Learning Italian, Part 3

These books are lifesavers.

So today marked the first day of my fourth week of Italian classes at Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. Thanks to the three-hour daily immersion, I have made some serious strides, so I decided to enroll for another two weeks (five in total) then take it from there to see if I want to extend any further. Since I’m not on sabbatical so to speak and am in Italy for the long haul–as I’ve previously mentioned–it’s a no-brainer that polishing my Italian will open new doors for me. In a perfect world, 12 weeks of classes would be ideal, but I’d be happy if can manage to wing eight, so we’ll see.

As I’ve also previously mentioned, I started in a high intermediate class (Level 4, B2) and since I joined towards the tail-end of this particular session, we wound up having an exam during the last half of my second week. I’m proud to say that I scored a 49.5 out of 50. Not too bad if I do say so myself. If you’re wondering why I lost the half-point, I used avere with the congiuntivo trapassato conjugation of finire. In my defense, finire usually takes avere but the context of this particular sentence  was intransitive, so essere was the appropriate accompanying verb. Sigh.

So, passing the exam means I have moved on up to Level 5, which I believe is C1, the beginner side of advanced. Any student of Italian will tell you that the congiuntivo, or subjunctive, verb tenses are among the most challenging to master, and I’m now currently learning uber-complicated congiuntivo usage.  We’re also elaborating on proper sentence agreement, something of which I wasn’t always mindful, but I now try to keep top of mind since the rules are  instilled in my brain and I now use the trapassato prossimo–the past-before-the-past indicative verb tense–more than ever.

Also on the learning Italian front, I spend a lot of what little free time I have practicing la bella lingua by either reading out loud to better my pronunciation or doing exercises in one of the grammar books from my ever-increasing collection. By year’s end, I hope to accomplish reading an entire Italian novel without having to look up at least  five words per page in my inglese-italiano dizionario.

Fingers crossed that I’m at least–if not more than–halfway there.

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