Italian is a truly amazing language and I guarantee you will fall in love with it if you learn it. Not convinced? Let me give you some reasons for going to Italian classes or learning on your own…
If you are musical at all, knowing Italian is very helpful, particularly when it comes to opera. Would you like to know what the lyrics of Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni or La Traviata mean? Italian lessons will help you if so. Even if you are not an opera fan, there is plenty of music in Italian that is so beautiful, and you are missing out if you haven’t discovered it yet!
Are you a foodie? Do you love Italian food? Why not learn Italian so you can cook from authentic recipes? Also, you will be able to understand what food words mean. Did you know that in Italian una farfalla is a butterfly? So the farfalle pasta shape means ‘butterflies’. I think that is lovely! Another pasta shape is orecchiette, which means ‘little ears’. Also, it is great to be able to go to Italy and order in Italian. It impresses the locals and gives you a real sense of achievement.
Do you love travel? Do you love Italy? Consider learning Italian as it will help you on several different levels. Not only will you be able to travel easier (being able to make yourself understood at places like train/bus stations, airports and banks is fantastic). Do NOT assume everyone will speak English, this is not the case. Even a little Italian will help you enjoy your holidays more. Who knows? You may make some new friends or have experiences that you wouldn’t normally have.
Italian is also a truly fascinating language. Did you know that the pronunciation of Italian varies depending on where you are in the country and that there are many regional dialects? The vocabulary used by Italians varies from region to region as well. There are also many really interesting expressions such as ‘È il mio cavallo di battaglia’ (It’s my forte). Learning the language will give you unique insights into the mindset of Italians and their way of life.
Do you know Spanish or French? Perhaps another romance language? Then you’ve already got a head start! Even if you don’t, you know more Italian words than you think! We use Italian words in English too such as ‘ciao’ (hi) and ‘espresso’. However, if you are a Spanish speaker, you’ll find that there are some differences in Italian. For example, the Italian ‘salire’ does not mean to go out as ‘salir’ does in Spanish, it actually means ‘to go up’ or ‘to climb’. In fact, you would need to use the verb ‘uscire’ instead. Having said that you are still at a serious advantage knowing another language if you start learning Italian.
Did you know that if you learn Italian, you can use it not only in Italy but in other countries too? In fact, there are around 63 million people who speak Italian as their first language and a further 3 million who speak it as their second language. Italian is found in some 29 countries including Switzerland. There are a lot of places where Italian immigrants settled where the language is spoken, such as Argentina! I was amazed a few years back when working with Somali refugees that we could communicate in Italian, it came in really handy when their English was limited!
So, as you can see, Italian is an amazing language, full of history and traditions. It’s also very passionate and expressive and you can’t help but enjoy speaking it.
I hope you enjoyed the post and that you consider Italian lessons! Let me know if I can help.
Picture: Vincent Versluis, Unsplash