Learning Italian: My Progress Diary (approx 8-10 months in so far)

Background

I have been learning Italian for approximately 8-10 months now since I met my partner who is from Italy, with varying rates of study. Sometimes I’m able to study intensively, sometimes I learn casually/passively and when work gets busy I can go weeks without much learning at all. He speaks fluent English but I firmly believe that learning his native language too is only fair! Learning a language is also interwoven with learning about a culture and vice versa so that’s another important reason for me.

I’ve been off work for the last 2 weeks for the Easter break so have had much more time to focus on learning Italian. In the UK we have been in a third national lockdown for the last four months due to the Covid-19 pandemic which means there hasn’t been much else to do during this time off! I feel I’ve made a noticeable amount of progress over the last fortnight so thought I would write a blog entry tracking where I am after 8-10 months and what I have done so far. The idea is that I will write another entry in around 3-4 months so I can look back and track how I’ve progressed as it is often hard to gauge. My hope is that international travel will resume this summer and that we will be able to get over to Italy in August (4 months from now) and that I will be able to converse on a basic level with locals in Italian.

One thing I knew from previous language learning was that whatever your learning style, it needs to be multi-sensory, frequent and as immersive as you can make it even when not in a country where your target language is commonly spoken.

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Living La Dolce Vita in Lake Como, Italy

Ten years ago, I booked flights to Milan but they were later cancelled by the airline however I never forgot about my wish to visit Lake Como. When my friend Lawrence suggested that we finally go, I didn’t have to think twice.

I’d seen plenty of photographs of Lake Como but let me tell you this: it is even more stunning when you see its vast, shimmering blue expanse before the surrounding mountains in reality.

I wasn’t disappointed when I finally made it there after all these years and I can definitely see a return trip there in the near future.

So, I’ll talk you through our two gorgeous days in Lake Como, what to see there, what to do and of course, being Italy, what to eat and drink. Oh yeah- one word you will hear a lot while in Italy is prego; it means ‘you’re welcome’ but they seem to use it for ‘thank you’ too. Handy to know.

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