21 September 2007

lingua italiana

Language lessons continue...

I have written before about learning Italian and I continue to struggle with my linguistic skills. I took a few classes before we moved to Italy but with one or two classes a week I never got beyond the basics. Last summer we came to Ascoli Piceno for a two week intensive class and while Valerie was in the advanced class I was placed in a beginner’s class. Since then I have tried a combination of ways to improve my Italian with some self-study and periodically having individual lessons with our friend Linda. I still have a long way to go to catch up with Valerie.

These past two weeks I have been taking another intensive group course and my classmates are here for a brief time from the San Francisco area. I did feel a sense of accomplishment when I was told I would be placed in an intermediate class, I guess I have learned something in a year.

I think the first few days my classmates were under the impression I was more advanced than I actually am. There are many things I have learned just from simple repetition such as answering where I am from, what I did for work in the US, why we moved to Ascoli Piceno, etc. I also might have a better ear for the local speech and some of the words and phrases that are unique to life in Italy. My fear of spitting out words may be less than my classmates but I assure them that their grammatical knowledge is superior to mine. We help each other with words or conjugations that we might struggle with and I think we are all improving each day.

Once this class ends I will still need to continue to work on improving my Italian, the daily interaction with locals helps but I do need to expand my vocabulary.

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