Hope you had a pleasant weekend! One with lots of time to devote to learning Italian, of course.
Though personally I seem to get more done during the week, which is contra-logical. I suppose the explanation is that, at weekends, I’m always busy shopping, preparing meals and washing the plates and pots after those meals have been consumed.
At work, in contrast, there’s often time spent waiting around, hours which can usefully be filled listening to easy news broadcasts or reading articles in the languages I’m learning.
That said, even though I seem to have less time rather than more on Saturday and Sunday, I manage to do plenty of listening WHILE I’m doing other things. I’ve recently discovered (Turkish) CNN (radio), which has less music and more speaking than an average FM radio station.
Yesterday, while laying the table for lunch, I listened to an interview with a woman who runs a (very noisy) leblebi factory. I guess it must be leblebi harvest time in Turkey, as I’ve been hearing about them all week.
Anyway, I was pleased to be able to get the gist of what was said, and even pick up on the lady’s exasperation at the city-boy radio journalist’s dumb questions: and what do you do when you close the factory in the evening? – I go home to prepare dinner for my husband and children, what else?
IF you get into the habit of listening in the language you’re learning, in your case Italian, in mine Swedish and Turkish, and IF you’re patient enough to stick it out for the months or years it takes your brain to start putting the pieces together, then magic starts to happen!
Not all at once, of course. At first there are just little sparks of magic. But even a smidgen of cognitive wizardry is very, very welcome to us language learners!
You do have to make a point of listening regularly, though. Even when you don’t understand, which is, at first, rather trying.
Though if you think about it, it’s the fact that you spend ages in the ‘don’t understand a damn thing anyone says’ phase which makes it so rewarding when you DO start to pick up on what’s being said around you.
That’s the way it is for me, anyway. First you have to suffer, then, eventually, good things begin to happen.
Which brings me to EasyItalianNews.com – ‘easy’ articles with audio (so your listening is supported by the text), three times a week, for free.
We put this together specifically to help people create a HABIT of listening (I’ve just explained why you should do that) and also, as a transition stage between typical learner material and authentic Italian media.
If I was learning Italian now, I wouldn’t miss a bulletin.
AND I’d be listening to ‘real’ Italian radio as often as I could, ideally daily, ideally for hours.
If you have wifi and/or a generous data package on your smartphone, both things are free to do.
Put in the hours and wait for the magic to happen. Così.
Bene. I suppose I’d better go to work.
On the bus today, probably. That way I can put on my bluetooth headphones (don’t know what bluetooth is? Time to learn!) and listen to CNN Türk or Bloomberg HT (news from the markets) on the way, and something in Swedish on the way back. That’s an hour of listening right there.
A mercoledì, allora!