Maradona, the King of Naples

Diego Maradona’s time with SSC Napoli, from 1984 to 1992, was relatively short and ended in mob- and drug-related disgrace.  But this was the most successful period of the club’s history, which saw it win two Italian championships or Scudetti in 1987 & 1990, the Coppa Italia in 1987, the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Supercoppa Italiana in 1990.  The period also coincided with Maradona’s professional peak, captaining Argentina to World Cup victory in Mexico in 1986 and leading them to the final in 1990.  Maradona score 81 goals in 188 appearances for the club.

When Napoli won Serie A for the first time in their history in 1987:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Why do Italians say ‘Calcio’ not ‘Soccer’?

In today’s Italian lesson, we tackled the Subjunctive.  As in English, it is used to express ‘various states of unreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or action that has not yet occurred‘.  Unlike modern English, in which the subjunctive is hard to make out, in Italian it is a minefield for foreigners and, according to my teacher, when used properly is the mark of an educated native speaker.

This lead to a long conversation about the differences between English and Italian.  My teacher said that Italians pick up the lax English grammar rules (what there are) quickly; what they struggle with is pronunciation, the sheer magnitude of English vocabulary and the way English speakers use word order and qualifiers to provide nuance and meaning. Conversely, the English pick up basic Italian vocabulary quickly (aka restaurant Italian) but can have problems with rigid grammar rules, pronouns, reflexives and cases such as the pluperfect and of course the subjunctive.

Continue reading