Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Learning Italian

The Pimsleur Language Program is about to become my constant companion as I embark on a journey aiming at speaking Italian well enough to be occasionally understood in Rome in November.

Here I am, sitting at my computer, trying to work, repeating all after the speaker on the cd ... a huge mistake but fun. I'll wander off an concentrate.



Alexpr said...

I was trying to thing of a few words of advice to offer you re your attempt to learn Italian, but there is so much and the most useful expressions I could come up with are 'basta, grazie' which means 'enough' literally or 'that's all' more accurately and you can use it in shops when you don't wish to buy anything else. I think it was one of the first expressions I learnt! And 'Mi da' + whatever you want in a bar is useful too. It means 'give me' , so you can say 'Ma da un cafe' and an espresso will arrive. Add 'per piacere' if you feel the compulsion to be polite.
When you want to pay try 'Quanto lei devo?' and the reply will be the price. If you like cappuccinos, you will be asked 'con cacao?' which means 'with cocoa' - apparently some people are allergic to it, which is why bar staff invariably ask this.

End of, very brief, Italian lesson!

Have fun in Rome!


Di Mackey said...

Hi Alex, your advice is much appreciated.

I shall note them down and learn them too. For the moment I have fallen in love with saying 'un po'.

Io capisco un po l'italiano ... but don't test me yet, writes the smiling one.

Peter said...

Italians are notorious for only speaking Italian (hey, that does ring a bell :-) but depending on your destination your millage may vary.

You're obviously more likely to bump into a Roman "ragazzo" who will gladly assist you in not-so-perfect English.

But somehow, I must have missed a part of the Italian story - time for a rewind ;-)

Btw: in a place and time far, far away, I studied Latin. I should be able to recite Andrea Bocelli by heart, but somehow, I'm still stuck with "Italian for dummies".

Have fun in Rome - for me, it's only a childhood memory.

Di Mackey said...

The story behind the Italy trip is me pursuing a story for the new website that has been in development for quite some time :)

I have a 24euro airfare to Rome and back, and my accommodation is taken care of ... HUGE smile. Oh how I love some of the work that I'm beginning to do.

I'll be in the center of Rome and last time I found the English I needed.

The Roman men were very nice last time, and so very polite.

Latin ... Gert too. Belgians and language, you do know you are superb, don't you :)

Rome is 24euro away Peter ... it's a 1000euro from NZ. I think it's time you updated your childhood memory but then I should probably mind my own business ;)

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Yey!! You're learning Italian!
You're going to Rome in November!

Sounds great! If you need any help or have any questions as to "why does this..." etc, let me know! I'll be happy to help :)

Di Mackey said...

Hey Farfallina, grazie.

I'm curious to see how I do with this learning package because it's all about repeating and mimicking. It might just suit me this time.

Manictastic said...

Have fun with Italian Di, but where did your attempts of learning Spanish go?
I did some Latin back in the days too, even some ancient Greek. Did you see the picture of Olympia in the recent Knack, it was wonderful. With the Nike-statue and the raging flames on the background. I think it will be the picture of the year.

Di Mackey said...

Lol, well manic, that's a long story. First we thought we'd learn Spanish because we know some cool people in Spain and I thought the language delicious.

Gert went along with it but it hadn't been on his list of languages to learn.

Then he came home with news of a Turkish course starting in October and we thought 'Now that would be cool' but then ... I got this delicious 'job' in Rome and Gert's always wanted to learn Italian properly AND SO here we are, learning Italian. I'd like to be able to speak some by November when I'm there talking to people.

Latin too huh ... in NZ it's mostly only the doctors and pharmacists who learn Latin.

Peter said...

Di, wish I could update my childhood memory of Rome.

The price is not the issue: if my spinal issues are not improving the trip to France may have been my last for the time being.

Di Mackey said...

Sigh, I'm sorry. I had hoped it was a simple case of not getting round to it. I do hope things improve for you spinally and soon.

Peter said...

Thanks for the empathy Di.

In general, I try to refrain from whining about my little aches on other people's blogs, but this just happens to be the part that connects my head to the remaining part of my body.

I do need this body-link if I'm ever going to get anywhere :-)
I'm currently being stabilized, as a real cure is not available for this kind of damage.

Anyway, I have the reputation of being a surviver, so expect me to update my childhood memory of Rome one day.

BTW: I've got a weird comment from someone posting from Dunedin, NZ on one of my blogposts (probably just a coincidence: he posted from hq-network-244.clients.fishnet.net.nz, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Di Mackey said...

I look forward to the childhood memory blog from Rome :)

I'm curious about the weird comment you got from Dunedin. Did you post it? I had a quick look and didn't see it there. I don't know the address though.