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Learning Italian: How To Talk Stupid

written by M.E. Evans April 11, 2013

One of the most difficult things about learning a new language isn’t the memorization or the studying which requires just a little time and dedication, rather, it’s trying to keep some of my pride intact while I walk around sounding like a drunk three year old. Trying to laugh at myself while knowing that everyone I come in contact with thinks I’m an idiot. “Those chips me like they good so good,” or, “This dress in window me want for to be in black maybe you no have?” And people spend a lot of time laughing at you, staring at you, and wondering why you just said, “I would like to fuck this thing if you have it,” because for some reason you can NOT remember the difference between scopare and scoprire which mean, “to fuck” and “to discover.”

It’s also more difficult learning a language when you have a partner who is fluent. They’re sitting next to you at a dinner party talking about molecular biology while you’re saying things like, “I went school. I finished. I learned. I moved Italy.” It must be at least a little embarrassing to know me during times like that when all of his friends are thinking, “Nice catch buddy, which institution did you pick her up from?” Since I’m super shy at times it took me much longer to learn Italian then it took most of my friends. My advice to anyone who wants to learn Italian is to get really drunk and then just speak. You can study, you can practice, you can read, “The Idiots Guide To Learning Italian,” cover to cover thirty-five times (which I’ve done) but you won’t be able to speak until you let yourself be stupid. Unfortunately, learning a new language is agreeing to be child-like and uneducated for a certain amount of time but it really is only temporarily. If you commit to sounding like an idiot for a solid month you’ll quickly pick up the language and will be talking like a rather intelligent seven or even eight year old, in no time. 

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