Italian is the language of PASSION, PLEASURE and ENTERTAINMENT! Did I mention the capital of arts, music, soccer, design and of course FOOD (which is perhaps my favourite reason)? My first trip to Italy in 2016 changed my life; the beautiful espresso every morning, la focaccia alla Genovese or the beautiful red wine made in the bathtub of a restaurant owner I stumbled across in Rome. Either one of those or perhaps a combination of them all ignited the hidden Italian Lina inside me. I have never heard a language more beautifully spoken and not to mention, one with the highest number of words to describe food than any other!
My interest in Italian had however developed slightly earlier on. Anyone who has lived or has spent a considerable time in in Adelaide will have noticed the strong influence of Italian culture. Since the 1960s, Italians have had a distinct influence upon Australian and have contributed to the extreme culinary and cultural diversity that exists today. You simply cannot have grown up in Australia and not know at least what cibo, buongiorno, mangia, and latte mean.
This provided me with the perfect setting and incentive to learn the basics of the language. In high school I had a large number of friends with an Italian background and as I began working in an Italian restaurant in 2014, it only made sense to teach myself the language. I had an enthusiastic employer who would ramble in his Calabrese dialect and as the staff were all primarily Italian, I very quickly picked up phrases simply through daily immersion. My knowledge of French and Spanish allowed me to understand at least 80% of what was said around me and therefore decided, “Hey, I think it’s time for another language”. It was really my trip to Italy in 2016 that made me fall in love with the country of beautiful food, culture, fashion and people.
At the beginning of the year I learned a bit through the Duolingo app and found texts and films to watch online but it soon grew to be boring and enrolled in the Intermediate Italian class at my University in 2017; best decision ever. My teacher was amazing, the resources and textbooks provided were engaging and we learned about travel, recipes, Italian gestures and swear words – I think this was truly the best language class I had ever taken. Since that point I have truly fallen in love with the easy-going, flamboyant culture am already planning my next trip over to discover the country on a deeper level.
Being a romance language, if you are a speaker of English, French, Spanish, Romanian or Portuguese – you can already understand at least 30% of the language and learning Italian will in turn give you a better understanding of your own. With beautiful adjectives like mellifluo (mellifluous) or innocuo (innocuous) – you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone or prendere due piccioni con una fava.
We all know the best food comes from Italy, so why not give yourself a culinary language makeover and actually understand what you are eating! Did you know that the arrabiata of the spaghetti arrabbiata literally means angry, and that the primavera of your pasta primavera means spring? And when you eat farfalle (the ribbon shaped pasta), you’re eating butterflies.
And if you’re a little shy on speaking, this is sure enough going to change when you learn Italian. With their vibrant flair, loudness and means of expression, you will definitely notice a more outgoing side of you come-out like I did when speaking Italian. In addition to an extensive vocabulary, did you know that you can actually have an entire dialogue in Italian without uttering a single word? This is because Italians possess a HUGE number of non-verbal gestures which sometimes communicate your point across better than words ever could. So prepare yourself for one of the wildest rides of your life once you start learning Italian and get the best tips on how to do so in my E-Book!