I am learning Italian. Still. Hopefully always. It takes a lot to get a new language into a old lady mind. A mind that is full of multiple to-do lists and constantly multitasking. My brain is already full ya’ll.
But I love this language. It’s so beautiful and magical. When I return to Italy I want to do better with my Italian. I’m sorry to say that there where a few times that I was reduced to pointing at a slice of pizza at simply saying “questa” (this). I did all right when someone spoke a bit of English to go with my bit of Italian.
I need more words. More verbs. More Italy.
It’s always good to travel to Italy with an Italian instructor who is Italian. The group portion of my trip was lead by my friend and Italian professoressa Giuliana. Our first day in Roma, three of us went into a bar (don’t worry, that is what they call a coffee shop). As we ordered coffees Giuliana told the cute, young barista that Laura and I were her students. Then she instructed us to talk to him and walked away. Ha! He was sweet and patient, even coaching us along at times. When Giuliana returned he told her what he knew about Laura and I. It was an on the street pop quiz and we did OK.
The Italian people are so kind and they love it when you are trying to learn their bella lingua. One hundred percent of the Italians I met where more than happy to help me say things correctly and coach me along.
I would tell them “Parlo un po ‘italiano, ma non molto bene” (I speak a little Italian, but not very well) and then it seemed very thing I said correctly was met with a “Brava!” Or a gentle correction. It really was a blast.
I want more!
When I was in Florence, the owner of the hotel I stayed at (the amazing Davanazti Hotel) would giggle at me a bit but then tell me I was doing well with my Italian. He said that most people didn’t bother to learn words like “Abbastanza” (enough) and “Pomeriggio” (afternoon).
He also told me I should find an Italian husband, which now that I’m back in the United States I think maybe I should.
I recently shared some of the ways I’m trying to get more Italian language into my life and my brain on the Italian Club of Salt Lake’s blog. You can read the whole post here. But here are the bullet points in case you want to get some bella lingua in your life.
Listening in the car – I commute each day to work about 35 minutes and listening to an Italian lesson or podcast in the car makes the drive more fun and the traffic less stressful.
- Pimsleur – I’ve checked the CD’s out at the library and purchased some sections through Audible.com to have on my phone.
- 30 Minute Italian Podcast – I just recently found this podcast and I’m trying to catch up. I love Cher’s fun style.
- Let’s Speak Italian Podcast – this is the first podcast I ever listened too, it’s great and short and gives you some great vocab practice.
Apps and Online – I’m always attached to a computer or my iPhone so I love things I can do for a few minutes several times a day.
- Memrise – is available both online and has an app for iPhone and Android. And it’s FREE! This is my favorite right now.
- Google Translate – I’ve been told not to rely on this because it’s not always accurate, but I use it often to check short phrases or look up a word. Both online and as an App.
- WordReference – I just found this one and I haven’t used it much yet. You can search for a word in English or Italian and most words listen to the pronunciation.
Movies – If you have Netflix there are a lot of movies you can watch with and without subtitles. Here’s a few to start your list
- Cinema Paradiso
- Life is Beautiful
- Marriage Italian Style
YouTube – Oh YouTube you are such a fun way to waste time. But if you watch things in Italian you can call it learning.
- Cartoons – watch something fun and that you are already familiar with like, Winnie the Pooh. Search for something your children watch(ed) or something from your childhood in Italian.
- Music – There is a lot of Italian music available for every musical taste. Try this one (wow, can you believe the voices on those young men?!?!) or this one (just a fun summer song).
- Lessons – There are also many Italian lessons available on YouTube, just do a quick search and you’re sure to find something that will help with your listening and pronunciation skills.
If a new Fiat really came with an Italian family I would rush right out and buy one. Wouldn’t that be cool to have them in the backseat!!