Monday evening I was teaching a small group of Italian eight-year-olds their first English irregular plurals.
man – men
woman – women
child – children
You get the idea.
It’s well known how kids learn the regular patterns first (of their own language too).
They then extrapolate from what they already know, which causes predictable errors:
man – mans
Just like children, adults find it easier to learn the regular patterns first, then the outliers (I hate the word ‘exceptions’) later.
Or not, as in my case.
I just had to ask my wife to check these two Italian ‘body words’, which I know always get wrong:
la mano, le mani (the hand, the hands)
il braccio, le braccia (the arm, the arms)
See why I’m still confused?
The eight-year-olds did better.
Anyway, look carefully at today’s free listening on ancient Greeks and you’ll find a whole bunch of other examples.
With the transcript, this material should be suitable for just about anyone, no matter what your level.
Though if you’ve not studied plurals before, you’ll get more from it if you read the explanations and try some exercises BEFORE turning to the listening:
Fun fun fun ’til daddy takes the T-bird away.
‘Book of the Week’ Reminder
Don’t forget this week’s ‘Book of the Week’, a half-price offer on an ebook we published a while back, which you might not therefore have seen.
This week it’s Un giorno con Raffaello.
Others in the ‘day in the life of a famous figure’ series (though NOT half price) include:
- Galileo, Pisa e la luna
- Michelangelo e il Mosè
- Vivaldi e la chiesa della Salute
- Colombo e il mare Oceano
That said, none of them are really ideal for beginners.
Raffaello, for example, is a B1/B2.
What does that mean?
The level system we use has six bands: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, with A being the lowest and C the highest.
My Swedish, for example, is A1, whereas after nearly twenty years in Bologna I’d rate my Italian as C1 for some things and C2 for others.
Find out more about evaluating your own level in Italian.
And if you’re just starting out with Italian, ignore Raffello and crew.
Bob’s your zio!