streaming italian

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.

Or not?

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.

Listen Live EU

Tune In



3 responses to “streaming italian

  1. What a great way to keep up your listening skills! I know what you mean about the speaking, though. I’ve noticed that if I only speak one language for even just a week, my “other tongue” suffers. When I returned to Spain from California a few months ago, D-Man noted that I was speaking with my Spanglish again and I always notice how tied my tongue gets! (Especially since English is spoken more with the back of the mouth, whereas Spanish is very “la-la-la” at the tip of the tongue). Did you study Italian before moving to Italy, or did you pick up the language once you were there? Once in Italy, did you go to classes? Do you remember the lift-of-the-veil moment where you finally felt you had absorbed the language? 🙂

    • yes, I studied Italian before leaving for at least a year or two. And in Italy I took – for a while -weekly private and group courses at my friend’s fabulous school in Verona (linguait – on my blogroll). Yes, I remember that moment – and then 6 months later I returned home darn it! I’m sure you are way more fluent than I am/was! happy easter, buona pasqua, feliz pascua!

  2. Hi Monique,
    I have the same problem maintaining my Turkish (I lived there for three years a couple of decades ago). It’s such a shame to feel you’re losing a language you once knew well. While I find I’m unable to remember a word when I want to say something, it is much easier to understand other people’s conversations. Regular visits to the country would help (as you seem to do) but now I live in Italy (and run an Italian language school, which is how I noticed your post).

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