Adventures in Italian

I’m currently taking Italian lessons and have a slightly amusing story for language nerds like me, and figured it might a worthwhile post. I have talked with several people about how there must be a part of one’s brain for foreign languages: this is why when learning a second foreign language, I will revert back to my first.


The other night I worried I would be late to my lesson after a few last minute things at work (as it was, I made it with a minute to spare!), and so on my walk there I practiced a few things to say once I arrived. Something like, mi dispiace, ma era occupato. I even looked through my dictionary at one corner while waiting to cross to double check the gender of a word I knew. I’m so studious.

But once I arrived at the coffeehouse, I completely blanked. I was asked a simple question, and for the first instant I forgot all my foreign languages, and then in the next several, I could only think of the French.

Question: Come va?

Right Answer: Bene.

Only the answer in my head: Bien. Bien, bien…bien is not right. Bien is French. What is it?

Easy question. Apparently not so easy answer. But I love languages, so I’ll continue studying both French and Italian, much more comfortable in French, until I’m comfortable in both. But in the meantime, I’ll continue with my slightly mixed up French-Italian. With the occasional Spanish word thrown in there.


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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