learning italian

Learning Italian Week 2

Back again for another installment of Learning Italian. This time it is week 2.

As you will hear in my video, this week was a wake up call.  As much as studying on your own can make you feel good, smashing through levels of a new app I found "Duolingo" and a few other self learn techniques I will mention, nothing beats having a real tutor to bring you back down to earth.

You can think you're great by having pages and pages of notes (which do help) but at the end of the day, when Diana (my tutor) started speaking proper Italian to me...I got lost.  Real fast.

Listen along here about this weeks progress and the major things I learned.


[drop_cap]New Strategies implemented this week[/drop_cap]

Downloading and use of Duolingo Duolingo is one of the fastest growing apps on the AppStore.  It is also on Android and the web.  It helps you learn languages quicker and gets you familiar with the wording.  It uses different methods which include you speaking the language, your recognising words, multiple choice questions, phrase identification and more. This is all wrapped up inside a 'gaming' style experience which makes it both fun and challenging to learn.  The app is also free.

Listening to Italian podcasts One of the quickest ways to learn a language is to full emerse yourself in that language.  The very best way would be to go to Italy and throw yourself in the deep end with the locals.  Since I do not have the option of heading to Italy at the moment (because of Basilico...my dog), I will have to settle for other methods.

At the top of this is using podcasts as an additional learning tool and recognizing how words are strung together and the sentence structure is formed.

To be honest it's not easy to know what is going on, but words and highlights in the presenters voices can help.

You can download the app: "Tune In Radio" on your phone, or you can search for it online.

One of my favourite programs (which is free) goes through various langauge learning stuff and is highly recommended.  You can find it here.

Or by typing: "Absolute Beginner Italian" into the tune in app.


[drop_cap]Major Concepts Learned this Week[/drop_cap]

  1. Masculine Vs Feminine vs Mix

The biggest thing I learned this week was that you use different vowels at the end of words to determine whether you are speaking in masculine language or feminine language (or mixed).

You can see below:

English Word Masculine Version Feminine Version Mixed Version
Tall Alto Alte Alti
Short Basso Basse Bassi
Blonde Biondo Bionde Biondi
Dark Hair Bruno Brune Bruni

We worked through the above using the picture I have attached below.

It has a series of questions that you have to answer, which helps you identify the situation.


2. Syntax

The way sentences are structure in linguistics is called: "Syntax".

"In linguistics, syntax is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, specifically word order."

My reading of very basic Italian is getting better very fast (faster than I thought it would) and despite it being a beginner's book (with pictures) I am starting to grasp and could read what whats happening.

Which as described above is the syntax of Italian.



[drop_cap]New Words Learned[/drop_cap]

Each morning I have been getting up and writing down (to get the eye to brain memory happening) 50 or so words.  Some days I am learning the same words.  But it's great repetition and learning.  Slowly we are getting there.

Italian Word + (English phenetik) English Translation
Lei (lay)  she
Lou (loo-ey)  he
Professoressa (prof-ess-oh-rress-ah) female professor
pane  bread
il ragazzo  the boy
contento  happy (male, singular)
contenti  happy (male, plural)
conenta  happy (female, singular)
contene  happy (female, plural)
giornale newspaper
legerre write
scrivere read
acqua water
uova egg
uoma man
L'uomi the man
cuoco cook
bottiglia bottle
donna woman
donne women
sono/sei are
tu you
mi chiamo Hayden my name is Hayden
prego welcome
molto bene very good
cosi cosi not bad
pesce fish
grazie thank-you
favore please
io sono i am
zucchero sugar
caffe cafe
crema cream
cioccolato chocolate
biscotto cookie
tazza cup
gelato ice-cream
ho have


[drop_cap]Challenges this week[/drop_cap]

The biggest challenges are knowing the difference between the words that are very similar but different spelling.  From what I can gather, Italian uses different suffixes (the letters at the end of common words) to describe different tense.  Eg: The boy drinks or the boy as a drink etc.  Learning the difference between these and knowing when to use the word beve, bevi or bevette will be great.

I spoke to Diana about this challenge also and she said we will get to that, but to come back down to Earth and let's focus on what we need to learn now....that stuff is too advanced at the moment. (which is where my wake up call came from).


[drop_cap]Finishing Up[/drop_cap]

It was a great week and despite feeling overwhelmed, it is always good to remind yourself that Rome wasn't built in a day.  Must keep pushing and putting in the work.

Thanks for watching/learning.


P.s If I got anything wrong or if you have any questions, please feel free to email me or drop a comment below.

Learning Italian Week 1

Good day to you! Recently I joined an 'Accountability Group' focused on achieving our best results in 70 days/10 weeks.

One of my goals I set was to post on my social media a video of me speaking Italian on social media.

I've always wanted to learn Italian, so it was finally time to DO IT.

I created time within my morning to learn every single day, and also hired a private tutor once per week.  They're not as expensive as you would think and having a language under your belt is advantageous....especially when you want to travel like I do.

I can totally see myself getting hooked on language learning too!

But without further blabber, check out week 1 below.

P.S: I make a mistake with the letter 'e' which should infact be pronounced 'air'.  But I wanted to keep that part in the video because it's real.  Thanks for following along.


[drop_cap]Learned this week[/drop_cap]

Vowels and Pronunciation

  • A = ah
  • E = air
  • I = eee
  • O = oh
  • U = oo

[drop_cap]Formal Language[/drop_cap]

  • Boungiorno = Good Morning
  • Bounasera = Good Afternoon/Evening (after 1)
  • Come Sta = How are you?
  • E Lei = You?
  • Come Si Chiaima = What's your name?

[drop_cap]Informal Language[/drop_cap]

  • Ciao = Hello/Goodbye
    • Answer with
      • bene =  good :)
      • cosi cosi = not bad :|
      • male = not good :(
  • Come Stai = How are you?
  • Come Ti Chiami = What's your name
  • Piacere = Nice to meet you.

[drop_cap]Pronunciation and How letter order affects it?[/drop_cap]


Letters Sounds Like Example (Phenetik) English Translation
C + I SH or SCH (Like a sweet C) Cielo (Schell-oh)  Musical Instrument
C + E SH or SCH (Like a sweet C) Celeste (Cshell-es-tay) Blue (I think)
CH + I K (like a hard K) Chiesou (key-eh-sue) Church
CH + E K (like a hard K) Che (keh) What or Come Again
C + A Car Casa (car-zsa) House
C + O Coh Collo (coll-oh) Neck
C + U Qoo (like an owl) Cucina (qoo-china) Kitchen
G + I J (like a sweet J) Giornale (Ghee-or-nar-lay) Newspaper
G + E J (like a sweet J) Gelato (jel-ah-toh) Icecream
GH + I Gey (like a hard G) Ghiotto (ge-ee-ott-oh)  Greedy
GH+ E Gheh (like a hard G) Margherita Pizza
G + A Gah (as it looks) Gatta (Gah-ta) Cat
G + O Goh (as it looks) Gola (Goh-la) Throat
G + U Goo (as it looks) Gufi (goo-fi) Owls
S + C Sh sound Uscita (oos-sheet-ah) Exit

[drop_cap]Finishing Up[/drop_cap]

I am no means an expert and this is definitely just a trial run, but I love putting myself out there and the accountability it creates....Put yourself out there and get shit done!

Thanks for watching/learning.


P.s If I got anything wrong or if you have any questions, please feel free to email me or drop a comment below.