I speak perfect Italian. NOT!!!
Anyone who knows me will tell you that my Italian is NOT perfect. It’s not even close to perfect; it’s cosi cosi (so so). My Italian friends often say I speak Italiano di Roberto or Italiano di Bob, which makes them laugh and almost always brings a smile to my face because it is so very accurate.
I speak Italian well enough (abbastanza). I speak it well enough to have made wonderful Italian friends and have a host of wonderful Italian experiences. As such, I write to inspire you to learn Italian, to speak whatever Italian you already know, and not to teach you to speak Italian. But, you probably already know that.
I run into far too many people who expect that they will learn to speak Italian perfectly. These people will be very discouraged as Italian is a far more complicated language than it first appears and the likelihood of a newcomer learning to speak perfect Italian is close to nil. There is another group of people who do not even try to speak the language because they are afraid they won’t speak it perfectly, afraid to make a fool of themselves.
Both these groups are missing out on the many joys of learning enough of the language, without worrying about speaking perfectly, to have a far richer life experience, and to make Italian friends and acquaintances.
You, well most all of you, will NEVER speak Italian with perfection. So, give up the idea here and now and, instead, speak what you do know, and commit to learning more without beating yourself up for making mistakes. You WILL make mistakes and the best thing to do when you make a gaffe is to laugh and know that these blunders actually aid you in your pursuit to learn la lingua italiano, any language actually whether you are attempting to learn Italian, French, Arabic, Chinese, and so on.
Once you accept that premise you can then enjoy the process, for that is what it is, a process, with it’s ups and downs, it’s highs and lows. And, the process can bring about joyous experiences.
If it helps to inspire you, remember that over the years I have inadvertently told a slew of Italians that I am a pope (una papa) when I thought I was telling them I was a dad (una papà); I’ve ordered dog (cane) when I wanted meat (carne) and, I’ve asked for fish (pesce) when I’ve wanted a peach (pesca). I’ve told dozens, if not hundreds of Italians that I was sexually excited (sono eccitato) to see them when I thought I was simply saying I was excited to see them (I now say sono felice or I am happy to see you and not sono eccitato). As many of you know I could go on and on. Being willing to make such such errors has led me to some incredible and rich experiences and to the start of some wonderful friendships, not to mention it’s taught me a little bit about patience and humility. I mean, it’s impossible not to develop pazienza or sit on one’s high horse. So, make your errore. Start today. Parlate Italiano amici e godetevi l’esperienza.