Angela wrote in with a tip for club members.
Recently, while watching an opera sung in Italian with English subtitles, I discovered that I knew some of the Italian words intuitively. This confirmed precisely what you always recommend: listen to Italian, your mind will become accustomed to it, and you will slowly grow in understanding.
Then I wondered: does Daniel from Online Italian Club know about these free broadcasts? After all, he lives in Italy, and they’re broadcast in the U.S. In case not: the Metropolitan Opera has been broadcasting one opera for free each night since the pandemic began. Most are in Italian, of course, and you can choose to display English subtitles. Below are links to the descriptions of each week’s offerings, and a link to the main page where broadcasts occur:
I have been watching on average once or twice per week throughout the pandemic. The intuitive understanding has grown slowly, but then, Rome was not built in a day.
My closest friend, born in Italy, tells me that opera Italian is not precisely the same as regular spoken Italian. He wants me to not be discouraged if that makes it hard to understand. It helps me to know.
I checked out Angela’s links (of course – that’s rule No. 1 of writing for the web) and found that it wasn’t immediately obvious, at least to me, as to how to get to the free operas. So this is what you have to do. Click the second link – https://www.metopera.org/ – and scroll down the Metopera homepage until you see something that looks like this:
And of course, it’s the red ‘WATCH NOW’ button that will take you to the good stuff. Don’t bother clicking the picture above, as it isn’t a link, just a picture. Follow this link https://www.metopera.org/ to find the red ‘WATCH NOW’ button. I’m trying to make this as simple as possible…
As Angela helpfully mentions, the other link, https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/, has a program of what’s on, tonight and over the next few weeks. Click it, then scroll down the page until you get to the schedule. Only some of the operas are in Italian, of course. But perhaps you’ll decide to learn Spanish, or French, or German too, why not?
So many thanks for that, Angela. And for making my Wednesday morning writing easier.
E poi, there was a comment from Jean, who wrote:
I thought I would let you know that BBC Radio 4 and 4Extra have today started a short series on Dante’s Divine Comedy, a reading (4Extra) and a commentary by Katya Adler and a Dante guide (Radio 4). Today was The Inferno, the dramatisation was very familiar as I read your Dante’s Inferno series, and it has odd snippets in Italian to try and follow. The commentary is also very engaging, as it relates the observations that Dante was making to modern situations, including Brexit and populist politics. It may be of interest to anyone who has access to BBC Radio.
And to let you know that Easy Italian News has become a mainstay of my Covid/lockdown routine.
I added the above links myself, by the way. And note that radio usually has no rights protection (except for sports events and the like), which is why I always recommend it for language learners, and why you should be able to listen no matter where you are in the world.
My, what culture vultures we are around here!
A venerdì, allora.
I was thinking – when it comes to language learning, you basically have two options.
The first is to ‘study’, and I am currently doing that assiduously, in order to improve my chess game, which is terrible, but virtually never do with foreign languages.
The second is to ‘consume’, which I DO do, and daily: radio broadcasts and newspapers in Swedish, French, Spanish and so on.
Either way, you’ll be learning, either deliberately or ‘en passant’, as we budding chess masters say.
Probably your best option is to do both, though there’s the issue of time, of course. If you have time to either study or consume, which should you choose?
For me, the answer was to do the opposite of what didn’t work for me in the past. But the choice is yours, hence the links you always see in the footer of these articles.