Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday afternoon

Hey there, like I said before, I really love the peace corps' approach to language class, so I'm going to include a little summary of it, and how I'm applying it to Italian. It's not official by any means, just a general idea. So far is what I've learned about languages, starting with the most important.

Hi is the only word that really matters, the rest is just specification. With that in mind, always start with the different ways to say hello, good morning, goodnight, goodbye, etc. A salutation is the start of a conversation, a way to greet people on their birthdays or when they're sick, even a way to evaporate tension built up from seeing darkened figures walking toward you on a dark street when you're alone. Basically they're great. After that, I think it's good to know a few verbs, and most languages have an action verb (to do, to make), a going verb (I'm going to the HEB), a have verb (I have a cat named Ronald Weasley) and a being verb (I am happy). After knowing how to go somewhere, you will probably be curious and want to know some places to which you can go. That brings us to questions. Who, why, what, where, etc - just a few words and you're set. Then, once you've gotten somewhere, you're probably going to want to do something (eat, for instance?), hence some new verbs. Just a couple will do to get you started. Then, directions are important; we're all tourists. And what if you give directions to someone (being the nice person that you are), but they're still a bit confused? Adjectives. Big, small, etc. Nothing too fancy, unless you're a poet that takes himself too seriously, in which case you wouldn't read a language book but would instead have already scraped together enough change to buy a plane ticket and would be sitting semi-comfortably a few ten thousand feet above the Atlantic right now, looking at the Sky shopping magazine with a mixture of amusement and disgust. Thankfully, not many of us are like that. After adjectives, I'd add a few more verbs, and then the past tense. For French and Italian, the past tense uses the being and have verbs, so it's not at all hard. After that, review and you're all set. I'm about halfway through my Italian lessons, and this structure is helping a lot. Don't get too caught up with specifics, just try a few things out, and think how much easier your trip will be if you spend fifteen minutes a day in traffic doing something other than searching for a good song out of the millions of stations all playing truck commercials. Above is the schedule I made for Italian, if you're curious.

I'm going to go eat some lunch. I found this bean place that gives you a bowl of beans, rice, peppers, onion, cucumber, and green toms for only 100 francs. And best of all it's behind a billboard at an intersection, you have to duck under a bank advertisement to get to it.


Tiffany said...

Hey clay-
Your blogs always make me smile! Only 52 days until I head off for the Amalfi coast in Italy-and you've inspired me to try to learn at least a bit of Italian. Hopefully it goes better than my goal to learn french and how to play the guitar....we'll see.
take care,

Maggy said...

the only thing better than seeing your schedule is understanding it. =] next time maybe you could put it in english...or even spanish ?? have you gotten my card yet?

katie said...

I think you are just really good at languages. I suck! Do those "idiots" books really help? Maybe I should get one for Italy.