Tag

Italian

Advice, Culture

Merry Mingling: Festive Food Guide

Before you pull up a seat at the holiday table, study the rules of etiquette so you can avoid a faux pas (yes, that’s French for lack of tact, or rude foreigner, depending on who you ask). While taking cues from your host or hostess is never a bad idea, it’ll also impress them if you come equipped not just with a symbolic gift but with the kind of consideration for their cultural values that money can’t buy.

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Advice, Culture

Merry Mingling: Your International Guide to Holiday Gifting

When you’re popping into a holiday party, it’s considerate to bring a gift for the host or hostess. Many people choose flowers since they’re a beautiful and gracious way to extend thanks, but different flowers can have different meanings across cultures. In South Africa for instance, it’s customary to give flowers during the holidays, but in Egypt, they are only appropriate as gifts when attending a funeral.

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Inspiration, People

Episode 12: Sh*t’s Getting Real, The Final Chapter

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 weeks already and my tenure here as Rosetta Stone’s most compulsively foul-mouthed blogger is coming to an end. This has truly been one of the best experiences of my professional life (not counting the time when I got drunk with David Cross at South by Southwest, or the time we were on this huge traveling festival in Australia with Metallica and my tour manager and I tracked down Ghost without their disguises, or those three days where my band was stuck in Kitaning, PA because our van dropped its transmission and all we had was three beers, a loaf of Wonder Bread, and some sleeping bags to our names, and we had to sleep in a field that wild dogs liked to party in . . . ah . . . good times, indeed). But I’m getting off topic here already. Forgive me.

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Advice, Culture

Merry Mingling: How to Write Holiday Cards

Thoughtfulness and a little cultural sensitivity translate well in any language.We may have different names for Santa Claus or Father Christmas, but the reason for our joy across the world remains the same. During the holiday season, we unite in…

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Inspiration, People

Episode 11: The Point of No Return

Here we are in week eleven of this journey and I’m supposed to be getting a tutor to help further my pursuit of learning Italian. As my wonderful tenure as one of the only bloggers here at Rosetta Stone to use phrases like “slapdick” and “asseyes” nears its end, I’m trying to crank it up a notch or two, and a tutor seems like a good way to crank said notch. But here’s the funny part: I harbor a little bit of fear when it comes to getting a tutor. It’s probably the same fear I harbor regarding going to the doctor, which is to say: totally irrational and actively self-sabotaging.

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Culture, People

Traditional Table: An Italian Food Primer

Italian cuisine might seem like one great big family, but like most countries around the world, each region in Italy enjoys a unique flavor and style that is a product of the local and geographic influences. What we may think…

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Inspiration, People

Episode 10: Your Guess is as Good as Mine

My wife is going to Saudi Arabia day after tomorrow, and it’s weird, the most terrifying thing to me is that I don’t know what’s up there at all. I’ve heard stories where if the powers that be feel like you’re out of line, you’re screwed, regardless of the rule of law? But honestly, I simply just don’t know much about what goes on over there at all, besides stories that are sensational enough to make the news. Beyond the fact that booze is illegal there and that things ended badly for at least one dissenting journalist, my guess is as good as your Fox-News-watching grandpa’s, if I’m really being honest.

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Inspiration, People

Episode 9̷ 666: Sh*t’s Getting Spooky

“Ho la peste” means “I have the plague” in Italian. The plague, as we all know, refers to the bubonic plague, or Black Death, which struck Italy hardest between 1629 and 1631 and was probably pretty terrifying, since it ended up killing somewhere around a million people, according to most estimates.

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Inspiration, People

Episode 8: Lost in the Supermarket

When I was first approached about doing this here column for Rosetta Stone, the premise, if you can believe it, was pretty open ended and it was more or less this: “You learn a language using our software and then write about what it’s really like to do in the wake of navigating making time for it and retaining it with regards to your actual day-to-day existence.”

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