https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

New accomplishments in Italian

I've been studying Italian on Duolingo for the past nearly 5 months. I hadn't actively learned the language before, but I've sung it enough to have a grasp of the pronunciation rules. Singing doesn't give you the sentence 'melody' of the spoken language, however, but more just the phonemes. (Not sure if I'm making as much sense as I would like to here - I never studied linguistics from English.) I also had French in school 20 years ago, and I've sung Latin as well. So my starting point for Italian wasn't all that bad. It certainly wasn't a completely foreign idea to me, and I soon noticed that knowing some French (even if really rusty) made it easier to pick up vocabulary.

When I started on Duolingo I spent most of my time on French because my main reason for downloading it was to brush up on everything I'd forgotten since school. But as the weeks passed, I got more and more frustrated with French and fell more and more in love with Italian. It's easier than French in a number of ways - maybe especially pronunciation and spoken language comprehension, but also grammatically (I haven't started the unit on Clitics yet, but I'm feeling optimistic that I'll survive it). The word order makes more sense to me, and questions are so much more straightforward. The gender of nouns is usually very easy as well, which I appreciate.

I find myself suddenly having light bulb moments over words I've been singing for years without understanding, and I keep having songs pop up in my head when I see a word from the lyrics. It's really cool! The reverse is also true - it's easier to learn new lyrics in Italian since I understand so much more of it now. Sometimes when I hear/read a sentence on Duolingo I react to the content/meaning before I actually really translate it, which was both surprising and thrilling the first time it happened. Also, as I go through level 5 on each skill I find I'm able to put together entirely new sentences with the words I've learned in the lower levels. It's logical that it's possible - it should be - but it's still exciting to actually be able to make a sentence like "sotto la griglia io ho una bottiglia d'olio" and get it right on the first try.

I've been trying to branch out from Duolingo lately. I've found a few YouTube channels aimed at learners of Italian with grammar lessons, vocabulary, verb conjugations as well as just listening comprehension exercises. I also found some animated children's stories, and the other night I managed to translate one of them for my kid - not into English, but straight into Norwegian. I didn't know every single word, but could mostly get the idea either from similarity to words I do know or from context.

I want to thank the native speakers who contribute in the sentence discussions and help by posting grammar articles (looking at CivisRomanus in particular with that last one). Thank you all for taking the time to help me and other people learn! I wanted to learn Italian because I thought it sounded so beautiful, and I think so now more than ever. (I also like opera, so there's that too.) My pronunciation is far from great, but it is improving every day. I use the voice to text on my phone a lot, partly to save typing and partly to practice speaking, and it understands me better and better which is really satisfying.

In my total of 142 days on Duolingo I've gotten a bit more than 1/3 of the way through the tree. I can't wait to learn more and understand more. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks and share my excitement with someone!

September 25, 2018

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sunny.Kay

Molto bene! It's wonderful to hear your passion.

There is something about Italian, isn't there? Like you, I came here to revisit the French I studied in university (a hundred or so years ago!), and while it's going well and I'm glad to be building on my previous work there, I am in LOVE with Italian! It's a joyous surprise at this stage of my life to rediscover a childlike thirst for learning.

And while I have only been here a couple of months it seems that there are often posts from people who feel great affection for the Italian language. I always smile and nod along as I read those, because I understand the sentiment completely.

Best wishes to you as you continue your study here, and thanks for sharing your excitement!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna-Louise

what a wonderful awesome comment that you wrote.. I agree 100%, there definitely IS something about Italian language..that sets it apart even from all other Romance languages..it seems to be universally attractive for all language learners of all nationalities.. it is smoother then Spanish, but just as expressive,and more harmonious and musically toned , and a bit simpler to learn then French and Portuguese, and very passionate, rich in words and expressions.. I like your description of how you came to rediscover learning enjoyment.. Cheers, Buon proseguimento!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Goudapest

Yes. There is. I was just doing Duolingo to build up my French, but as I progressed, I became very frustrated and decided to learn Italian. It's been a huge success, mostly because of the question form. Really, what the @#%& is est-ce qu'elle?

May 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Absolutely yes on rediscovering the thirst for learning. It's been pretty much dead for a lot of years. I did kind of push it to the max to finish my degree, but it never bounced back in the decade since I finished. I didn't even realize it, but yes this is a huge part of why I'm so excited. I was good at languages in school, but other than my English gradually improving as I've used it I haven't done any active language learning in about 15 years. It's SO satisfying that I can still do it!

Thank you for helping me discover that!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

Congratulations for your results, but most of all for your commitment and your enthusiasm! ;-)

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Thank you! I have several of your articles bookmarked, most of them so that I can find them when I'm ready for the contents and the rest so I can revisit what I've already read. You explain very concisely and easily, include lots of examples and also variations on the theme/grammar skill in question. Thank you for taking the time!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

Thank you for your appreciation and for letting me know you find my notes useful! :-)

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Useful?! Io direi "nutritional" ;-)

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/compsognathus

That's amazing!! I got into Italian because I became a fan of some Italian artists, and have had a sort of similar experience, although I didn't start too long ago. Reading this motivates me, thanks for sharing!!

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Thank you for reading and sharing your own motivation. It really helps when there is something you want to use the language for, doesn't it? Good luck learning! :)

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Meduzian

What a journey into Italian! Have you tried to watch TV programm about cuisine (io capisco - che bello!). Also I've got a wonderful book for Italian from author with C2 level, it helps me a lot! Probably you have one in your native language, or at least you can find

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

That's a good idea - I hadn't thought to look for an Italian grammar/exercise book from my native language, but they have to be out there somewhere. I haven't really tried to watch TV shows or films yet, partly because I think I'll have a hard time following it, and partly because it's just exhausting to try because there's so much internal processing going on. But maybe cooking shows are easier. Thank you for the suggestions!

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zarathustra94

Adesso, portresti seguire gli Youtuber italiani come Favij e Str3pny. È sempre molto divertente!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Grazie per i tuoi suggerimenti! (Is that right?) I'm not quiiiite there yet, though, but I love the idea.

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryp7777777

it is right. Bel post, buona fortuna per lo studio

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Grazie mille! :)

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna-Louise

Thank you so much for such a sincere and inspiring essay of your experiences with discovering the Italian language

Me too I started off liking and singing the songs of Italian popular singers back in my childhood ..but I only got to studying Italian now , many years later as an adult.. My main motivation is different form yours, for me Italian is part of my ancestry .. But nonetheless..I totally agree with @Sunny.Key. It is impossible not to fall in love with Italian language simply because it is so beautiful, expressive, musical and logical at the same time..very versatile and it touches the "core" linguist in all of us..:-)) Buona fortuna a te, good luck further on your journey ..

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Yes, yes, all of those things, especially the musical and logical aspects. I mean, I think French is beautiful too, but I find it more difficult of a language and the tree more frustrating. I've been wanting to learn Italian for maybe a decade, and it's turned out to be everything I hoped for and more.

Good luck on your further studies as well!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna-Louise

thank you so much, grazie mille....:-)

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sunny.Kay

Grazie mille, @Giovanna-Louise! Good luck to you as well.

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

KarenLyn11, I really enjoyed your post, particularly mention of singing, music and opera! Why not come and join the club I co-admin? 50xps min per week with emphasis on communicating freely rather than being perfect. We have a space so I will check here tomorrow to see if you are interested, and give you the club code. (You would need the mobile app for this) . Tanti auguri... Linda

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Thank you for the offer. It sounds like fun, and I'm definitely interested. I already have the app.

Oh, and speaking of music: the latest random piece of lyrics to pop into my head earlier today was this line from "Nessun dorma" - "...nella tua fredda stanza", and my brain went ohhhhh wait, I got this one! It made me grin like a maniac.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Hi Karen Lynn. If you are still interested in joining our Italian club the code is. we have just one space. I will need to delete the code after a few hours. Hope to hear from you.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

I'm in. Thank you!

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theodhoraqis

Thank you for sharing your journey. It's thanks to stories like yours that Duo stands out as not only a learning resource but also a learning community. All the best on your continued progress!

Italy's Eurovision entry was amazing this year, btw

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Thank you, and the same to you! I'm ashamed to admit I haven't watch the Eurovision yet, but I'm at least going to watch Italy's song after I finish this. Thanks for the tip - I love finding new music!

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KurtThornb

Congratulations! I am very proud of my own 155 streak. I feel heartened I can go on when hearing from successful others like you. I studied Latin, French, Italian, and Gaelic in my life. Italian, Portugese, Spanish, and Romanian were all once dialects of Latin which developed over time. I found French was helping me learn Gaelic. The people of France spoke Gaulish, a cousin of Gaelic, when they were conquered by Julius Caesar. So I think Italian and Spanish are more like the original Latin. I think French and perhaps Portugese have the Gaulish/ Gaelic influence.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

That's a lot of languages, though I suppose it helps that most of them are related. I love the idea of Gaelic (and have memorized the lyrics from a few songs because they were beautiful), but holy wow that's a different animal from any other language I know.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tant57al

Thank you very much! It has been a great pleasure to read your post, especially about your singing.

My wife and I also love to sing some immortal Italian oldies from the '50s and '60s (that was one of the reasons why I started to learn this beautiful language) :

  • Ciao Venezia (Umberto da Preda)

  • Non ho l'età (Gigliola Cinquetti)

  • Arrivederci Roma (Renato Ranucci)

  • La più bella del mondo (Marino Marini)

  • Quando quando quando (Tony Renis)

  • Tintarella di luna (Mina)

  • Strapazzami di coccole (Topo Gigio & Raffaella Carrà)

and of course or all time favourite

  • Nel blu dipinto di blu (Domenico Modugno) !!!

Best wishes and good luck!

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Tant57. Do please listen to Fabrizio Dé Andre "Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen). Una canzone meravigliosa.

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tant57al

Grazie mille! I just listened to it...

È davvero meravigliosa!

I have found the lyrics - a lot of new words to study!

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Ciao Tant57. Perhaps when we have a space (this week), why not join our friendly Italian club? 50 XPs a week min, with the accent on "chatting" without fear of getting it wrong. I will check here to see if you are interested. Auguri.. L

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Oooh, I actually know two of those already - Arrivederci Roma and Nel blu, although I haven't listened to either of them in a while. Now I'll have more to check out, so thank you for the list!

The other day I looked up the Italian version of "Let it go" from the animated movie Frozen. I already know it in English, so I figured it should be pretty easy. It was surprisingly different, though, in a couple of ways. The lyrics didn't match the English ones, which I kind of expected anyway, but there also was no refrain which was more confusing. Also, in typical Italian style, there were faaaar too many syllables for it all to add up in some places (like the very last phrase). It cracks me up how often you have to do two syllables on one note.

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chiara_Nicoli

complimenti!!!!

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLynn11

Grazie!

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Karen. Prego!

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NataliaTyn3

Ciao!

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ninja263

good job

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karloren

Hi can you check out my new discussion

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AvalearnItaly

Io mangia mela

September 26, 2018
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