Ciao a tutti!
I picked this challenge for July in preparation for a trip to Italy mid-summer. I wanted to know a few words and be able to at least ask for what I needed and express gratitude. I started reading blogs but, with the help of language learning pros such as Tim Ferris, Benny Lewis and Sonya Gil, I soon realized that it would be much easier and far more practical for me to learn by hearing la lingua and knowing how it is used in every day situations.
Of course, it would help to read blogs as a supplement but I tweaked this challenge to devote a time every day to completing one level of language exercise daily. I installed this amazing and free app called Duolingo. English speakers can learn Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and German through this app. Later on, I might actually re-learn French with it and see if my French teachers were more effective than the app!
It has been satisfying so far. There is motivation to complete the levels and when it gets boring, I can easily stop and do something else. For kids at heart, there are a bunch of videos on Italian Disney songs with Italian and English subtitles. Here are some of my favourite Disney songs, both in English and in Italian:
I also find that knowing Cebuano is an advantage for learning Roman languages since we have plenty of Spanish core words. They can be used as memory pegs for some French and Italian vocabulary. For example, I always remember that keys in Italian is chiave because it sounds like yabi (our Bisaya term for key). Bread is pane in Italian and pain in French, well we call it pan in Bisaya. Language learning is so exciting.