Monday, December 5

Italian Lessons from Life in Italy

Life in is an excellent online publication of all good things Italian.  For some time, and through the words of able writer Elisa Bressan, they offer mean, lean mini-courses in Italian also available by mp3 download, for any of you who want to brush up on your Italian conversations.
Her most recent posting is, "How to say you're sorry in Italian" (click on title for link) Bellissima.  It's always nice to know how to show a sign of grace when up against the odds.  To her - exhaustive - and highly accurate list of expressions, I would also add one more:  
Permesso?  or, Con Permesso?  
Although this is more like an Excuse Me versus an I'm Sorry.  
Nonetheless, it comes in very handy.  One should use it when entering a room, any room, even if it's someone you know very well (like a boyfriend's house and especially his parents' place).  It's asking permission to enter, or like an 'Excuse Me' when spoken on a bus, in a crowded area, or even before barging into a meeting.
picture from Cliff Robbins speaks business blog
My only doubt in all of this formality, however comes from a line in my book, Sorry is for Sissies:
Say you're sorry and you'll be going down as fast as the Titanic.  
In fact in Italy, you will be hard-pressed to ever hear the words spoken by anyone - in any given situation. It's as if, as related by TV personality & business blog commentator Cliff Robbins, people followed John Wayne's advice that apologizing is a sign of weakness.  In fact, just the opposite is true but this is a cultural difference worth noting for future reference.
In any case, as I conclude in my book:
The old adage that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” must have been born in Italy, the country of Amore.

*all links in grey are live 

Cliff Robbins has been doing a television show called Fox Robbins since 2009. 
To view past episodes visit: Fox Robbins and visit Fox Robbins Business Blog on Cape Cod Today.

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