Friday, April 05, 2013

I'm Inspired to Climb Stairs AND Count in Italian

I walk up, my father's flat was right at the top, and there were two hundred and forty steps. We used to count them in Italian. In fact he would take two at a time so he would count in twos. That was beyond my Italian. The first time, I got to about twenty before lapsing into English. By the end of my week in Florence I could count all the way to the top. As a method of learning foreign numbers it can't be beaten.

The above passage is quoted from page 20 of CIAO BELLA by Helena Frith Powell. I think this count-in-Italian-while-climbing-stairs thing is a great idea. It didn't cross my mind until I read this travel book today and I'll do it when I'm in Italy end of this year.

I bought this book at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale last week and had great fun picking out books, mostly about Italy or set in Italy. I almost didn't buy Ciao Bella but I'm glad I did because I had so much fun and laugh-out-loud moments while reading it in the car today. I was traveling with my mom and brother (he drove).

Here's another quote (and great learning tip!) that I like from page 21. This is what Helena's Italian father told her when he's teaching her the language on their drive from Rimini to Florence. They're on their Grand Tour of Italy.

All you need to speak Italian is Dante, or an Italian lover, or possibly both.

I'm so inspired to read Dante now. In Italian. I'm not sure how much I'd understand from the reading but hey, that's the idea, right? To speak Italian!