One of the biggest mistakes that I made when I moved to Italy was not studying Italian before I arrived. I assumed that I could take classes once I lived in Italy or just figure it out by listening, since, I decided without any grounds at all that I was some kind of language genius. Surprisingly, it didn’t work. I did take one three month class at SACI Florence where I studied but it was only enough to lay the foundation and not nearly enough to say more than the present tense. For the first long while I sounded like a monkey making strange noises and pointing ferociously towards objects that I wanted or needed. That wasn’t necessarily the worst part though, the worst part was that not knowing the language made me feel incredibly vulnerable. While walking down the street at home if someone cat-called I could turn around and scream, “shove it up your ass freakshow!” but here all I could do was put my head down and speed up. I didn’t have the knowledge or the muscle memory in my tongue for verbal conflict. Super tough for me guys, because usually my tongue is bitchy.
At one point I started using my friend’s Rosetta Stone software which helped a lot, especially with speaking. However, that friend moved away and Rosetta Stone is fucking expensive and I didn’t think that my family would approve of me engaging in prostitution so I could afford language software. They are so close-minded.
Luckily for me at some point I stumbled across Babbel, a language website that is a lot like Rosetta Stone, except it’s really cheap and can be used on tablets, cell phones and pretty much any device with an internet connection. You can also make friends with other Babbel users so you can chat with them and practice. Most of them are not perverts. Some of them totally are, in five different languages. There are like five billion languages to choose from so whenever I am feeling bold I can switch from learning Italian to learning French or learning Spanish or Turkish (because obviously Turkish is super useful). I’m kind of obsessed with it.
The best part about finding this website was that I finally improved my Italian. Yes, I have a husband who is Italian but it’s just not the same. Seriously. Every time he corrected me I would start crying and get all snotty and be like, “I’m stupid and I sound three and obviously you’re going to fall out of love with me which is FINE because you totally suck at English too and you belong with your own kind!” Although he didn’t suck at English because he’s one of those smug assholes who can speak like five languages fluently. Sometimes I hate him.
- Pointing the finger at me: My 5 biggest mistakes as an immigrant expat in Italy. (marriedtoitaly.com)
- Why Everyone Should Live In Italy At Least Once In Their Lives (survivinginitaly.com)
- Important Information On Moving To Italy: Shit That You Need To Know Before You Date, Drink, Or Move Here. (survivinginitaly.com)
- More than half of Italian men live with their mums (thelocal.it)
- Why Study Italian? (notjustanotherdolcevita.wordpress.com)