28. Language Lab

I have been on a forty-eight-year quest to learn Italian.

Putting aside the fact that I grew up with a native speaker that I never took advantage of, I started by taking two full years in college. Since then, I have done Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, Mango, an on-line intensive college Italian course (twice), taken adult education classes for at least ten years, and I now participate in a weekly conversation group.

I enjoy certain situations, like museums, as I find the more formal academic language, which often is similar to the English, easier to understand than the conversational. (Plus, they typically have the English version right next to it, for cheating purposes.)

That said, I feel that I never improve, through a combination of shyness and shrinking memory capacity. An Italian relative of mine actually said to me, “if you come here so often, why don’t you speak Italian better?”

But hope springs eternal, so I have a new strategy. I bought a cookbook of Neapolitan seafood recipes, in Italian. I plan to work my way through it. Do you think that will work?

2 thoughts on “28. Language Lab

  1. Have you read In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri, which is all about how she struggles to become fluent in Italian? It is the first book she has written in Italian. (An English translation, which was done by another writer, is on each right-hand page, with the original Italian text on the left.)


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