At a wonderful biological market in Marlia, Tuskany, I was overwhelmed by the variety of food products. Especially tomatoes and beans caught my attraction and I wanted to ask for some seeds to grow them at home. My shy question to the farmer for "sede per pomeriggio per favore" resulted in an astonished look (translated: a chair of the afternoon, please). After a few seconds of concentrated vocabulary search I got the rights words "semi di pomodoro" (translated: seeds of tomatoes).
But hey, at least I could communicate with the farmer! And I even understood that he had no seeds here, but if I would have been coming next Saturday again he would have brought some for me. Fantastico, but unfortunately I had to leave earlier.
So, what was my progress after learning intensively Italian for 6 months? I am able to read and understand a lot of newspapers, blog articles, etc. I am able to summarize in my own words what I read (thanks to the reading of the monthly magazin Adesso). Quindi sono molto contente :-)
Understanding spoken Italian is much more difficult for me. I listened to podcasts of Alberto in the past 6 months, my favorite Italian speaker ;-) at www.italianoautomatico.com, listened over and over again. With his written translations I managed to understand more of his podcasts at every time I listened. This surely helped to understand the Italians I met on my vacation in Tuscany, although ... well ... it could have been better. And is it possible that the area of Lucca has a special dialect...? Anyway, my listening comprehension worked wonderful with children :-)
Now to speaking. At home, alone, when I talked to myself in Italian (yes I do, why not?) I was able to produce quite long and meaningful sentences. But then, in Italy, everything mixed up in my mind, I could not even remember the names of all the villages in our area. Words ending with -lia, -lio, glia, glio, -rana, -rono ... aaarrgghhh! One evening I had a very nice Italian chat with three young ladies, aged 4-7. This was definitely my highlight of Italian conversation :-) "Una principessa con la corona ..."
Will I go on improving my Italian? Naturalmente!! What I need to work on immediately is vocabulary, voacabulary. And the grammatics of verbes in future time. So that I can answer questions like "Que cosa farei domani?"
I know how encouraging a week spent in the land of your learned language can be :-)
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