Thursday, May 22, 2008

Italian in 10 words a day

Living in the Central Valley, I live far from the closest Italian language school located in the Bay Area. So when I decided to learn me some Eye-talian, I had to learn by cassette tape, books, websites, radio and TV. Every once in a while, a word on the radio or TV would click in my head and make a connection to something I was reading or writing. How many times in a show do they say, allora on RAI? Lotsa times. Having studied Spanish in high school, I realized that lessons usually focus on conjugating verbs but very little conversation can be had without nouns. I go ___, I like ___, I buy ___, I saw ___, where is ___ . You can see this seriously limits conversation. So in my learning isolation, I decided to build a volcabulary by learning 10 new words a day. I tried to learn in words in groups like these: animals (coniglio, cavallo, pollo, ratto, topi, cervi, mucca, serpente, uccello notice this word is listed with the animals), body parts (mani, piedi, faccia, bocca, naso, caviglia, avambracchio, ginocchio not to be confused with finocchio!), gardening words (piante, girasoli, ciclamina, margherita), houseware words (lenzuole, guanciale, lavastoviglie, lavatrice), cycling words (ciclismo, gregari, sella, freno, catena, traguardo, manubrio, velocista, scalatore), farming words (vigna, albero, pino, fiume, acero, campo, granaio) food words, soccer words, sewing words, building material words, geologic words, swear words... it takes a lotsa words to speak in another language. So, I put them on 3 x 5 index cards. Lotsa them. Then, the other day, while at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in San Jose , I found these babies and I just had to share... They're small flash cards on rings. I just wanted the plain white ones that were only 95 cents. But my sister insisted on buying them and the ones that look like paint chip samples as a shopping gift. I'm saving them for special words. I don't know right now just what those words might be. Hmm? Archaeological words? Art words? I don't have to rush because, I have so many words left to memorize. Just think, if I would have had these to start with I wouldn't have had to lug this pile around.
But as I'm regressing and starting (to) dimenticare my Italian words, it's time to take up my textbook and work on my New Year's resolution to do one chapter a month. And as it's almost June, I have to do a 5 chapters before then to get back on schedule.


P.S. The aretino, Daniele Bennati won his third stage of the Giro d'Italia today.

4 comments:

Maryann said...

Very cool idea! I may incorporate this. Thank you :)

homebody at heart said...

At first, I thought it would be hard to learn that many words a day. But as I went along, I got to the point where I looked them up, wrote them down and pretty much remembered most of them.
I kept a small pile of cards of the words I had trouble remembering. I think the brain is like all the other parts of the body, it gets better with use!

nikinpos said...

Buy yourself a few Italian kids books to read, O found it really helped me learn. Try 'The Little Prince' in Italian.

homebody at heart said...

Thanks Nikki,

I'll give it a try!