Don't give up (seriously)...
Hey guys, so I've been learning Italian on and off now for about a year.
Sometimes I just lose all motivation. I would say I'm still just a beginner, regardless of me being a "level 11" in Italian. So lately I've just been a bit preoccupied with other things, that's no excuse though. I could make time for language learning if I wanted to. I've actually stopped studying Italian for about 3 weeks now. I know, I'm terrible.
Okay, so I work at this chain pizza shop (And no, it's not run by Italians. I wish. That would help me so much). I rarely get any Italian customers come into our store. Actually I've never served an Italian customer. They probably prefer their own authentic pizze!
Anyway, the other day I served my first Italian customer!! I was so bloody happy! She came in and spoke her poor English, and stated she was Italian. So the first thing I said was "parlo poco!". She laughed and we helped each other choose some nice pizzas for her. I was even translating a couple things on our menu! But there were a lot of words that I forgot, and that was a shame because it limited our conversation. And I accidentally used "porco" instead of "maiale". But she kept smiling so that reassured me that I wasn't offending her in any way.
Why oh why did I stop learning?!?! My conversation would have been so much better!
But I'm so proud that I actually spoke to an Italian in real life. It's so awesome!
Don't stop learning!
P.S. Italians are nice and friendly, they don't bite!
Thanks for reading! Ciao!
Edit: Thanks for the lingots! I bought myself a "Double or Nothing" power-up!
Edit2: That woman never came back again! :(
I find that variety helps. Duolingo alone isn't sufficient anyway, but I think the whole experience is more fun if you mix in different ways of learning.
I make heavy use of the free Anki program to make flash cards. I create a new card every time I miss a word on Duolingo or need to use the hint for one. Then I spend about 15 minutes a day reviewing my cards.
Have you checked out the language-learning materials that RAI provides for foreigners living in Italy? http://www.italiano.rai.it/ Try going to Livello Elementare A1 and just listen to the videos. (There are several to choose from; don't be put off if you don't like the first one you listen to. My favorites are the Benvenuti in Italia! series.) There are videos, quizzes, games, etc.
Try reading the news stories in the big Italian newspapers: La Repubblica http://www.repubblica.it/ and Corriere Della Sera http://www.corriere.it/ Find articles on subjects you're interested in. Use http://www.wordreference.com/ to look up any words you can't figure out from context.
I used meetup.com to find local Italian groups here in Seattle. I go to two or three events a month, and I find that the prospect of spending a couple of hours only speaking Italian adds a certain amount of motivation. :-) (Of course actually using the language helps a lot too.)
Finally, a decent grammar reference is essential. This one is good for serious students who aren't linguists. "Schaum's Outline of Italian Grammar, Third Edition" (Germano and Schmitt, 2009) Yes, it's the only thing on this list that isn't free. Yes, it's worth every penny.
Just to let you know, the fourth edition is out for "Schaum's Outline of Italian Grammar"! :)
That's a nice story. At least you were able to speak to her in Italian. You should be proud of yourself. Things like that are a real inspiration, so I hope it fires you up to come back to your Italian again.
And don't worry, I've been 'off and on' with my Italian for years. The secret is to never give up! :D
What a wonderful story! I love it when I'm able to connect with people in their language. That's a great feeling. May your studies continue to enrich your life and those of others you come in contact with!
It seems, you do not learning them, but just testing. Are you programmer and tester? (I am a programmer too)
congratulations for your achievements!! I'm impressed too! Can I ask you only a question? How hard was learn all these languages? :)
I'm still learning! Certain aspects of them I've learned more easily over the years, others have taken more time. It was easier when I was younger, of course. Languages always are. :)
Well.... DO SOMETHING AND GET BACK TO LEARNING ITALIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
That's great! If you can use it in real life it is somehow a motivator and great to encourage you. :)
you are so brave i would have chickened out just to speak one Italian word just in case i mucked up. anyway im a kind of person who wouldn't even talk much. keep up the great work in italian and the pizza shop.
It's perfectly normal that we give up learning from time to time. The solution to stop it happening so often is to diversify the way you study the language. :) Duolingo is one of the best ways to practice the language, in my opinion, but you can also read online newspapers in Italian, listen to some radio from Italy in tunein, and so on. ;) You'll be faced with new and challenging words, which will make you desire to learn everyday, more and more.
I do some proofreading for Project Gutenberg at the Distributed Proofreaders site. (www.pgdp.net) some of the books they are proofing there are in French and Italian and other languages and I can proof a page here and there without being obliged to translate it, but seeing how much I can work out as I go. (Proofing is just comparing image to computer OCR text so you don't actually have to understand it, but it can help sometimes)
I agree with this! I became fluent in Spanish (don't judge my level on here -_-) through taking classes in high school but it was listening to the music / reading books that really made it real and made it stick.
A couple months ago I stopped learning Italian for about 1 1/2 months. My skills dropped and I forgot a lot. I'm still trying to recover from that. And it was in October!
Hey! Grats for your first italian conversation! Don't be ashamed of your italian speaking skills and continue to learn. I know that italian could be a tricky language to learn but you will get better in no time! Magari la prossima volta riuscirai a dire qualche frase in più! Ciao!!
Eh, I get demotivated too, but only because I have a personal 'entertainment' limit where I must do something else before I get too bored. I'd eventually go back to it though. With Italian (and other languages where single words have many vowels)...I have this odd ''dyslexia'' that makes vowels difficult for me to read/speak in a sense. I add a vowel that doesn't exist, skip a vowel, or flip a vowels position with another, or say a vowel, such as 'e', as 'i'. So I'm just waiting for DUTCH, to HURRY UP! O_O since I speak that faster and easier and more accurately.
It's curious though, it seems easy to lose interest in a language in the sense of ''I already speak a language fluently so I can stop practicing a new one for now, until I feel like it''.
Really nice story!! Even though the conversation was limited, you should be proud! :) You actually got me motivated to learn even more. Grazie mille!
That was magniflorious! Let that instance encourage you to continue learning Italian because just a few words can help you get somewhere!
I have been on and off on Duolingo as well because I lost my motivation. However, with some perseverance, you are capable of completing any language tree. Thank you for sharing this story! :)
That is very encouraging! Perhaps the one thing that I do not like is my lack of practicing ability. I am only level 10 and I always do DuoLingo on the toilet to be honest. I have a 26 Day Streak going so I feel pretty good about it.
I really want to use it in real life some time!
Start listening to some Italian music! tiziano ferro has an amazing voice and songs in Spanish and Italian. :)
As someone who has studied Italian for 8 years (3 years in a university setting) I can tell you that the hard work definitely pays off! you have the drive, with experience and immersion you will get better and better. What helped me the most during my Italian minor was reading and watching the news. Check out http://www.repubblica.it/ if you haven't found it already.
In boca al lupo!!
:) It´s the type of things that keep you motivated. It had happened to me...not for 3 weeks....but months :S But we have to keep on working :D
I can relate to wanting to stop... In my experience Italians are very hospitable and I am half-Italian. But the pleasure in knowing a language and using it is great. In college there was an exchange student from China, he barely spoke any English and it was somewhat broken, I walked by my friend who was giving him the tour. I jokingly said I didn't know Chinese but I knew sign language, I signed this, and he signed back to me that he knew sign language. Sign language world wide is sort of like Italian to Spanish to French... but Chinese and American sign language is almost same as a result we spoke better sign than English. I was recruited and we finished the tour. What an experience!!!