by Melinda Gallo

Dictionary in hand

I admit it. I'm a huge perfectionist. I can't bare to stop learning. A lot of my friends think I'm nuts because I don't want to make any mistakes in Italian. I figure that I don't make mistakes in English or French, so why should I let myself off the hook for Italian? Besides, with my last name, it's almost a disgrace!

I told a few of my friends that I want to go back to school to learn some more and they tell me I'm absolutely nuts. I talked to one school last week and they laughed in my face. I read, write, and speak Italian very well and yet I know I still need to learn more. But, I've finally come to realize that it's mostly my vocabulary that needs to be improved.

In my attempt to learn more, I've been watching more Italian television (especially with subtitles). It's easy for me to sit there and watch a program: I understand almost everything. A few words slip by and yet I can still make out what they're trying to say.

So, now instead of letting those words pass me by. I've decided to watch TV with a notepad and a dictionary. I studiously write down the word, its context if necessary, and then look it up in the dictionary to get the proper translation.

I used to just write down the words and their translations when I was reading, but never while watching TV. I've decided to try out a new application that Dave found that allows me to enter the word and its translation and then quiz myself. It's a fun way for me to learn and I'm competitive enough that it makes me want to learn even more.

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