Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to Speak Like a milanese

Before coming to Milan, the only other two regions in Italy I'd spent a significant amount of time in were the Marches and Tuscany. So with a good knowledge of Italian you can pick up the difference in language from region to region, and city to city. The accents are obviously different too, but here are some of my observations on how the Milanese speak:

The use of 'figo' - this slang word's heard outside Milan, but the first time I'd heard it being used was here in Milan -  and is it used!! It comes from a very coarse swear word, but in slang it's used to mean 'cool' or 'excellent'. A bar you love going to can be called 'a posto figo'. The opposite version also exists - sfiga is slang for 'bad luck', and a 'sfigato/a' is a loser or someone who is unlucky.

Use a bit of dialect - Like a lot of places in Italy, you don't hear many conversations in dialect anymore. But in Milan the odd word in dialect can be heard sprinkled in with standard Italian. Probably the most commonly used Milanese word is 'sciura', which means 'signora', but can have a more negative meaning.

The feminine pronoun - 'La' is always used in front of feminine names, so I become "the Nerys". To say you are going to Clara's party you would say, "vado alla festa della Clara"

Uè - a true Milanese greeting! In the street, on the phone, everywhere!

'C'avere' - I didn't realise this was considered Milanese until I found a genius group on Facebook called 'Questa è Milano'. I don't even realise I use the c in front of the verb 'avere' (to have) anymore, I guess it's just easier to pronounce than plain 'avere'!

And if you want to hear some hardcore Milanese in action, here's a song that 'prende in giro' the SUVs in Milan - the very broad 'u' in SUV's very Milanese!


    Unknown said...

    Haha I love this video! I visited Milan last summer to meet my family that lives there. I love the language also!

    Anonymous said...

    I am from Milano, and am half Milanese and half American. I just wanted to let you know that I and my friends wer happy to see you notice the life and the communication very well from your visit, and that what you shared is correctly said. Many do not realize our important use of the article even with personal names ( it is used in male, female, and pronouns- when if we were to say of my mama i would say la mama and if i were to talk of her with my friends i would say la mama also etc etc)My friends and I also experienced happiness to see you use your ears and eyes and notice we still have a strong use of our language (Milanese dialect). Thanks for sharing awesome info that most people do not know)