Today marks my first solid week of serious Italian lessons. I thought it would be getting easier by now, but everyday is a lesson in how little I know. How much I still need to learn, how much I still need to practise –if only I'd paid attention in Latin at school. Above all, I have a new found respect for all the people who's mother is not English and who make the effort to speak to me in English. I now realize how absolutely exhausting it is to think and speak in another language.
The question on my mind now is: how long until I'm reasonably fluent? Given I'm committing 3-4 hours a day to learning the language, can I expect to be fluent in 3 months, in 6 months, in a year?
I guess that comes down to my definition of fluent, which right now would be the ability give a simple answer to a question – in Italian. Over the weekend, I bought up a copy of Diario di una Schiappa (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), which I found in the 6-10 year old section of the bookstore. This got me thinking, perhaps I should define fluency in terms of age. In other words, will I be able to read and write at the same level as a 10 year old in 3-months?
Yes, I believe this is possible. My goal for the end of April will be: To be as fluent in Italian as a 10 year old – with some choice adult vocabulary.