I before E…. except after C

This is a rhyme all of us learned in school when studying grammar.  Not too hard to learn and it pretty much holds true.  Receive. Perceive. Believe. Yes. It works.  Enter, the Italian language.  So many  grammar rules with so many exceptions. It goes on and on. Makes me dizzy trying to understand the rule, then learn when the rule doesn’t apply.  Every Tuesday evening I have a private tutoring lesson with my Italian teacher, Elisabetta. It’s an enjoyable session where I learn not only about the language but also about the culture and the country. We talk, laugh and learn. It’s a great combination. And,  Elizabetta lets me do fun things like work on translating lyrics from songs I hear on Italian radio. To listen to Italian radio I use an iPhone app called TuneIn Radio. It lets you listen to radio streams from all over the world. I listen to KISS KISS Italia, broadcasting live from Naples, as I go to and from work. I find that it is much easier to listen to Italian songs rather than Italian news broadcasts. After all, singing is slower than the fast talking radio announcers on the news stations. Along the way I have been introduced to the songs of Javonotti, Ligabue and Fiorella Mannoia and finding I can actually sing along.  As I’m singing,  I often wonder how a radio station that advertizes that it is “cento per cento Italiana” (100% Italian) can call itself Kiss Kiss?  Shouldn’t it be Baci Baci?  Ah, I reason, it must be one of those complicated Italian language rules.

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