Monday, March 2, 2015

Il Mio Italiano Non è Buona

My Italian is not good. More to the point, my Italian at one time was pretty good, but mostly when it came to swearing or insulting someone. As a teenager I worked for Italians and I like to believe that I could pick up their language and chat along with them. I was probably mistaken, but it was fun to pretend that I could anyway.

Now between my broken use of Spanish, my faint recollection of Italian, my constant learning of Bosnian, I have managed to make a name for myself where I work as a translator of sorts. I pick up languages pretty good, and I like to read blogs in foreign languages as often as they find me on Google+. Thanks to the translate button, I can usually bungle my way through a Hungarian blog or a Polish blog, and I really appreciate that they seem to bear with me as I do so. They are probably just happy that I make the effort, but again there are a lot of gems out there in foreign languages to be found.

Of course I started off with the premise that my Italian is not good, and I did that for a reason. Because I am one of the people that plows through my G+ feed and plunk down a lot of +1s on everything I browse through, bloggers really like me. For good reason too, as I also like people who throw me a bone now and again. One of these people just happened to be an Italian blogger who does a lot of blogs on food, and despite the language barrier she posts a lot of things that look delicious with pictures. I would +1 every yummy thing she posted, and of course she invited me to her Italian Foodie Group. I accepted because I like to look at food. Call me a man yanno?

Over the last month I have bungled my way through all of the posts in the Italian Foodie Group and through immersion I have managed to get my Italian back on track, or at least serviceable again. I’m kind of proud of this and who knew that it was so easy to “accidentally” acquire a language of sorts. Just before I wrote this I was learning about a Martisor and was able to reply “Eccellente, Grazie!” for sharing it. I’m sure that my usage of the words wasn’t perfect, but my meaning was there. “Excellent, thank you!”

The fact is this, that I am learning that sharing and being social has many benefits beyond the staring at people’s temper tantrums on Facebook, or their drunk tweets on Twitter. As I write more and share more, I learn more and grow as a human being. Life is about being not doing. Today I am happy to report that I am a human being and not a human doing. If I keep this up, I may just get to the point where I might start writing in Italian, Spanish or even Hungarian someday. At least it would keep up the trend of amusing me.