Thursday, February 28, 2008


I learn language like I learned to play the piano - by ear. I play with grammar, but I really learn by listening and mimicking what I hear. I'll be walking down the street and hear someone use a word or phrase and I'll begin repeating it and try working it into my conversations (when appropriate, of course).

The other day I was on my way to meet the boys at the Bar Amendola for our staff meeting and I walked past two men and a woman and overheard a snippet of their conversation. The woman kiddingly accused one of the men of pretending to be humble. In response, the man replied, "nonfolumile." Now say that fast. All together. No spaces.

Classic anconetano dialect. That is a four word, complete sentence, smashed into a word that could almost pass as a mono-syllabic grunt. Want to know what it means?

nonfolumile = "Non faccio l'umile."

non - not
faccio - I do (or in this case, 'I pretend to be')
l' - the
umile - humble one

There you go. Now you know your first phrase in dialect. Just add a dash of hand gestures. Next time you come visit and someone accuses you of pretending to be full when they bring out the coniglio arrosto, you can pull out the 'nonfolumile.'

1 comment:

Randy Naomi said...

I found your blog!!!! This has made my day......OK I'm not a stalker, my wife found it.