Saturday, April 16, 2011

book obsession

La settimana passata, ho trovato due libri in italiano. (Hey, look, I kind of, almost remember stuff from my Italian classes all those years ago!)

It's so very difficult for me to get my hands on Italian books. I'm feeling like I'd like to visit Italy and do some serious book shopping. I'd like to visit the idealized Italy in my mind. I'll travel with ease, be welcomed by the people I meet and perhaps even find some relatives. I'll eat fabulous food and become wonderfully fluent in Italian, which I think is a beautiful language.*

So, international travel to a place where I'm not entirely sure about accepted customs and where I'm not fluent in the language? Who's with me?

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* I love the movie A Fish Called Wanda but I cringe every time Archie Leach calls Italian such an ugly language.

2 comments:

gunma-gal said...

On a related note, when I visited Thailand, I tried to learn a few phrases, and I remember thanking the salesperson in a shop, and she smiled at me in a way that made me think she thought, "Oh, how cute. She's trying, but is so, so wrong." I asked her if I was saying it correctly. She hesitantly said no, and told me the correct pronunciation. It sounded exactly the same to me as I'd said it, so when I said it again, she gave me the same smile, and attempted to again teach me the correct pronunciation. I said it again, and she said it was better, but I'm sure it was just to make me feel good. :D

The Furie Queene said...

Hmmm... My previous comment disappeared when I wrote a second one. Here is my initial response:

Isn't most international travel to places where the travelers are (usually) not entirely knowledgeable about the customs and, at least in regard to most American travelers, not fluent in the language?

That is, in my opinion, part of the joy of travel. It allows us to get to know those (previously unfamiliar) cultures. And I think it's fine not to be fluent in a language, but it's important to try to speak in that language (even if it's as simple as learning basic phrases, like hello, thank you, etc.) and to not expect the people in whichever country you are visiting to speak English (unless you're visiting an English-speaking country, that is).

So, yes, I'm with you, if you'll pay for my flight, lodging, and all meals. ;)