Italian is a language I've always wanted to learn, it has a lovely sound to it. I can manage a few words - just the basics like hello, goodbye, please and thank you and there are many Italian words we're already familiar with, even if it's only from our local Italian restaurant.
The internet has made it easier to learn a language - a few years ago we had were limited to books and audio-tapes, now we have access to the multi-cultural internet:
- Get translations using Babelfish - often more amusing than accurate
- Access and download any number of podcasts to help you learn a new language
- Install language learning apps like Busuu or Rosetta Stone.
- Listen to foreign language radio
- Download foreign language films or watch online TV
- Access learning websites like www.bbc.co.uk/languages (mostly archived but still useful) or DuoLingo.
Many languages have similar roots (like Latin or German), making it easier to pick up or understand words and phrases. Grammar may take a little more time as, unlike English, they use masculine and feminine forms for nouns and adjectives. Verbs take different forms depending on 'who' is taking action.
You don't need to be fluent but being able to speak a few basic phrases helps when visiting another country.
The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)