anthony tripoli
Suggestions on how to think in your target language.

I am learning Italian. My reading is progressing well. Unfortunately, I cannot understand verbal discussions. I know the problem is I have to translate each word in my head. Any suggestions on what you did to get over this problem. I am listening to Yabla tapes, movies etc, I even meet with a group of Italian speakers once a month but still cannot comprehend verbally.Example if someone says the word "saltare" I know they said "saltare" , I can spell it , I know I know it.. but I have to translate it to English in my head, I do not think of 'Jump" when I hear it. Any thoughts on how you over came this problem or any tricks you played in your brain to not translate but to think. Thanks for any suggestions.

Dec 28, 2015 9:03 PM
Comments · 10

I would like to thank you all for your comments. You have helped me through a frustrating period with your ideas and encouragement. I now have "some state of the art ideas" on how to get to my next level.I plan on reporting back in a few days that I am now totally fluent in Italian...okay it will take a little longer than that. ( Did I tell you I also want to be a comedian some day?)Thanks again.

December 29, 2015

Anthony-  We are ALL in that club.  There is only one answer.... practice, practice, practice.... listening.  I suggest listening to podcasts while reading the transcription.... then listen to it again without reading.  Repeat... and practice some more.  Hang in there.  Enjoy the process.  -Sven


PS. I like what drrdn said also.  Think in ideas.

December 28, 2015

Do the action, do the thing the word means, if possible (if not, exert yourself and use your imagination), try to link the word to real life experiences and say it. Try to describe your daily actions, as you do them, speaking out loud in Italian. In this way you're compelled to find the words you need and to link them directly to their real meaning and not their English equivalent. And another important thing: it's better not to learn words in isolation, but to learn them inside phrases providing context that helps to grasp their meaning.

December 28, 2015

I usually use a trick to solve this problem. When you hear some word you automatically must imagine its action in your brain. Therefore, when you hear <em>saltare</em> you will think of a man jumping. If you hear to the word <em>mangiare</em> you will imagine yourself (or any other person) eating. At the beginning it may seem a bit difficult but eventually you'll get it and someday suddenly you will be speaking Italian fluently.

Thanks to this you won't never ever need your English to speak Italian!

December 28, 2015

Dear Anthony, 


Don't worry about it. I say it not only as an Italian tutor, but, first of all, as a languages learner. Sometimes I have been feeling stressed because I continue forgetting words that I have seen an hour before... ;-( 

But after listening and writing and reading that word or verb many times, you will remember it and it will become your favourite verb or your favourite noun! ;-) I am sure about it because it happened to me as well!  As all other Italki's friends said, all of us only need practice when we learn a language... it's a long process and the only way to not get tired of it is by enjoying it, trying to read, listen and speak about topics that you like or you are very interested in....watching movies in Italian, listening to music or also watching documentaries about Italy and its will be like travelling from your couch every day! :-) 

Have fun and I am sure words will come to your mind!

Greetings from Rome! Francesca

December 29, 2015
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