Friday, January 16, 2009

New Year's resolutions: study Italian!

Maybe you don't even have a New Year's resolution. But maybe you do. Or just maybe I can convince you that your New Year's resolution should be to speak Italian fluently!

It's a good resolution for any number of reasons.

Knowing a language fluently gains you entree into its canon of literature, and I always find that alone allows me to escape my regular life. Feeling a little stressed, Ciambellina? Oh just curl up on the couch and read a little Italian.

(And just between us, by canon of literature I mean anything from the women's magazine Grazia to Dante's Divine Comedy, per intenderci.)

But whatever you're reading, I have two suggestions for where to invest a bit of money if you want to improve your Italian.

First, buy a subscription to Acquerello Italiano.

It's essentially a bi-monthly radio program in Italian that touches on politics, history, art and, of course, language. It reminds me of such National Public Radio shows in America as Fresh Air or All Things Considered.

I bought the subscription for Il Nostro Inviato a few years back, and bought myself a subscription to Puerta del Sol, the Spanish-language program.

You'll receive a CD in the mail every other month. One episode featured an interview with a Roman bread-maker, while another covered the re-election of Silvio Berlusconi. The program has also touched on little-known artists such as Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi, and famous pop singers like Eros Ramazzotti.

Avviso: the audiomagazine is not for the novice because the entire CD is in Italian, and the show moves along at a pretty fast pace. I don't think it's the same speed as say the nightly TG1 but you need to have some fluency.

But it's fun! You can listen to the CDs in the car -- that's what I did -- or put them on at home while you clean or cook.

A Nashville, Tenn. company called Champs Elysees produces the programs (it also sells French and German programs). Go here if you're interested:

I'll tell you about the second option tomorrow.

Nelfrattempo buon studio!


Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I wish I could learn Italian but I'm so bad at foreign languages!

Ciambellina said...

Oh c'mon! I'm sure you could learn a little. And you know, I think you would enjoy even just knowing a little!

Like I bet you know the word konni-chi-wa (not the correct spelling, excuse me) in Japanese. Isn't it fun just knowing that word?!

Thanks for visiting.

Sra. Siliberto said...

Hola! Gracias por visitar mi blog y tratare de meter palabras menos populares para que te sea mas facil el espanol.
Io parlo italiano xk mio marito e' italiano (e' della Puglia), cmq l'abbia studiato prima. Allora se vuoi qualche aiutino fammi sapere e glielo chiedo. Lui e' chi sempre mi aiuta con parole o certe frasi.
Tambien hablo ingles y estoy estudiando portugues. Y dejame decirte que el portugues es aun mas divertido porque tiene ese ritmito con el que hablan los brasilenos que es super!
va bene, ci sentiamo dopo.

Ciambellina said...

Benvenuta Sra. Siliberto! Mi fa molto piacere che tu hai trovato il mio blog e che lo vuoi seguire.

Comunque mi serve sempre un aiutino. Di dov'e' tuo marito? Sono curiosa: oltre a parlare con tuo marito, ti impegni a fare altre cose per mantenere l'italiano?

Complimenti a te che studi un sacco di lingue! Brava! Ma il portogese, come lingua, mi sembra un po' difficile a causa del ritmo, appunto. Ma a te piace, eh? Allora buon studio!