Sorry, no clichés allowed in here…

(…apart from the post’s featured image, of course!)

I found that most websites of Italian schools and private tutors tend to be stuffed with bombastic expressions about Italy, the Italians and their language. They treat you like babies, dishing you up a bunch of merry stereotypes to induce you to learn Italian (i.e. buy their courses). You are told that we are “il Paese del sole” (the sunny country), that our language is “dolce e musicale” (sweet and musical), that we are proud of our “cultura del cibo” (food culture), that we are all “tifosi di calcio” (mad about football) and so on. Bullshit! Not that there’s not a part of truth in each of these statements, but… every simplification is bound to debase a Nation’s complexity, and… your own reasons to be willing to learn.

Actually, that’s a very interesting point: unless you’re an awful timewaster, when you enrol in a course of Italian, you have already gone through a decision process, or maybe you have no choice at all (your company is sending you to open a new branch in Rome, say), but still a reason to apply. It’s those decisions, those reasons that are worth being investigated from the teacher’s side. Those decisions and reasons are working before you start browsing the web to seek a guide for the learning process. You don’t need to be convinced to buy as if you were passing by a stall at a fair…

All that said, my question to you all out there is: “Why on earth are you considering to embark on such a complicated undertaking as learning Italian? I can’t believe you’re serious! Would you please let me know? Would you, please? Really, I’m curious. Word of honour!”. I would carefully listen to your answer, and then: ”Ok, let’s see how I can help…”.

PS Of course, the abuse of stereotypes is pretty much the same for every language. I still bear in mind all those “Changes of the Guard” at Buckingham Palace I had to attend reading through my English textbooks…


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