Italian Language | Can Spanish and Portuguese speakers understand?
February 25, 2020
Are Romance languages mutually intelligible? In this video we’re going to conduct an experiment to see if Spanish and Portuguese speakers can understand the Italian language. To do that, I invited Linda Riolo to the show. She’s an Italian teacher and the author of a podcast for Italian learners. We’ll be joined by Gustavo – an English teacher from Brazil, and Isidro – a Spanish teacher from Mexico. My name is Norbert and I bring speakers of different languages together on this channel to run language experiments and build international friendships. If you want to become a part of our community here, subscribe and hit the bell not to miss upcoming videos. Now let’s see! Can Spanish and Portugues speakers understand the Italian language? Linda: Let’s stop, let’s stop with English. Just Italian, and Spanish, and Portuguese. Let’s go? Ready? Let’s go! Then. Let’s explain the rules a bit. I have four words, I’ve selected four words. We talk about one word at a time and I’ll give you hints to guess the words. Ready? Shall we go? Gustavo: Ready, alright. Isidro: Ready. Linda: Let’s go. Perfect. Ok, word one. It is an object that we use on our body. They are two: one right and one left. G: An object we use on our body, they’re two… two… L: One is on the right, one on the left. G: Is this object for cleaning? L: No, it is not an object that we use to wash ourselves. It is something we have on our body, on it. I: Do we put it on our feet? L: We can wear it on the low part of our body, yes, on our feet. G: Related to the lower part of the body. An object? Shoes? I: Shoes. Yes. L: Yes. L: Yes, they can be open or closed In Italian we say: “scarpe”. The shoes. Right shoe, left shoe. Right shoe, left shoe. G: ‘Scarpi destro’ and ‘scarpi’ what? L: Right shoe, left shoe. G: Oh, okay! Right shoe and left shoe. I: In Spanish as well: right shoe, left shoe. G: ‘Derecho’, uhum… cool, interesting, interesting! I: Yes, but a person who uses their right hand to write is right-handed and the person who uses their left hand are left-handed. G: ‘Surda’? Wow! I: Right-handed, left-handed. G: ‘Surda’ in Portuguese is when someone can’t hear. L: The same in Italian. I: In Spanish it is deaf. L: Exactly, in Italian is deaf. A deaf person is a person who can’t hear. G: Uhum, in Portuguese a person who uses the write arm is ‘destro’ and the left arm is ‘canhoto.’ L: In Italian I don’t know, the left arm… Left handed! We say right handed and left handed. I think right handed and left handed. A left handed person uses the left arm. G: Interesting. ‘Sordo’ was pretty interesting. I: Im left-handed, by the way. I use my left hand to write. G: I’m right-handed, I’m right-handed. L: I also use the right hand G: How cool. L: Well. Second word. It’s a food, a food that in some countries we eat, one eats for breakfast. But in Italy, for example… Yes, in Italy one can eat it for breakfast. G: ‘Colazione’ I don’t understand it, ‘colazione’ I don’t understand it. L: Breakfast is the moment of the morning when we eat. It’s the first thing that we eat. I: Like to have breakfast in Spanish? G: ‘Desayunar’, breakfast? L: I don’t know, it can be… Yes, I think so. Caffè, cappuccino, etc. So, this food is eaten for breakfast and in Italy we also use it for cooking, for example in risotto. G: Okay, used on risotto. L: Inside risotto we use it, at the end. I: Is it egg? L: Exceuse me. I: Is it an egg or something like that? L: Egg? No, but is a food that comes from milk. G: Oh, from milk? Okay, comes from milk. G: Hum, cheese? I: Is it cheese? L: No. It can be.. In Italy… . This is interesting because in Italy it isn’t salty but in other countries it has salt inside. It isn’t cheese. G: It’s a food that comes from cheese. I: Is it cream? Is it a type of cream? L: It’s a sort of… yes, you can spread it on. G: Butter? I: Oh, butter. Butter, in Spanish. L: In Italy, this is interesting, in Italy we say “burro.” I: — like the animal, in Spanish. L: Yes, in Italian is “burro”. The butter on the bread. G: As an animal or as a person as well, right? L: I think so. Also in Spanish “burro” is the animal? In Spanish? I: Exactly, yes, donkey is the animal but it is also the student who does not have good grades and usually they put the ears on him. L: In Italian this is “asino.” The animal in Italian is “asino” (donkey). In Portuguese you may say ‘asno.’ I: In Spanish there also exists the word ‘asno.’ Burro is more common, but also asno. G: It’s more colloquial, ‘donkey’ is more colloquial. L: But “burro” in Italian is just butter. In Italian is only butter to eat. I: Only the butter. L: …to eat. G: In Spanish, how do you say that? I: Butter. L: “Mantequilla”… is it small? G: Oh, ‘mantequilla’ is diminutive? I: Manteca is the fat of the animals. The fat from a pig, for example. Fat. G: Hum, got it. It’s as in ‘fat’ and ‘butter’. L: I see! In Italian, we add butter in risotto and this is called “mantecare.” We add butter to cream the rice. It’s similar, it has the same root. G: Interesting! L: Really good. Well. Number three. This is a profession – more or less. It’s a job, a sort of job, a profession of a person really rich. Who has a lot of money. This person, usually, has political power in a country. I: It’a a… G: A person… I: It’s a king. G: President? L: Almost, almost. It’s not the president, it’s not the king, but is really close to the king. G: Is it a prince? I: Emperor. L: No. G: Is it a duke? L: No, let’s say that is the “feminine” side of a king G: Oh, queen! L: Yes. I: Queen? L: A queen. I: Queen in Spanish.. How do you say that in Portuguese? I: Very different. L: In Italian it is “regina”. Regina G: It’s interesting because ‘Regina’ is a name in Portuguese, ‘Regina’. L: Yes, also in Italy. I: Also in Mexico, Regina. G: How cool! L: Eh because Queen is Regina. I: Exactly. G: And the masculine, how’s it Linda, the masculine? Is it ‘rei’ and ‘regina’? L: Yes, King and Queen. I: Yes, King and Queen in Spanish. G: In Portuguese King and Queen. L: Well, the fourth word. It’s an object we use to carry things. It’s an object we use when we go out. When we go to the supermarket, ect. We use this object. We bring this object. I: Is it a bag? It’s not a bag. G: Oh, I thought the same thing. L: No. It’s not a bag. Usually can be inside a bag, for women it is possible (to have it) inside the bag G: Do you put money inside this object? L: Yes. L: Easy! G: Hum, it’s really similar, incredible. Is it a wallet? L: Yes. Wallet, in Spanish. L: So, in Italian is called “portafoglio.” I: But briefcase in Spanish is a case; for example, executives in a company would carry their documents in a portfolio. L: Ah, this in Italian is a “portadocumenti” (briefcase). L: To carry. Because in Italian “foglio”, is a sheet of paper. I: A sheet. G: A sheet. L: And this is paper. The material is paper. I: Paper? G: Paper? I: Paper is letter? And letter, in Spanish, is when you write “Dear… I don’t know… L: That is a letter. In Italian that it’s letter. A paper letter in the envelope. G: In Portuguese, ‘portifolio’ we say ‘portifolio.’ It’s the same thing in Spanish, it’s a presentation of some project from executives. It’s the same idea. L: No, in Italian is the one usually with money, credit cards For man or woman. I: Donna is woman, right? L: Yes, it is “donna,” “Donna” and “Uomo.” G: It’s really cool. In Brazil ‘dona’ is when it’s a ‘madam’. A ‘dona’, it’s a respectful way of speaking… ‘Madam Regina’ L: Ah, ok, donna Regina L: It’s Madam Regina. L: Ah oh, woman Regina. I: It’s like ‘doña, isn’t it? L: “Donha”, I don’t know. I: Doña. In Spanish for a man is ‘don’. Don Juan, Don Quixote, but for women is ‘doña.’ And donas are ‘doughnuts’, from the English, for sure. We call them ‘donas’ Doughnut? Le ciambelle? Ok! G: How different! Interesting, ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Dueña Juana.’ I: Exactly. L: Great, amazing. G: I found it interesting and way easier than I expected. I had some incredible ease, like, I’m surprised. L: Have you heard Italian before? Have you ever listened to Italian? G: Oh yeah, I’ve heard it, I’ve been to Italy one but I’ve stayed for ten days. And I had no friend, I was traveling solo. But the similarity is really cool. L: And there are many words in common, like “porta”… Between the three languages, it’s beautiful, it’s incredible. G: Incredible.. Yes, I think Spanish may be harder to understand. Interesting, I find some things about Spanish harder to understand. And I found other things in Italian harder. I think verbs in Italian are usually very different. L: Yes. Yes, right. In Italian all persons are conjugated: I eat, you eat, he/she/it eats, we eat, you eat, they eat – It changes all the time. I: In Spanish it also changes. L: It changes. I: Yes. L: In Portuguese I think it changes less L: A guest. I: We have… Is that your mother? G: A woman, “donna” Marta. I: Hi, donna Martha. G: It’s my mum, that’s it. I: You’re mum. G: She’s looking for something. How would you say that in Italian? I: Searching? L: “Cercare”, she is looking for something. G: She’s looking for some documents. L: In the briefcase, I: In the briefcase. L: In the wallet! G: Very interesting. And what do you think? Were you able to understand these languages? A lot? A little bit? Let us know in the comments. If you like this kind of content subscribe to my channel and activate the notifications. I’m still learning Spanish and couldn’t participate this time, but a while ago I made a video with a friend from Brazil. Check it out if you want to see me speak Spanish. You can do it here. See you in the next video! Ciao!