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An Italian in L.A. (Language level B1-B2)

Novembre 2016
Pina De Rosa decise di lasciare la natìa Napoli a 18 anni con una meta precisa: Los Angeles. Oggi è tra le ‘motivational speaker’ più conosciute negli USA e le sue conferenze sono seguitissime. Di professione fa la ‘life coach’, ovvero aiuta le persone a prendere decisioni importanti. Ascoltatela: come ha fatto a imparare l’inglese così bene? Con la musica!

di Talitha Linehan

File audio:

Pina De Rosa
Pina De Rosa
The cover of Pina De Rosa’s book, Fit from the Inside Out.
The cover of Pina De Rosa’s book, Fit from the Inside Out.

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

For almost 15 years, Pina De Rosa has guided people in making important decisions. When she was just 18, she herself made a very important decision, one that changed her life forever. Originally from Naples in Italy, she left her home and family and moved to the U.S. to start a new life there.  


De Rosa studied psychology and theatre at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Then in 1994, she moved again, this time to the other side of the country – to Los Angeles, California. Since then she has lived in L.A. and built an incredibly successful career as a life coach, author and speaker.


Fluent in five languages – Italian, English, French, Spanish and German – De Rosa has travelled all over the world motivating clients and giving inspirational talks. She has done a TED Talk, written a book on the mentality of health and fitness, called Fit from the Inside Out, and campaigned against rape on college campuses (collegespeakingwithpina.com).

man’s best friend

Most recently, her dearest friend died of cancer. De Rosa found a new passion as the executive producer of a documentary called Sniffing Out Cancer (sniffingoutcancer.com). This innovative documentary highlights the ability of dogs to detect cancer earlier and with greater precision than any other method. It is part of a worldwide movement to promote this detection method and save millions of lives.

For more about Pina De Rosa’s work, visit: http://www.pinaderosa.com or http://www.gratitudeinternational.com/




Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

We asked Pina De Rosa why she decided to move to the United States when she was 18:

Pina De Rosa (Standard American accent)

I think I was about 10 years old when I first heard what I’m guessing was an inner voice that said to me, “Go to Los Angeles.” Now, mind you, because I was born and raised in Italy, I didn’t even know where Los Angeles was at the time – you know, in a movie, somewhere on a map. But for whatever reason, I chose to listen to that inner voice and now at 44, I’ve spent half my life in L.A., 22 years in L.A., and a few more years on the East Coast and I absolutely love it!


And she set about learning English at an early age:

Pina De Rosa

It’s funny because when I was learning English in Italy, I taught myself English with Madonna songs and I would look up the words in the dictionary ‘cause I didn’t know what I was singing. You know, “Papa Don’t Preach.” Preach – what is preach? So it was a great strategy for having really good grades in English, but I was teased endlessly by the kids in my class. So when I got here, it really felt like I was right at home, not just because of the English language, but just something at the level of my soul just feels right at home here.

sound advice

Her English is excellent and for this reason her advice about language-learning is well worth listening to:

Pina De Rosa

But I think music, and that’s what I tell my friends here who want to learn Italian, is learning through music because music is in a different part of our brain and our songs are always something that we want to complete. We may not know what we are saying yet, but at least we can speak it and with any language, we first want to hear it, then we want to speak it and then by understanding what we’re saying, we’ll be able to make sentences together. So I’ve given CDs of Vasco Rossi and Gianna Nannini and Eros Ramazzotti and Claudio Baglioni to my local friends here who... say they want to learn Italian and say, you know, “Learn it that way, your brain will learn it that much easier. It worked for me for English. It will work for others for Italian!”

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I’m guessing. Il verbo to guess significa letteralmente indovinare, ma si usa anche per dire (in modo informale) supporre, immaginare. Si usa anche come risposta per dire “Immagino di sì”: I guess, oppure I guess so. “Immagino di no” invece si dice I guess not.
Good grades. Buoni voti. Nell’American English la parola grade si riferisce sia al voto sia all’anno di studio. I voti negli Stati Uniti vanno da A (eccellente) a F (Fail, fallimento, un disastro!), mentre gli anni di studio vanno da First Grade (da 6 a 7 anni) a Twelfth Grade (da 17 a 18 anni).

I was teased endlessly by the kids in my class. I ragazzi della mia classe mi prendevano in giro senza tregua. To tease vuol dire prendere in giro, ma può anche significare stuzzicare. Oggi in italiano si usa anche il sostantivo teaser per indicare una campagna pubblicitaria per “stuzzicare” l’interesse prima del lancio della campagna vera.