Saturday, October 10, 2009

And He Confound the Language of All the Earth ...

Languages are filled with "false friends" - anyone who speaks Spanish or French runs up against them constantly in Italian. But its not exclusive to the Romance languages. An anglophone could be forgiven for responding with a list of their University degrees if being told by an Italian that they were maleducato (badly brought up) though the Italian would wonder if all holders of Doctorates were ill-mannered.

And an Italian would be equally puzzled and a little concerned if you said you had bought "confetti" to throw at a wedding. I mean "confetti" is perfectly acceptable at a marriage, baptism or even a graduation but if you throw it here someone could get an eye put out.

My colleague Antonella is getting married today and she distributed the traditional "confetti" in the office yesterday. All the guests at her wedding will receive one of these little tulle bags.


Bedecked and beribboned it holds one of my favorites sweets - "confetti" - sugared or Jordan almonds. They are said to represent both the wish that a couple will have a fertile marriage and to remind them of the bittersweet nature of any relationship.

So here the bridge and groom will give their guests "confetti" and I will go to a shop and buy "coriandoli" to throw at them. And no I will not be throwing a pungent smelling green much beloved in Mexican cooking, that would be "coriandolo". Language is so complicated!

10 ottobre - San Tommaso di Villanova

6 comments:

David said...

And of course confetti come from Sulmona, my favourite Town In Italy That Not Many Tourists Know About.

Anonymous said...

What happened to throwing good old rice?
DF

Sling said...

Being perceived as rude is a real pitfall.I made the mistake of using an English/German guide book to try and create 'How much is it?',and it came out something akin to 'Waddaya want for this piece o' crap'..Not really that bad,but the looks I recieved were pretty disdainful.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

what? no birdseed to throw...have fun

Elizabeth said...

Oh dear, life is so complicated sometimes. And all we all really want to shower them with is good wishes!

flipstinger said...

no releasing 2 white doves in the air? oh wait! that can only be a Catholic South East Asian thing....?!