There are two reasons why most people fail to learn the foreign language that they dream of speaking, in this case Italian.
I’m telling you this because
a.) I have, in my life, failed utterly to learn many foreign languages (Japanese, Polish, French, Russian…)
b.) But, amazingly, succeeded in learning two other foreign languages (Turkish, Italian)
c.) And earn my living as a language teacher and language-school owner
My job is to help people avoid a.) and achieve b.)
Want to know the secret?
The first reason why almost everyone will eventually fail to learn Italian, at all, like not a single word, is very, very obvious.
They’ll never even try.
Hah! You’re thinking. That’s not me. I try. That’s why I’m reading this, right?
I “tried” to learn Russian, Japanese, Polish, etc. at various times in my life. I had my reasons – I was majoring in Russian politics, had a girlfriend with a Japanese baby, actually lived in Poland for a year (coldest winter I have EVER experienced).
Not all at the same time. Different years.
I bought the books, actually studied a few chapters, did one or two lessons maybe. Polish was the hardest, since you ask. Quite liked Japanese.
But got nowhere. Fast.
Why? Well, honestly?
None of those languages were really top priorities in my life at the time.
The Polish job was never going to last more than a year, the mother of the Japanese baby had other options, and Gorbachev put paid to my potential career as a Kremlinologist.
I tried to learn those languages, but I didn’t really TRY.
Not like I had to try to give up smoking, or make my marriage work, or understand Italian politics.
Most people who want to (start to?) learn Italian are like me with Polish, Russian, etc. They don’t get very far with it. Life gets in the way.
That’s not a bad thing, of course. But it’s the reality, so good to know before you commit too much time or money.
And the second reason why you may never speak and understand Italian?
Not “may never”, more like “probably will never”.
Easy. Even if you try, you’ll give up too soon.
Dieting, getting in shape, giving up smoking or drinking, are all EASY to do if you try.
The problem is sticking with the healthy-eating, body-is-my-temple stuff over the medium/long term.
As time passes, the novelty wears off, the benefits become less obvious, and other priorities crop up.
This is not just true for learning Italian: over time your motivation to continue doing ANYTHING will fade, unless you continually find ways to support it.
For most people, it’s not the cost – a course here, some books there, an online lesson each week. You could spend more going out for a drink with some friends, or on a haircut.
It’s the motivation to keep it up, month in, month out, which is the critical factor.
Stick with your studies long enough and you WILL learn Italian. I can promise that. 100% money-back guarantee. Just try it for 15 years, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll refund your money.
(That’s a joke.)
But that’s how I learnt to speak Turkish. I worked there for three years and was married to a Turkish woman (who didn’t initially speak English) for several years more.
And I’ve lived in Italy for nearly 15 years. My kids were all born here.
Lean Italian? Easy, marry one and go and live there!
That’s not what I’m saying.
You probably HAVE a partner, and your life and your work and your friends are in Australia, or the USA, or wherever, so moving to Italy to follow a dream is not an option.
But you still want to learn Italian. So what’s to do?
That’ll be this week’s theme. As mentioned yesterday, we’re opening up our Skype Italian lessons to new students again:
- a team of online teachers are waiting to help you overcome the problems mentioned here
- we’re able to accept up to 40 new students from around the world
- your teacher is available late at night and early in the morning so YOU GUYS IN AUSTRALIA have no excuse anymore
Teaching team, sorted. Time zones, sorted.
Now you just need to make a decision as to whether you REALLY want to learn to speak and understand Italian, knowing that it could take years, but that we’ll be right here to back you up.
You need to try. And to keep trying. Do both of those things and you will succeed.
More on how we plan to help you with that tomorrow and for the rest of this week. If you’re not interested, stop opening your e-mails until next Monday.
But if you are keen to get started, check out the prices of online Italian lessons in our shop, just to get an idea.
Details of the special offer tomorrow.
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