January 6, 2010 | Italian

Fading Memories

I'm starting to forget Italian I learned just six weeks ago.

Besides some book-learning today (Italian grammar books, that is), I had some real-life Italian experiences as well: a brief conversation in the coffee shop, for one, plus I wrote an e-mail in Italian. Nothing too high-volume, but I love this kind of stuff.

Nonetheless, I found myself feeling discouraged about my lack of skills, and how I am forgetting things I learned six weeks ago that are kind of important to know. Alas. And the only remaining exercises in my grammar books are the ones that are least useful to me.

A surprising detail learned today from one of my books: in Italian, you refer to the fourteenth century as il Trecento (literally, “the 300”), the fifteenth century as il Quattrocento (the 400), and so on. So you essentially lop off the teens in 1300s, 1400s, etc. Odd! What about the real 300s, 400s, etc.?

I guess no one cares.

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