Sylvia's writing to freedom

Italian lesson 25/11/2010

Tuesday was the evening that I together with our American friends had decided to finally start Italian lessons with my partner P. as a teacher. Tuesday evening A. called to say that they had made a lot of pasta with Italian friends and that they were supposed to eat dinner with them. She asked if we could reschedule the lesson to another moment this week? P. suggested Thursday evening at nine to give it another shot and he confirmed it with a text message. Tonight it’s Thursday and around nine o’clock nobody showed up, at 9:16 we sent a text message and tried to call. No response what so ever. I made Tuesday already the commitment to start with the lessons no matter what, it’s time to direct myself and not using somebody else as an excuse. So P. and I did the lesson.

P. checked my verbs, but they were almost non existing. I know bits and peaces, therefore within a few minutes I’m totally lost. From now on I’ve to use every spare moment to study my verbs. I’ll be looking within my daily life to determine which verbs are used more by me than others, to make a ranked list from which I’ll be doing my studying. I’ll also be looking in my day to day life to see what kind of sentences I’m not able to make in order to ask for help. When I do have a little bit more of a base, I’ll be chatting with some of our friends on the internet. In order to get more practise in writing spoken language and to achieve some what more depth within my language than I had before while talking to the ladies of my village. It’s all communication, but I will not be focussing on dialect and housekeeping idiom from now on.

I didn’t had this overwhelming feeling or the feeling of suppressing the overwhelmed feeling tonight. I was able to be equal to the language. Although I did speak out loud where I didn’t have any clou of what P. was talking. This way I directly confronted myself with the issues I had to face. When I did some exercises with P. I noticed that the mucus on my vocal cords became more and more. I didn’t feel less than the language, but I experienced a feeling of almost not being able to complete the sentences through lack of information/knowledge. It was hard to grasp the words P. spoke and I had to put in a lot of effort, till I realised that this is what the situation is. I have to work with what is here and if it’s not much than I have to realise that and not get stressed or disappointed about it. That way it won’t push me further and I’m only able to go further, there is never ever a way back. So the mucus decreased and I started to translate all kinds of sentences P. gave me, as far as I was able. The kids started to give me all kinds of hints and we enjoyed ourselves.

I still have a long way to go, but one day I’ll be ready and at that point I’ll have access to the language and the culture through my own effort. I’ll never be one of them, because the Italians will always refere to me as “the Dutch lady” as so many foreigners who went before me. I do have Italian roots, something that’s really important to the people here. To me it’s no more than a nice family story as any other story. I’ll see them as my equals, treat them equally and do what’s best for all.

I’ve been struggling with the fact if I should do video’s also in Italian. In the end we need to communicate in one and the same language and that will be English. I saw right a way how that was a nice distraction of my mind to talk me out of doing video’s in Italian and not to study too hard on my Italian language. I got you mind!


2 Responses to “Italian lesson”

  1. Lindsay Craver Says:

    ‘I got you mind!’

    LOL – cool to see you pushing through – I’ve been slacking on learning Spanish myself, but I’ll be starting a course next term in college – it’s required that I learn a language before I can graduate, so we’ll see what comes up. Like you stated, we can only work with what is here – no need to make it into a huge thing.


    • Sylvia Says:

      Yes, and no need to hang on to old images of who one perceives oneself to be or how ones surrounding perceives one to be. In my case my parents always said: “She’s just like her mom, it’s hard to learn languages. Her dad on the other hand picks up new languages really quick”.

      If one believes this kind of shit one is fucked for as long as one beliefs it. Once I’m aware of things I have to push through, by than I’m half way and it would be really stupid to leave it and run away.

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