November 10, 2009 | Italian

Spanish Skills Under Siege

My Italian is encroaching on my Spanish.

I woke up and began my day with one of my favorite activities: grammar exercises. (That sentence is not sarcastic in any way.) I did verb conjugations, this time not only indicative but also imperative. Good times. I am getting close to page 200 of my Italian Now! book.

In the afternoon I ran a bunch of errands, doing Pimsleur everywhere I went. I passed through Central Park four times (two passes each for two East Side appointments), and got through so much Pimsleur in the park that I ran out of new lessons on my Creative Zen. I had to go back to an old Italian lesson, which I found insanely easy. (With Russian Pimsleur, as I advanced I would often forget at least some of the content from earlier lessons, but that doesn’t seem to be happening here.)

Male (Left) and Female Buffleheads

Practicing Italian along the reservoir in Central Park, I saw tons of buffleheads. They are back. They are so cute. They dive compulsively and always look very busy.

I am still having so much fun rolling my r’s. I told Brandt today, “I think I may love Italian more than Spanish.”

And yet this love may have repercussions. When I went downstairs to the mailroom to get our mail, I came across Luis, one of the building employees I always speak Spanish to. Today, as soon as I opened my mouth, I found myself mixing up Spanish and Italian. I got confused telling him our mailbox number, for example. Instead of the Spanish ciento (pronounced see-EN-to) for 100, I said the Italian cento (pronounced CHEN-to). Then, for fifty, I mistakenly said cinquanta (pronounced ching-KWAN-ta) instead of the Spanish cincuenta (sing-KWEN-ta). Oh-oh. I really don’t want to do harm to my Spanish. I hope this will pass.

Tonight I kept doing Pimsleur and got through lesson 25. The last two lessons I did while cleaning and doing dishes. I can actually multitask with Italian Pimsleur, unlike with Arabic and Russian. Because of that, I can get more lessons done in a day—eight in all since this morning, in fact!

Comments (1)

Irena Pasvinter • Posted on Wed, July 09, 2014 - 1:14 am EST

That’s exactly what happened to me: Italian popped up all the time while I learned Spanish. Finally Spanish managed to completely overshadow Italian. Now when I left Spanish and got back to Italian, it erased most of my Spanish speech abilities. I do love Italian more, its sound had always hypnotized me, even before I could understand a word. Pimsleur is good for memorizing, but it gives no explanations and I find myself increasingly bored with the repetitions, especially that the text is pretty much the same for Italian/French/Spanish, so I kind of know the discussed topics by heart by now.

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