Italy 2014 – Language

Once again I have started trying to learn Italian. I made an attempt last year, but dropped out when work got in the way mid semester. I am not sure why this year will be any better, as this year in addition to work I have also enrolled at University!

We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

Still it’s week five and I am still going.
I marvel how well others in the class pick things up whilst I bumble along, but I am determined to at least get the basics. I have been doing my homework, and listening to my dialogue CDs, all of which seem to be assisting.

I don’t expect over the course of the year to become fluent in the language, just get the basics,such as:

Introducing myself Mi chiamo…..

Asking directions Scusi, dov’e …..

Even ordering a drink! Una vino bianco per favore

In part my desire to learn the language arises from a very embarrassing experience some years ago in Florence, when a man felt quite offended as I ignored him, whilst he spoke fluently (in Italian) to me about his Sicilian cousin. Apparently I bore a close resemblance. He thought I was being rude until my wife said “He doesn’t speak Italian”. There was much laughter, however it wasn’t to be the last time on that and subsequent trips that it was expected that I could speak Italian.

We take our native language (English in my case) for granted, not really worrying about the language structure, but as I try to learn a new language I have realised how important it all is: nouns, verbs, pronouns, conjunctions etc. I have also come to appreciate how wonderful it is that English doesn’t really have the masculine or feminine form, a concept I remember from my days of school French.

It has also made me think that an intensive language course studied in Italy might be a good idea! Definitely worth some further investigation.

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