When I first came to Europe, language was very daunting. I wasn’t very motivated to learn about a language and it kind of scared me. I started in countries with languages and letters somewhat foreign to what my typical 26 alphabet is. Danish, German, and Dutch. I didn’t try to learn them that well, and did my best to get around then.
In Germany I met a guy from the Austin (yes Texas) area who was taking a class on German. I was fascinated, but I doubted that I would remember, understand, or even care about it. Now I’m in Slovenia, another country with a few extra strange letters, and I can see the similarities and differences between languages. Their š is a lot similar to the “sci” sound in Italian (although it is actually “shu”). Their words like “pizzeria” are the same, but just with an added “j” making the “yuh” sound (pizzarjia).
France was when language first started making sense, as I took 6 weeks in middle school. It is also similar to Spanish (somewhat), which I studied in high school. French is really hard with the pronunciations, so I didn’t get very far in practicing.
In Spain things started to get better, all my Spanish came rushing back and I don’t remember having learned as much as I actually knew.
Coming to Italy I knew a few things and was prepared and motivated to learn the language. It’s been hard, but I keep pushing myself. The more I push myself to learn another language, the more my interest in other languages perks up. It’s not just the language itself that fascinates me, but the way that the country thinks.
I think when I go home to Texas, I am going to give spanish another try. In two months I have learned more italian than spanish in the 4 years I studied it. If I can push myself to learn spanish like I have italian, I know I can do so much more and put it to such good use.