We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Brought to you by the letter F

For the last several months, I have thrown myself back into my Italian studies with a vengence.  Frustrated with not being able to speak well enough, I've made it my mission to focus on conversation this year. I'm going to be fluent if it kills me- and it just might!

Besides studying daily, I've added a few new things into the mix. I have a twice weekly conversation session with an Italian teacher via Skype, and I also have my twice weekly immersion sesisons with the Pink Lionesses while we row. Both have helped me make incredible progress, so I am pleased. 

I also look for all sorts of little ways to add to my learning. One that I find useful is the  Italian word- a- day email I receive in my inbox  every day. And that brings me to one of the words I learned this week. 

FANGO- the Italian word for "mud".  Many days, the word of the day is one that I already knew. But Fango, this was a new one.  Why hadn't I learned that one yet, I wondered?  I love the sound of it. The way it rolls off my tongue. And so close to Tango, I had images of people dancing in mud. After I repeated it over and over, including the use of it in the practice sentence, I mentally tucked Fango away in the back of my mind, believing it was a word I probably wouldn't get to use on any regular basis. Little did I know!

Just two days after FANGO invaded the recesses of my store of Italian vocabulary - tucked way way  back there in some far dusty corner of my brain, Venice experienced a very freak hail storm. Not just any storm, mind you, but a storm of biblical proportions. Hail literally covered the streets like it was snow.  The hail was followed by horrendous thunder storms and high winds. The next morning while Mike and I were ambling back home from a stop at Gina's, our neighborhood hang-out here on Sant'Elena, we heard a mother shouting to her 4 or 5 year old daughter "No, non vai l√¨!  Tutto FANGO!"
(No, don't go there, it's all mud!)  

She was right, there was mud everywhere - a remnant of the previous night's tempest.  I was able to put my new vocabulary word to use!  Did the weather god's plan the week's Italian word-of-the-day just for me? I'd like to think so.  And now you can roll this lovely word around on your tongue too. FANGO.  (FYI- it's a masculine noun, so that's il FANGO). 

Strictly coincidence, out of all the other new words I came across this week, another F word struck my fancy that I will share with you also.  FORCHETTATA.  It means a forkful, or a bite of something. Mi dai una forchettata. Give me a taste.  It's feminine, so it uses the definite article la or indefinite article una.

Today being Friday, I thought it was an appropriate day to share my favorite F words with you this morning.  

What language learning tricks do you use?  Do you create flash cards, either on 3x5 cards or electronic ones? Do you write all your new vocabulary in a notebook? I'd love to hear whatever tricks/systems you use to help you remember and use new words. 

Grazie!  Now .. let's all go find some Fango to play in today!

1 comment:

Larry said...

Have you tried Istituto Venezia? It's a language school in Campo Santa Margerita. I've been going there 2-3 times a year for a few weeks sine 2011. I just left yesterday after a month of lessons there. They go from 9AM to 1PM.

They have all levels, and got me to fluency, Common European Framework Level C1, during this time. It's also a lot of fun.