Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sono italiana in spirito!*

Recently I've been studying French while I eat my breakfast. This morning, however, I was inspired to pick up an Italian lessons book instead (my program requires modern foreign language skills: in French or Italian, plus German). My book is Italian Lessons by A. Arbib-Costa (1933), with practice sentences like this one on page 38:

Io capisco benissimo il francese e lo spagnolo, ma mio fratello non capisce bene il tedesco che ha studiato per sei mesi solamente.

[I understand French and Spanish very well, but my brother does not understand German well, which he has studied for six months only.]

There seem to be several sentences in this lesson about the difficulty of understanding German, which confirm my own experience.

For some reason (probably my years of high school Spanish), I find Italian much easier and more fun to work with than French, which so many of my fellow classicists read with ease. Though I'd love to read Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac in French (I have original texts, and I can work through some of the language), I have much more interest in works written in Italian: Petrarch, Dante-- heck, all the Italian humanists & Renaissance guys! So although I'm sure I'll eventually work French out, for right now I'm focusing on Italian with great...gusto.

*A quotation (modified for gender) from A Fish Called Wanda

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