Struggling with Italian languagePosted: 05/26/2011
The Italian language is a beautiful sounding language. I mean, I really like the way it sounds when others speak in Italian.
Coming out of my mouth, Italian is ugly. If I think the way I sound is ugly, I know native Italian speakers can barely recognize my words as their language. The rolled arrr’s. The accented third syllable. The c’s that sound different depending on the following letter. None of it comes together when I open my mouth.
And my vocabulary…we won’t even go there.
The other day, a service worker of some sort came to my gate to read one of the utility meters. When I tried to tell him that my Italian was not good, he became irate and spoke in understandable English. His exact words were, “You should be speaking Italian in Italy.” I said, “Si.” Then proceeded to burst into tears.
I don’t want to be a foreign language failure. I want to converse at a basic level in Italian. There is so much to learn, though. My frustration is enough to make me want to quit. It’s too hard.
My enthusiasm for learning Italian was at an all time high last year before I left the states. Now, I force myself to practice now and then.
I am not consistent in my practice or study of Italian, so it is no surprise that my skills are declining and not increasing.
I really do not want to be an ugly American and refuse to learn to speak Italian. I want to be a good neighbor and resident of my town. I know to do this, I need to consistently study and practice my Italian. I just wish I wasn’t so bad at it.
My visions of small talk with the neighbors in Italian have faded. The most I speak with my neighbors is when I say, “Bon giorno!” as we pass.
Help me motivate myself!