Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Beach Clean Up

Day 144 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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Our high school teaches our students the importance of community service and provides opportunities for service projects. In fact, we require our students to perform community service each school year. We live in the coastal city of Corpus Christi, Texas, and we are concerned about our beaches. Recently a group of our students participated in the Adopt A Beach program, filling many bags of debris found on the beach. The students also learned how long beach debris takes to decompose. For example, a plastic bottle can take 450 years to decompose.
-- Beach Clean Up Volunteers from St. John Paul II High School --

Ascolta Questo:
  • I nostri studenti godono di servire la nostra comunità.
    Our students enjoy serving our community.
  • Un gruppo di nostri studenti ha contribuito a pulire una zona di spiaggia.
    A group of our students helped clean a beach area.
  • Gli studenti hanno imparato quanto tempo i residui marini prendono per decomporsi.
    The students learned how long marine debris takes to decompose.
  • Lattine di alluminio ci vorranno 200 anni per decomporsi.
    Aluminum cans will take 200 years to decompose.
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lunar Eclipse Superstitions


Day 143 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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With a rare lunar eclipse coming tomorrow, January 31, 2018, I surfed the web for some superstitions about eclipses. Here are a few:
  • Tibetan Buddhists are said to believe that the good and bad deeds you do during a lunar eclipse are multiplied tenfold.
  • A South African myth stresses that It’s up to the people to come together and encourage the celestial bodies to resolve their fighting.
  • Some Native American tribes say that lunar eclipses are a sign of a transformation to come on Earth.
  • According to Joel 2:31: “The Sun will turn to darkness, and the Moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”
  • In some cultures, expectant mothers are advised to stay indoors when the Moon turns dark to avoid a curse on their unborn child.
  • Among the Incan civilizations, there was a brief that Blood Moons occurred when a mythological jaguar attacked and ate the Moon.
Video Explains The Lunar Eclipse

Ascolta Questo:
  • Ci sono state molte credenze diverse sulle eclissi lunari.
    There have been many different beliefs about lunar eclipses.
  • L'Inca credeva che un eclissato lunare fosse il risultato di un giaguaro che attaccava la luna e lo mangiava.
    The Inca believed that a lunar eclipsed was the result of a jaguar that attached the moon and ate it.
  • Molte culture credevano che un'eclissi lunare fosse un cattivo presagio.
    Many cultures believed that a lunar eclipse was a bad omen.
  • Spero che il cielo è chiaro domani mattina così può vedere l'eclissi lunare.
    I hope the sky is clear tomorrow morning so can see the lunar eclipse.
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon


Day 142 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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Not bad! This is the 142nd consecutive day 142 of my posting on my blog/journal, posting practice scripts in Italian, as a means of establishing the habit of studying Italian every day. There are days I think, What will I write about today? Then potential content pops up. The local weatherman on the TV channel my wife and I watch after dinner talked about the "super blue blood moon" phenomenon that will occur tomorrow. I have found two websites where live-streams will begin January 31st, online, starting at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Below are the two websites, followed by a practice script in Italian, and grammar corrections are welcome.

Ascolta Questo:
  • Domani mattina ci sarà un'eclissi di luna.
    Tomorrow morning there will be an eclipse of the Moon.
  • Sarà un'inusuale eclissi di luna.
    It will be an unusual eclipse of the Moon.
  • Questa è la prima eclissi lunare totale dal 28 settembre 2015.
    This is the first total lunar eclipse since September 28, 2015.
  • La luna sarà nell'ombra della terra e apparirà di colore rossastro - una "luna di sangue".
    The Moon will be in the Earth’s shadow and appear reddish in color -- a “blood moon."
[ Grazie a mikael-sixsix ]
[ Grazie a Babbala ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chef Boyardee


Day 141 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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To me, it's interesting how one thing leads to another. Today I received a text with photos of one of my grandsons who was using his Ninja Turtles mini-oven to make a mini-pizza. He is six-years-old, and he was wearing his apron and chef's hat -- both Christmas gifts from his aunt. That reminded me of the Chef Boyardee food products I ate in my childhood. In looking for a graphic I also read about the real Chef Boyardee. "Hector Boyardee" was the pseudonym of Ettore Boiardi (October 22, 1897 – June 21, 1985); he was an Italian-born chef, famous for his brand of food products, named Chef Boyardee. On May 9, 1914, at the age of 16, he arrived at Ellis Island and later created a great food company. (Now for a practice script in Italian -- grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Question:
  • Quando ero ragazzo mi piaceva il cibo in scatola di Chef Boyardee.
    I liked Chef Boyardee canned food when I was a boy.
  • Questi prodotti alimentari erano gli unici cibi italiani che conoscevo quand'ero giovane.
    These food products were the only Italian foods I knew in my youth.
  • La mia famiglia non era benestante.
    My family was not wealthy.
  • Da ragazzo, non immaginavo che un giorno avrei viaggiato in Italia e che avrei mangiato vero cibo italiano.
    As a boy, I did not imagine that one day I would travel to Italy and eat real Italian food.
[ Grazie a Mikela-july ]
[ Grazie a Miele ]

Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Stormy Weather


Day 140 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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This morning we drove over our Harbor Bridge to have lunch with a friend who lives north of our community. His is a small town that received some damage from this year's Hurricane Harvey. At the time of our departure, there was a very light rain. The four of us had a great lunch. We had not seen our friend in several months since he had relocated. After our lunch we traveled a little further to visit our friend's new home -- that's when the rain became a powerful downpour. Upon our return trip, we could see that the Harbor Bridge traffic coming from the opposite direction was blocked and the three-lane traffic reduced to one lane. The rain downpour had caused flooding at the exits of the bridge. Fortunately, our flow of traffic was alright and we were able to get over the bridge and home safely. We were caught in a bit of stormy weather, however, the meal and fellowship were well worth the short trip "over the bridge."

All of this stormy weather reminded me not of previous storms, but of a beautiful song and an amazing big band I had the good fortune to perform with one summer. I played in the trombone section. The year was 1960, the song "Stormy Weather, and the orchestra, that of Luis Arcaraz. I have embedded the Arcaraz arrangement of the song below. Enjoy.


Ascolta Questo:
  • Oggi tre di noi hanno pranzato con un amico che non vedevamo da qualche mese.
    Today three of us had lunch with a friend we had not seen in a few months.
  • Abbiamo viaggiato attraverso il nostro Harbour Bridge per vedere il nostro amico.
    We traveled over our Harbor Bridge to see our friend.
  • Il tempo era burrascoso durante il viaggio di ritorno.
    The weather was stormy on the return trip.
  • A prescindere dal tempo, abbiamo avuto un grande incontro.
    Regardless of the weather, we had a great get-together.
[ Grazie a Miele ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Friday, January 26, 2018

High School Basketball



Day 139 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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Our boys and girls basketball teams are doing well this year. Basketball games are fast and exciting. The time athletes devote to their sport is amazing -- hours and hours of drills and games, local and out-of-town. Plus the study time that has to be made up. Parents are a huge support, with fundraisers, chaperoning, and volunteer work. How physically fit these student-athletes become is impressive. Hopefully, these students will continue to maintain a habit of physical fitness beyond their high school days.

Ascolta Questo:
  • Mi piace guardare i giochi di pallacanestro perché questi giochi sono frenetico ed eccitanti.
    I like to watch basketball games because these games are fast and exciting.
  • La nostra scuola ha sai squadre di pallacanestro maschili e femminili.
    Our high school has boys and girls basketball teams.
  • Quest'anno le nostre squadre di pallacanestro vanno bene.
    This year our basketball teams are doing well.
  • I nostri atleti dedicano molte ore al loro sport.
    Our athletes devote many hours to their sport.
[ Grazie a Babbala ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Shopping for Christmas 2018


Day 138 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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My wife is great about planning gifts for Christmas -- better than I am. This evening we ordered a Mickey Mouse tote purse for one of our daughters who loves Mickey Mouse items. So there I am already placing orders for next Christmas. I guess I am bypassing Santa Claus and beginning to collect gifts for our family members. My wife has a decorative trunk where she stashes the presents during the months leading up to next Christmas. As for me, there are times when I am shopping a day or two before Christmas day. (Now for a short practice script in Italian -- grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Questo:
  • Mia moglie ama fare acquisti per i regali di Natale molto presto.
    My wife likes to shop for Christmas gifts very early.
  • Questo processo è iniziato stasera.
    This process began tonight.
  • Ero online ordinando il primo regalo per una figlia, dieci mesi prima di Natale.
    I was online ordering the first gift for a daughter, ten months before Christmas.
  • Amazon sta andando a sostituire Babbo Natale? (Ne dubito.)
    Is Amazon going to replace Santa Claus? (I doubt that.)
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Annual Vehicle Registration


Day 137 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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One of our vehicles is due for an annual state inspection and registration this month, and this afternoon after work I went home and took our other vehicle for the inspection. The current process is so much better than before. Now vehicles are inspected at state-approved stations. The vehicle owner can then use an online account to complete the registration part of the process. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles then mails the new registration sticker to the vehicle owner, who then places the sticker on the interior side of the windshield. At one time the inspection sticker was placed on the interior side of the windshield and a separate registration sticker was placed on the vehicle's rear license plate -- where it was open to theft. (Now for a practice script in Italian -- I'm learning Italian on my own, so grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Questo:
  • Oggi ho guidato uno dei nostri veicoli ad una stazione di ispezione.
    Today I drove one of our vehicles to an inspection station.
  • Domani voglio completare la registrazione online.
    Tomorrow I will complete the registration online.
  • Da una o due settimane riceverò l'adesivo di registrazione.
    From one or two weeks I will receive the registration sticker.
  • Alcuni dei soldi raccolti dalle tasse di registrazione è utilizzato per mantenere strade e ponti.
    Some of the money collected from the registration fees is used to maintain roads and bridges.
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Crazy Day



Day 136 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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Oggi è stato pazzo. Scriverò domani.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Amalfi - An Italian Coastal Gem


Day 135 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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On a regular basis, we receive travel brochures at home from different companies. What arrived in our mail today was a booklet from a company we have not traveled with before. The brochure contained many photos of places in Italy. It was enjoyable to view those pictures of places my wife and I have visited. Though Amalfi may not offer the big city attractions, there is a fascination about it. Just being there instilled an emotion of joy. The Amalfi coast is famed for its production of Limoncello liqueur and the area is a known cultivator of lemons -- the lemons are huge! The patron saint of Amalfi is Saint Andrew, the Apostle, whose relics are kept here at Amalfi Cathedral dates to the 11th century. (Next, a short script to practice Italian; grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Questo:
  • Io e mia moglie abbiamo visitato Amalfi il nostro primo viaggio in Italia.
    My wife and I visited Amalfi on our first trip to Italy.
  • Io vivo nella città costiera di Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.
    I live in the coastal city of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.
  • Amalfi ha una bellezza che è rafforzata dalla sua costa.
    Amalfi has a beauty that is enhanced by its coast.
  • Amalfi è assolutamente affascinante.
    Amalfi is absolutely fascinating.

Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Spider-Man Mystery


Day 134 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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For the last three weeks, using Book Creator, I have been creating ebooks in the style of comics for my six-year-old grandson using the character of Spider-Man. Tonight I decided to surf the web to learn about the creator of the character Spider-Man. It is as if the search is as mysterious as Spider-Man himself. It appears that there is a conspiracy theory about which of three persons actually created the original Spider-Man: a costume maker in the 1950's, or one of two comic book artist in the 1960's. On youtube.com I found video after video with stories about the origins of Spider-Man. Names in the mystery are comic artists Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and costume company Ben Cooper. Inc. Yet another is in the mix: Jack Kirby. The comic book super-hero Spider-Man has had an amazing history, from comic book hero to TV to mega-movies. (Now for a practice script in Italian . . . grammar corrections are welcome.

Ascolta Questo:
  • Spider-Man è uno dei personaggi a fumetti di maggior successo.
    Spider-Man is one of the most successful comic book characters.
  • Stan Lee e Steve Ditko hanno introdotto il personaggio nei fumetti nel 1960.
    Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced the character in comic books in the 1960's.
  • Alcune persone credono che la società Ben Cooper, Inc abbia creato un costume "Spider Man" anni prima.
    Some people believe the company Ben Cooper, Inc. created a "Spider Man" costume years earlier.
  • Il personaggio di Spider-Man continua a essere proposto nelle principali produzioni cinematografiche.
    The character Spider-Man continues in major film productions.
[ Grazie a mikael-sixsix ]
[ Grazie a JackyShows ]
[ Grazie a sery2001sm ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

8th Annual Black & Gold Gala


Day 133 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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Tonight our school hosted the 8th Annual Black & Gold Gala with the theme "Casino Night." This is an annual event to raise funds for the operation of our high school. We had a full house -- no pun intended, but it is a good one because of the casino theme. We had a silent auction, dinner, awards presentation, and casino games. All funds raised will benefit our school. Our guitar students provided the entertainment before the dinner. The event was well attended. My wife and I did not stay for the Casino Night games, but I hope all ended well. (Now for a short practice script in Italian. Grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Questo:
  • Stasera la nostra scuola ha organizzato un evento annuale.
    Tonight our school hosted an annual event.
  • Il nome dell'evento è l'Annual Black & Gold Gala.
    The name of the event is the Annual Black & Gold Gala.
  • Il tema di quest'anno è Casino Night.
    The theme this year is Casino Night.
  • Tutti i fondi raccolti andranno a vantaggio della nostra scuola.
    All money raised will benefit our school.
[ Grazie a Fuyumi11 ]
[ Grazie a Frutzy ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cavallo di Battaglia


Day 132 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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OK, the photo at right is as close as I could get to the topic for this post: "cavallo di battagli." In my effort to learn Italian and to stay motivated, I look for a subject of interest each day. I came across the expression, "cavallo di battaglia" and thought it sounds cool, for lack of a better word. I then found that "cavallo di battaglia" is used in many ways to mean many things -- with English equivalents such as forte, strong suit, strong point, flagship product or piece of art. I'm hoping this post will draw some examples of usage by Italian speakers. Let's see what comes in.

Ascolta Questo:
  • Credo che l'espressione italiana "cavallo di battaglia" sia pittoresca.
    I think the Italian expression "cavallo di battaglia" is colorful.
  • Vorrei vedere degli esempi di come gli italiani usino questa espressione.
    I would like to see some examples of how Italians use this expression.
  • Un equivalente in inglese è "flagship university" - che significa l'Università superiore o migliore.
    One equivalent in English is "flagship university" -- meaning the top or best university.
  • È interessante come ogni lingua abbia i propri idiomi.
    It is interesting how each language has its own idioms.
[ Grazie a mikael-sixsix ]
[ Grazie a Babbala ]

Readers' examples:
  • For an artist, "cavallo di battaglia" means his most famous piece. [ Grazie a rob07 ]
  • "La Pietà" è uno dei cavalli di battaglia di Michelangelo.
    [ Grazie a mikael-sixsix ]
  • "Assassinio sull’Orient Express" è uno dei cavalli di battaglia di Agata Christi.
    [ Grazie a mikael-sixsix ]
  • L'interpretazione di Giulietta nell'opera "Romeo e Giulietta" è il suo cavallo di battagli.
    [ Grazie a mikael-sixsix ]
  • Example for a singer or a band, "Questa canzone è il suo/il loro cavallo di battaglia", to express it's his/her/their most distinctive song, or their most popular, or simply the one they play best.
    [ Grazie a danielecip ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Bridge for Corpus Christi, Texas


Day 131 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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The Harbor Bridge of Corpus Christi, Texas -- my hometown -- was opened in 1959. It has served our port quite well for 60 years. The Port of Corpus Christi ranks sixth in the United States for overall tonnage, ninth in foreign trade and eight in domestic trade. The current Harbor Bridge will be replaced by a new iconic structure by 2020. Below I have placed a video of a digital rendition of the new Harbor Bridge and below that a few practice sentences in Italian. (Grammar corrections are welcome.)


Ascolta Questo:
  • Il porto di Corpus Christi è la sesta grande negli Stati Uniti.
    The port of Corpus Christi is the 6th larges in the United States.
  • L'attuale Harbour Bridge fu aperto 60 anni fa.
    The current Harbor Bridge opened 60 years ago.
  • La costruzione è iniziata su un ponte di sostituzione.
    Construction has begun on a replacement bridge.
  • Una resa del computer del nuovo ponte può essere visualizzata cliccando qui.
    A computer rendition of the new bridge can be viewed by clicking here.
[ Grazie a Ricky00 ]

Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Turtles Stunned by Freezing Weather


Day 130 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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The weather has been unusually cold in and around Corpus Christi, Texas, where I live. Our area is known as the Coastal Bend of Texas. The cold and freezing weather has affected sea life, and hundreds of green sea turtles have washed ashore, stunned by the cold. Our sea shores are turtle nesting areas as well. The turtles have been rescued by volunteers and staff of the Padre Island National Seashore Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery as well as Sea World. Below I have embedded the Monterey Bay Aquarium  Sea Cam, California USA -- if you are lucky you will see sea animals swimming across the camera lens. Click the Play button.


Ascolta Questo:
  • L'insolito clima gelido della nostra zona ha sconvolto centinaia di tartarughe verdi.
    The unusual freezing weather in our area has shocked hundreds of green sea turtles.
  • Centinaia di tartarughe verdi sono state salvate, con l'aiuto di molti volontari.
    Hundreds of green sea turtles have been rescued, with the help of many volunteers.
  • Alcune tartarughe verdi vivono fino a 80 anni.
    Some green sea turtles live to 80 years.
  • Le nostre spiagge sono aree di nidificazione per la tartaruga verde, e ci ritornano ogni anno.
    Our seashores are nesting areas for the green sea turtle and return every year.
[ Grazie a DaniusB ]
[ Grazie a Faiza95 ]
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Paper Mache


Day 129 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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My daughter is working on a paper mâché project and I became curious about the origins of this technique. According to a paper mache website paper mache actually originated in China; where paper was invented. The Chinese used paper mache to make helmets, which they toughened by many layers of lacquer. Examples have been found dating back to the Han Dynasty, BC 202 – AD 220. (For Article Click here). Now, here are a few practice sentences in Italian. (Grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Questo:
  • Mia figlia sta lavorando ad un progetto di cartapesta.
    My daughter is working on a paper mache project.
  • Lei sta facendo una casa a forma di palloncino per piccole figure giocattolo.
    She is making a balloon shaped house for small toy figures.
  • Ho imparato che la carta arte mache ha cominciato in Cina.
    I have learned that the paper mache art began in China.
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Freezing Weather Tomorrow


Day 128 of My Italian Learning Journal*
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I was off work for a long weekend, and this afternoon I received an email from our administrators that our school would be closed tomorrow Tuesday due to expected freezing weather. Yes, it is an unusually cold winter for us in South Texas. During the winter time, we do have a lot of "Winter Texans" -- visitors from the north. This year the number of Winter Texans may be even greater. (Now for a practice script in Italian -- grammar corrections are welcome.)

Ascolta Question:
  • Tempo di congelamento è previsto per diversi giorni.
    Freezing weather is expected for several days.
  • La scuola superiore dove lavoro sarà chiusa domani a causa del tempo gelido.
    The high school where I work will be closed tomorrow because of the freezing weather.
  • Viaggiare su strade ghiacciate sarà pericoloso.
    Traveling on frozen roads will be dangerous.
  • Spero che non ci saranno perdite di energia elettrica.
    I'm hoping that there will not be any electric power failures.
  • Vorrei rimanere a casa domani e vorrei leggere, bere il tè e studiare la lingua italiana.
    I'll stay home tomorrow, and I will read, drink tea, and study Italian.
Alla prossima!

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*Note: This is my personal journal of daily practice in learning Italian. I welcome Italian grammar corrections. Grazie.

Police Car Lights

My Italian Learning Journal * Year 2 - Day 206 _____________________ ...