A quick reminder that Natalis is Realmgard’s Italy.
Now, according to my Ancestry results, I’m 5% Italian (not exactly surprising given that I’m 33% Slovenian and/or Croatian; also 15% Swedish/Danish, so basicially, descended from Vikings!), and neither side of my family identifies as Italian, so I’ve never actually lived the whole Italian Mother/Grandmother thing.
On the other hand, basically every other person I went to elementary and high school with was Italian, so I’ve heard plenty about Italian Mothers and Grandmothers.
Also, it’s hard to balance between “this character talks with an accent” and “this character is a hurtful stereotype.” Especially because real accents sound nothing like TV accents…
So I, uh, just decided to not try…
Also also, I apologise if those translations are incorrect, but I wasn’t going devote the effort to fact-checking one sentence of German for a 500-word writing exercise…
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Tormalina,” Apolline says politely to Lucia’s parents. “It’s good to see you again.
It’s been a while since Lucia has come home to her parents’ waterlemon farm. She’s back once again, standing with Apolline, Petra, Alda, and Roland at the front door of her parents’ modest farmhouse, in the middle of the middle of nowhere — located more or less in the exact centre of not at all noteworthy little hamlet of Galgano, with sprawling fields of waterlemons stretching as far as the eye can see.
And Old Man Vecchio’s goat has gotten out of its pen again.
She’s glad to be back, but part of Lucia has always dreaded the prospect of bringing a guy home to meet her parents. Never in her deepest, darkest, “suddenly realised I’m in my underwear”-est dreams would she have imagined that the guy she’d bring home would be Roland.
But if there’s any small silver lining here, it’s that Roland isn’t her boyfriend, just her adventuring partner — thank Capitolina!
Of course, Mamma and Papà will invariably misunderstand just why Lucia is bringing a musclebound nobleman home with her.
But, sweet Capitolina, never n her deepest, darkest, “suddenly realised I’m in my underwear”-est dreams would she have imagined that the experience would be this weird.
“¡Hola!” Roland happily tells Lucia’s parents. “Yo soy Rolando.”
Lucia slaps her hand over her face.
“You’re, uh, you’re speaking Pelayan, Roland,” Alda says.
Roland nods. “Right. Pretty good, huh?”
“We’re in Natalis,” Alda notes.
“Right,” Roland says with a nod. “So, that means I —”
His eyes widen at the realisation. He nervously licks his lips.
“Let’s see. Natalian. Natalian. Uh. Je m’appelle — no. Mein Name ist — no. Wǒ de míngzi shì — no.” He glances at his sister. “Alda! Help!”
Alda turns to Lucia’s parents. “Mi chiamo Alda,” she says. “Questo è Orlando, mio fratello.”
“Sì,” Roland says. “Wait — Orlando?”
“That’s what your name is in Natalian,” Alda explains.
Roland throws up his hands in disbelief. “How come I’m the only one who has to have a different name?”
Lucia’s father nods thoughtfully. “It’s a good name. Strong,” he declares. He nods at Roland’s tree trunk-like arms. “For a strong man.”
“You know,” Roland declares. “I am strong! And I’m a good alchemist!”
“Don’t mind him,” Lucia tells her parents. “He’s just an idiot.”
“Lucia Augusta Tormalina!” her mother gasps. “You be nice to your friends, now. I taught you better than that.”
“Sorry, Mamma,” Lucia mutters.
Lucia’s mother smiles down at Alda. “Your Natalian is very good, but we can speak in Gardian,” she says.
Roland gapes in horror “Why didn’t you tell me that sooner, Lucia? Oh, I’ve made an idiot of myself!” he groans.
“That’s not hard,” Lucia mutters.
“Lucia,” her mother says sternly.
Meanwhile, she takes Alda by the hand and begins leading her into the house.
“And you, such a tiny little thing!” she exclaims. “What are they feeding you? Come inside sit. Eat, eat. We’ll get you nice and big and strong, yes?”
So, yeah, Apolline and Petra didn’t really get to do anything today…
Orlando is, indeed, the (or at least a) Italian form of Roland (at least insofar as the historical/folkloric Roland is concerned), as seen in 16th-century and J.B. Norman-endorsed chivalric romance Orlando Furioso.
I apologise once again for only getting this one up so late in the day, but today was the trip home from Cottage Week, which ate up a good chunk of the day, then I had some other stuff to deal with.
Now that things are basically back to normal, I’m hoping late posts like this aren’t stay the standard for the rest of August.
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