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Refresh Spanish skills or learn Italian?

 

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  #1  
Old January 05, 2014, 07:36 PM
lottatrvlr lottatrvlr is offline
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Refresh Spanish skills or learn Italian?

Should I concentrate on refreshing my Spanish skills and/or learn Italian? I'm going to Italy in May and want to know what to do. Throughout the years, I've traveled in Mexico, Guatemala and the Yucatan, visiting Mayan sites and the wonderful El Caribe. My Spanish has served me fairly well, even in the hinterlands of the Yucatan, where Mayan, Spanish and minimal English spoken.

Currently listening to Learn Italian While Driving.
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  #2  
Old January 05, 2014, 08:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Refreshing your Spanish would be time well spent, to be sure.

You'll be able to understand a good amount of Italian without too much formal study.
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Old January 07, 2014, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lottatrvlr View Post
Should I concentrate on refreshing my Spanish skills and/or learn Italian? I'm going to Italy in May and want to know what to do. Throughout the years, I've traveled in Mexico, Guatemala and the Yucatan, visiting Mayan sites and the wonderful El Caribe. My Spanish has served me fairly well, even in the hinterlands of the Yucatan, where Mayan, Spanish and minimal English spoken.

Currently listening to Learn Italian While Driving.
Hola lotta. I lived in Italy for 2 years and have been back five times. I like Italy a lot.
I learned to speak Spanish after I learned Italian. When I walk down the
streets in Italy many times I think to myself are they speaking Italian or Spanish?

When I first went to Italy I was studing Italian night and day 24/7 with little results.
I had a Mexican Spanish speaking friend I lived with in Italy. He spoke fluent Italian.
I asked him how he had learned to speak Italian so well since I was having such a hard
time learning it. I wanted to know what books, tapes and methods etc. he was using or had used to
learn Italian. I will never forget what he told me. He said all he did was speak Spanish trying to use
an Italian accent at first and after a few weeks he was speaking Italian. No books, tapes or studying!
Furthermore he said that the Italian culture in general was so similar to his culture. We would be driving
or walking down the street in Italy and he would say things like, oh that Italian lady looks like my aunt
Maria, and look how they are doing such and such a thing, just like in Mexico. Catholics in Mexico or
Catholics in Italy almost the same thing etc. etc.

Years later I found out that Spain was a Roman colony for 640 years and in Spain they spoke the Latin
language of the Roman Empire for 840 years. Rome was Spain and Spain was Rome. Spain also ruled
Italy for 3 generations making Italy even more like Spain and visa versa.

What's ironic is when I go to Italy and talk in Italian to people I always meet somebody that reminds
me so much of the many Mexican, Cuban and Hispanics in general I have met over the years.

Last edited by Villa; January 07, 2014 at 03:00 PM.
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Old January 07, 2014, 06:48 PM
lottatrvlr lottatrvlr is offline
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Thanks for the reinforcement, my husband who's monolingual insists that I learn Italian. After 30+ years of marriage, I tend to do what I think is best and will concentrate on my Spanish.

I'll be traveling with a long-time friend who speaks Italian and has eight cousins whom we'll visit while in Rome. I'm confident us two women, and perhaps the cousin (s), will be just fine. I just truly enjoy conversing in the native language and will to continue to use the Italian While Driving CDs to get the accent down. Fortunately for me I don't drive much, instead I sew and listen to Spanish lessons and revitalize my Spanish brain paths. This time around I'm concentrating on learning new verbs tenses, more daily conversation needs, etc.

When we drove across the Yucatan I saw numerous places with names with at least 5-8 syllables, which are far more than English city names IMHO--Valladodid, Oxkutzcab, Dzibilchaltun. After a bit of practice I was able to pronounce them fairly correctly, but it took some practice to just keep saying those letters

While driving I was practicing my Italian and think my accent's good. I had read about the emphasis on the third syllable and that really helped. Plus we use so many Italians words, but with an American accent. Have you seen the Chef Boyardee's spaghetti O's commercial? It's a perfect example of difference between Italian and American enunciation.
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Old January 07, 2014, 08:49 PM
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1960s Spaghetti Commercial
YouTube

Are you talking about this commerical Lotta? It's so classic.

Any way it won't hurt you one bit to study some Italian for your trip.
Spanish and Italian vowels are the same. ah eh ee oh oo
Spanish Ñ=gn in Italian. montaña=montagna
You roll your "R's" the same in Spanish and Italian. Most of the
consonants are the same in Span. and Italian. Spanish and Italian
are both spoken in the front of the mouth while English is spoken
in the back of the mouth.

Last edited by Rusty; January 07, 2014 at 09:03 PM. Reason: removed superfluous content
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Old January 13, 2014, 04:32 PM
lottatrvlr lottatrvlr is offline
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Study Plan

My study plan is to resurrect and rejuvenate my Spanish for the next three months± by expanding my verb usage/pronunciation and daily conversational needs and then on my 22 hour-flight, I'll concentrate on Italian with all my interactive tools.


The flash cards are very effective, although it took me quite a bit of time to get them into "flash card" condition. I was complaining to myself about all the time spent and then realized I knew most of the verbs and present tense just from organizing them. Guess I am (soy) a kinesthetic learner.


My #1 priority this week is learn and uunderstand the usage of "estar, ser, haber and hacer" and their various verb tenses. Any suggestion of which tenses to concentrate on? I've already eliminated pluperfect b/c I rarely use it in English. Go 49ers ciao
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Old January 13, 2014, 07:04 PM
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Both of the past tenses are very important to know.
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