So what’s with this talk of Italian, anyway?

When I started learning Spanish, I didn’t really have any intention of learning multiple languages. After all, I’d gotten along quite fine with two languages for the first 35 years of my life!

But then I fell in love with Spanish, and – even more surprisingly – with the process of learning Spanish.

I started this blog which, in hindsight, was rather poorly named. If I’d bothered reading any language blogs before actually starting my own, I would have known better than to use the tired word “fluent” in the title. Regardless, I started blogging. I also started participating in language forums, first at How to Learn Any Language, and now at my new favourite place, A Language Learners’ Forum.

It turns out that I really enjoy belonging to this open, welcoming club of language learners!

Spanish still is, and I suspect always will be, my true language love. But I’ve also started dabbling in other languages. My Spanish is strong enough that I can relax with native media, and use focused learning time to play with other languages. I have an on-again-off-again relationship with Tagalog. I played around a bit with Esperanto when Duolingo released its new course. And now, Italian has caught my eye.

We’re planning a whirlwind two-week Italian road trip in July with my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my teenaged niece and nephew. So, why not learn some Italian? Right?

When I started learning Spanish, I jumped all over the place. I had fun. I learned quickly. I enjoyed every step of the way. I was anything but organized, but it was ok because I was having a great time!

Now, although learning Italian is a less serious goal, my approach to learning is much more purposeful. I know how I learn best, I know about many more resources, and I know that I can do this. (Oh yeah, and I also know Spanish, which apparently makes this whole Italian thing a lot easier!)

How I’m learning Italian

* please note: step one should probably be “learn Spanish”. Ha!

How I'm learning Italian

It turns out that making these is pretty fun!

Over the next few weeks, as I fan away the clouds of dust from my poorly neglected blog, I hope to share a variety of different things:

  • Spanish book, TV show and podcast recommendations – I’ve done a lot of reading, watching and listening since I last posted!
  • some great new Tagalog resources that I’m creating with my extraordinary Tagalog teachers
  • reviews of resources for Spanish, Italian and Esperanto learners
  • general language-learning reflections, including how I’m learning to balance multiple languages
  • books, books, beautiful books
  • travel and languages – 2016 is shaping up to be a big travel year for us!

Happy language learning, everyone!

8 thoughts on “So what’s with this talk of Italian, anyway?

  1. Adonas Buhr

    Hi Stephanie,

    I love your blog. It is truly inspiring to see the success that you have had in learning Spanish as well as your efforts to learn Tagalog. In my own efforts to learn Spanish I have reached the upper beginner level and I am most impressed at the ongoing process it takes to train your brain to become accustomed to the moderately foreign sounds and somewhat faster speed of Spanish (depending on the speaker). In any case, I look forward on your comments on two subjects

    1. Did already knowing French make it easier to learn Spanish?

    2. Do you plan on reviewing the new long term learning feature in Quizlet at some point in the future?



    1. Stephanie Post author

      Hi Adonas! Thanks for the message!

      1. Yes, I definitely think that it made it easier. I was already comfortable with some of the verb tenses that confuse some English speakers, like the subjunctive (although the Spanish subjunctive is more complex than the French), and imperfecto vs. preterito. That said, I make a lot of mistakes with prepositions due to interference from French, and I still get tripped up by por/para and ser/estar just like everyone else in the world!

      2. I don’t really use quizlet. I’ve used it in the past with students, but never really used it that much for myself, aside from an extra way to practice some extra tricky vocab. I’m not familiar with the long term learning feature. Do you recommend it?

  2. Elise

    So happy to see you are blogging again 🙂
    Looking forward to hearing about your new journey into Italian, and finding out some more of your great Spanish resources and book, podcast and TV show recommendations!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Thank you Elise! I’m currently pretty addicted to a few shows in Spanish, including El Internado. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that one on the blog before!

  3. Paul

    Hi Stephanie

    Like Elise I’m looking forward to seeing what Spanish resources you have been using over the past while. I have been using notes in Spanish which I got from your Blog a lot over the past two years. Its a great podcast and my favorite resource that I have used so far in learning Spanish. I have listened to their beginner, intermediate and now I’m listening to their advanced one (with the help of the worksheets of course hah).

    1. Stephanie Post author

      I love Notes in Spanish! It’s one of my all-time favourite Spanish resources! I’m planning on putting up a list of TV shows and books that I’ve enjoyed over the past year.

  4. Brett Minor (Transformed Nonconformist)

    Hello Stephanie. I used to follow you over on Clay Baboons.

    I lived in Puerto Rico for a while and learned enough that I was comfortable on the street, but was far from fluent. And after leaving the island, it has just left me. I don’t know what happened. I guess the motivation to learn was gone after it was no longer a necessity.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Hi Brett! Nice to see you over here. 🙂 Living in Puerto Rico would definitely be a good motivation for learning Spanish! Do you think you’ll ever learn again?


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