Finished Italian from English. Finally using it in Italy
I found Italian from English very useful, and now I'm getting a chance to use it in Italy. I started learning in February this year, and before that I just knew a few useful phrases. Arrived Jet lagged at Bologna Airport yesterday. Totally exhausted after 24 hours of flying, but even so I was able to have some good Italian conversations with people, including the Taxi Driver. Nobody tried to speak English back, which is always a good sign. The conversations went beyond the normal travel phrases.
So a few weeks ago, I started learning Italian from French, and a few phrases and words suddenly clicked for me. I have been using French throughout my career. I wish I had done this earlier. The two languages are similar is so many ways. Actually when Learning Italian from English, I started to ask myself "How would I say this in French", and the equivalent Italian came to me much easier, so it has really helped doing this.
So I might even let my streak evaporate while I'm on holiday. Who knows, I might do a small amount every day.
Apart from the Italian from French course, I seem to be able to pick up words and expressions quite easily from the Duolingo grounding. If you are learning Italian, I'd recommend additional methods, especially once you get to Level 25 or so.
Lucrezia on YouTube is very entertaining, and I think I've watched everything she has done on You Tube. I started by using English subtitles, but now I use Italian subtitles and can understand everything she says perfectly.
I studied Italian on Duolingo for just over a year and then we went to Italy. I am sure I butchered the language BUT I found that I could understand anybody who spoke to me (knowing of course that I am a foreigner and so speaking clearly distinctly and choosing simple language) and I was able to deal with traffic tickets and broken cell phones and even getting directions and gas in a tiny village in the mountains of Sicily during a blizzard!!!! So DUOLINGO works! No I am NOT fluent and I could tell by their bemused faces that my Italian was not "Corretto!" but we were able to get by and even got invited to several locals' homes for dinners!!!
BTW The Italians kept telling me how well I spoke Italian but THEY LIED!!!! They were just SO HAPPY that a tourist was really trying to speak it! They were INCREDIBLY nice to us!!!!
I am learning Italian now for my trip in 6 months' time. My biggest concern is that the locals will talk too fast for me. How did you find the speed with which they spoke? Thanks
You’ll find that they will slow down, or even speak English. Italians are quite laid back, and I find that they are very friendly if you put in the effort.
Hi Kylie, I always smile, explain I'm learning, and ask if they could go slowly, and people are always kind.
"Italian lentamente" is what I say when people talk too fast (almost always, sorry...). The upside is that they do accommodate, forgive all mistakes and really engage with you no matter what level you're on.
(I moved to Italy four months ago. I found that the Duo course gave me a very good foundation to understand sentence structure and general understanding of what was going on. The vocabulary is a little limited, but that's not Duo's fault, you'll learn what you need when you get here :) )
Enjoy your trip!!
The Italians are fantastic at helping people speak their language. Once they know you want to try they will generally do all they can to assist you with it. Things worth noting are;
In an effort to be helpful they may switch to English. Acknowledge it but reply back in Italian. From then on they'll get what you are trying to do.
They WILL speak faster than you are comfortable with, it's just what Italians do. So be armed with two phrases:
1) "Puoi repetare, Per favore" ("repeterlo" is more correct I believe, but you want to make it clear you are learning) - for "can you please repeat that"
2) "Puoi parlare più lentamente, per favore" - for can you please speak more slowly.
Those two simple phrases make the world of difference when you are trying to get your ear in :-). And I've never yet met an Italian that hasn't be willing to accomodate the requests.
Once you get into the swing of things you'll feel utterly thrilled at being able to converse even in the most simple of ways.
Ciao Sionel, What a gracious and helpful response. Like you, I have found with the slightest effort, people will do all they can to help you with the language. My journeys have taught me the simplest attempts with the native language can be one of the best ways to demonstrate respect for the local culture. I'll be there in a month and practicing what I preach :-)
I got a ridiculously low airfare deal! $864 from Sydney Australia to Venice.
That’s pretty good. We got a good deal through Emirates flying from Brisbane. We return from Dublin, so it’s difficult to compare prices. The short flights within Europe are very cheap if you shop around, and Dublin is a good hub because of the low airport taxes.
I'm flying Asiana Airlines. We have a domestic flight from Venice to Naples but we don't have any other European flights. We only have 2 weeks because that's all the leave I could take from work :(
My pleasure - hope you enjoy Italy. I've not been there since May and whenever I hit six months of absence it drives me nuts :-)
Your chance to eat the real Spaghetti Bolognese! Interesting perspective about French and Italian. I have noticed the same with Spanish. Well done!
It doesn’t really exist in Italy. The closest would be a ragù like fettuccine ragù
I live in Italy (but don't speak much italian) and ragu here tastes a bit different to the american stuff.
My goal when in Italy is to see how far through the trip I can make it before I speak an English word. It has slowly become much later on every successive trip.
I second what Jim says about Lucrezia. Her accent is very pleasant and her pronunciation particularly clear and easy to understand. Fine range of videos, vlogs, grammar, information about Italy etc. with a choice of subtitles on most videos. Highly recommended.
Great story, Jim. Using language is an adventure in itself isn't it. Happy continued learning!
Thank you for sharing your experience! I'm learning Italian from English too and I'm loving it. The only thing I miss is a chance to improve my listening skills, so YouTube will help there. Do you have a username for Lucrezia? How do I find her on YouTube? And enjoy your holiday!
I started March 1 and am almost exactly halfway through. You move very quickly!