Blog of author Alfonso Borello
The blog of Alfonso Borello, author of A Miniature Life, The Ducati Girl, The Pillow Book of Carmen Garcia and many other works.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Bolivian authorities wanted to cut his head off and send it to Cuba to verify his identity, or just to send a message; after an exhaustive debate, they amputated his hands at the wrist instead and shipped them in a very special container to La Paz, Bolivia; his body was injected with a heavy dose of formalin for preservation, it lay on the autopsy room which was no valhalla; just a squalid room of a school with a military-type stretcher next to a stone sink, perhaps a laundry tub. On October 12th the package arrives and the inspectors of the Argentinian police compare the fingerprints with the ones smudged on Guevara's journals―they match. The hands of the comandante suddenly disappeared and Fidel Castro wants answers; he actually does not believe that his compaňero is dead; the truth was kept secret for over forty years, because the three Argentinian were not authorized to speak. Immediately after the autopsy, the pictures of the cadaver riddled with bullets are published by every newspaper around the globe; the eyes of the comandante are wide open, as they are fixating the sky, his expression is dramatic, his body is statuary, he doesn't look dead at all, just deep in his thoughts, contemplating his next revolution.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Perché Noi? - Enhanced Easy Italian Reader
Enhanced Easy Reader for learners of Italian - Beginner Level.
I fatti descritti in questa storia sono raccapriccianti. Purtroppo sono realmente accaduti. Non ci sono parole per esprimere sdegno e vergogna, solo disgusto.
La storia che state per leggere é scritta con un vocabolario ridotto per facilitarne la lettura agli studenti d'Italiano con una conoscenza elementare della lingua. E' comunque interessante e non del tutto noiosa per lettori a qualsiasi livello.
Well, learning a language is hard, isn't it? I'm going to share with you a few tips to make your journey less painful. Why? Because I know the challenges you're going to face; I faced them before you when I learned English as a second language, a third or a fourth, I've lost the count. Please forgive me if it sounds like I'm boasting; I just wanted to highlight my credentials in language learning.
I only have an eighth-grade education, but I managed to learn a few tricks; so, considering your level of education, you should do way better than I. Before telling you how to use this book and what to do, I'm going to tell you what to avoid, so that you don't have to spend a fortune and come out empty handed, perhaps with another failed resolution. I'll be brief, be bright and be gone.
Do not bother with grammar at first. When you started out mumbling a few words as a toddler, your first natural concern was communication―vocabulary. There are no sentences without words; grammar always comes last, and sometimes doesn't come at all when you're learning any language. Why? Because you will absorb grammar within the contest, or better, by analogy; the most natural approach. You will refine later of course, but just for fine tuning.
Learning another language will also help you to improve your communication skills in your own language, especially in writing. So, morale of the story, learn as many words as you can at first. Do not make or use lists for new words, it's tedious, it's a terrible idea, and it doesn't work. This is probably the only book on the market which tells you this secret, and it's written by someone with credentials, not by some academic who has just managed to learn an extra language and he's just in for the money. Research shows that a moderate vocabulary of 500 to 1,000 words will make you a conversationalist of some sort, i.e. Fox News-like, just kidding. Learn with stories; do not use drills; they're boring, ineffective and at the first obstacle you will quit.
Read a lot and make an effort to watch foreign movies, in this case Italian, on YouTube for free; at first without caption at all. I would dismiss caption all together because if it isn't part of the production, it's an auto translated transcript from Google translate―an abomination. You will pick up familiar words here and there; do not get discouraged, you're a toddler again.
After you have managed to learn a good enough vocabulary, you should move to the next level by speaking out loud; to my knowledge the Pimsleur method is the most effective and, strange enough, somehow inexpensive. It will take you about three months to learn 500 words, after that you should move to another level; 100 new words a month is a good target. Have fun!
Alfonso Borello, July 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Il Banchetto - Easy Italian Reader
Easy Reader for learners of Italian - Medium Level
Translated from the original story The First Party by Alfonso Borello.
380 Avanti Cristo, alle porte di Atene. Il famoso banchetto era in onore di Agatone, per celebrare il successo della sua prima tragedia a Dionisia. Durante il cosidetto simposio, Socrate, Agatone e Aristofane insieme ad altri filosofi discutono le orgini dell'amore Platonico.
La storia che state per leggere é scritta con un vocabolario ridotto per facilitarne la lettura agli studenti d'Italiano con una conoscenza media della lingua. E' comunque interessante e non del tutto noiosa per lettori a qualsiasi livello.