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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, dancing and good movies.  

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dealing with (stupid) cultural stereotypes: I'm not Marlon Brando, you're not Marlon Brando

Apart from learning new words, the hardest thing for me while speaking German is to improve my pronunciation.
Italian and German are absolutely different from this point of view and Italian intonation is too sweet and melodic to fit well into German. In Italian there's no H at all. In Italian the vowels are often open. In Italian there's no 'ch' as in 'ich'.
I do phonetics exercises almost every day and I try very hard to speak properly, but my pronunciation is not perfect yet. But.

[Genial and stylish, even if he has nothing to do 
with real Italian people and how they speak: 
Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone 
in The Godfather (1972) by Francis Coppola]

There's one thing I hate and find 100% idiot. When I meet new people and they discover I'm Italian, they start chanting two or three sentences in Italian by marking too much double consonants and intonation and by gesturing in an exaggerated way as if we were in a scene of The Godfather.

It's a behavior that I find not only rude but also stupid, because these people think they are funny and witty. Usually this is the first and last time I talk to people like that. I have no time for the idiocy of others, I just have my own.

Previous post:
How I'm learning German

Tags: Learning a language, German, Italian, Languages, Pronunciation, Phonetics, The Godfather, Cultural stereotypes, Marlon Brando