November 16, 2009 | Italian

Primitive Italian Conversation

I have an Italian conversation, though I'm not sure what the other person said.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning. I am way too hyperactive about Italian. I almost got up to do grammar exercises, but Brandt talked me into staying in bed. I put on a headset, began listening to Pimsleur, and woke up a couple of hours later, not rested enough, but definitely better off than I would have been getting up at 5:00.

I Have No Trouble Sleeping With These on My Head

Thus began a day of Italian activities. I played VocabuLearn in the shower and while getting dressed. I took a five-mile walk in Central Park, doing Pimsleur throughout. I already know quite a bit of the stuff the Pimsleur lessons teach me, even before they teach it, because of all the grammar work I am doing in my books, and also because of the Spanish/French/English parallels to Italian grammar and vocabulary.

Our building has an Italian doorman who is not here all that often. I haven’t seen him for two weeks and have been waiting impatiently to run into him so I can practice. Today I finally saw him, so I promptly went up to him and talked to him in Italian. He is quite difficult to understand in English, and now, I realized, in Italian, too. I think he may speak a dialect.

Anyway, I think he said I did well, that I was 50 percent there, but I’m not sure. Truly, he did not seem very impressed (which was highly disappointing). I told him in Italian that I had been studying all the time, every day, that I could say molte cose adesso (many things now). If I had known how to say “quite a few things now,” I would have chosen that phrase instead, since “many” is overstated, but you gotta stick with what you know.

I said I needed to study more. I said I had nipoti (referring to my nephews and niece) in Italy, and that they were going to come here soon, and that I would be able to practice with them. I said they speak English.

And all these things, I said in Italian.

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