Did you know? Italian has two different words for jealous: geloso and invidioso.
But watch out, because they’re not interchangeable.
Find out the difference in episode 71 of 5 minute Italian.
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Today’s Italian Vocabulary
Sono geloso = I’m jealous (a man talking about “love” jealousy)
Sono gelosa = I’m jealous (a woman talking about “love” jealousy)
Sono invidioso = I’m jealous (a man talking about “I want what you have” jealousy)
Sono invidiosa = I’m jealous (a woman talking about “I want what you have” jealousy)
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Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.
Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie
Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!
K: This week’s episode is dedicated to Kathy Coventry, Vahagn, Lisa, Joe, and Susanna, who came along to our immersion in Florence, and were all part of an interesting conversation we had about the word “jealous” in Italian.
One evening, a few students climbed up to the top of the dome on the cathedral in Florence with our teacher Stefano, while others came for pre-dinner drinks with me. Sitting in a caffè having a beer with Joe, Lisa and Susanna, when we got a message on the whatsapp group from the students who had climbed up, with a picture of the beautiful views they could see of sunset over the rooftops in Florence. We were chatting in Italian, and Lisa wanted to joke and say “to make us jealous”.
Come si dice “jealous” in Italian? How do you say “jealous” in Italian? This started an interesting conversation about how there are actually two words. So what are they and how are they different?
M: In Italian, we have two different kinds of jealousy. The first is how you feel when you are in love. If you are worried your boyfriend or girlfriend, your husband or wife is attracted to someone else, we use “geloso”.
So for example, if I was paranoid, and worried that Katie was in love with another man, I’d say “sono geloso”.
K: Sono geloso. That means “I’m jealous” in the romantic sense. Matteo would say “sono geloso” because he’s a man. But I’m a woman. So let’s imagine now I’m all paranoid and worried that Matteo is in love with another woman. How would I say “I’m jealous” as a woman?
I would say “sono gelosa” with an “a” at the end.
M: Next, we have the other kind of jealousy, which is when you want what someone else has. This is “invidioso”. It’s similar to the English word “envious”.
K: So let’s imagine that Matteo is jealous because a friend has got a promotion that he wanted. How would he say “I’m jealous”?
M: Sono invidioso.
K: Now imagine that I’m jealous because my friend has just won the lottery. How would I say “I’m jealous” as a woman?
So the take home message of today’s episode is, if you’re talking about romantic jealousy, say “geloso” or “gelosa”. And if you’re talking about “I want want what you have” jealousy, use “invidioso” or “invidiosa”.
And the end, after chatting about the differences between geloso and invidioso, we decided to reply with a picture of us drinking beer and wine in a little caffè, to make them invidiosi too.
To make sure you remember the difference between “geloso” and “invidioso” head over to our website joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 71. You’ll see all of this written down and get bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards. And you can join our Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian/, where we have a lovely community who practises chatting in Italian together.
Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,
M: Alla prossima!
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