Research: For the names/nicknames: Googled a long list of names/surnames and their meanings, but have only been able to find basic information. Not much about how common/plausible they are. Also searched "Languages in Argentina," "Argentine dialects," "Argentine Italian," etc. Read all the Wikipedia pages. Also read the posts in Italian and Spanish in the archive here and done a cursory search at Multilingual, but I'm not familiar with Livejournal, so I apologize if I've managed to overlook something useful. I would appreciate some help with search terms if you guys are up to it.
I speak intermediate level Spanish, but no Italian at all.
So, uh, I have these two kids. Through various ~*plot events*~ they wind up being spirited away to the same supernatural alternate universe, and staying there for a period of years. They need to learn to communicate. The MMC is from Argentina, but has Italian heritage on one half of his family. The FMC is from Italy, but I don't know yet what part.
So here are the things I need to know:
1. How similar are "standard" Italian and the form of Italian spoken in Argentina? Would these two characters be able to understand one another? Would she be able to tell where he was from? I know that regional dialects in Italy vary a lot, but I see FMC as speaking very formally and precisely, without any hint of an accent.
2. In that line of questioning, how similar are "standard" Spanish and Argentine Spanish?
3. The last thing is a bit of a specific translation question. The FMC doesn't know the MMC's name for quite some time, so I need her to have some kind of Italian nickname for him. She's been around the block more than he has and doesn't care for him too much, so it'd have to be something sort of patronizing, maybe something that has insulting connotations which he wouldn't understand. I was thinking 'uccellino' maybe, like 'fledgling' or 'little bird,' would that work? (Both characters have some vague bird motifs going on.)
Thank you guys so much! I don't know where else I could go to ask things like this.