I plan to write this book over the next few months by releasing excerpts here on our website and getting feedback from The Italian American Podcast listeners and supporters. So please leave your comments below this post, and I will review and respond to all of them. Let’s write this wonderful story together, which I know will inspire Italian Americans far and wide to discover their heritage in an adventurous way.
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While learning Spanish a few years ago, I met a young entrepreneur who told me about a program that he created to help people learn languages. I initially thought, just another language website, but this was different. His philosophy was to teach people the flow of the language, meaning the sounds and pronunciation, before teaching the meaning of the words.
So what he would do was select a song in the desired language, provide a detailed breakdown of the pronunciation of the different components of the song, and walk students through singing the song using the correct pronunciation.
His method is called The Mimic Method (www.MimicMethod.com), and it works. I used his course to learn Spanish, and the reason it worked was because the hardest part of learning languages like Spanish and Italian is the fast pace of the language. I have taken Spanish for years, and I knew grammar and vocabulary, but as soon as a native speaker started talking to me I was completely lost. It was too fast for me to comprehend what they were saying. After following this mimic method, I could pickup words in conversations and when watching Spanish television programs. And the best part is that it was a fun way to learn, singing songs!
When it came time to learn Italian, I was saddened to find out that there was no Mimic Method course for Italian, so I just did it myself, and it worked almost as well. I selected a few songs in Italian that I thought encompassed a wide range of sounds and sang them repeatedly.
The nice thing about this method is that you can practice it anywhere at anytime. So if you drive to work everyday, you can simply play the song on your radio repeatedly and sing it out loud, practicing your Italian pronunciation.
I recommend spending your first few weeks or even months doing only this, and then once you become more comfortable with pronunciation and the flow of the language, you can add different kinds of learning activities to your efforts. Regardless of your progress, I recommend that you always continue to sing Italian throughout your entire learning process. Not only is it a fun way to practice pronunciation and increase the rate of your learning, but your family around you will also be exposed to the sounds, and maybe even eventually sing along and learn as well.
What worked for you when you learned Italian OR what questions do you have about learning Italian?
You can check out my book Forty Days in Italy Con La Mia Famiglia here.
Co-host of The Italian American Podcast
Author of Forty Days in Italy Con La Mia Famiglia