I know I’m not the only perfectionist out there trying to learn Italian. You know who you are. We’re the ones who are afraid to speak until we can say a completely formed sentence, with the proper verb conjugations, adjective endings and pronouns. Oh, and it has to be perfectly pronounced, too. Of course. I think this has been the single biggest obstacle for me speaking Italian, and is something I struggle with every day. I know some people can just dive right in with only a few words, but I have found that to be difficult. The single most important thing I’ve learned over the past two years studying Italian and living here in Italy is that every single person learns languages differently. The key is finding what works for you and running with it.
Many of you are probably already familiar with the great LifeinItaly.com website. Just recently I discovered the wealth of information they have available on learning Italian. I was particularly inspired by the article on the main page by Carlo Pescatori called “Every language is made up of words.” He makes some great points that are particularly relevant for people struggling with some of the issues I mentioned above. I love his idea to incorporate as much Italian into your thinking as you can. Over time it will grow and you will become comfortable with it at the same time. This is, after all, how we learn English. Little bit by little bit, word by word, and with lots of practice. I already find myself doing this often:
Start with nouns of things you have around all the time and talk to yourself like “I’ll drink un caffè now”, “let me andare in salotto for a while”, “tempo to cook again”, “adesso is time for una pausa” and so on.
My thoughts are often a mix of the two languages now, but sometimes I surprise myself by thinking or saying a whole thought in Italian without, well, having to think about it. But I feel like this process is helping me with the feelings of perfectionism that I struggle with. I know I will be incorporating some of the ideas and suggestions I learned in this article. Head on over to the LifeinItaly.com Italian page and explore the helpful articles and lessons they offer. I hope something there will inspire you!
Buona domenica! Happy Sunday!
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