Last weekend I met a friend in Little Italy to roam through the farmers market (this is where I bought that cursed peanut butter). We ended our shopping with a drink at one of the local restaurants and I was pleasantly surprised to find that our waiter was actually Napolitano. Because it’s not often that I find native speakers in the U.S., I immediately started speaking to him in Italian asking where he was from and why he moved to the U.S. He answered back in Italian for a couple sentences, but then quickly switched back into English and explained everything he said to my friend. He also lightly scolded me that it was not polite to speak in Italian when not everyone present could understand. I’m sure I turned red. Perhaps I should have kept my Italian to myself, but the interaction did get me thinking.
In my two months working on this blog, I have not even mentioned language learning as a part of being global from home, mostly because I’m not doing it. I am ashamed to say that I was an Italian Studies major in college because my Italian has definitely suffered from disuse. After encouragement from my boss, multiple bloggers’ posts, and the Italian waiter, I’m on a mission to revitalize my lost language skills by spending thirty minutes every day. Here’s what I’m trying to commit to:
- Speak out loud to myself in Italian in the car on the way home. (I’m hoping people just thinking I’m talking on Bluetooth)
- Spend time every few days looking up words I don’t know. (I had a journal in Italy that I would write down words that I didn’t know the equivalent and then I would look them up every night. It worked great for me.)
- Order and read some Italian children’s books. (I once tried reading Harry Potter but that was a little difficult. I mean, how often do I need to know the word for witch or cauldron in Italian?)
- Find a language group in OKC once I move. (I’ve checked on Meet-Up but haven’t found one yet. I may have to start one up.)
- Practice vocab and grammar on Live Mocha. (I started a few weeks ago and for free, it’s pretty good.)