FSI Language Course: Italian FAST Lesson 01

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Italian to English and English to Italian audio flash cards to review the vocabulary

Fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice listening quiz

Lesson 1: At the Airport

Dialog for Listening: You have just arrived at the airport, where you are going through the formalities of passport checkout.

Agente: Buongiorno. Passaporto, prego.
Lei: Eccolo.
Agente: Ah, lei ha un passaporto diplomatico. Quanto tempo rimane in Italia?
Lei: Due o tre anni, credo.
Agente: Quale sarà il Suo indirizzo in Italia?
Lei: Ambasciata Americana, Roma.
Agente: Grazie, passi pure.

(to a passerby)
Lei: Scusi, dove posso trovare un carrello?
Passante: Lì, vicino al ritiro bagagli.
Lei: Grazie.


Ah! Oh!
Ambasciata Americana American Embassy
anno year
anni years
avere to have
ha you have
bagaglio luggage, baggage
bagagli bags
ritiro bagagli baggage claim
carrello cart
un carrello a cart
credere to believe, think
credo I believe, I think
diplomatico diplomatic
dove where
due two
Eccolo. Here it is. (referring to the passport)
essere to be
sarà it will be
il the
in in
in Italia in Italy
indirizzo address
il Suo indirizzo your address
o or
passaporto passport
un passaporto a passport
passare to go through
Passi pure. You may go through. (request form)
potere to be able to, can
posso may I, I may
Prego. Please.
quale which, what
quanto how much
quanto tempo how long, how much time
rimanere to stay
rimane are you staying
Roma Rome
scusare to excuse
Scusi. Excuse me.
tre three
trovare to find
Dove posso trovare ... ? Where can I find ... ?
un a
vicino near, in the vicinity
vicino al ritiro bagagli near the baggage claim

Language - Usage Notes [Not Recorded]

1. Ha and posso are present verb forms, sarà is a future verb form, and passi is a request form, used in addressing one person.


Additional Vocabulary

di fianco
nei pressi
presso la Santa Sede
customs (area, agency)
next to
in care of
in the vicinity
in care of the Holy See
to represent

Getting the Feel of it: Pronunciation Practice

Lei: Eccolo.
Lei: Due o tre anni, credo.
Lei: Ambasciata Americana, Roma.
Lei: Scusi, dove posso trovare un carrello?
Lei: Grazie.

Working with the Language

Model 1

Q: Scusi, dove posso trovare un carrello?
A: Eccolo lì.

Scusi, dove posso trovare il signor (Iast name)? Eccolo lì.
Scusi, dove posso trovare un diplomatico? Eccolo lì.
Scusi, dove posso trovare il Consolato? Eccolo lì.
Scusi, dove posso trovare un agente? Eccolo lì.
Scusi, dove posso trovare il Console? Eccolo lì.
Scusi, dove posso trovare un carrello? Eccolo lì.
Scusi, dove posso trovare il ritiro bagagli? Eccolo lì.

Listening Comprehension

1. You will hear a short narrative. Listen to it once.

2. Based on what you have heard, do the following exercise, selecting only one of the four letters: a, b, c, d, according to which best reflects what is in the narrative.

a) Mrs. Franchi is going to Italy.
b) Miss Franchi is returning from Italy.
c) Mr. Franchi is returning from Italy.
d) Mr. Franchi is going to Italy.

a) The traveler will be in Italy in an official capacity.
b) The traveler will be in Italy on business.
c) The traveler will be in Italy on vacation.
d) The traveler will be in Italy visiting friends.

a) The traveler is American.
b) The traveler is Italian.
c) The traveler is French.
d) The traveler is German.

a) The traveler will be in Rome for two years.
b) The traveler will be in Rome for three years.
c) The traveler was in Rome for two days.
d) The traveler was in Rome for three months.

a) The traveler's address was: Hotel Ambassador, Rome.
b) The traveler's address is: American consulate, Rome.
c) The traveler's address was: American Embassy, Rome.
d) The traveler's address will be: American Embassy, Rome.


3. Click here to see the transcript and answers below and then listen to the narrative again.


In the 14th century, people from the different regions ofwhat is today Italy spoke different but related speech types, or dialects, ali derived from Latin. At that time, many Italian writers wrote in a style that was characteristic of their own dialect. One such writer was Dante Alighieri, who was born in Florence, in the region of Tuscany. The works of Dante gained such prestige that this style was imitated by other writers of his day. Consequently, his dialect, Tuscan, gradually came to be a model of speech and writing for many Italians.

Throughout the centuries, great writers, university professors, and other learned that Italians have agreed to use Tuscan as the basis for a kind of Italian that has come to be "idealized" by many. This type of Italian, which has been taught in schools and is represented in traditional grammar texts, may be referred to as Idealized standard Italian or ISI.

While based on the Tuscan dialect, ISI is not wholly Tuscan. Throughout the centuries it has adopted certain features of phonology, vocabulary, and grammar which belong to ltalian dialects other than Tuscan. At the same time, it has also rejected some features of Tuscan.

Italians striving to speak ISI will naturally pronounce it differently according to their regional dialects. These various pronunciations, together with regional features of vocabulary and grammar, in reality constitute different types of speech. Some of these ltalian speech types are accepted as "standard " by most educated speakers of Italian; others are not so accepted. The accepted types constitute what may be referred to as Practical Standard ltalian or PSI.

Any kind of Italian speech other than ISI and PSI may be called Non-Standard Italian or NSI. The dialects of NSI are so diverse that many are mutually unintelligible. They contain differences in phonology, vocabulary, and grammar. Thus, for example, a Venetian and a Roman, or a Sicilian and a Tuscan, would have a hard time understanding eaeh other if they spoke in their local dialects.

Many Italians speak two kinds of Italian, PSI and NSI. The latter is reserved for people from the same region. It is like a code, not to be used with outsiders. It is interesting to note that Sardinian is not considered to be a nonstandard dialect of Italian, but rather a Romance language equal in status to the other Romance languages (e. g., Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian ), all of which are derived from Latin.

Instead of the threefold distinction of ISI, PSI, and NSI, many Italian speakers make only a twofold distinction. They refer to ISI and PSI as "Standard Italian," "Italian, " or la lingua. They call NSI "non-ltalian" or "dialects. "

Answers for Listening Comprehension

Il signor Franchi va in Italia in veste ufficiale. Va per rappresentare il suo Paese; non va come turista. Lui rimane a Roma tre anni. Il suo indirizzo sarà: Ambasciata Americana, Roma.

Multiple Choice Answers:
1. d
2. a
3. a
4. b
5. d

← Back to Preliminary Lesson or Go on to Lesson 02

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