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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Friday, April 08, 2005

On Being Mute

This week I have begun my intensive Italian classes, the classes are supposed to be small (3-5 people) but since no one else signed up, it’s just me. Basically, I have a private tutor. With any foreign language, my main problem is with the conjugation of the verbs. During my college years, I enrolled in Spanish classes and Italian is quite similar but now I find myself getting all mixed up.

Before I moved here to Italy, I familiarized myself with the basics, mostly phrases tourists need to get by. On a daily basis, I speak to shopkeepers, but how many times a week can someone say “I’d like 200 grams of proscuitto please.” and “Do you have _______?”

When I am not out and about buying food, I’m mute. I am mute on the bus, when I walk around town and when I am home alone. I have no way to adequately express myself. The ultimate frustration for me is the ability to understand 80-90% of what is being said to me but not being able to respond properly and quickly enough. Maybe after 4 weeks and 80 hours of classes, I will feel differently.


At 2:32 PM, Blogger Sara said...

They say that the fastest way to learn a language is be total immersion. But for you, this doesn't seem to be working it's magic.

Have you tried to reach out and make friends with your neighbors? Though, now that I think of it, you could be waiting until you get a more permanent place. But when you do, you could try and make an Italian friend and learn that way, someone other than Demetrio.

I remember when you first moved to Seattle, you had a similar story, that you would go by so long without speaking to anyone that you would get hoarse.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Gia said...

Sik teng Mm-sik gong...Lol

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

I had forgotten about the Seattle bit, and it may happen to me again when D goes to Seattle for 5 days next week. I am learning a lot no doubt but the language is complicated and takes so much practice. Still, I am excited about learning, everyone tells me to be patient, esp. my insegnante, my teacher.


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