And it’s actually such a shame, since I’m half Italian: My mum is Swiss, and my dad is Italian. But my parents divorced when I was two, so sadly I never learned this beautiful language. (But I grew up with a very loving, Swiss stepdad!).
I did two attempts, though, to learn Italian. First time, when I was still child and the second try was 19 years ago. Both courses weren’t very successful…and since I never had to use this language in my daily life, I forgot most of it again. Only a few scraps remained and when I hear Italian, I understand a word every now and then, but never enough for a proper conversation.
Nevertheless, I do have the Italian look, though. However, it’s more frustrating than enjoyable, because, when travelling to the canton of Ticino (Italian part of Switzerland), or to Italy, many people there think I’m Italian and start speaking in their language to me. When they realize I do not understand them and cannot speak, their reaction is often quite irritated. I guess, they think I don’t want to speak Italian (for whatever reason that might be), therefore, I never really dared to travel to these southern parts of Europe. Wanting to speak and understand the people, but not being able to, was getting on my nerves.
Another problem is of course, eating in a restaurant and do grocery shopping. I’m vegetarian (no fish and seafood either), so it’s important to me, what I eat and buy. And sitting in a restaurant with my mini dictionary all the time is annoying! Luckily, the Italian kitchen is already much veggi-friendly, but even so…
Well, suddenly a new motivation to learn Italian has occurred: Luna Azzurra, who lies in Loano, Italy! Although, the Italians there speak surprisingly well English, Patrik and I want to blend in and belong a little bit to this beautiful part of Italy. Even if it’s just for a few weeks per year!
Matteo, though, doesn’t speak English at all, so the communication between us is – mildly said – complicated. Writing emails and Whatsapp works very well, a lot of good translation programs exist. But every time we meet, it’s frustrating and embarrassing!
Basta! End of 2018, Patrik and I signed up for an Italian course. We chose a small group (8 participants at the most) and it started this Monday, 14th January. Patrik had, of all things, to travel to the states last week, so he missed the first lesson. Never mind, I was there naturally, and it involved more like, introducing each other, getting the books and being informed, how the course will be held. I must say, to my delight, we are a very likeable class, surely also thanks to our teacher. She actually is Italian, but married a Swiss guy and, therefore, chose to live here 40 years ago. But her heart still beats for her home country, according to her! Lucky us, that means we have a teacher who is determined to teach this language to us with her whole heart and soul! So yes, I have a very good feeling and look forward to continue!