Thursday, May 22, 2008

Learning Italian


I’m sorry to report that there’s no quick fix for learning to speak another language. I wish there were because I’d be at the front of that line! In my experience, the only way to get there is by hard work -- and opening your mouth. I took a course at L'Universita per Stranieri, the University for Foreigners, in Perugia (pictured above) in 2000, but for a long time I was too terrified to open my mouth for fear of making a mistake. Then, I read somewhere that you don’t become a concert pianist the moment you sit down at the bench and it clicked. It takes practice and, oh yes my friends, mistakes to get there. Let's see, I’ve ordered a snack (spuntino) at the hairdresser’s instead of a trim (spuntatina) and fish (pesche) ice cream instead of peach (pesca) and in the early years when someone was trying to explain that their homemade wine was pure grapes, I told him I understood there were no preservativi inside, condoms. Those are only a few and I’m sure there are many more to come, but it's certainly amusing along the way.

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