12 December 2015

Trying to learn Italian | Lifestyle

Before moving out here I downloaded an app called Duolingo and I must admit, it’s amazing how much this little app really helped me whilst I was at home. Duolingo works really well because it is repetitive and we all know if you do something enough times it will eventually sink in. You have to pass each level to move onto the next however over a day or two it will prompt you to go back an redo the previous levels so that the words remain fresh in your mind. I have one issue with the app and that it start of so incredibly basic that a lot of the words I have learned I can’t even really use such as, whale, bird, orange, skirt, newspaper etc. Like it’s good to learn those type of words but it’s not something that comes up every day, I would have rather have started on sentences such as “how are you?” “May I have?” “My name is” these types of basic sentences that would actually help me a great deal in everyday life. I was doing quite well but unfortunately you can only use this app when you have wifi or data and being in Italy, still using my English phone I have neither or very limited. If I had known I was moving out to Italy like 3 months before I think this app would have be absolutely perfect.

I have also go the Marco Polo phrase book, which I must admit is incredibly good, it breaks down words phonetically which means regardless of how I read it I can still say it and it makes sense. I guess on of my favourite things about this little book is all the helpful tips such as the importance of pronouncing double letters. For example the word “penne” you can see it has two “n” which means you should pronounce it “pen-neh” if you just say it like “peneh” it means penis… These types of tips are funny but actually incredibly helpful. Not only this but you also get a little cheat sheet that you can cut out and carry around with you that has the basics whether you are shopping, at a restaurant or just small talk.

As you guys know, I don’t speak any Italian, I guess the frustrating thing for me is that I have literally zero knowledge and it makes me feel really bad when the native speakers have to speak in English just so I’d understand. Of course, I appreciate it but they shouldn’t have to, I should have at least the basics. That said, I have to keep reminding myself that I have only been out here for less than a month and these things do take time and I am learning some words like “allora” which Italians say A LOT it just means “so” at the start of the sentence. Little steps guys.

Do you know any other languages? 


  1. Good for you! This is such a great idea - I don't know a single language other than my own and I feel like I should! This is a really brilliant way to teach yourself - well done you!

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  2. I'm Italian and I guess it must be difficult to learn my language from zero, Good Luck with it and don't be afraid to try to say whatever you've learnt, I'm sure nobody is going to make you feel bad for not saying something right :) We do appreciate a lot any attempt to say something in your language!