We’re going back to Italy for the first time since we moved back. And I’m determined not to slip into English when we are there. But the reality is that after speaking Italian daily during my three years living there, it’s been many more years since I’ve been back in the States with few opportunities to keep it up. Time to dust off my Italian dictionary.
I’ve looked for better opportunities to keep it up. I speak with my Italian friends in town, but their English is so good, we end up slipping back into it in a matter of minutes. We forked out extra money for satellite connection to RAI Italian television but the cost kept going up, and we dropped it.The Italian language course through the local adult school is geared towards “travel Italian”, and I don’t feel I quite fit in. Having lived in Italy , I’m not exactly an Italian travel enthusiast, although I enthusiastically travel Italy. I’ve crossed over that never-to-return fence into Italian residency, and feel a sort of fake surrounded by American Chianti tasters and Tuscany villa renters, attending conversation classes and wine tasting nights with rose-colored glasses on. I could just see myself show up and blurt out real-life horror stories as I kill their dreams of happy, helpful, pasta-eating Italians.
But I have now found a wonderful outlet to get the Italian flowing again. Italian streaming radio. I even found a talk show on Milan’s Radio DeeJay with a host that has the accent from the area we lived. It’s like being back. While my spoken Italian is not getting much practice, my comprehension is fine tuned. I understand almost everything. I’m getting ready.
For fellow expats returned home, European travel and language lovers and those just curious, here are several online resources to get you started streaming European radio live to your house or Ipod.