The phrase in the title, ‘varie ed eventuali’, can usually be found at the end of an agenda for a meeting.
The English equivalent would be ‘any other business’, or perhaps ‘miscellaneous’.
‘Agenda’, by the way, would be ‘ordine del giorno’ in Italian, that is to say the document containing details of the day/time of a meeting and the topics to be discussed.
Don’t confuse the English ‘agenda’ with the Italian ‘agenda’, which means ‘organiser’ or ‘diary’.
But ‘agenda’ in Italian is what you’d note down appointments in, rather than condide your secrets to (“Dear Diary…”).
That would be ‘diario’, I think…
Oh dear, down the rabbit hole again!
Anyway, time is pressing as I had an online lesson this morning (I was the teacher, for a change, rather than the student!)
So here’s some feedback from club-member Valerie, which she has encouraged me to publish:
After reading your article I thought I would share my way of studying Italian and hope (a) you approve and (b) if you do, it might inspire others with their learning.
Learning Italian is a goal that I am not going to give up on.
I have already put too much time and effort into it to waste what I have already done.
On two occasions over past years I took Italian lessons, firstly at a TAFE college and then with an Italian cultural school.
I struggled, found it all too difficult, got bored and gave it up about 20 years ago.
Then about 10 years ago I traveled to Italy with my husband and Italian friends. My friend is Sicilian but Australian-born and can understand Italian but for some reason cannot speak it.
So we found some apps that taught us the basics.
That was fine until 5 years ago when my husband and I stayed for one week with his relatives. All I knew were words that I had tried to remember and couldn’t even pronounce properly. Disaster. I hated it.
(Just for the record, my husband speaks dialect and because of my limited Italian it is much easier for both of us to speak English.)
That was when I decided I would try again and learning Italian became a goal and a priority. I had to find a way that would work.
Then about 3 years ago I found the onlineitalianclub! And I was on the correct path to reaching my goal.
So now to get to the point of the best way I have found to learn.
I decided to imagine my day if I was living in Italy.
Firstly, when I am in the car or exercising in the gym or going for a run, I always listen to some form of Italian, a radio station in Italian, soundcloud from one of the easy readers or anything else I can find to listen to that is in spoken Italian (car radio or iphone).
All my music is now Italian singers and I download the lyrics in Italian and English.
I read Italian newspapers online but just the articles that interest me.
I always do some study (whatever time allows) from the onlineitalianclub.
I have 2 skype lessons a week with homework that I always complete (the best thing I could have done.)
Every evening I watch or record shows that interest me on RAI television and write down words that I don’t understand (and there are many) but just the words that seem to stand out, which are usually words that are spoken quite often. I try to study some of the grammar incorporating these words.
Instead of reading books in English, before I go to sleep I read short story ebooks that I have bought on my Kindle.
It is not as much work as it seems and I have not abandoned my English speaking radio or TV completely, and sometimes I get a little tired of it all and I lapse for a few days and only do my homework.
But doing this for the past 6 months has improved my spoken Italian beyond my expectations.
I have had 2 different teachers and my latest teacher, Arianna, is apparently most impressed at how much I can say, and I am surprised at myself as well, but I still need to master understanding spoken Italian.
Even though my grammar is not good she, at least, understands everything I say and I have enough knowledge to try and converse and I can pronounce just about all the words whether I understand them or not.
I can’t wait to go to Italy this July to visit the relatives and try my Italian with them, even though they will probably speak to me in dialect which I told them 5 years ago was almost like listening to Chinese.
But I know it won’t be that bad. This time it is all positive.
To respond on what Valerie has written and/or to share your own approach, leave a comment on this article (rather than writing to me directly). That way, everyone can read it!
To comment, view this article on the club website, scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill in the comments box. Your email won’t be published, don’t worry.
First-time commmenters need to wait for me to manually check that it’s not automated spam, so be patient. Old hands should see their musings go live in real time.
And talking of dialect, here’s some music that Anne sent in:
“[This is] one on my favorites, Rosa Balistreri.”
It’s Sicilian-style Italian, so not easy to follow.
But Anne was also kind enough to provide a link to a Wikipedia page, which has the lyrics to the song, along with an English translation!
Here’s a final reminder about our new Italian ‘easy reader’ ebook, Fantozzi.
You’ll save 25% on the usual ‘easy reader’ price, that is to say just £5.99 rather than £7.99, if you buy it by Sunday night when the offer ends.