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It would be rude to put this all into Italian..

There were a few others on here who were learning Italian.

I live in Italy now, I've reached level B2 with the language, and I find that while I can speak it OK (at least, they don't struggle to understand me as long as I pay attention to the vowel and plural sounds): I still find that my brain cannot be bothered to do the mental gymnastics required to translate and understand complicated sentences.

The other person speaks and I smile like a simpleton knowing that I'm basically discarding most of what the other person is saying. The words go past like the faces of the people in the windows of a fast train.

To get to a C1 level or better would mean I'd need to be able to pretty well understand most or all of what is said to me, and that is where it all falls down.

So if you fancy some practice let me know.

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I only learned a small amount of Italian. I used to work for Pirelli, cable division in Southampton There were free Italian lessons. Only about ten people took it up. Unlike many here, who already know all the good and famous, I did meet Leopoldo Pirelli, when he visited our small office.

I was reminded of the Godfather.:CryBaby: I still wonder how we got the contract to "cable up" Sicily?

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2 hours ago, MrPin said:

I only learned a small amount of Italian. I used to work for Pirelli, cable division in Southampton There were free Italian lessons. Only about ten people took it up. Unlike many here, who already know all the good and famous, I did meet Leopoldo Pirelli, when he visited our small office.

I was reminded of the Godfather.:CryBaby: I still wonder how we got the contract to "cable up" Sicily?

I've worked for the mafia, a long time ago.

Separately, been to a very posh wedding in Sicily, very nice vineyard setting for the evening do, two rows of food tables like you've never seen outside under lanterns and some very burly waiters.

They don't do things by halves.

 

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On 06/10/2020 at 01:50, DTMark said:

I still find that my brain cannot be bothered to do the mental gymnastics required to translate and understand complicated sentences.

That’s pretty normal..   sounds like you’re making good progress Mark.

There will always be times you don’t know words and your brain will fill in the gaps..  as you get better the gaps will just reduce.  Mentally it’s very hard work though..  I bet you are knackered! :)

Only thing I could suggest is try watching some kids cartoons..  they are clear and use simple vocabulary.  Less heavy going than trying to battle through complex grown-up stuff so you might enjoy it more.

If you ever take up Spanish,  I’d be happy to practice with you..  can’t really help with Italian though.

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20 minutes ago, 5min OCD speculator said:

do you have to pay for that? How does it compare with something like duolingo...

I can see the benefit of someone keep 'kicking you up the RS', with duolingo I blow hot n cold too much

Duolingo is good for learning words.

There's no substitute for face-to-face tuition, even if over Skype. Actually having to use the language and speak it for 45 minutes without dropping back to English means you advance much further.

Average price for a lesson is probably about £11 and most tutors offer a free or cheap first lesson.

https://www.verbalplanet.com/

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13 hours ago, Libspero said:

That’s pretty normal..   sounds like you’re making good progress Mark.

There will always be times you don’t know words and your brain will fill in the gaps..  as you get better the gaps will just reduce.  Mentally it’s very hard work though..  I bet you are knackered! :)

Only thing I could suggest is try watching some kids cartoons..  they are clear and use simple vocabulary.  Less heavy going than trying to battle through complex grown-up stuff so you might enjoy it more.

If you ever take up Spanish,  I’d be happy to practice with you..  can’t really help with Italian though.

There's a series called "Pocoyo" which I suspect is for circa 4 year olds. I can understand all of that. You'd hope so.

There's also Rai Yoyo which is an Italian cartoon channel with such greats as "44 Cats" and "Bing". Maybe for slightly older kids. I particularly like those. Bing is a black rabbit who lives with a surprisingly deep-voiced ant (at least in the Italian dub) who seems to have some sort of disaster in every episode but it turns out alright in the end.

Those are the moments where you're brought down to earth. When you realise that small children know more words than you do, and can speak the language better than you can. I shall tell Nick that we must resume watching Bing.

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Oddly enough I've come across an app called HelloTalk which appears to have been designed for exactly this purpose - random chats with random people who want to learn each other's language.

I've installed it and set up a profile. Now I'm typing this (obviously) while glancing across at my phone wondering if it will suddenly light up like a Christmas tree. Everyone wants to learn English, it seems.

I did chat with a man in a shop for about 20 minutes yesterday. I think he was bored. He seemed not to want me to escape. I could understand him for the most part and he seemed impressed with my Italian given that he could barely speak any English. So that's something.

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On 06/10/2020 at 01:50, DTMark said:

 I still find that my brain cannot be bothered to do the mental gymnastics required to translate and understand complicated sentences.

The other person speaks and I smile like a simpleton knowing that I'm basically discarding most of what the other person is saying. The words go past like the faces of the people in the windows of a fast train....,

Mate..... I feel this everyday......

Every interaction I have pretty much. 
 

Fuck knows what it would be like if they were speaking a different language as well......

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Just now, MrPin said:

DOSBODS?

Anyway, imported words that end in a, are strangely masculine, like sistema.

Well, I thought I knew most of the gender exceptions like hand, cinema etc but I didn't know that one. See, I've learned something already from starting this thread.

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Just now, DTMark said:

Well, I thought I knew most of the gender exceptions like hand, cinema etc but I didn't know that one. See, I've learned something already from starting this thread.

I got my Italian lesson book out Marco, from years ago.

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Nobody has spoken to me on the app yet.

Most of the members seem to be women which is a bonus.

Because when I was choosing Italian tutors on Verbalplanet I had to avoid all the fit male ones as I suspected that I might get distracted, and I have a habit of saying inappropriate things.

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1 minute ago, MrPin said:

benvenuto nel club

Si, ma io faccio quello personalmente in persona (Catarella, Inspector Montalbano reference). Non riesco a pensare a niente di cui parlare, quindi dico sempre la prima cosa che mi viene in mente ;)

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