It’s been a good couple of weeks since I posted here, and people are starting to nag…
I noticed that, you are not writing recently.. Is there some problem or did you decide to quit the page? I hope you did not. Coz, I really benefit out of this super user friendly web site.
Thanks, Aysegul, from Turkey I presume. That’s very motivating.
Actually, I’ve been busy. Coming back from holiday is always a shock, plus there’s a mountain of work right now preparing our Italian school for the coming season.
Lucy e-mailed too, to tell me about some broken links on the site (thanks). She’s in the UK, and would like to be a translator but only has a B1/intermediate level in Italian and needs a C2.
I suggested that if she really wanted to improve her level, a decent course would do the job.
People who study full-time will typically improve around a level in 4-6 weeks, so that if she could somehow find four months, perhaps take a sabbatical, she should be able to reach her goal.
B1, B2, C1, C2, and Bob’s your uncle, Lucy.
Do you really think I could get to C2 level that quickly? Fantastic….. I take I you think that the £500+ Open University B1 course is a bit overpriced?
Interesting point. Well, no, not really. If the Open University charges you just £500 a level, that seems pretty reasonable to me. Even cheap. Assuming the course works, of course.
You can’t buy a lot with five hundred quid these days, after all.
So that’s today’s topic decided, and it’s one I hope will generate lots of comments!
If it were just a question of forking over the cash, what would you be willing to pay to speak really good Italian?
Let’s take a step back, for a sec.
Suppose you don’t know hardly any Italian at all, but would really like to speak the language “fluently” (hate that word).
Obviously, there’s the matter of finding the time, but what would it be worth to you in terms of money?
We’re talking about being able to pick up a newspaper and understand virtually everything. Reading a book, watching TV, writing a blog post in Italian, getting a job.
In short, using the language fairly naturally, and effortlessly.
Wouldn’t that be great??
Back in the days before I ran my own language school, I spent TEN THOUSAND EUROS on a crappy post-graduate course that I hoped would land me a better job.
I studied my ass off, evenings, weekends and holidays, for over two years.
Did I get a better job? Nope.
Turns out my Italian wasn’t good enough so nobody took me seriously at interviews.
Funny, I hadn’t had the time or money to do a LANGUAGE course. I was planning to just pick it up.
Bad decision, 15 years later, I’m still picking.
So here’s some advice to my younger self, and to you, Lucy.
If you really want or need to learn a language, because you hope to get a job, or graduate from university, or marry someone who only speaks Italian, here’s three tips:
- Don’t mess about, like I did.
- Do a course. For as long as necessary. Like I didn’t.
- Choose a proper one. Not necessarily the cheapest.
Learn from the professionals. Diplomats, for example.
Before taking up a post, they pick a good language school and spend some months, and plenty of their government’s money, taking classes. It’s not that they are just good at languages, though they usually are. It’s that their employers know they need to invest lots of money and time so that they can develop their skills before being assigned to their posts.
Every year at our school in Bologna we see people from all walks of life, and of all ages, arrive knowing nothing of Italian, then leaving again months later with a good (sometimes excellent) level in the language.
We teach diplomats sometimes, professional sports people, priests, the odd politician, scientists, business people, marketing managers, retired people, students, and plenty of people marrying Italians. Plenty of people like you, too.
It’s absolutely possible to learn. Anyone can. It just takes time, and money.
In case you were wondering, a 6-month course at our Italian language school in Bologna currently comes to €3773 (less if you’re crafty enough to sign up to the mailing list and get a 15% discount voucher.)
With the discount that’d be just 2750 of your funny British pounds Lucy. For more than enough time to reach your goal, and have loads of fun in the process!
Less than £3000? To achieve a level in a foreign language that would allow you to get a job, impress your friends and chat up foreigners in bars?
It’s not that much, really.
P.S. I’ll be back to posting about prepositions and pronouns soon!
P.P.S. I LOVE getting e-mails, but I like it even more when we get some discussion going here on this site. So go on, leave a comment. Please.