With under a week to go until I return to my spiritual homeland, I’ve been conscientious in my studies of researching places and things to do in La Serenissima. After an inordinate amount of visits, I still marvel at the amount of things to see and do in Venice that I’ve yet to experience. There’s always a new bar to go to or a church I’ve not visited. My itinerary is therefore coming along very nicely.
The same, however cannot be said of my studies of Italian. After ten years of hard study, taking on and generally mastering the insufferable pluperfect and subjunctive tenses (and learning what these tenses actually are in the first place), I have found myself barely able to order myself a meal in Italian, let alone describing what I would have done in a certain situation or how I feel about certain things (damn you perfect tense).
In a last ditch attempt to re-learn an entire language in six days I have taken to cram-listening to Michel Thomas’ language lessons on my ipod as I mosey to work. It has quickly become apparent that what took 10 years to semi-master, I’ve managed to almost completely forget in 8 months.
‘It will all come back to you when you’re there’, I’m told. Hmmm, I respond dubiously, I’m not too sure. A quick read through an old copy of Venice’s local newspaper tells me that can barely translate the adverts. I certainly won’t be following any news items when I’m in Venezia or engaging in any meaningful conversation with the locals other than, ‘nice day, eh.’
That being said, given that my vacation itinerary involves many a bar, maybe the only Italian I really need to re-learn is ‘Can I get a Spritz please’. On second thoughts, I better look up, ‘I’m hungry, can I have some pasta’, too. You know, to keep my strength up from walking to all these different bars 🙂