Ciao a tutti!
Today I’d like to let you know about my language learning journey so far. I’ll break it up into chunks. I’ll preface by saying, I don’t confidently and fluently speak Italian…yet.
Let me know in the comments if you have gone through any of the same phases.
My mother was born in Finland and lives in Australia with my aunty, mummo and pappa. I grew up hearing them speak to each other and from a very young age, I knew that I wanted to learn another language. I was intrigued and delighted to see their interactions. I begged my mother to teach me but alas, she did not have the energy and time.
Childhood – an introduction to Italian culture
Growing up, I became aware of Italian through TV and songs for children (Hooley Dooleys – Pizza Song) . As a young girl, I had a crush on the son of our Italian neighbour. He had a dog called Zucca. In this time, I also learned how to write in runes and code and also how to speak ‘pig latin’ and ‘double dutch’. I learned Japanese and Indonesian at two of my school and loved it. I was desperate to have an exclusive mode of communication.
Eventually I went to a boarding school in Darwin, NT. I signed up for Italian and loved it! I learned the basics and loved how much sense it all made. The next year the class was smaller and consisted of my closest friends which made it even better. We had fun and learned. Unfortunately I changed to a different high school that taught German, which left me heartbroken and with the taste of Italian on my tongue.
Over time, I continued a little bit of self-study, here and there. Nothing substantial. I moved to Brisbane, QLD for study and made some second-generation Italian friends as well as worked at an Italian delicatessen. By then, I’d given up on my dream to learn Italian but thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the Italian culture through these avenues. The shop closed down, the friends and I drifted apart and I moved out to a rural school to begin my career as a primary school teacher. At this point, I knew a lot of Italian words but nothing much of the grammar.
Finally! I was earning a full-time wage and after a term of teaching I booked my first ever overseas holiday – a trip to Italy with Contiki (link to come). I used Duolingo and watched a YouTube channel called ‘Learn Italian with Lucrezia‘ to prepare for my trip. I went to a meetup group a few times and this is where I’ll leave you, dear readers.
I will make a post soon to describe in detail all the ways in which I finally began my language journey at the age of 23.
What kick-started your Italian language journey?
How did you come to fall in love with Italian?
Let me know in the comments.