Trick or treat?
Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!
Have you ever been trick-or-treating? It's a fun tradition that I remember fondly from my childhood, but that has gained a bad reputation in recent years. It actually originated in Ireland if I'm not mistaken, but today's post isn't going to give you the history of Halloween, but actually to talk about a silly Halloween themed video. Today's post isn't even actually focused on English so much as it is on understanding language. Curious? Keep reading!
The importance of culture
My students hear me remind them every week to watch videos, movies and series in English, and while I may sound like a broken record, it's because I know how important it is to not only study a language, but to also get to know the culture that surrounds that language. For most people, going to hang out in the USA or in another English-speaking country for a few months isn't really feasible, so your next best bet is to expose yourself to real spoken English through music, videos, and if possible, speaking to natives. If you have children, consider pushing them to do a year abroad, as it will not only improve their language skills, but also open their eyes to a completely different culture. One of my high school students is doing an exchange year in Nebraska, USA (she sure won't find anyone there who speaks Italian!), and she said that sometimes she feels like she's in a movie. I can guarantee you that she will return to Italy with more than just nearly perfect English, she'll return with a whole new perspective on American culture, and perhaps a new appreciation for her own Italian culture.
The point of this post?
To be honest with you, today's post is really just to share a funny video with you about Halloween, which to me is quite amusing because it connects the "American tradition" of trick-or-treating with dry, piemontese humor. I've been living in Italy for six years now, and the huge number of regional differences in culture, language, food, landscapes, etc. etc. is really fascinating for me, and the more I speak to local people, the more I not only understand what they say, but also the whole context around what is being said. This is why I encourage all language learners to try and interact as much as possible, in any way they can, with people and content connected to the language they are learning. So, without further ado, here is a little video to make you giggle, maybe you can show it to one of your English-speaking friends and try to explain why it's so funny (good luck, haha!) If you want to see the whole video of Halloween in Italy, just click here!
fondly: with affection
broken record: idiom - constant, annoying repetition
get to know: phrasal verb - to become familiar with someone or something
hang out: phrasal verb - to spend time with someone
best bet: the best way to reach a goal
trick-or-treating: Halloween tradition where children dress up in costumes and ask for candy
dry: in this case, dry humor = umorismo secco
giggle: to laugh