Italians hate it when you bring this up but what a lot of people associate with Italy is the mafia. Mafia is, of course, mafia in Italian and one of the most famous of them is Cosa Nostra which is actually a U.S. criminal organization. Cosa Nostra means our affair or our thing thus:
Cosa is thing in Italian.
I really like this word. When Italians want to ask what, they would say what thing which would be:
1 translation: What?
In speech, however, you would often skip che for what and just say cosa to mean what. Knowing this, you can put it to use and ask:
2 translation: What do you learn?
3 translation: What do you speak?
Let’s learn an easy word:
Italian for to study is studiare.
It works just like all the other -are words do. Remember that -i for you and ask:
4 translation: What do you study?
You could answer that in many ways. Guess how you would say:
5 translation: I study French.
Italian for to work is lavorare.
Think of labour to remember this word.
6 translation: What do you work?
Answer, for example:
7 translation: I don’t work.
Italian for nothing is niente.
There is such a word in English as well but it’s used in music.
If you want to say I study nothing you say I not study nothing in Italian because Italian has double negation like a lot of languages in the world. Say:
8 translation: I study nothing.
This, of course, means I don’t study anything. How would one say:
9 translation: I don’t work anything.
Italian for I understand is capisco.
10 translation: I don’t understand anything.
There is another cool word:
Italian for everything is tutto.
You might remember ice cream tutti frutti which means all fruits. The English word total comes from a related root. How would you say:
11 translation: I understand everything.
You understand, you say capici.
12 translation: What do you understand?
13 translation: Why don’t you understand everything?