Remember when you were at the circus and the tiny Italian car drives into the center ring and one after another men keep coming out of the car? Fooling you into wondering, how many more? And they keep coming!! This is much like my life struggling with the Italian Driving Exam.
I have been studying for the driver exam for many months. It has been developed over the years by a group of whom I believe to be a scheming and deceitful bunch of question makers. The exam has been created at a level of the Italian language which is a much higher level than my Italian language school. I am not a teenager, I have driven for years the freeways in Los Angeles, San Francisco and never had an accident or been stopped for bad driving. However, here in Italy I have had to spend a great amount of time with the Italian driver exam. For months many of the things I like to do have been put on hold, as every morning my nose is buried in the text book.
The process for gaining a license to drive is more complicated in Italy. Besides taking the test, I had my pockets emptied by the Italian government, with a second heist being committed by the driving school that I am forced to use. In America the driving exam is completed in one’s own car, but here I must use the school’s double driver car, and use the driver school to take the mandatory 6 hours of driving practice, after which they complete my papers, order the doctor exam then send and later receive the results of my computer driven driver exam. I am scheduled to take the test for the third time, in two weeks having flunked it by only one question on the first two.
I won’t go into the details of the 365 page text book that I have had to translate and learn, but I will discuss some of the questions so that you can see what a bunch of shysters these question makers are. Here are some examples of the over 7,000 (someone needed a job) questions developed to use in the test. You can pratice using these questons online. I have seen over 6,600 of them. The exam will use 40 questions, and you can only miss 4. Many Italians flunk the test, retaking it several times. It was once possible to take the test in English, but a few years ago they dropped this and now it is only in Italian. The language they use can be tricky if not down right sneaky, clearly formed to trick people who speak English. (Many immigrants come here knowing English.)
Here are some examples.
In America we pay a premium each month to have insurance…
The question is…Il fondo di garanzia per le vittime della strada è un premio per chi non ha provocato incidenti. translated…..The fund of guarantee for people involved in a crash is…(un premio), if you are not perfect in knowing Italian you would be tricked into thinking … "premium".., but this does not work as in Italian premio means prize. The conniving testers know that this is a tricky translation!
Le corsie è una pista riservata alle vetture da corse.. The lanes of a road are reserved for cars of…
If you don’t know that "vetture da corse" are "racing cars", you are fooled as your translation is headed for a meaning in another direction.
How about discussing a crash with the words "forza maggiore"… Sounds a hell of a lot like major force doesn’t it? They know that, these scheming bastardi! But the meaning of forza maggiore in Italian means something very different….even though google will translate it out as MAJOR FORCE. It means something that you could not avoid.
My Italian friends have a good laugh over many of these dubious questions. There was even one about having cold air hit your throat while driving.
How about this one:
How about this one:
Per evitare rumori fastidiosi, occorre chiudere con forza le portiere dell’autovettura, in modo da non doverle richiudere… by the way, the answer is FALSE translation by google is: To avoid disturbing noises, must be forcefully close the doors of the car, so you do not have to close. It is reassuring to know that the motor vehicle people are against pollution of noise.
Here is one that is not even in my driving text manual.
Durante la guida, si deve fare uso di occhiali da vista o di lenti a contatto solo quando la miopia supera 6 diottrie. FALSE is the answer. What importance is this? Anyone taking the exam is already been tested for vision by a doctor (provided by the school for 30 euros more), and how would I know how powerful 6 dottrie is? I think one would have to guess the answer!
It is not impossible to realise that the test has not been developed for them to know if the person knows the laws of driving. Instead it is comprised of questions to test the intelligence and ability of knowing italian, made more difficult through logic and double negatives..... Remember those guys getting out of that circus car?
At the end of October i will stand in line at the Dipartimento della Motorizzazione Civile and be sent to a computer, where I will push the start button. I will taking the test again with the temper of Rosie O’Donnell, and thinking of what I could do with my missing 600 euros. In the old west these outlaws would be caught and strung up like a bunch of horse thieves.