It’s not easy learning a language. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. But learning a language is almost like a means to an end. It is a way to communicate and to understand other cultures. It’s not an easy task. I hate opening my mouth most of the time at the risk of sounding incorrect, making a mistake, sounding stupid or becoming embarrassed. But that’s just it, half the time, my worst fears are realized, and they are not nearly as big or as daunting as they seem. I just need to take a deep breath. At least I’m trying. That is much better than those who have not tried at all.
Like, today for instance, I needed to ask a question about the school, when the school closes, and I also needed directions to the pharmacy and supermarket. The receptionist did not speak a lick of English, so I had to use what Italian I could to communicate with her. She answered, “Io capito” which I know means that she understood me. Bravi on my part. On the other hand, it’s understanding what is said back to me that proves difficult. I did, however, manage to find both the pharmacy and the supermarket and even striked up a conversation with a stranger. Slowly, slowly, I am starting to gain confidence and realize that making mistakes is all part of the learning process.