I have just started my 4th attempt to learn some Italian. First time, I wanted to be great. I went to a serious language school with a serious teacher and a room of serious students (many starting their 3rd or 4th language). Next two times? More casual setting, but I let work and a busy schedule derail me. This time, it's back with the "serious" teacher, except that this time when he emailed asking me what my goals were, I told him that I don't even need to speak Italian well. Just enough to help me make small talk and order competently from a menu.
I don't remember a time when I ever wanted to shoot for mediocre, until now, and it's kind of liberating. My lessons are on Saturdays and Sundays. I wake up at 7 or 8, study, then drive to these private lessons at 10am. He makes us espresso at the start of the class and the empty tazza makes its way around his loft later on: "The cup is on the table. The cup is under the chair. The cup is not on the desk." (That cup, I noted today, gets around.)
After butchering essere and avere verb forms, I grab coffee or a super late breakfast and head home. It's better than racing to a class after work, and because it's private, I can't hide when it's my turn to confuse my le, la, l', il, and los. The whole thing is pretty civilized.
It's kind of crazy to take these lessons. I mean, 3 hours a week won't get me too far, I realize. I may never speak Italian well. But I will settle for speaking Italian badly. Even bad Italian sounds pretty good to me.
If you want to speak Italian badly (or well) and you're in Seattle you can take classes from Marc Mariani HERE.
Sunday, January 30, 2011