Once upon a time, six years ago, I wanted to learn Italian. I had just returned to my hometown from a year-long journey where I had learned Spanish to the point of being able to read, write and have conversations with people.
I had found a job with Italian employers, and whilst some random words sounded familiar to my Spanish-enabled ear, I decided I wanted to learn Italian. So I did all the things you do when you decide to do something. I bought a lesson book, audio CDs, a dictionary and the Big Green Book of Italian Verbs, 555 conjugated Italian verbs.
Like a health kick, it started off well. I dedicated some time to it, and completed a few lessons. Then somewhere along the line, my enthusiasm waned (no doubt distracted by the most recent infatuation) and I abandoned my Italian studies. I think I justified it to myself as “I don’t want to forget/lose my Spanish by learning Italian.”
In my desire to downsize pending the move to LA, the Italian resources got the chop. A Facebook status update advertising all these resources free to a good home netted a response from a friend who is passionately in love with the Italian language, has been to Italy a number of times and who admitted to me today, dreams about having an Italian boyfriend.
So over a coffee at a cafe run by my former Italian bosses, we exchanged plans for 2011 and I handed over the books.
My plan is to focus on improving my Spanish. I’m sure there will be ample opportunity to learn, study and practice Spanish in LA, so rather than spread my language skills thinly like Vegemite on toast, I’m going to focus on immersing myself in Spanish like a big thick goop of peanut butter instead.
What language are you learning (or continuing with) in 2011? My best wishes and encouragement go out to you as you pick up the lingo.