Why do we say a Pyrrhic victory?
You probably already know, but it’s explained, I’m not sure how accurately, in the latest installment of our free 30-part series of articles with audio, ‘La storia di Roma‘.
Wikipedia has what is probably a more precise and informative explanation. But who cares? The purpose of our material is to get you reading and listening in Italian. We’re fun, dynamic language teachers (and learners) here, not dusty, boring history professors!
Here’s the link to the new episdoe:
The earlier ones can be found on the club’s History page.
And while I’m linking to things, Tuesday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news is here.
Other learning options you might explore, if you’re at a loose end, are the club website (thousands of pages of free materials – just click on things until you find something you like) and our online shop (lots of interesting stuff to buy! Some people actually enjoy spending money, so we’re just trying to help.)
I’ve got to rush off today, as I’m having my first French lesson in thirty-seven years. I haven’t uttered a word of that language since nineteen eighty-four (a year after having studied French at high school, when I briefly had a French girlfriend. From Brest, of all places.)
In preparation for the lesson, I’ve been warming up by listening to rolling news and interviews on franceinfo – I have the radio app on my smartphone, so listen while exercising or doing chores. Hopefully, then, I’ll at least have a shot at understanding what the teacher says to me, even if I can’t say anything intelligible in reply.
First lessons are always anxiety-provoking in my experience, both for the student and the teacher. But things usually work out better than expected. And once you’ve got the first one out of the way, the lessons get easier and more enjoyable as you relax and get to know the teacher.
Whatever. It can’t be any worse than my Spanish lessons – given that I know virtually no Spanish at all. Reactivating intermediate-level schoolboy French should, hopefully, be a relatively painless process by comparison. Each week I promise my Spanish teacher that I’ll get around to studying, but never do.
Also by way of preparation for today’s ordeal, I’ve also been regularly reading in French, which helps a lot with the process of bringing back a language from the mental archives. So listening, reading, and precisely no grammar. No dictionaries either. Let’s see how I get on.
What I must do, though, is to research and write a note of some useful phrases for managing the conversation: “Could you say that again, please?”, “How do you say (unknown word) in French?” and so on. That’s always a good use of preparation time, and reassuring too.
A venerdì, allora!