This prompt had me scratching my head, there are so many things I struggle with! But my biggest struggle has to be, after nearly nine years, is learning the Italian language. Before we moved over here, we did go to Italian lessons in Shaftesbury and it was one to one with a fabulous and passionate teacher. I actually think I talked better Italian when I was a tourist rather than now as a permanent resident. Not sure why that is. And when we did move over we went to our friendly neighbour weekly and she taught us from her son’s school books, which was fun and helped with our initial integration. For a couple of years I also helped another local boy with his English. For one reason or another those sessions petered out.
Although we both have quite a large Italian vocabulary and can understand most of what is being said, for me it’s the reply that’s the hardest. It’s all to do with confidence, give me half an hour and I’ll have the perfect response but that isn’t helpful for the conversation and these Italians love to speak at speed! The other issue is the dialect. The Italian we learn only became the official language not long after the second World War and a lot of the elderly folk still speak their own local tongue.
I hated languages at school, well I say languages it was just French back then. But it was really down to the teacher. She couldn’t connect with the pupils and so we became bored and unresponsive. I really think that languages should start being taught at a much earlier age, when you are more open to learning new things. Ho Hum, I’ll keep trying…
Ciao for now,