Hola. This is post three in the Express yourself meme hosted by Jackie and Dani of the Entertaining Interests and Bouquet of Books blogs. Very nice ladies they are too. This weeks question is "What language would you like to speak and why?"
This is really easy for me. As I am of Italian descent, I would love to speak Italian. There is a little bit of a story that goes with this, so here it is.
In the early 1920's during the height of the coal industry in South Wales, many Italian families came to south Wales to open shops, restaurants and cafes. My grandfather Ron, was the youngest of seven and born over here just after my great grandfather and great grandmother arrived seeking work from the Bardi region in northern Italy. When Ron grew older, he married a Welsh woman called Ethel and they had four children the eldest being my father Kelvin. For some reason, Ron chose not to speak Italian to his children and essentially finished the use of the language in our family. My father understands a little, but couldn't hold a conversation.
Recently, I discovered an Italian detective show with subtitles called Inspector Montalbano. It's based in the town of Vigata in Sicily and is great stuff. Not only the language I find interesting, but Vigata is absolutely beautiful and lets be honest, Italian folk have incredible style. Never before have I seen a TV show where the entire cast are dressed so well! I watch it every week and love the setting and characters. It's also a good way of learning little bits of the language as I can read pretty quickly and then listen to try and see if I can work out where the words translate. Don't get me wrong, I can't hold a conversation or anything, but if I was confronted with an Italian that couldn't speak English, I think that I could muddle through and understand a bit.
My son Rocco has a teacher in his school that is Italian and sometimes she teaches them phrases like Buon Compleanno which means Happy Birthday or Buongiorno which means Good Morning. In Inspector Montelbano I found it interesting that the characters say "Pronto" when answering the phone and not "Ciao" or "Buongiorno". Ciao is more for Goodbye or a greeting in the street and Buongiorno is more formal. Next year I plan to take some lessons and see if I can go to my local restaurant and order my food in Italian to impress my wife!
See you next week.