Questa settimana in italiano: i miei compiti

This week in Italian: my homework

I love collecting Italian language learning books, and I’m very good about blasting through them — lots of exposure, not much mastery. So, in an effort to help review and hopefully retain, I thought that occasionally I would post what I’ve been studying.

Ogni giorno

Every day, I check out the posts on these sites, which feature a new word and phrase: Parola del Giorno, Transparent Language and Italian for my Girlfriend. One of these days I’ll get in the habit of making a flash card for each word and reviewing it enough so that it will nest in my brain. I’ve heard that you need to see a new word 162 times before it sticks….Another blog which I read faithfully is Dianne Hales’ Becoming Italian Word by Word. This summer she’s doing an “Italian-to-Go” series, which focuses on helpful insights, tips and phrases for travelers to Italy.

I also try to listen to spoken Italian every day via YouTube. My favorite channels are Learn Italian with Lucrezia and Italian with Melissa la Studentessa Matta. There’s also Radio Italy Live and Think Italian (subscription required but worthwhile).

Helpful reference tools: Google Translate, WordReference and Forvo (for pronunciation by native speakers).

Current compiti

  • Livello (level): Advanced beginner/Intermediate, a good challenge (una bella sfida) for me. Mi piace questo libro perche`… I like this book because each chapter starts with a vocabulary list, then gives a few different paragraphs of interesting and challenging readings, followed by short answer questions on the text.
  • This week’s study: Capitolo sei, chapter six, Le nuove proposte per la prossima estate. Which I believe translates to new fashions for next summer, because it continues with a whole page of vocabolario on gli abbigliamento (clothing). Which, after four years of studying, you’d think I would know, but I am still learning words like la cintura (belt), la camicetta (blouse) and the difference between la maglietta (t-shirt) and il maglione (sweater).
  • Additional references: Cher Hale featured a great post on clothing and related vocabulary, click here to read. Here’s another good vocab list on

  • Livello: beginner-intermediate. Seeing as how I have not been to a formal class for a year now, I thought it wise to have a regular grammar review.
  • This week’s study: capitoli cinque e sei, chapters five and six, pronouns and more pronouns (i pronomi e piu` pronomi)
  • For a comprehensive overview (aka, all you never knew you wanted to know about Italian pronouns), here’s a great reference link from CyberItalian.

This (unsponsored) post first appeared on Prayers and Piazzas. All opinions are my own.

Happy studying!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. After nearly a year of learning Italian I am so relieved to be able to understand the title of this blog! I have been having a rough week feeling a bit despondent that I’m not getting anywhere and that my fellow students are passing me by so nice to have this small win. 🙂 This is my first read of your blog, thankyou, I hadn’t thought of flashcards, and so good to get all your lovely references and links.

    1. Auguri, Andrea! Congratulations! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts! It sounds like you have reached the point where you will have more and more small victories, every day one step further ahead in your language journey. I still think of myself as a toddler learning the language (after all, I’ve only been at it for four years, and four-year-olds aren’t necessarily fluent). I just go slowly and enjoy the journey and I wish the same for you. Un abbraccio!

  2. Anna says:

    Great tips! Finally just got the book “Fluent Forever” – that you recommended in a previous post. And it does seem that the flash cards are the key to associating foreign words with actions – bypassing the translation issue. Listening to the language as well is a big piece and challenge! But onward we trudge!

    1. Ciao Anna! I hope you enjoy the book, and that you find a flashcard system that works for you! In boca al lupo!

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