Sunday 2 March 2008

Lalala... Becoming fluent in Italian

I am far, oh so far from being fluent in Italian. I blame my slow progress on the fact that I work for a British company, so everyday I speak English with guests, and the staff in the office, I write emails in English and do everything in English. Bel ragazzo and other Italians tell me I should try and think in Italian rather then English. Can anyone tell me how to do this? When I think in Italian, I am actually thinking in English, telling myself to think in Italian and then I start to think simple things for a while (as I speak like a simpleton in Italian.) I can think to myself that it is a nice day in Italian but then my mind starts to wonder back into English as this is natural. I cannot force myself to think in Italian - yet.

I have also heard that you are apparently fluent in a language once you dream in the foreign tongue. I for one rarely remember my dreams...once my head hits the pillow I am out like a light for normally 10 hours (I love to sleep!) I do recall one dream I had a while back when I woke thinking perhaps I had turned fluent in my sleep as I had spoken Italian in my dream. Ok..ok so in the dream I was in a classroom learning Italian so perhaps that is not what they mean by dreaming in Italian

I do think I had a break through 2 days ago, as whilst writing in English I was thinking of the word THE and low and behold when I looked at the computer I had written LA! I was so happy as this is the first time my brain has subconsciously written a word in Italian, when I wasn't even thinking about it.


Jessica said...

After a year of on/off lessons I definitely feel I still have a long way to go. I do dream in Italian though, but I have no clue if I am talking 100% correctly, yet I understand everything. Basically how it is in real life. I hope one day something clicks and it gets easier. I don't want to sound like a 3 year old forever.

Anonymous said...

Even I heard the dreams theory! And I started to do it some time ago!!! Arghh! I'm transforming!!! :-)))


Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Jessica - I hate speaking like a 3 year old too...although I think I speak like a 4 year old now - by the end of the year I hope to jump a few years and speak like an 8 year old :)

Lucio - so you are turning Australian! Do you say the word bogan in your dreams? If you do you really have transformed!

LULU said...

Hi Leanne, u have a good reason to start.. ur bel ragazzo no??? Do not be afraid... I know how you feel like.... People teasing you but go ahead...Be focused and you will speak a proper Italian... isn'it darling....fammi sapere.. xx lu...

Lord Byron is my Bel ragazzo ;-) and we have been in Praiano (small town on the Amalfi coast)... said...

keep practicing and it will come to you.... I'm not so sure about the dreaming in Italian. Good luck with that. Music and reading help a ton. Love the blog. Joe

Cherrye said...

Hi Leanne! HOW did I just find your blog?!? A fellow Calabrese! I'm so excited!

You'll have to look us up next time you are around our parts.

BTW - My 9 year old English student corrects my Italian ALL OF THE TIME! I'm hoping I am on a 4 year old level!

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi lulu,
So know I know who Lord Byron is! Very good - look forward to reading more about him.

Hi Joe,
Thanks for the advice, music and reading is the key but I am a little lazy on the reading front. I always by the magazines and papers but then just skim them...need to be more diligent!

Hi Cherrye,
Yes I am a fellow Calabrese - well sort of - and was living there for 6 weeks however am back in the 'big city now.'

LULU said...

THANK U LEANNE.... ;-) I WILL FOLLOW UR ADVICE.. i'm on a begginer status in the blog school ;-)... xx lu

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

If you don't have a lot of opportunities to practice your Italian, my best advice is to talk to yourself in Italian. It doesn't have to be out loud, but for instance, when you're thinking of what you have to do today..."MMM...devo andare al negozio...e che cosa mi serve? Ho bisogno di..." Etc.

I actually talk to myself all the time in Italian now as it's become automatic. It'll get there! Forza!

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Ciao Lulu,
My blog was very simple when I first started too..well it still is simple!

Ciao Michelle,
Buon idea - i can talk to myself in Italian as this I can do...making myself think in Italian is a different matter!