Hang On In There
This is intended to mean something to those who are, like me, frustrated, confused, annoyed, de motivated and many others. In the past, I have pulled the plug on my PC, thrown my Ipad on the floor and shouted at the walls in a language I am not proud to know, BUT ...We have just had a visit from an Italian friend who has forced me to speak in Italian for a week, god only knows where I dragged the words and grammar from that were / are buried deep inside my head. Yes total immersion, constant correction etc etc. Fantastico. The end of his visit saw me sat around a table with his family who live here in the UK, eating pasta, drinking wine and speaking Italian. All thanks to Duolingo, and yes I know I have been a critic in the past, and there are still some things I dislike very much ( lack of tuition and been stabbed in the back by a typo )
So, the next time you feel like quitting because you made a typo, or got the grammar in the wrong order, lost all your health bars ( or whatever ) and want to scream, Hang on in there, This is why we do it.
Stories of victories, both small and large, I think are important to share. We remind ourselves of why we do this while inspiring others, at least I sincerely hope so. So let me give you a story of one of my small victories...
When I was an Uber driver, I picked up this guy who just wanted to go home. Now this guy spoke broken English so he starts talking to me in Spanish. I was a bit surprised and he says "¿No hablas español?"
"Claro que sí, hablo español también. Sólo no te escuché bien, es todo..."
He wasn't very talkative as he was super tired and just wanted to go home, but I was ok with that. Now I noticed this guy didn't look Latino but he spoke perfect Spanish so I asked him, "¿De donde eres?"
"Soy de Roma, en Italia..."
"Ahhh... allora anche parli Italiano??"
THAT got his attention! While he didn't speak much the rest of the way, after all he was stanchissimo, he did speak only Italian to me after that and it was quite a joy the little I got. And his surprise to find a driver that spoke ANY Italian... yeah, so worth it!
yes you have hit the nail on the head, taking inspiration from others is highly motivating.
Bravissimo Muss, complimenti!
Dopo tanta fatica, finalmente il giusto premio.
Muss, there's nothing more I can add but "me toooo!" Guessing what Duo want you to answer, getting it right with the wrong word and vice versa, and yelling bad words...but when I go to Lucca and my wonderful Venice, I can't thank Duo enough for all the conversations I enjoy. So glad you are now Muss the Immersed and still dipendente a Duo. Tanti auguri, Linda
Muss the Immersed, Mi piace. I haven't studied for a few months now, other than speaking to myself in Italian, ( maybe I need tablets ) mainly because of some sad issues, but most definitely the past week has made up for it.
Well done Muss! I am still waiting for it to flow for me, but ‘my’ Italians are coming for a few days soon, and I know they are eager to help me. You will be my inspiration.
Ciao HelenD and Muss: mamma mia, you are both sooo lucky to have Italian relatives/visitors on your respective doorsteps. Make the most of them, per favore Hd.
Not so true for me Linda. My friend lives in the north of Italy ( I jokingly call him French ) and his family members are in London. We became friends via Conversation exchange, but I have mentioned this before, Pleeeeze Linda, make the brave step and start talking online, I now speak with 7 Italians who live in all four corners of Italy, and they all speak English to an understandable level, two of them are almost fully fluent and understand me if I speak a little slower. It can lead to much bigger things than just 30 mins chatting online about grammar as I have written above. I know you would enjoy it.
Muss. "Ont doorstep" meaning your Italian visitor. Tks for the advice, would love to do convo exchange but haven't a clue how to set it up and don't quite have the confidence. Will have to wait till my next trip to Venice or Lucca.
There is nothing to setup, its just a website where you create a profile and either wait for a reply or send a message to someone, Simples. After that, you can exchange Skype, messenger or whatever addys, then fill ya boots. I get along just fine, and I know absolutely nothing about my dobbisaresti avutimoci’s. 8-)
Sono sicura che tu sai lots of dobbiamuccis e non ce la fattiomolas! Allora, puoi ripetere l'indirizzo ancora per convo cambiare. I'll make a proper note this time, promesso. Innit!
Seriously I dont, I was half asleep during the last 30% of the tree, and did cut and paste with rhe correct answers, just to get the tree finished because it had already been over a year since i started, so while I. might be slightly aware of the last few tenses its possible to find a workaround somehow, and the truth is I think that is what natives do as well. Some of the people I speak with are Italian English teachers, they all tell me that passato prossimo is all you need for the past, and lots of the younger generation speak very bad Italian. ( unquote )
Ciao Ancora Muss. Tks for address which seems to offer only Italian speakers in my area. Did you use this address to find It speakers in Italy? Cheers. L
Oh dear Muss. I asked that question of my son’s lovely Italian girl.
Me ‘do you really use all these tenses when you hold a conversation?’
Her reply ‘of course, it would be incorrect not to use them’
I have to plod on!!!
Lucca! I do not know what made me spend the day in Lucca, but I did. It will live in my memory forever. Lucca! I do not try to explain to others why it is so magical. Maybe, in fact, it isn't. But it was to me and will always remain so. Lucca! Spero solo che il paradiso sia così bello!
Ciao Joaquin. Conosco il sento. I adore Lucca and go there regularly to pay my respects to Puccini and stay with a friend. A magical place davvero.
Ciao Linda. I may be taking your good advice to extremes. I have invited all ten of my U3A Italian group to lunch with them. Good thing that they were both teachers—-all those faces gazing at them in wonder will just seem normal.
Well Helen, If you were to replace Flow with Trickle I think you would be more accurate about the way I spoke, but its definately in there somewhere. I did notice that I found it tiring after a while due to my brain been pushed to the limit. Im sure you will enjoy and make good use of your time together.
Trickle would be good here, Muss. A couple of days ago I was on my way to the greenhouse when I tried to describe the view to myself. I could not remember the word for ‘hill’. I knew I knew it, and was determined not to turn back to the house and dictionary. Twenty minutes later I dragged it out from somewhere in my head, and I had my sentence. Will my guests have the patience to wait that long for each word? :-)
No, probably not. They will just interupt and say collina, you will say ah si collina, and the conversation will continue, then never again will you forget.
From the main / front page, click on “ find a penpal” Fill in the search form and make sure you select “ living in italy “ from the dropdown box.
First of all: congratulations to your successful experience. :)
I feel very similar, especially when writing with people in Spanish or Norwegian (I didn't have any professional lessons anymore for 5 years by now, but somewhere the words are still buried). But I must confess, I felt like biting pieces out of my keyboard out of frustration when doing tasks here and making the same mistake again and again, just to realize that when I communicate, I don't make it. Our brain is really a fascinating thing and always good for a surprise. :)
Thanks for this post, I can relate to it on so many levels. Despite all its shortcoming, duolingo has really enabled us all to learn the languages of our choice, in a very convenient and accessible way.
I'm just back from a week in Italy and I definitely think I improved my skills since the last times one year and half a year ago when I spent some time there. It's a really nice feeling to actually have some conversations, not just listening and answering with yes and no XD.....
Anyway, in situations with many people talking at once I'm still lost most of the time, but I'm convinced that also this will improve with time ;-).
So also from my side: Keep going folks! And use also other resources besides Duo, of course ;-)
Max.em. Great post, very encouraging. I'm quite happy to make conversation now (thanks to DL) but keeping up with a group is tough. I just pick out the occasional word or phrase and fly with it. You're right, even this will improve with time and repetition. Tanti auguri...
Great post Muss. Thanks for sharing about your week of immersion with your Italian guest. Very inspiring. I haven't tried the online conversations yet. I know I need to do that.
You seriously dont know how much you need to do it ! 50% of my learning is now via Skype, the most difficult thing about it is thinking about which topic to talk about. With some of my online friends I exchange homework, which is challenging at times. Its also good for understanding culture more deeply. Last year I was invited to Lavagna to visit the guy who has just been here, someone is wanting me to go to Palermo, and another person ( a teacher ) wants me to go to Bologna to assist her with teaching English to Italian alluni. So, as I think I have mentioned before somewhere, it really does open up a whole new world of learning, cheap holidays, new friendships and maybe other things I haven’t realised yet. Thanks for your recognition of my ever growing post, Im happy its doing as intended. Linda, I know you will be reading this, so im gonna ask if you have started yet.
That is quite the challenge Muss. I've known for a long time that to get better at speaking Italian I need to speak with native or fluent speakers instead of just annoying my family and coworkers with my broken Italian. There are no Italian speaking meetups that I know of in my area, so conversation exchange sounds very interesting. However, today Kathie and I are leaving on a road trip to visit my family in Oregon. So I get to procrastinate about it a little longer.
I'm very impressed with your audacity and how you have made friendships and created connections with other Italian speakers. Bravo! Thanks for the link to conversation exchange. I had not heard about it.
As I said before, very inspiring. Tanti auguri!
Thanks for the compliment albaduine, I suppose its true to say that now Im of the older generation and spent all my working life been in contact with the public, I have no fear to start a conversation with someone. Also Im stubborn and like a good challenge, but without been competitive.
I would end up living in the U.S if I only had the opportunity to.
Anyone wants me to be their personal italian teacher and trust a stranger to the point of letting him living with you or atleast help him to get a job in your country and help him find an apartment?
Seriously guys, I don't have anything to lose.
An italian slave to practice italian?
Why am I so pathetic?
Thanks a lot for this motivator! Learning from November last year intensively in order to (maybe) feel the same this August in Italy. Hope so! Best regards,
..... Then you are exactly one year behind me. If I were to draw a graph of my progression I would say that Im at the point where it starts to climb steeply because many things are becoming more instinctive and better understood. It has not been an easy task which I have made harder for myself by taking time out for a few months. Also during the summer months my attention is distracted to other things but im usually muttering to myself in Italian or speaking with a native online. Its been said many times that practice and hard work, along with a good memory are the only ways to learn, unless you are truely gifted with the learning gene. Enjoy your trip and speak as much Italian as you possibly can, even if its just one word because it can open doors for you.
Honestly I think the only word you need to know to speak with a native is "allora". My God do Italians say that a lot!
But on a serious note - thank you for this. It came to me at the perfect time.