August 2018: Study Some Italian

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to start two “personal improvement” projects when August begins. One is basically the elimination of all types of eating out. Going very extreme on that one. The other is studying a language where I start at zero.

And I’ve decided that language is Italian.

There were five languages on my shortlist: Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Korean, and Polish. But I went with the language from the boot-shaped country. Why?

1) I don’t know much about it. I know it’s supposedly the language closest to pure Latin, at least in terms of active languages. I know it’s not particularly widespread compared to other languages. And I understand that it’s a very phonetic language, which is a big plus side.

2) I have experience with Romance languages. Mostly Spanish, of course. But knowing a chunk of one Romance language will help you pick up on parts of others, even if it’s just something like pronunciation or rolling R’s.

3) It’s not French. 

4) There are quite a few learning resources. Despite Italian not being as global as Spanish or Portuguese, there are a lot of people who speak it and there are a lot of resources out there. Quite a few are free. Quite a few are not. I’m going to check out what I can and see what sticks.

5) Video games. A lot of games have Italian translations. Doesn’t seem like many have audio translations, but a lot of games are limited to Japanese/English audio, so that’s not strange. However, Pokémon has Italian text, so that may be an option if I reach a certain comfort level.

6) Google Home support. I like my Google Home, and I’ve been using it on Spanish since the language rolled out a couple months ago. But before it received Spanish support, it got Italian! I won’t use it non-stop, but it’ll probably teach me a few words here and there.

Now, over the next few days, I need to make my plan of attack. Right now, I’m leaning toward giving Duolingo’s Italian course a shot (Duolingo is rather hit-and-miss, but Italian is one of their older courses). I also plan to create an Anki deck, that consists of useful phrases I’ve learned and other sentences I want to keep in mind (And if there’s a pre-built Anki deck useful for learning, I’ll give it a go). I’m also going to scour Reddit for other recommendations. If there’s something that blows everything else out of the water, I’ll give it a shot.