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Mail Bag Stories – Learn Italian with Your Classmates!

Welcome to the new section of our blog, The Mail Bag. This is where we’ll share stories from our listeners in the endeavors with Italian. We hope stories from fellow students can help motivate and inspire you to begin learning Italian or give you that extra needed push and renewed sense of strength when you think it’s impossible to get become more proficient!

This week we’d like to introduce you to Jack Eitelgeorge from Santa Rosa, CA. Jack had this to say about his studies:

“My wife and I studied her family history and we found relatives in Italy. The next year we visited them and found them very please to meet and welcome us. The problem was, neither side could speak the others’ language.

Do you know what it’s like to have six smiling people sitting in a circle around you while you look up an Italian
word in the dictionary? It’s an ETERNITY.

Then once you say the word and acknowledge the nods, you have to launch another search while the anticipating people wait. It is a bit stressful, so I decided ‘next time I will be able to carry on a conversation.’

I tried a year of basic Italian at home at a local college and that helped, but I needed a more flexible method of study
without deadlines and without competitive quizzes and tests. I found Italianpod101 through a search of the word “Italian” at the iTunes website. It led to the podcast site and it was ‘free.’ I found that the daily dialogues were short, easy to download and the study plan was perfect for my time frame.

I followed the study approach suggested at the web site and kept drilling myself, almost to the point of memorizing the
dialogue. I learn best by rote, like learning the words and tune of a song. Italian is such a melodious language that it is almost a form of music. Pretty soon I was able to speak the phrases without the herky-jerky hesitations of recitation. I found a couple of terms like ‘allora’ and ‘secondo me’ and began to fill in the pauses between sentences.

By no means am I fluent but, heck, I am barely fluent in English! I can honestly say this, however: on our last trip to
Italy I was a bit of a hero. Our relatives loved the fact that not only was I studying their language I was actually able to communicate.

Now I am continuing Italianpod101 to become even better at Italian. My latest goal? To reach a point where our Italian relatives do not finish my sentences for me!”

Great job! We’re happy to hear that your second trip was much smoother and your Italian is improving!

This is an ongoing project, so please share your stories! You may send these to with the subject line: “Mailbag Story”. Our favorite stories will win FREE Premium service and be posted here to be shared with others!

Until next time, keep listening!