Last Friday was my last Italian lesson. Since I was attending classes in a public school, coincidentally, it was also the last day of school for the kids. And you could sense the festive mood in the air with the kids cheering and screaming happily while throwing water bombs and flour and whatnots at each other. That reminds me of my orientation days back in Secondary and Pre-University days.
But in any case, I’m grateful for how far I’ve been in learning the language. Here in Italy, there are subsidized Italian language lessons for foreigners with Permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) where you attend about 40 hours of lessons, from November to June, usually in a public school. It costs very little, so far I’ve only paid 10 euro per term.
It might not be as professional as say, the Dante Alighieri language school, but lets face it, being on a single income, with the mortgage eating up most of Cart’s income, we cannot afford it for now. And I’m looking forward to getting a job here. Seems tough though, the certifications that I’ve attained are not recognized here and I’ve got a sense that jobs requiring English speakers seem to favour those from UK, USA, Canada and Australia only.
Seriously, doesn’t anyone in Rome want a hot and sexeh blogger who is teh awesum at photography and video editing?
But getting back to the point! Compared to last year, when I just started my lessons, it was so awkward! I couldn’t even ask the teacher anything. Since I didn’t know much Italian and she couldn’t speak English herself, I was stressed out because even asking required a basic level of Italian like, “I don’t understand what you are talking about”, or “Can you please explain again, slowly?”
Needless to say, I was feeling so unmotivated that I felt ill when it was time to go to Italian classes.
But in due time, its getting better. Apart from my lessons, I try to do revisions on my own, supplement with Italian podcasts, and force myself to watch shows in Italian every now and then. Its so easy to slip when watching cable tv that allows you to switch languages.
And so far, I can read simple books now and could make out newspaper headers if the words are not too bombastic. And I could chit chat with my classmates comfortably. I feel pleasantly surprised that now I could make out words of some of the photos that I took last year which used to be meaningless to me.
Of course, I still have got a long way to go to speaking confidently with an Italian. Just last week I was in my exercise class, and they started to ask about something and it frustrated me because I could have explained to them but it was hard for me to explain in Italian. And just recently I’m starting to take motorcycle lessons at the driving center. Half of the time, I don’t see the big picture even if I could make out bits and pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
After one and a half year, I’m still not all that great in speaking Italian. But in the end, I think its just a matter of time. But still, if only I could magically snap my fingers or install italian.exe directly into my brain. That would be cool