Below is an email I had this week from Kudzai, which he (or she, not sure which – Wikipedia mentions a Zimbabwean cricketer but it’s probably not him) would like me to share with you:
I was thinking of writing this message in Italian, however I was hoping that maybe other people could benefit from seeing this message. To be brief, I too had an exchange meeting over Skype today (Spanish exchange). My first to be frank. It was indeed mind-numbing, difficult and very intense. Other than the regular practice, nothing could have warned me about how hard it would be to communicate with someone in your target language as a beginner.
I most definitely felt like a clown on display, showcasing how much I did not know the language (yes, it was that bad). Although I can read news, short stories and send/receive texts in the language, I can verify that it is very hard to beat the reward and need for regular face-to-face communication. Your posts/blogs had and continue to inspire me to continue on this journey. While it felt as though not much came from it (as I mostly choked throughout the meeting), the act of spontaneously trying to remember certain words has silently strengthen my Spanish.
Finally, for those who are not so sure about the language learning process. JUST DO IT!!! Just speak, just read and just listen. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
She/he says it all. So unusually, I’ve nothing to add.
Except to wish my new Swedish teacher, Lars, good luck with HIS first online Italian lesson, some time today.
He wrote to say he’s a little nervous, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Or if not, as Kudzai pointed out, at least it’ll be worth it in the end!
Poi, I mentioned earlier in the week that I had a suggestion from Oliver in Australia.
I haven’t checked this out personally, but I’ve met Oliver (when he came to do a course at our school) and he seems like the competent type, so it’s likely a good tip:
I wanted to share a little discovery I’ve made in recent days. It’s probably something you’re already familiar with, but just in case…
I enjoy music and have been trying to get into the habit of listening to Italian songs.
Yesterday, I was listening to a song on Rai 2 and wanted to know the name of the song, so I loaded the Shazam app on my iPhone and of course the name of the song and its composer came up immediately.
It was one by Luciano Ligabue, one of my favourites. What really blew me away was that Shazam offered me the ability to have the song lyrics (in full) come up on my iPhone screen. What was even more impressive was that they came up at virtually the same time as I was listening to the song. Line by line.
What a great way of improving my Italian, as sometimes it is difficult to hear the words in a song and Shazam will now make it easier for me to learn the lyrics of Italian songs that I enjoy.
So, if you have a smartphone and like listening to music, that sounds like it would be worth a try.
I’m old style, and still fixated on radio.
One of today’s jobs is to set up some new bluetooth speakers that my wife got as a free gift when ordering toner and toilet paper for the school.
The idea is that I’ll be able to better hear the Swedish or Turkish radio apps playing on my smartphone, over the clatter and splash of the dishes I’m washing, the hum of the microwave revolving, and the awful noises the cat makes when she’s hungry, or thirsty, or about to throw up.
As I do my chores, I’ll wack the volume up to eleven and so lose myself in whatever’s happening in Stockholm or Istanbul.
I nearly forgot to mention, yesterday I did a mailing to promote EasyItalianNews.com, which has recently had a facelift.
And over 200 people subscribed to get easy Italian news bulletins, three times a week.
Partly that’s because I’m a silver-tongued persuader!
Read the mailing text here: Have you heard the (Easy Italian) news?
But mostly it’ll be because it’s FREE, and because reading in and listening to the language that you’re studying is a must.
Over 2000 people have subscribed (free!) in the three or four months since we launched EasyItalianNews.com.
If you’re not one of them (yet – I’ll keep at you…), visit the ‘Why not subscribe?’ page.
The next (free) bulletin of Easy Italian News is due tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
Sure, you could read it (free!) on the website, without subscribing.
But will you?
Getting it in your email inbox will make it more likely that you’ll see it, and so do the reading/listening practice you need to boost your Italian.
Buon fine settimana, allora.