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Old 21.10.2011, 16:45
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Italian in 10 weeks?

We just spent a few days in Cinque Terre. It was fantastic! Great hiking, great swimming, and five lovely towns. Only one negative thing to report: the natives were not very friendly! With no exception, everyone we spoke to at various train station ticket offices were unfriendly. Same thing at the grocery stores. Hell, don't they need tourists?

Despite the unfriendliness, we are going back during the Christmas school break. This time we plan to visit Venice, Florence and Rome. Maybe if I speak a little Italian, the natives will be nicer. Maybe they will smile.

How much Italian can one learn in 10 weeks, at 30 minutes per day?
Any suggestion as to how to make the most of it?

Grazie mille
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Old 24.10.2011, 10:59
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

I'm really sorry to hear you had such an experience: Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places on Earth (especially Corniglia) and it's a shame if it gets ruined by things people could really make a small effort for. On the other hand, please consider that peak visiting times (like around Christmas) could actually bring out the worst of people, so be warned!

However: learning a sufficient amount of Italian to get around, not risk sounding impolite or, contrarily, swear like a sailor is definitely achievable in 10 weeks. Particularly so if you do speak French (especially in the Cinque Terre area, due to vicinity, French influences on the dialects are pretty strong), but it really depends on how deep you want to go.
In any case, even though I'm absolutely no teacher (just a native ) I'd be happy to help.

Last edited by SunnAr; 24.10.2011 at 11:32. Reason: Monday morning.
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:04
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

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one negative thing to report: the natives were not very friendly!
Do you speak Italian?

If not, what did you try speaking to them?

I've always found them friendly, but I do speak Italian.

Tom
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:14
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

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Do you speak Italian?

If not, what did you try speaking to them?

I've always found them friendly, but I do speak Italian.

Tom
We went in Italy and find it very nice, we had great contact with the locals and they were very friendly.

Maybe Quebecman is acting over there the way he is acting here? Asking questions, help and tips without involving himself or even thanking?
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:21
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

OP, there is a saying in my hometown that approximately translates as follows: "You will truly understand Italy only the day when you sit at the dinner table with an Italian family." I think that this is very true, because the concept embeds a mix of tradition, warmth of family life, even the big mess (!) and the love of food and drinks - per se and also as a mean of social interaction.

Aside from appreciation of the archeological and natural beauty of the country (and I am really sorry to hear that you encountered less than friendly people!) I hope that in your future travels one day you will be able to truly experience Italy this way.

Enjoy your vacation - and good luck with the language!
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:37
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

I was in Florence & Rome in July and had a mixture of reactions from people. Whereas, with every other place I've been I would expect politeness from someone I've spoken to, with Italy I found it was 50-50 whether the next Italian I met would be polite to me or rude. I was even talking to one polite staff member in the Vatican, when a colleague of his came and shoo-ed me away.

Perhaps Cinque Terre people are like you describe, but generally, I didn't find it that bad in Florence and Rome - both of which are brilliant places to visit.

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We just spent a few days in Cinque Terre. It was fantastic! Great hiking, great swimming, and five lovely towns. Only one negative thing to report: the natives were not very friendly! With no exception, everyone we spoke to at various train station ticket offices were unfriendly. Same thing at the grocery stores. Hell, don't they need tourists?

Despite the unfriendliness, we are going back during the Christmas school break. This time we plan to visit Venice, Florence and Rome. Maybe if I speak a little Italian, the natives will be nicer. Maybe they will smile.

How much Italian can one learn in 10 weeks, at 30 minutes per day?
Any suggestion as to how to make the most of it?

Grazie mille
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Old 24.10.2011, 13:52
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

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OP, there is a saying in my hometown that approximately translates as follows: "You will truly understand Italy only the day when you sit at the dinner table with an Italian family."
Did that Saturday evening in Brezzo di Bedero (VA).

I did the cooking, fondue chinoise AND fondue bourguignonne!

Tom
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Old 24.10.2011, 14:24
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

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Did that Saturday evening in Brezzo di Bedero (VA).

I did the cooking, fondue chinoise AND fondue bourguignonne!

Tom
YUM! I am looking forward to my next visit home - I "pre-ordered" from my grandma (i.e. asked very nicely with lots of kisses) pizzoccheri on Saturday and stewed deer with polenta+gorgonzola on Sunday
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Old 24.10.2011, 14:28
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

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YUM! I am looking forward to my next visit home - I "pre-ordered" from my grandma (i.e. asked very nicely with lots of kisses) pizzoccheri on Saturday and stewed deer with polenta+gorgonzola on Sunday
I make great pizzocheri, and for polenta we normally use the "taragna" flour. Good with porcini too!

Tom
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Old 04.11.2011, 16:07
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

You can try to find some useful videos on youtube.. for example



it sounds interesting as the guy on this video explains it in english. Hope it helps!
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Old 04.11.2011, 17:33
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

I too question what you were trying to speak to them. Tourists should always try to learn some of the language before traveling anywhere......and Canadians and Americans are notorious for assuming enough people speak English.

So it's good you're taking this step before returning. Italian isn't really so hard - much, much easier than French or German! Just make sure you spend enough time listening to the language rather than just speaking or reading it. There's no point in arming yourself with stuff to say only to fall completely apart when someone asks you a question! I learned this the hard way with German
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Old 08.11.2011, 10:35
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Re: Italian in 10 weeks?

I'm very sorry for that.
You have to know that generally speaking Italians don't speak english so this fact could be the reason why you found this bad feedback from my fellow citizens.
Italian languege is very difficult but if you want to learn it you'll learn it.

If I can help you, please let me know.

Regards
Fabrizio
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