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Living in Italy: Carl Schonbeck


I primi tempi dell’americano Carl Schonbeck in Italia? Si sentiva come in un film, tutto fantastico! E poi, ovviamente, sono arrivati i contro, le cose che non piacciono: il pessimismo sistematico contro la voglia di fare tipica americana… Il Belpaese visto da un’altra prospettiva. By Mark Worden - LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Carl Schonbeck (Standard American accent)

If I talk about what I like about Italy, I... I... the easiest thing for me is to think back (to) what originally attracted me when I first... I first visited here right... right after I got out of the service in 1989, in the spring... you know, the spring, Milano, was, you know, beautiful weather, I... I was just blown away, I just, you know, it was, magical, and, and I think back sometimes what it... what it actually was, that I liked and I just... I had this feeling... I always had this feeling of like I was in a film, and it’s funny because it’s, you know, a lot of times the... the Italians, you know, say, you know, “America, you know, go, it’s... it’s like a film, you know, Hollywood!” But... and for me it was the opposite, you know, it was like I was... I found myself, you know, doing all these things that I’d only seen in films or on TV, you know, when I was living in the States, you know, it just seems like here, and it’s always in a really natural way, it’s done very naturally, but, the... the... you know the food’s going to be great, you know the wine’s going to be great, everybody seems to look great! Everybody... you’re always... there’s always another beautiful place to go and see that you haven’t quite seen yet in... in... but in a small area where you can get there easily... and it’s just this sense of fun, you know, just of really of, of finding... you know, there just seems to be always something else. That’s what I like about it, that it’s really... they... they know... I think the Italian people know how to live. I think living... the Italians, if there’s a people who have raised living to an art, if that doesn’t sound too heavy, I think the Italians, you know... you know, I really mean that, yes!

WHAT I DON'T LIKE...

You know, I think the thing that frustrates me about Italy, the thing that I don’t… that I don’t like is the… there’s a certain defeatism… I don’t know if that’s the right… that it just seems that a lot of times… a lot of times people here talk about what a great, you know, imaginations (sic) they have… you know, like there’s a very, you know, imaginative, you know, fantasia, you know, and… but yet when you, you know, you’ll try to, you know, solve a problem, it’ll just “Well, you know, there’s really nothing we can do,” or “Well, somebody else should think of that,” and “Somebody else will take care of it” and that… I find that frustrating, you know, and I... sometimes I’ll say to friends, “Well, no, you know, you could… you could do that, or maybe... maybe... you could try that,” and almost invariably I’ll get this answer, “Well that’s… that’s your American optimism!” or something like that, but to me it’s more… it’s common sense, you know!”

(Carl Schonbeck was talking to Mark Worden)


SPEAK UP EXPLAINS

Right after I got out of the service. Subito dopo che avevo lasciato la marina militare. In American English si dice the service per indicare le forze armate (esercito, marina, aeronatica ecc.) Carl Schonbeck aveva “servito” per qualche anno nella marina militare. Non si tratta di “servizio militare” bensì di un lavoro professionale. Il servizio militare non esiste più ma negli Stati si chiamava the draft mentre nel Regno Unito si chiamava national service.

I was just blown away. Sono rimasto incantato. I was blown away significa letteralmente “sono stato soffiato via”. Si dice anche mind-blowing, che vuol dire “da sballo”.