Is learning a second language on your to-do list ? So when are you gonna do-that?
The cry for manners illustrated above might make you smile. My mom and I spied this beauty above some stairs in Venice and we laughed for days. But the lesson learned from the clean freak who crafted the sign is this: despite the mistakes, it still manages to convey a very clear message. You can do that.
I know from experience it can be very intimidating. But wanna know the best way to learn? Just like anything you accomplish in life it takes the critical first move; the starting. If your going to Italy it starts with words you already know like ciao and grazie. Then day two you add a sprinkle of this and a pinch of that. Then after week one you’ll be speaking a full sentence out of pure exasperation. But only if you start.
My first full sentence in Italian was dov’è la stazione, (where’s the train station?). I was so lost and exhausted that my first real Italian sentence was driven by pure frustration. It worked though, on my second try. The man understood me and started speaking back, gratefully tossing in various emphatic hand gestures. I was on my way to the station. Someone understood me! If I had never started I would not be where I am today. And while my Italian needs a generous helping of wax and polish, I am damn proud of just being able to speak a second language. Just jump in and make yourself understood.
Are you scared? Of what? Looking like an idiot? Making a mistake? Just remember that the person you may be talking to likely only speaks one language. That will make you feel the bigger woman for trying in the first place.
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” -Elbert Hubbard
No, learning correct Italian is not an easy ride. But remember that starting is the worst part and that a glass of wine and a great smiling face with a go-to attitude will have you more fluent than 95% of the tourists you encounter.
Now go out and be amazing!
But wait, paint me a picture of your favorite language learning moment in the comments below.