Un Minuto con…

Some challenges of being an Italian American  

By Rosario Mariani, http://www.europebychoice.com

italian american flags

Italian Americans who are well versed in Italian and English often have to cope with everyday challenges:

  • I have yet to fully enjoy an Italian movie with English subtitles. My biggest challenge is that while reading the subtitles, I become too obsessed in making sure that the translations are correct to enjoy the movie.
  • When visiting friends and family in Italy, I’m referred to as “l’americano,” but as soon as I get back to New York, I become “the Italian.”
  • I am confused when in restaurants I see advertisements for Northern Italian cuisine, but the menu features typical Southern Italian dishes such as Ziti alla Norma, Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, Veal Sorrentino, Mozzarella Caprese, etc.Starbucks
  • I have issues when I go to Starbucks and have to accept Italianized words like “Lattes,” “Frappuccinos,” “Caffe Grande,” or “Caramel Macchiato.” What’s next? Please Starbucks, keep it simple.
  • I  have to stop myself from telling my friends at dinner not to order a Cappuccino after 10 A.M.
  • When watching Italian TV shows, I hate when the host uses too many English words that are often mispronounced and don’t make sense.

What other difficulties have you had, being Italian American and/or bilingual? I would love to compile a list of challenges! – Rosario


Rosario Mariani is the owner/CEO of Europe By Choice, which promotes travel to Italy and other select European countries. He has more than 40 years of experience in the travel industry, previously serving as Director of Italy Product for Italiatour and Club ABC Tours, and also in other positions with EuroFly, Alitalia and Air France.

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