Monday, June 3, 2013

Travel Prep

Summer is rapidly approaching and it turns out I only have three weeks until I leave for Italy with my family.  I was invited along on this trip so I could act as travel agent and tour guide (although my sister ended up booking all of our tours -- thanks!) and because my mom has this crazy idea that I'll be able to speak Italian because I know Spanish.  In reality, my knowledge of Italian is something like this:
I also know how to ask for the check at a restaurant and thanks to my obsessive foodiness, I will be able to read a menu without any problems (my sister, who doesn't like tomatoes or onions, should avoid anything that says "pomodori" or "cipolline," while my dad, who doesn't like mushrooms, shouldn't order anything with "funghi").

When I started learning Spanish as a kid, I watched a cartoon series called "Muzzy" that came with a comic book, workbook, and casette tape in both English and Spanish so that you could kind of learn by repetition.  I managed to find the same series in Italian on youtube (what can't the internet do?)...

As silly as it sounds, I probably will learn how to say/understand some important words and phrases by watching these videos.

Another great way to learn a language is to watch TV shows or movies in that language.  This is the most appealing idea to me because I love classic Italian cinema.  I'm planning to re-watch some of my favorites, like Fellini's La Dolce Vita or Vittorio De Sica's Ladri di biciclette.  I'm also looking forward to watching some Sophia Loren films that I haven't seen, like Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow or Marriage Italian Style (both also by De Sica).  This might come in handy at some of the hotels that don't get English channels on the TV.

I'm also going to Budapest for a couple of days at the end of the trip, but I don't suppose there's a Hungarian version of "Muzzy."  I might have to just listen to some Liszt to feel more Hungarian and use a lot of hand gestures to communicate.

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