Sunday Shout-out: Learning Italian at LifeinItaly.com

 

Italian Book with Pen

 

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.

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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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Sunday Shout-out: Dual Language Articles Online at Italy Magazine

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Italian Language Immersion Month

Sunday Shout-out: Dual Language Articles Online at Italy Magazine

 

Those of you who follow Italy Magazine have likely already heard the news that they are going web only. While I will miss the tactile pleasure of flipping through their gorgeous magazines, I am excited to see what they will do with their new focus on their website. The Italy Magazine website is already a wealth of information on Italian travel, news, food, culture and property information, and is a great resource for Italophiles around the world.

 

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One of the best new additions to the website are the Dual Language Articles that are written side by side in English and Italian and feature an audio recording of the Italian version. How clever! It is a great way to improve your vocabulary and practice your Italian while learning about A Southern Italian Wedding, the Joys of the Vespa,  and following the path of St. Francis of Assisi. I love these dual language articles because they offer a fun chance to study and learn at the same time. Let’s give Italy Magazine some good feedback so they keep producing these helpful and interesting articles!

 

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Poking around the website, you’ll also come across a series of Italian lessons for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Each lesson is focused on a reading exercise that becomes more detailed with the more advanced levels. Can’t get enough? Be sure to check out the new Italy Community, a meeting space for people interested in all things Italian. It’s a great place to ask your Italian language questions!

 

Buon divertimento! Have fun!

 

 

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Sunday Shout-out: L’Italiano in Famiglia

Sunday Shout-out: Dianne Hales

 

Benvenuto! Welcome to October’s second Sunday Shout-out geared toward learning the beautiful Italian language. Whether you currently live in Italy, dream of living in Italy, or are planning an upcoming trip, there is no doubt that learning the Italian language is the number one key to truly experience and appreciate the Italian culture and lifestyle.

 

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This week I would like to shine the spotlight on Dianne Hales, author of the book La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language and the wonderful and insightful blog Becoming Italian Word by Word. Dianne’s passion for learning the nuances and delights of the Italian language inspires me on a daily basis!

 

 

For all of you who have a love of the Italian language and want to learn more, Dianne’s book and her blog are the perfect place for you! In her words,

I never expected to fall madly, gladly, giddily in love with the world’s most luscious language. But fall I did. Over the last twenty-some years, Italian has become my passport into Italy’s culture, history, lifestyle, traditions—and its very soul.
This site, along with my book La Bella Lingua and my blog Becoming Italian Word by Word, celebrates what Italy’s language has taught me about its greatest art: the art of living.

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I love Dianne’s themed posts on Becoming Italian Word by Word where she picks a topic and explores the different Italian phrases and related words. Each post is a bite-sized lesson on not only the Italian language, but also Italy’s history, culture, cuisine and lifestyle. Her posts are an inspiring reminder that the key to unlock any culture is to understand the language. If you’re just beginning your Italian studies, take a look at Dianne’s Top 10 Secrets for Learning Italian Part 1  and Part 2. These are great tips!

 

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Want a chance to win Dianne’s book? October is Italian Heritage Month, and right now Dianne has a contest running to win a signed copy of her book along with a pile of great Italian language books. Click here or on the image above now through November 7th to enter the contest. (Open to U.S. & Canada residents only.)

 

Grazie mille, Dianne, for sharing your knowledge and passion for the Italian language. We look forward to learning more about the world’s most enchanting language along with you!

 

 

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Around the blogosphere: Earlier this year Dianne wrote a lovely guest post on Michelle’s blog Bleeding Espresso. Click here to check it out!

Sunday Shout-out: CyberItalian.com

 

Benvenuti to the first Sunday Shout-out of October! This month’s theme is Italian, and throughout the month I’ll be spotlighting websites related to learning Italian. Since finding Italian classes or lessons can be difficult depending on where you live, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites for learning Italian online. I’ll also shine the spotlight on websites and blogs that teach and inspire me to learn more about the Italian language. I know many of you reading are fellow students and lovers of the Italian language. I hope you enjoy this month’s theme, and are encouraged by all the different ways you can incorporate the Italian language into your daily life.

 

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This week’s Shout-out goes to the Italian language learning website CyberItalian.com. They have a fun, innovative and flexible learning program offered online with different options depending on what type of instruction you would like, including Self-Study Courses, Tutored Courses and Private Lessons. Not sure where to start? You can take their Placement Test to see what level you should begin at with their classes.

 

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Not sure if an online study course is right for you? Everyone learns in a different way, and it’s hard to tell in advance whether a program will click with you or not. I’m kicking off this month’s Sunday Shout-outs series with CyberItalian.com, because I just learned that they are offering a free Beginner Self-Study course now through October 9th. What a deal! I wanted to share this opportunity with all of my readers who are looking for a great way to begin learning Italian, or for anyone interested in brushing up on the basics. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to see all the features of the CyberItalian.com website and learn if it’s the right match for you. I’ve signed up for the free course to do just that!

 

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You can learn more about their free course here, or by following @CyberItalian on Twitter or joining their Facebook group.

 

 

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Italian Language Immersion Month

 

Italian Book with Pen

 

When I wake up tomorrow morning, it is going to be a different sort of day. Inspired by Cherrye at My Bella Vita and Benny at Fluent in 3 Months, I have decided to kick my Italian studies into full gear starting September 1st (hey, isn’t it back to school time?). I have decided to make the much needed jump into the Italian language by speaking only in Italian this month, except for when talking with family and friends in America. Similar to Cherrye’s story, I have learned a lot of Italian over the past two and a half years, but I still find speaking quite a challenge. It is often easier to just speak in English even though I understand what is going on in Italian. Now I often find myself in the awkward position of being mute and frustrated, because I can understand what people say and I can’t respond. Enough of this already!

 

Postures 

I know it is going to be a tough month, but I am excited already thinking about how much my Italian will have improved by the end of the month. And after this first month it will only get easier. One of the hardest parts will be breaking my habit of speaking in English, and gently reminding others to only speak to me in Italian. Oh, and finding the right words and remembering verb conjugations . . . It will be worth it! I will keep you all updated on my progress, as well as sharing any interesting language learning links I come across during my studies. Thanks for the inspiration Cherrye!

 

Italian immersion month begins in… tredueuno!