This last month of November I decided to set Korean aside and dive into Italian only. I want to jot down my experiences with this, both for future reference for myself and to also help those who might be learning a new language or two 🙂
But if you’re not into this type of thing, feel free to skip to the joke at the bottom 😝
First: Immersion was good!
I spent so much time around Italian! I did my course study, listened to YouTube vlogs, did vocab, and got pretty far on DuoLingo. The immersion was good because I wasn’t just cold-memorizing words, but I got to see words used in conversational context.
Which brings me to what I learned: If you attach the word/sentence to real life, it “sticks” better in your mind. Sure, grab your glass of water when you say l’acqua! Point left when you say sulla sinistra, and point right when you say sulla destra. It helps a lot.
And always, always, always say the words/sentences out loud. It might sound clear in your mind, but that doesn’t mean you’ll say it right. Once you speak it, you’ll start to get the pronunciation down.
Second: I Got Over My Problem Areas
Conjugation and plurals were giving me a hard time. In Italian, you can’t just stick an “s” to the end of a word to make it plural. For instance, the tomato is il pomodoro. But the tomatoes is i pomodori. The girl is la ragazza, but the girls is le ragazze. And the man is l’uomo, but the men is gli uomini.
It took me lots of study and examples to finally “get” the conjugations. Why le ragazze or i ragazzi? When do I use gli? Well, now I know how to make a word plural depending on whether it is feminine or masculine!
PS: “Gendered” is not the best word to describe Italian, since a table isn’t literally male. And for instance, a person, even if it’s just one man, will use the feminine la persona… so it has nothing to do with gender as Americans think of it! To avoid confusing yourself, don’t think of Italian as “gendered” (this applies to Spanish, too).
Third: I Jumped Ahead
By doing a solid month of nothing but Italian, I got a pretty big leap forward in my Italian speaking skills. I can now speak full sentences to describe items, ask questions, and do small conversations 🙂
DuoLingo also had me asking some existential questions, like perché moriamo 😐 (Why do we die?)
All in all, I highly recommend this type of immersion!
Oh, right! I promised you a joke! 🥳
What do you call a woodpecker without a beak?
…A headbanger! 😃
Anyway, happy learning!