November 8, 2009 | Italian

Sports Lessons

I take a long Pimsleur walk and watch soccer on Italian television.

I am feeling really run down. When I woke up, I did some of the Italian Now! book, then tried running, but turned around after a few steps. I was just too tired. That’s okay; I’d already done my mileage and more for the week. I changed my clothes and instead did a two-hour Pimsleur walk in Central Park.

It was a gorgeous day, about 60 degrees. While I was walking, I spied a lost couple looking at a map near the north end of the reservoir. They looked Italian, so, sensing an opportunity, I walked up to them and asked whether they needed help. They did, and they were indeed Italian.

I told them, “Imparo italiano adesso” (I am studying Italian now), and pointed to my device. Then I said, “Solamente otto giorni” (only eight days). I think the woman said, “Molto bene.” Though brief, the exchange was quite satisfying.

This language is heaven to pronounce. Sensuous and pleasing to tongue and ear. I am playing nonstop with the r’s I picked up while studying Arabic. Thank you, Arabic.

A Cool Upper West Side Vitamin Store

Anyway, even after my walk, during which I did four lessons, I just kept doing Pimsleur all day long. It is my companion for errands. I went to the health food store and got vitamins, thinking that might be why I’m run down, and did Pimsleur there and back. Then I went to the Gap; I did Pimsleur there and back. Then I did laundry; I did Pimsleur up and down in the elevators. When I came home, I did more Pimsleur. The result is that I finished eight lessons today and am ready to start 15 (Level II) tomorrow. I am one lesson shy of being halfway done with Pimsleur’s Italian series.

Oh, another thing I did today was watch a little Italian TV. It was a soccer game. Soccer for a reason I don’t yet know is called calcio in Italian. A totally unexpected choice of word that sounds like “calcium” and makes me think of white dust. Also, I was wondering why the announcer kept saying stanco, which means “tired,” over and over. It took my husband, who speaks no Italian, all of 30 seconds to figure out that Stanco was a player’s last name.


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