Life in Italian and English, connecting old and new

Jan 28, 2020 431

Growing up in Wooster Square meant that we didn’t have to experience ethnic or cultural prejudice, and that made life much more comfortable for us all. Just about everyone had the same ethnic background, and things that might have seemed strange to others were ordinary to us. For instance, most of us lived in a bilingual environment. Whether first or second generation, the Italian language was integrated into our lives.

In some homes, Italian was the predominant language for many years or until the point that the immigrant had mastered English well enough to speak it comfortably. Very often, it was a truncated blend of the two, the parents speaking in Italian and the children responding in English. This was true in our home, where my mother usually spoke her native dialect and we all spoke to her in English.

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