Yesterday I was chatting to a club member who’s currently studying at our Italian school in Bologna.
(If you’ve been thinking of doing the same, hold back! The school’s annual Special Offer is due in a couple of weeks, meaning you’ll save 20% on courses of any length.)
But anyway, this fellow I was chatting to (in Italian) is newly-retired and, apparently, only started learning Italian in March.
He does a weekly evening class, always does the homework his teacher sets, buys easy readers from our shop, uses Coffee Break Italian (which I wasn’t familiar with), listens to Easy Italian News, and of course, reads these articles.
As a result, he’s learnt a lot.
I asked him how many hours a week he put in on his Italian. Something like twenty to twenty-five was the answer.
Which is basically like doing a full-time course at a school, or like having a job.
I mentioned that it had taken me at least ten years to get to the level he had reached in just a few months.
I’m not proud of that, but I was supporting a family (in a foreign land, too) and we had had three children that decade.
So that’s at least some excuse.
The newly-retired guy is definitely a hare.
He’s going at it ‘fast and furiously’, applying the same energy and talent that I assume he previously invested in his career.
It’s great to see!
I, on the other hand, am quite clearly a turtle.
Slowly and steadily is my motto, we’ll get there in the end.
Or maybe not, but I ain’t going any faster! There’s the mortgage to pay, and the dishes to wash.
Even when I’m studying intensively, as with Swedish, I’m still only in second gear, just plodding along.
A-level-a-year is as close as I come to breakneck speed.
I suspect most club members are the same. I know some of you have been with us since the early days, which must be five or six years ago now.
Once you were near-beginners, now you’re reading B2 or C1 material. What a long way you’ve come!
But not everyone reading this even studies Italian, you know?
There’s you and me, the turtles, plus the odd hare, and then there’s a whole bunch of people standing by the side of the road watching the race go by, cheering wildly!
I get the emails which start with “I’m not actually studying Italian, but I always read your articles!”
Beh, every sporting event needs spectators, though strictly-speaking, this is NOT a race.
Unlike in the story, the hare and the turtle are not competing: each has chosen his or her own pace, and there’s no prize.
Let’s say we’re doing it for the joy of it, which should be its own reward.
Talking of doing things for no reward, I must plug this week’s new Italian easy-reader ebook, Valeria, Michele e le maschere.
Valeria has been single for months now. She meets men but after going out a few times they seem reluctant to commit, or even return her messages! She wonders whether the dating app, Tinder, might be worth a try?
Michele spends his Saturday evenings alone, playing computer games. If only he wasn’t so shy, he’d meet more people. And then, maybe find a girlfriend? Perhaps the solution is online…
Valeria, Michele e le maschere is a B2-level story, which means it should be appropriate for anyone with an intermediate level or better.
But check out the free sample chapter (.pdf) to see for yourself.
As always when we launch a new title, it’s 25% off the usual easy reader ebook price – so just £5.99 – the first week only.
For your £5.99, you get eight short chapters, plus a brief glossary and a comprehension exercise for each.
The fact that you can read a chapter a week, a chapter a day, or read and listen to the whole story in one sitting, makes this material suitable for both turtles and hares!
Remember, the £5.99 price ends on Sunday night sometime, after which Valeria, Michele e le maschere will sell for £7.99, like our other easy reader titles.
From what I can see from the website stats, only about 10-20% of club members are listening regularly to Easy Italian News.
Which means 80-90% of you are still rummaging in your closets for your running shoes.
Now THERE’S an easy way to switch from being a spectator to being an actual competitor, albeit a turtle rather than a hare.
Listen to Easy Italian News three times a week, for free, and in as little as a month or two, you WILL notice the difference.
Or your money back.
No, but seriously, read the comments.
It actually works!
Tuesday’s edition is here.
Buon ascolto, buona lettura.