All posts by Melissa Menna

New Game in the LRC: Hit Manga!

Hit Manga is a multiplayer card game that can be played in both English and Japanese. Players are provided with 50 red cards (cards for taking), 50 gray cards (cards for reading), 4 yellow cards (negative points), and 4 blue cards (new rules that can be added). Before starting the game, all of the red cards are laid out on the table, a gray card for each player is set aside, and the rest of the gray cards are placed face down in the middle of the table as a stockpile. The directions specify that the “biggest Manga fan” takes his/her turn first. The first player up takes one gray card and imagines a situation for the scene on the card, describing where the person is, who the person is, what the person is doing, etc. He/she then acts out what the person on the card may be saying and doing, while the other players look at the red cards and try to determine which card the player is describing, taking a guess as soon as possible. When you think you have the correct card, show it to the first player. If the cards match, you both get one point, which you keep track of by keeping the cards. If your card doesn’t match, your chance is over and the other players take their guesses.

Be careful! Each player only has one guess per round! If no one finds the correct card, the player whose turn it is gets a yellow card, indicating that he/she has negative one point. The next player then picks up a gray card and tries to act it out and the game continues until the stockpile of gray cards runs out, or until all four yellow cards run out. The winner is the player with the most points. If there is a tie, the winner is determined by who has less yellow cards.

To change things up, players can use blue cards to add new rules to the game! These include communicating only through onomatopoeia, mimicry, and sound effects, communicating only with gestures, using your turn to build on the story of the previous player, and communicating using a rule you made up. The blue cards offer both an English and a Japanese explanation and the game comes with directions in both languages as well. Hit Manga can be an exciting way to strengthen your language by using it in situations you may not have before, or it can just be a fun game to play with friends!Hit Manga (1)

La Vita è/e Bella

We’ve all seen it before- an innocent, misguided soul walks into a tattoo parlor with their favorite word or quote translated into a language they are not familiar with. Before they know it, the Chinese symbol for “oven” or meaningless Arabic gibberish is permanently etched on their body.  For speakers of these languages, I imagine seeing these tattoos on their peers, on strangers and on celebrities causes some combination of frustration (because their language is being used incorrectly by people who will probably never know what they really have written on them) and entertainment (because it’s sort of like a little inside joke among those who know the language).

One of the first things I learned in my introductory Italian class was the difference between “e” and “è.” “E” in Italian translates to “and,” while “è” translates to “is.” Mixing these two up can completely change the meaning of what you are trying to say. One often quoted Italian phrase is “la vita è bella,” meaning “the life is beautiful.” This is a popular tattoo among both Italian speakers and non-Italian speakers. One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen is the phrase written as “la vita e bella,” which translates to “the life and beautiful.” Leaving out one simple mark changes the meaning of the whole phrase! Fortunately, this can be easily fixed. Unfortunately, it might take a while for someone to recognize the mistake.

If you’re looking to get a tattoo in a language you’re unfamiliar with, make sure to do a little bit of research on what you want written and on the language you want it written in, or find someone you trust to help you out. Don’t be another person on the long list of foreign language tattoo fails!


Spot it! Basic Italian

Here at the Language Resource Center, we carry Spot it! for basic Italian. Spot it! is an educational game that features universal images and words. Between any two cards, there is always only one matching pair. These pairs can be two images, two words, or an image and a word. Players can compete to find the matching pair before their opponent or race against the clock, seeing how quickly they can spot the matches themselves. Spot it! is an awesome tool for beginner Italian speakers. The repetition of the words among the cards solidifies word recognition and the pictures support reading comprehension. Saying the words aloud improves speech and trying to find matches quickly strengthens processing speed. Spot it! makes learning basic Italian vocabulary fun and breaks away from tedious memorization techniques. Playing Spot it! will improve your vocabulary and boost your understanding of the words you’re learning in a way lists and index cards can’t!

International Cinema Resource List: Italian Movies

As a Gettysburg College student, you have access to massive amounts of resources from Musselman Library. Did you know that these resources include THOUSANDS of foreign language movies? These movies (along with many others) can be found on the International Cinema Resource List. The International Cinema Resource List includes various Italian movies and information about them to help students find what they’re looking for. You can search by title (original or translated), genre, year released, language and country. The International Cinema Resource List also includes a link to movies’ IMDb profiles, whether it is available from Musselman Library, and the various other platforms on which each movie can be viewed (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.).This tool is helpful for Italian speakers of all levels! Using this resource can make learning Italian both fun and challenging and can introduce students to Italian culture. The International Cinema Resource List offers Italian classics such as La vita è bella, Nuova cinema paradiso, and Ladri di Biciclette as well as newer movies such as Miele,  La grande bellezza, and Benvenuti al sud. Watching Italian films has helped me improve my listening and pronunciation skills and has given me a better understanding of Italian culture including their food, their relationships, and especially their humor!



LRC Student Staff Member: Melissa Menna


The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multi-talented student staff members.

Ciao! I’m Melissa Menna, a sophomore Psychology major and Neuroscience and Italian Studies minor from Long Island, New York. I began studying Italian in middle school as a school requirement, and have loved the language ever since! Studying Italian has taught me so much about where my family comes from and the reasons behind our traditions. I’m planning on studying abroad in Florence, Italy in Fall 2016 and am BEYOND excited to finally get to see all of the incredible art, try all of the delicious food, and walk the beautiful streets of the country I have been studying for years! Someone is going to have to pry me away from all of the pasta, pizza and gelato at the end of the semester! In the future, I hope to study another language at Gettysburg- maybe Portuguese or Japanese- and enrich my education with more international experiences. Along with language study, I’m passionate about bagels, baking, and Birkenstocks.