle is an all-important word that translates both the English "handsom" and "beautiful", so it can be safely applied to both men and women. The superlative is bellissimo/bellissima/bellissimi/bellissime and is used a lot as Italians are fond of superlatives.

A s! Dve ssere Brbara.
GELSOMINA: Ah s! Deve essere Barbara.
Ah yes! It_must be Barbara.
Ah! It must be Barbara.
NOTE Deve means "it must". In Italian there is no "it" in this case. "it" in Italian is normally esso (for masculine) and essa for feminine but you will soon find that esso and essa are no longer used as much as they previously were. So in modern Italian esso and essa are disappearing and every time Italians have to say or write esso/essa they will be very reluctant to do so, so they will end up repeating the subject rather than using this set of pronouns. The same applies to egli and ella (third person masculine and feminine pronouns) which, however, have been replaced by lui and lei.

na brva ragttsa, Brbara. Li e njelo si aytano l'un l'ltro nllo stdio.
ANGELO: una brava ragazza, Barbara. Lei e Angelo si_aiutano l'un l'altro nello studio.
Is a good girl, Barbara. She and Angelo themselves_help the_one the_other in_the study.
Barbara is a very nice girl. They help each other by studying together.
NOTE Si aiutano means "they help themselves". In Italian reflexive verbs are used much more than in English. Very often a non-reflexive English verb will have a reflexive counterpart in Italian. For instance: "I sit down" becomes in Italian mi siedo (= I sit myself), "I remember" becomes mi ricordo (= I remember myself)

Bne, o intnto mtto furi lhi ltimi skki di spattsatra prma k arrvi il kmyon dll'AZM.
GELSOMINA: Bene, io intanto metto fuori gli ultimi sacchi di spazzatura prima che arrivi il camion dell'ASM.
Good, I in_the_meantime put outside the last sacks of rubbish before that arrive the truck of ASM.
Right, in the mean time I'll take the last rubbish bags out before the ASM truck arrives.
NOTE Italian is said to be a language where you don't need to express the personal pronoun just because the verb always (or almost always) clearly indicates who the speaker is. However you will find that personal pronouns are used a lot for emphasis.

Jelsomna rla
Gelsomina urla
Gelsomina screams
Gelsomina calls out to her son
NOTE

Rento! Il to kaffeltte si sta raffreddndo! Vyni!
GELSOMINA: Renato! Il tuo caffelatte si sta_raffreddando! Vieni!
Renato! Your milk_with_coffee itself is_making_cold! Come!
Renato! Your coffee's getting cold. Come and drink it!
NOTE Si sta raffreddando, is getting cold. What is interesting here, apart from the use of yet another reflexive verb where English uses a normal verb, is the existence of the present progressive in Italian. This will come as a surprise to a lot of people, as this tense is not usually listed in the Italian conjugation tables! However, it is alive and kicking, in fact it's one of the most used Italian tenses. Notice, though, that Gelsomina could have equally said Il tuo caffelatte si raffredda as the present indicative also doubles as the present progressive in most cases. So the iron-cast division of roles which takes place in English between present and present progressive is watered down or even non-existent in Italian.

Non tmpo mmma, prender kwalkza al bar vino all'universit!
RENATO: Non_ho tempo mamma, prender qualcosa al bar vicino all'universit!
I_haven't time mum, I'll_take something at_the bar near to_the university!
I haven't got enough time, mum, I'll have something at the coffee shop near the university.
NOTE Prender, I'll have. The Italian verb prendere is used not only when we want to say "to take" but also "to have" in the sense of "to have lunch", "to have dinner", "to have a snack", "to have tea", etc. For instance, "what will you have?" becomes in Italian Cosa prendi? (singular you) Cosa prende? (formal you) Cosa prendete? (plural you)

Fllho mo, la prma kolatsyne importantssima... spealmnte prma di un ezme!
GELSOMINA: Figlio mio, la prima colazione importantissima... specialmente prima di un esame!
Son my, the first breakfast is very_important... especially before of an exam!
Listen dear, breakfast is very important especially before an exam!
NOTE Figlio mio, my son. Usually the Italian possessive adjective precedes the noun but sometimes you'll discover that this isn't the case at all. You should therefore make a note of all the cases in which this "exception" occurs.

Swna il itfono
Suona il citofono
Rings the intercom
The intercom buzzes.
NOTE Suona il citofono, the intercom buzzes. In English the subject comes first in 99% of the cases, in Italian... Well, no official statistics exist, but in Italian you will notice that the verb comes often first and the subject of the sentence second.

S, sta arrivndo! Rento, c' la ta amka k ti asptta!
ANGELO: S, sta arrivando! Renato, c' la tua amica che ti aspetta!
Yes, he_is arriving! Renato, there is the your female_friend who you awaits!
Barbara, he's just coming! Renato, your friend's expecting you.
NOTE "C' la tua amica che ti aspetta" is a colloquial more emphatic replacement for the simpler, more objective "La tua amica ti sta aspettando"

 

    By ticking/unticking the following checkboxes you can customise
your learning experience by viewing exactly what you need. Try it!


PRONUNCIATION ORIGINAL TEXT LITERAL TRANSLATION GOOD TRANSLATION NOTES

PRONUNCIATION ORIGINAL TEXT LITERAL TRANSLATION GOOD TRANSLATION NOTES

In portinera lle si dl mattno

In portineria alle 6 del mattino

In caretaker's_lodge at_the six of_the morning

Six o'clock am in the caretaker's lodge

NOTE A portineria is at the entrance of an Italian house where there are many flats or offices. It is a room where the caretaker sits and waits to be of help. For example, the postman delivers the post to them and then they sort it out and put it into the different post boxes. In Italy caretakers are deemed very important because they "protect" the flat dwellers from unwanted salespeople or petty criminals during the day. Also, when people go on holiday they often leave their keys with them so that they can water the flowers and generally see that everything is allright in the flat.

njelo, lo kymi tu Rento? l'ezme di anatoma stamattna!

GELSOMINA: Angelo, lo chiami tu Renato? Ha l'esame di anatomia stamattina!

Angelo, him do_you_call yourself Renato? He_has the_exam of anatomy this_morning

Angelo, would you call Renato please? He's got his anatomy exam this morning.

NOTE Stamattina is short for "questa mattina". Both mean the same thing: this morning. The use of sto/sta/sti/ste to mean questo/questa/questi/queste (this or these) is rather common in spoken Italian but should be avoided in written Italian unless you deliberately want to mimic the spoken language.

L' ja kyamto, si sta fando bllo in bnnho! A kwnto pre verr a prnderlo na sa amka.

ANGELO: L'ho gi chiamato, si sta_facendo bello in bagno! A quanto pare verr a prenderlo una sua amica.

him_I_have already called, himself he_is_making handsome in bathroom! At how_much appears (=apparently) will_come to fetch_him one his female_friend .

I've already called him *once, he is in the bathroom sprucing himself up! I think his friend is coming to pick him up.

NOTE Bello/Bella/Belli/Belle is an all-important word that translates both the English "handsom" and "beautiful", so it can be safely applied to both men and women. The superlative is bellissimo/bellissima/bellissimi/bellissime and is used a lot as Italians are fond of superlatives.

A s! Dve ssere Brbara.

GELSOMINA: Ah s! Deve essere Barbara.

Ah yes! It_must be Barbara.

Ah! It must be Barbara.

NOTE Deve means "it must". In Italian there is no "it" in this case. "it" in Italian is normally esso (for masculine) and essa for feminine but you will soon find that esso and essa are no longer used as much as they previously were. So in modern Italian esso and essa are disappearing and every time Italians have to say or write esso/essa they will be very reluctant to do so, so they will end up repeating the subject rather than using this set of pronouns. The same applies to egli and ella (third person masculine and feminine pronouns) which, however, have been replaced by lui and lei.

na brva ragttsa, Brbara. Li e njelo si aytano l'un l'ltro nllo stdio.

ANGELO: una brava ragazza, Barbara. Lei e Angelo si_aiutano l'un l'altro nello studio.

Is a good girl, Barbara. She and Angelo themselves_help the_one the_other in_the study.

Barbara is a very nice girl. They help each other by studying together.

NOTE Si aiutano means "they help themselves". In Italian reflexive verbs are used much more than in English. Very often a non-reflexive English verb will have a reflexive counterpart in Italian. For instance: "I sit down" becomes in Italian mi siedo (= I sit myself), "I remember" becomes mi ricordo (= I remember myself)

Bne, o intnto mtto furi lhi ltimi skki di spattsatra prma k arrvi il kmyon dll'AZM.

GELSOMINA: Bene, io intanto metto fuori gli ultimi sacchi di spazzatura prima che arrivi il camion dell'ASM.

Good, I in_the_meantime put outside the last sacks of rubbish before that arrive the truck of ASM.

Right, in the mean time I'll take the last rubbish bags out before the ASM truck arrives.

NOTE Italian is said to be a language where you don't need to express the personal pronoun just because the verb always (or almost always) clearly indicates who the speaker is. However you will find that personal pronouns are used a lot for emphasis.

Jelsomna rla

Gelsomina urla

Gelsomina screams

Gelsomina calls out to her son

NOTE

Rento! Il to kaffeltte si sta raffreddndo! Vyni!

GELSOMINA: Renato! Il tuo caffelatte si sta_raffreddando! Vieni!

Renato! Your milk_with_coffee itself is_making_cold! Come!

Renato! Your coffee's getting cold. Come and drink it!

NOTE Si sta raffreddando, is getting cold. What is interesting here, apart from the use of yet another reflexive verb where English uses a normal verb, is the existence of the present progressive in Italian. This will come as a surprise to a lot of people, as this tense is not usually listed in the Italian conjugation tables! However, it is alive and kicking, in fact it's one of the most used Italian tenses. Notice, though, that Gelsomina could have equally said Il tuo caffelatte si raffredda as the present indicative also doubles as the present progressive in most cases. So the iron-cast division of roles which takes place in English between present and present progressive is watered down or even non-existent in Italian.

Non tmpo mmma, prender kwalkza al bar vino all'universit!

RENATO: Non_ho tempo mamma, prender qualcosa al bar vicino all'universit!

I_haven't time mum, I'll_take something at_the bar near to_the university!

I haven't got enough time, mum, I'll have something at the coffee shop near the university.

NOTE Prender, I'll have. The Italian verb prendere is used not only when we want to say "to take" but also "to have" in the sense of "to have lunch", "to have dinner", "to have a snack", "to have tea", etc. For instance, "what will you have?" becomes in Italian Cosa prendi? (singular you) Cosa prende? (formal you) Cosa prendete? (plural you)

Fllho mo, la prma kolatsyne importantssima... spealmnte prma di un ezme!

GELSOMINA: Figlio mio, la prima colazione importantissima... specialmente prima di un esame!

Son my, the first breakfast is very_important... especially before of an exam!

Listen dear, breakfast is very important especially before an exam!

NOTE Figlio mio, my son. Usually the Italian possessive adjective precedes the noun but sometimes you'll discover that this isn't the case at all. You should therefore make a note of all the cases in which this "exception" occurs.

Swna il itfono

Suona il citofono

Rings the intercom

The intercom buzzes.

NOTE Suona il citofono, the intercom buzzes. In English the subject comes first in 99% of the cases, in Italian... Well, no official statistics exist, but in Italian you will notice that the verb comes often first and the subject of the sentence second.

S, sta arrivndo! Rento, c' la ta amka k ti asptta!

ANGELO: S, sta arrivando! Renato, c' la tua amica che ti aspetta!

Yes, he_is arriving! Renato, there is the your female_friend who you awaits!

Barbara, he's just coming! Renato, your friend's expecting you.

NOTE "C' la tua amica che ti aspetta" is a colloquial more emphatic replacement for the simpler, more objective "La tua amica ti sta aspettando"

 


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