Mr. Brit hasn’t met my parents yet. We are thinking about going though formal introductions later this year, maybe when we’ll both go back to Good Old Europe for the Holidays or something like that. We haven’t agreed upon a plan yet. But we know it’s going to happen sooner or later.
And I’m terrified.
OK, that’s a bit extreme. Let’s say that he’s very excited and thinks that it’ll be a total blast. I’m not quite sharing the same excitement, as I think it will be extremely difficult for the three of them to communicate, since Mr. Brit doesn’t speak Italian and my parents don’t speak English.
Maybe I’m overreacting here. I’ve found – and thoroughly read – a couple of blogs of English expats in Italy who don’t really speak the language, and are still communicating with even old neighbors (Englishman in Italy being the best of them all – Peter’s blog is just hilarious!) And after all, Mr. Brit does know a couple of words. In fact, he knows – and very frequently uses – four words/expressions: “ciambella” (donut,) “buonanotte” (goodnight,) “mi manchi” (I miss you,) and, of course, “ti amo” (I love you.) “Ciambella” being the one he uses the most, as he thinks it’s some sort of universal word that, if combined with the right gestures, would convey just about every possible meaning in any and all topics of conversation.
Therefore he believes that “Yummm, ciambella”, while tapping his stomach. would be suitable for complimenting my mother on her culinary skills, “Ciambella!” with angry face would work if he were to get into an argument with an Italian, “Ummm…ciambella…” with a doubtful expression would mean that he doesn’t really know.
Let’s just say that at the beginning I was very determined to teach him my dear language – but being that he’s so resourceful, I’m doubting the need of him being able to speak Italian. Of course it would be nice if he could – so I think I have to come up with some very creative ways of slipping in a couple of words every now and then until they stick and they make sense in his mind. It sounds like a tough challenge.
Any ideas out there? I’ll definitely look into this some more and come back with options. Of course, there’s no need for him to learn Italian just yet…but when he surprises me with a “Ti amo ciambella, buonanotte” right before going to sleep, well, that’s really something special.