Monday, April 5, 2010

Italian proverbs- una mela al giorno toglie il medico di torno

It's so pleasing when we can find a proverb from a different culture that's exactly the same. Such is the case with this one. Una mela al giorno leva il medico di torno. An apple a day keeps the doctor away (although the Italian literally says that it gets rid of the doctor.) In addition, the proverbs rhyme in both languages.

I always feel that a proverb must have at least some basis in truth. Even more so when more than one language has such a saying. So eat your apples!

While we're on the subject of fruit and the corresponding fruit words. In Italian, the word for the fruit is feminine: la mela, la pera, la ciliegia. But the words for the tree and the wood are masculine: il melo, il pero, il ciliegio.

Some examples:

Avevamo una libreria antica di pero.
We used to have an antique bookcase made of pear wood.

Che buone le mele!
Apples are so good!

I ciliegi sono in fiore a Washington.
The cherry trees are blooming in Washington.

Mi piacciono molto le ciliegie.
I love cherries.

Questo tavolo e' in ciliegio.
This table is cherry wood.