Italian & me: A bilingual’s lifelong quarrel with the most Italian of words

No matter how hard you study, there will always be some parts of a language that you won’t be able to capture without living where it is actually used. Raised north of the Alps, I have always struggled to grasp certain nuances of my second language Italian (and pretty much everything about its grammar, but that’s a different story). It wasn’t until I went to live in Italy for a few months that I got a little closer to the art of expression that the Italians call their language – and that I finally cracked the one I’d been racking my brains about all my life. About the most Italian of words.

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Meeting the unknown species in Italy

Unlike many girls my age, I have never been much of a kids kind of person. Tiny animals, yes! Tiny humans… well, not so much. Obviously, my mid-twenties are biologically forcing me to marvel at drooling newborns and “awww” at kids dressed up like Elsa, but this is pretty much where my excitement for the world of children comes to an end. Needless to say I have never EVER thought of myself as a teacher. And still – in a very urgent need to leave Germany and plunge into yet another adventure abroad, I signed up for an internship that allowed/forced me to be just that: a teacher. Continue reading