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Dirtyhip
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I can count to twelve in Italian. 

una 

due

tre

quattro

cinque 

sei

sette

otto

nove

dieci

undici

dodici

I can count higher, but not as fluid.  1-12 is easy

That language has words that confuse, like English. Sete….thirsty, sounds much like sette...seven.

The ' is really confusing me with the spelling.  I can now slightly read Italian text, but writing it correctly is a tough cross over.  With learning a langage, I find it helpful to write things over and over.  It sticks into the brain better.

My earlier Spanish has caused some tough crossover as well.  

Some of the words are the same.  Jeans, computer, and I think that is because we say pasta, like they do.  They own it.  We own jeans, I guess.  

?

Io ho cinquanta anni.

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I was tested for federal govn't job a decade ago, it included 2 hr. French language test.  It confirmed what I suspected:  I'm much better understanding a foreign language in words that I see, where it's more difficult for me to hear the language (without seeing the person) to understand what they are saying.  Being in France for me personally to understand at basic level things around me, is a lot easier than ie. being in Greece or Czech Republic.  

I passed the basic written comprehension French test, but failed on the aural comprehension French language test.  I was actually surprised that I even passed one of those test components. It makes up those years of French courses that were mandatory to graduate with my English literature degree.  (It is actually a good requirement:  one can't appreciate their native language until learning a foreign language.)

This might be partially why my Chinese has not progressed much because to learn a language best for comprehension is to see the written words.  So for Chinese, the ideograms are just way too much effort for me now.  But then, I'm living away from my own family.  (And no, language preservation/retention isn't done with strangers.  It works better with friends, co-workers and family.) And absolutely I don't speak Chinese with Canadian born Chinese good friends, since their fluency is chopped up and bastardized like mine.  Despite all this, I bow to my parents who have tolerated so much with family conflicts due to kids losing their language fluency.

Best of luck with the Italian.

 

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My Italian is pretty limited: Campagnolo, Cinelli, Giro, gelato...

I seem to have a knack for languages. I'm the only sibling born in the states who can speak Dutch.  I also was offered an MOS switch in the Army as I tested out well enough to be a linguist. I turned it down though.

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17 hours ago, Randomguy said:

The only language that counts is English, speak only that when you are there.  If the residents pretend they don't understand you, just say it louder.

My parents were immigrants and they were behind this way of thinking.  We chose to come here so we will learn the language. They felt all immigrants should learn to read, write & speak English like they did and bristled at DMV forms in Spanish or Vietnamese. 

But in the house they retained their culture and passed it on to us, even the language.

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3 hours ago, ChrisL said:

My parents were immigrants and they were behind this way of thinking.  We chose to come here so we will learn the language. They felt all immigrants should learn to read, write & speak English like they did and bristled at DMV forms in Spanish or Vietnamese. 

But in the house they retained their culture and passed it on to us, even the language.

The second time I went to south america, I went without a phrasebook or dictionary.  I studied my ass off everyday for 8 months straight beforehand.  Book learning at least one hour a day, Spanish language movie or radio at least one hour a day, and Spanish novels at least an hour a day, dictionary by my side.  So three hours a day for 8 months got me conversational.  It took about three days for me to get used to the speed of it all, by then I was thinking in Spanish, and I got complimented by everyone on how good I had it down, my accent, the whole nine yards.  I am making it sound better than I really had it, but I think I could have lived in a Spanish-speaking country and been ok in most situations, especially by the end of my trip.

That was 1998, and I have forgotten every damn bit of it.  It would probably come back quickly if I did that again, but use it or lose it.

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