Well, that was fun! I set out on March 17th to learn Italian and I finished my programme on schedule yesterday, November 30th. A very good use of lockdown time in my view. I don’t like it when people make vague statements like “I have learned Italian”, do you? So let’s be more specific.

I have progressed from zero1 words of Italian to a vocabulary of 11,000 words and the grammar to support that vocabulary. I am able to turn thoughts into conversation and reading into understanding. It has taken me 258 days and an estimated 253 hours of study and practice in total (a little under one hour each day). I am able to complete a 10 question mixed vocabulary and grammar quiz selected at random from everything I have learned to date in an average of 60 seconds and answer 9 out of 10 of those quiz questions correctly.

I also managed to achieve my November goal which was to expand my vocabulary by as much as an honours graduate does in a 3 year university degree programme. Which means that my knowledge of Italian expanded by 150 words per day on average during that month. Actually, I overshot my goal by 10 words but I have generous readers who, I believe, will forgive me that momentary lack of precision. My apologies – it was careless of me 😉

In the next week I will be sharing all sorts of interesting information and thought provoking ideas that have come out of my completing my Italian programme including stuff that was new to me which I learned along the way. The goal of this blog is to help you up your own language learning game. So stay tuned and come back often. As for me – I am now focussed on improving my Thai – which will likely produce its own set of interesting thoughts and ideas but Italian first.

1 – Of course, I didn’t start at EXACTLY zero words and nor would any other native English speaker. I knew a few words like “pizza” and “donna” as in “prima donna” or “Madonna” and “via” as in the Via Dolorosa. But compared to 11,000, “yes” I started at zero and with no more than anyone else would have who has never learned or attempted to learn Italian before.