Arba Sicula is a non-profit international organization that promotes the language and culture of Sicily. It does so in the following ways:
By Publishing Arba Sicula
a unique Sicilian/English annual journal (a double volume) that focuses on the literature, art, history, cuisine and folklore of Sicily. This is our 40th year of publication. Click on the journal to see the table of contents and to read samples of its articles. In celebration of its fortieth anniversary, Arba Sicula has created a CD that contains all 42 issues of the journal on a CD. The CD has a table of contents arranged by recurring features (poetry, prose, Sicilian language, traditions, etc.) that allows you to access the pages with a click of the mouse. The CD, $30.00 each, plus $4.00 for S&H, is available through Arba Sicula, PO Box 149, Mineola, NY 11501.The newer issues from for 2020 and 2021 are not included. But the issue are available by writing to Gaetano Cipolla at the same address.
By Publishing Sicilia Parra
a 20-page biannual newsletter that highlights the activities of the organization. It is written primarily in English with one or two pages devoted to Sicilian. To see the current issue’s table of contents and to read samples of its articles, click on the cover page. We have created a DVD that contains all 62 issues from 1989 to 2019) of the newsletter. The DVD, $30.00 each, is available through Arba Sicula PO Box 149, Mineola, NY 11501. If you buy the Arba Sicula CD and the Sicilia Parra DVD together we will send you a complimentary 40th Anniversary Lapel pin for free (a $10 value). Send $64.00 for both CD & DVD. The issues publish after 2019 are also available by writing to Gaetano Cipolla at the same address.
By Promoting Books about Sicily and Sicilians
Books are our best bet to overcome the silly stereotypes of Sicilians produced by the mass media. We need to educate people about the true nature of the Sicilian people and of their contributions to western civilization.
For a list of current books, please see our PDF catalogue. It contains many interesting additions, including the new advanced textbook: Learn Sicilian II. You can place an order at our online bookstore. At checkout, you can pay with a credit or debit card, pay with PayPal or place a telephone order. The books will then be shipped to you via the US Postal Service.
You can also purchase books and pay membership dues through Paypal. Once logged in, use the “send money” feature and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please leave a description of your order in the form.
Legas is pleased to announce
the publication of Learn Sicilian II. Encouraged by the success Learn Sicilian / Mparamu lu sicilianu, professor Cipolla embarked on a new important project: to complete the task begun with the first book. Learn Sicilian II is a textbook for a second year university course of Sicilian. It presumes that students have already acquired a basic knowledge of the language. The new book Is written in Sicilian and focuses on filling the gaps, explain some peculiarities of the various parrati people hear while traveling around the island. This is the first book that addresses the difference in the spoken languages you hear in Catania, Palermo, Ragusa, Agrigento etc. The books contains samples of the spoken languages heard in the various provinces., not to teach student Palermitan or Catanese but so they are able to recognize the dialects and realize that the differences are easily understood once you know a few basic rules.
The two books offer an in depth study of the language and the culture of Sicily. The new volume, ISBN 978-1-93969342-6 costs $34.00 plus $4.00 for shipping. It comes with a CD that contains a Sicilian bilingual anthology, the audio for the selections, answers to the exercises and The Sounds of Sicilian. For fast service send check or money order to Legas, P.O. Box 149, Mineola, NY 11501. Click here to see the Table of Contents of Learn Sicilian II. There is also an electronic version of the book that contains the full text and the cd that accompanies the printed version, embedded in the PDF, much more convenient for those who like o use the computer. It’s cheaper too: $25.00 plus the shipping.
How well do you know Sicilian? Try your hand.
Here’s an extract from pages 63 to 65 of Learn Sicilian-Mparamu lu sicilianu about the stem-changing rule in Sicilian. To learn the rule and try your hand on the exercises, click here.
We have added another test of your Sicelitude from the new textbook Learn Sicilian II. You all know that that Sicilians often use proverbs to make a point. Knowing proverbs is in fact an important part of learning a language because they contain the wisdom of the people. In this book the last page is devoted to a testo of the students’ Sicelitude. That is how well they have absorbed the culture of the island. It consists of thirty proverbs from which I left out a word or two. No Sicilian born middle aged person would fail this test.
1. Essiri nuddu mmiscatu cu_________________
2. Unni mancianu dui, mancianu_________________
3. Cu mancia fa _________________
4. Cu si susìu, locu pirdìu, cu s’assittau, locu_________________
5. Cu pati d’amuri, non senti_________________
6. Cu lassa la vecchia pi la nova, sapi chi lassa, ma non sapi chi _________________
7. Lu spertu unni va e lu fissa ô so _________________
8. Jetta la petra e ammuccia _________________
9. Fatti fama e _________________
10. La pignata in cumuni non_________________
11. Cui pecura si fa, lu lupu_________________
12. Ci dissi lu surci a la nuci, dammi tempu ca _________________
13. Essiri spassu dî vicini e trivulu_________________
14. Cu nasci tunnu, non pò moriri_________________
15. Cani c’abbaia assai, _________________
16. A furca è fatta pi cui si voli_________________
17. Figghia di jatta, si nun muzzica,_________________
18. Donna senza amuri è comu rosa senza_______________
19. La casa capi quantu voli _________________
20. Vuliri la vutti china e la mugghieri_________________
21. La lingua non avi ossa ma rumpi_________________
22. Lu pisci feti di _________________
23. Testa ca non parra, si chiama _________________
24. Quannu la jatta non c’è, _________________
25. La petra ca non fa lippu, lu çiumi si _________________
26. Omu di vinu non vali un_________________
27. A la casa di lu mpisu, non parrari di _________________
28. La megghiu palora è chidda ca non si_________________
29. Di lu patrozzu si nni pigghia un _________________
30. Ogni lassata è_________________
I am providing the answers but not in the right order: Try to figure out what words complete the proverbs:
i surici ballanu;
si lu mancia;
mbriaca o vacanti;
By Organizing Lectures and Poetry Recitals
Arba Sicula organizes lectures, recitals and theatrical events at St. John’s University, as well as at other institutions. Members will be notified by mail or by email. Send your e-mail address to Professor Cipolla so you can be notified about upcoming events. To see a poetry reading by Professor Cipolla at NYU, click here. Unfortunately, we have been forced to suspend ur in person events at St. John’s University because of the COVID 19 pandemic. We hope to resume our activities in 2022.
By Organizing Annual Tours of Sicily for Our Members
Unlike commercially prepared tours, Arba Sicula’s tours are designed for people who have a special feeling for the island. They are unique experiences, journeys of discovery. The next tour will be our 25th consecutive tour. Unfortunately, we have a full complement of members for this edition. To see the itinerary of our 25th consecutive tour, click here. The last two tour of Sicily were canceled because of the Pandemic. We hope to resume our tour in June of 2022. Look at p. 20 of Sicilia Parra to view a typical tour. The new tow will be very similar.
Click here to hear some Sicilian dialogues and poems. To buy The Sounds of Sicilian click here.