So you’ve memorized long-lists of Italian words, conquered the main irregular verbs, and more or less got the hang of Italian’s weird sentence structure.
But speaking terrifies you.
You find yourself paralyzed with fright at the idea of having to join in a conversation.
Perhaps your fear goes so deep, you’ll actively avoid situations in which you may embarrass yourself.
Well, that’s not so unusual…
Certainly, you’re not the only one to feel that way.
But just what exactly are you afraid OF?
I’ll make mistakes
That’s one-hundred-percent guaranteed.
You will make mistakes. Lots of them.
And the more you speak, the more mistakes you’ll make.
But like in the film ‘Top Gun’, if you want to be the best (jet pilot, speaker of Italian), you’re gonna have to ‘push the envelope’.
Fly faster, harder, higher.
Who dares, wins.
But at least, if you mix up your ‘il’, ‘la’ and ‘lo’, no one’s gonna get killed, right?
I won’t be able to express myself
Or rather, “I won’t be able to express myself AS EASILY AS I DO IN MY OWN LANGUAGE”.
So wadya want?
I’ve been learning English for 47 years, Italian for less than 15.
Guess which comes easier when I have to have a conversation?
Sure you’ll be able to express yourself!
Wave your hands about like an Italian, make enthusiastic noises, smile!
They’ll get the message.
And if not, what will it matter?
Offer to buy everyone a drink. You’ll make plenty of friends that way.
People will laugh at me
62% of UK citizens can’t speak a foreign language other than at a ‘basic’ level.
Just four in ten Brits could hold a simple conversation in something other than English.
The most popular foreign languages in the UK are French (spoken half-heartedly by 23% of us), German (9% know enough to mix up the grammar), and Spanish (mispronounced by 8%).
So you’re having a conversation in Italian, worrying that you sound stupid?
They’re not laughing.
Or possibly jealous.
Just how many of your neighbors, family members, colleagues, speak Italian better than you do?
So, maybe you do have a terrible accent…
But at least you’ve got the balls to try.
And by the way, Italians tell me all the time that people in their country are rubbish at foreign languages.
It’s not true, but you see?
They feel just the same way you do.
Buon fine settimana!
P.S. Enrollments open Monday for our new online Italian conversation group. It won’t be free, but it will be affordable. And fun. And will do wonders for your self-confidence when you travel in Italy.
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