Once upon a time, I helped produce a motion picture in Italy. It was an amazing experience that set off a chaotic and wonderful events, that continue to this day.
Then two years ago, I considered getting serious about learning Italian. I had tried to learn language before, and failed. Perhaps the mere idea of learning a foreign language after age fifty is absurd. Like the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl by 200 points and getting disqualified for not having a logo.
Or something like that.
My point is – my choices in regards to learning Italian were: A – Forget about it; B – Kinda sorta try and fail; or C – shut up, dive in 150%, worry about nothing, and learn the language.
I chose Option C.
I started studying/practicing every day, 1-2 hours. It became a part of my schedule that I look forward to every day. The main reason I’ve been so relentless in the schedule is because I’m worried about going backwards if I take time off now.
Point #1 of this post, if there is one — I had a business meeting today where my knowledge of Italian met a new Italian colleague’s knowledge of English in the middle. It worked, communication was achieved. Which was an awesome moment to realize. Rock-n-roll.
Point #2 of this post, is about you, dear reader. Some advice.
No matter how old you are, no matter what you do for a living, and no matter what your travel plans may or may not be — if you have any free time in your day — I highly advise you to learn a foreign language, whatever it may be. French, Chinese, German, Apache, whatever. It’s not as hard as you think, you just have to make some time for it every day. If you can commit to a schedule, even 30 minutes a day, you can learn a language. It’s like learning to write, perhaps.
In any case, when you’re learning a foreign language, every step up the ladder is a discovery, and can result in great experiences in your day-to-day life, not just when you travel. Technology has made the difference. Learning a language at home can be as fun and meaningful as using the skills in-country. BTW, I cannot imagine trying to learn any language solely from a book. It would be like trying to write a blog post on a typewriter, there would be 500 crumbled up pieces of paper on the floor.
Thanks for reading Seven Thoughts, cats. Ciao!