Not understanding a language that surrounds you can make you really depressed

Buonasera miei amici,

È vero (it’s true) when you are in a foreign country it can get very frustrating when you can’t understand thing going on around you. I so WISH and DREAM I could understand the things that are coming out of everyones melodic mouth over here. And I am really trying, but just somethings it feels as though you have hit a brick wall, with no where to go. And let me tell you, il mio bello ragazzo is no help at all. Every time I build up my courage to say the small sentences I can actually say that make sense for everyone to understand me, it is HORRIBLE when he is around, because he here’s me say it and then goes on to ripetere exactly what I have said in his version of my voice. It really makes me want to crawl into a grotto and hide and never resurface. He doesn’t understand how much courage it actually takes me to build that sentence in my head, the amount of thought process it actually takes to get there to begin with, when I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, my worrying that I might not actually be understood, only to then here in repeating in the high pitched girly voice of Matteo mocking me. He is lucky, he can speak both languages… he can switch like its nothing. A year ago he couldn’t do it. But now he is pretty much perfect at the mongrel languages we call english. I desire so much to be able to communicate with his family, to be able to have a full on conversation with nonna, or to have a laugh with mamma. 

I really enjoy when I have those small breakthroughs with the language, that may seem like to nothing to the ordinary Joe Blog, but to me it feels as though I am walking in the clouds. When I say things to Lucky, like Batti il cinque and he actually gives me a High Five! Or when I say come fa leone to Daniel and he replies with a ROAAAAAAAAR! Although that’s a dog, and a 14 month old. But I guess it is still progress. 

And the understanding is getting there, I just wish there was a switch in my head, where I could block out the english and just understand italian. I mean when we were hanging with Matteo’s amici just two days past, they did a run down of words like animals and fruits where they would say them in italian and I would tell them what they were in english. I have enough vocabulary, just forming that DAMN sentence! ARRRRRRRRHHHHH!

To which everyone replies piano piano piano….. But I want it NOW! I don’t want it to slowly happen! I had to have a bit of a giggle when Matteo’s aunty Paola came to visit yesterday (nonna and her 3 daughters all live in the same apartment complex, just on different floors, or those mamma is living with his while her apartment is being renovated) and she was telling Matteo that it annoys her that I can’t speak italian, and that he should speak to me in italian all the time so I can start to understand the italian structure properly. I replied with an anche io me too. Because I understood what she was saying. Why is learning a new language as an adult never easy? Why is it sooooo frustrating!!!?

It’s not fair…. Now I love Disney! Disney movies are my favourite, so as a way to try to improve the minuscule amount of italian I do know, I have started youtubing videos of disney movie songs. Because I love to sing, I spent 7 years doing singing lessons, and singing for weddings and funerals and in church, so I figure lets use this gift I have to incorporate my language learning. And I know the songs well enough in english anyway, so learning them in italian and already knowing the translation should speed up the learning process right? Oh I hope so! I even started watching la sirenetta (the little mermaid) I was so impressed that they managed to have sebastian with a Jamaican accent even though he is speaking italian! That is AWESOME! I am trying to wait for Frozen to come out on dvd here in Italy, I have seen it quite a few times already and they have a principessa Anna (clearly named after me) so I am longing to see it in italian to be able to watch it over and over again in the hope that at some point it will begin to make sense.

Well rant over!

Buona notte a tutti

This is what my brain looks like when attempting italian!

This is what my brain looks like when attempting italian!





2 thoughts on “Not understanding a language that surrounds you can make you really depressed

  1. martin says:

    è difficile, ma possibile! 🙂 never give up


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