Learning Italian in Florence
The Italian language is arguably one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful spoken language in the world. It’s the language of music, with Operatic works by Mozart such as the Marriage of Figaro, to name the most well-known.
There are 7 compound tenses in Italian which means that there are many different ways of saying things. Or better, that in order to say something in a certain way, you must use the correct tense. The most powerful of all the tenses for me has to be the congiuntivo, a tense which on it’s own allows you to essentially say “in my opinion” or “in my experience” with the verb being used. The difference between using the present tense and the congiuntivo tense in the workplace is the difference between expressing a fact, and expressing a personal opinion. It’s that simple. While in English you can get away with passing out the conversations with terms such as those described below, in Italian you either use the tense, or you might as well be stating the obvious.
Speaking Italian modifies the soul, if you’re not from the south of Europe!
After speaking Italian for over ten years in situ, I have really come to appreciate the warmth and flexibility of the language. It is massively distinct from English, because there exist a series of words that are simply used to pad out emotion. “Mah” “BOH” “Si è” “D’eh” these words are just ways for you the individual to download your discontent, or emphasize a point. They are words that can only be translated into meaning within the context of the conversation being had. This can be tricky for a foreigner to get at first, but once you do, it really opens up the language. There are also a series of word endings that can transform any item in the language in a nice way or a bad way.
For example, you can say I went for a nice walk “sono andato a fare una passegiata” and a I went for a short walk “sono andato a fare una passegiatina” and I went for a long walk “sono andato a fare una passegiatona” . These rules essentially multiply the vocabulary hugely. When I am speaking Italian I feel much more as though I am able to speak from the soul, in English this doesn’t happen so much because the English culture has a different way of expressing emotions in day-to-day living – sarcasm, dry-humour, or expletives are the order of the day.
So, if you’re thinking about coming to Italy and are looking for an Italian language school in Florence, there are plenty to choose from. If you’re coming to Florence to take a holiday in Tuscany then I hope this short guide has given you an insight into a few of the complexities of the language.