Monday, July 18, 2011

How to speak Italian in 5 hours

Last Monday Husband went to the library and came across a boxed CD set of 'Introductory Italian'. Five hours of basic conversation Italian. 'Just what we need,' he said to himself. Then he explained to me, 'It takes us two and a half hours to drive to Devon therefore by Thursday evening, when we get back, we'll have learned it all.'

Which would have been okay but for a couple of things.

As soon as we got on the motorway I started the CD. Half an hour later when we'd reached the end of lesson 1 I was a tense quivering wreck, who'd taken to asking the 'Voice' to repeat himself and panicking when a motorbike roared past, and Husband was blaming the rush hour traffic for his failure to concentrate. We repeated lesson 1 again after the Severn bridge.

On the return journey we couldn't face lesson 2 until after the bridge - by which time I'd had a little nap and pulled myself together.

The other problem was that we should have started learning Italian about a year ago and not the day before we're due to meet Girlfriend's parents and brother for the first time. There're only so many times you can ask, 'Lay com estar?' (my phonetic spelling of how are you) in the course of one conversation. Although 'Eo non capisco Italiano' (I don't understand Italian) was more useful.

Still all was well while Girlfriend was there to translate; there were awkward silences when she left the room ...

But we all enjoyed a meal at Topo Gigio's
on Saturday and my cheesecake went down very well as our Sunday dinner dessert. I'd planned to serve a traditional British Sunday dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding except I forgot the Yorkshire pudding! I didn't remember until I was dishing up. How stupid is that? I couldn't believe it when I realised. Plonker.

I've also discovered my inability to speak Italian without gesticulating.

2 comments:

Leslie: said...

Oh what fun! (not the learning during driving part, tho') I'd love to improve my Italian but I've learned that if you don't use it you lose it. Thus, I absolutely MUST go to Italy to immerse myself. Hah! If only! I'm sure GF's family felt just as at lost as you were, but I'm sure you all managed to communicate your desire to be able to speak each other's language better.

katney said...

I wonder how long it would take me immersed in Italy to recover my Italian. (It's been 45 years since I had anyone to speak it with.)

The only time I remember any of it is when I am trying to speak Spanish.

If I went to Italy, my meager Spanish would probably insert itself into my Italian.