by Melinda Gallo

Always learning something new

I think that one of the reasons that I love living in Italy is that I am constantly learning new things. When I was in England and I had to choice of returning to France where I felt at home for six years or to go somewhere else, I opted for a new country. I had wanted to learn Italian for years and just felt that I had finally arrived at the right moment in my life to do so. I was single and working freelance already so nothing was in my way.

I am already fluent in Italian, but I am constantly learning new words and modi di dire (phrases/expressions). Speaking with Alessandro every day has led me to speak Italian almost all the time and only rarely English with a few American or native English-speaking friends.

Many words that he uses I already knew, but I don't use that often like garbare (which is the equivalent of piacere, to like) and girellare (to wander about). But, not a day goes by that I don't learn some new modo di dire or word. The other day, for example, I was telling Alessandro how a woman was antipatica and he said, "Era simpatica come le briciole nel letto. (She was as nice as crumbs in bed.)" I thought it was a cute modo di dire and now I can't wait to use it.

I know I'm not only in Italy because I am constantly learning new words, but I do love the mental stimulation. I also try to learn new English words, but it's not as interesting as my vocabulary is obviously much larger in English.

To me there is nothing like assimilating new words into my vocabulary and using them almost immediately. It's very satisfying to use the new modi di dire that I'm constantly learning. Sono felice come una pasqua! (I'm as happy as a clam!)

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