Italiano – la lingua dell’amore, delle emozioni e dei sentimenti

When I went to Padova, I could already speak Italian as I learnt it at the long term grammar school. For this reason, I didn’t have the problem of having to talk with hands and feet at the beginning. 3 years ago, I went to Spain for half a year (also Erasmus) and when I came back home, I lost almost all of my Italian due to the similarity of these two beautiful languages. A little bit of travelling in Italy and talking to some Italian friends helped to make it come back a little bit though. But only did I properly get back in the flow here in Padova.

Luckily, I could attend classes in presence and therefore met a lot of Italian people. Also my flat mates are all from Italy, so since the beginning I was basically only speaking Italian the whole time. It is always a very strong wish of mine to also get to know the locals and actually speak and learn the language of the country in which I am. Therefore, I was eager to get to know Italians instead of being only with international students. Italians make it easy for you to be friends with them: they are so open-minded and welcoming that it is almost impossible not to find friends. It was quite easy for me to communicate in Italian, and whenever I didn’t know a specific word or expression, I would use another foreign language or just describe it in Italian until the others understood what I wanted to say. My room mate studies languages, so she has got a big knowledge about the Italian language which helped me a lot in my language improvement. I realized that there was still a lot to learn, especially specific expressions or things you learn maybe back home, but you don’t really use them in the daily life conversations. It is always very interesting for me to analyse differences between foreign languages, in this case especially between Italian and Spanish or French. I could always resort to strategies already learnt in these two languages which helped me a lot and speeded up my progress.

Speaking Italian, I feel very comfortable and at ease. I have the feeling that this particular language reflects my personality very well and I can express myself in the way I want, it kind of represents my character. Italians love to speak with their hands as you might know, and they put all their passion into explaining something to you. Sometimes, it sounds like a very beautiful song, sometimes you have the feeling they are going to explode in a couple of seconds. But exactly this variety and intensity of emotions are the things I love about this language. It is a very emotional and affective language, with a lot of expression. I think I kind of learnt how to put more effort in my nonverbal communication, because it is a big part of the language. Furthermore, you learn the specific expressions which only exist in this specific language, as well as the particular cadence and intonation. The culture obviously also has a big impact on the language which always gets shaped by it. You can easily find cultural values in a language which reflect a country’s attitudes. Speaking a foreign language, you should always also consider the culture of that language. I became aware of the fact that when I got to know Italy better as a country, I also began to speak a better Italian. Understanding a culture’s values also helps you to understand their language. I’m very happy that I was able to also concentrate myself on the little details of Italian and to kind of really dive into this beautiful language.

Laura Sennhauser

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