La bella Italia! Language goals August 2017

Author: Inês Carvalho

And August has started! Before talking about my exciting language learning (and travelling) plans, let’s talk about how the previous month went in terms of language goals.

1. I’ve realised that maybe I just have too many languages to maintain, which is definitely going to dictate a slower pace in learning new languages if I want to practise all the other… eight languages on a regular basis. However, I think that my recent strategy of devoting some time to each language on a monthly basis may be a good one, so that my memory stops discarding languages that I haven’t used in years such as Dutch, Mandarin or Japanese. If I have less time for new languages, so be it, I do want to minimise memory loss.

2. My practice of eight languages (besides Italian and French) went more or less as planned, except for Chinese, which was a flop. The only thing I did was gathering titles of good Mandarin resources. I don’t remember what I did for Swedish either. However, I excelled in Esperanto.

3. I dedicated much more time than I had planned to Esperanto because it’s so lovely. I even gathered my notes in small pdf documents which I’ll call  “mini e-books” because it sounds fancy. And I’m in love with

4. Concerning my main targets, Italian and French, I dedicated less time to them than I wanted. I had a language exchange in French and wrote some posts on an Italian Facebook community concerning travelling. I listened to some YouTube videos and Netflix films in both languages. I even watched an American film dubbed in Italian (in Portugal doing this is highly unpopular. Everyone prefers subtitles and looks down on countries where films are dubbed!). I finished reading La femme rompue (Simone de Beauvoir).

5. I’ve decided to make some sort of flashcards for new vocabulary I come across. First I do the flashcards in Then I share them on Pinterest  a few days later and I regularly share “flashcards” on my Instagram account. This way I end up looking at the same words several times at regular intervals and it boosts memorisation. While (hopefully) being useful for others as well.

Now let’s talk about my goals for August!!

On August 8th I’ll fly to Italy and will stay there until August 28th. It’ll be a solo-travel and it’s kind of exciting and though it’s not the first time I travel all alone, my mum is really scared (“I’d rather not have had children because I’m always worried”).

Now I’ve been planning the whole trip! I still want to improve my Italian before going because right now I can communicate but with more mistakes than I’d like.

Although my main goal for this month is Italian, for obvious reasons, I’ll keep my commitment to revising two non-target languages on a weekly basis (reading a bit or watching some YouTube videos). I’ll drop French a bit unless I come across French-speaking travellers.

As to Italian, I’ll talk to strangers, do guided tours in Italian (maybe) and buy second-hand books in Italian!! I’m soooo excited!!

This is my current Italian level, completely uncensored and without any preparation. Let’s see how much I’ll improve after three weeks 🙂

  1. There are several mistakes in the video. I’ve found these ones but I’m sure there are more:

GLI altre lingue che ho già imparato
LO svedezze
LO spagnolo
con L’italiano
QUASI (“casi” is Spanish)
E (I pronounce this conjunction twice as in Portuguese and Spanish, but is should be pronounced more like “e” in “vero”)
per questa raggionE (I don’t know why I pronounced it wrong here…).

Ci vediamo presto!



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