1. Be brave! To learn another language you must speak and not be afraid to make mistakes. You cannot embarrass easily.
2. Move your mouth. Being from the south and Texas in particular, I've discovered I have a very lazy mouth. (hello.. thats why we drawwwwl) Italians pronounce every letter and really work their mouths. Exercises are recommended.
3. I cannot pronounce the "gli" sound very well. Don't ask me what it sounds like, I can't do it. It's HARD!
4. I have a very hard time distinguishing between double consonants and single ones. And believe me they can mean VERY DIFFERENT THINGS! Please see #2.
5. Mixing up French, Spanish and Italian in your brain, does not a good communicator make. GEEZ
6. Dialect? That is different from proper Italian?? All non-English speaking sounds sound Italian to me. hehe I am hoping the more I learn, the better I will get at distinguishing.
7. I am not "flowery" enough in my descriptions and speech. Italians can make even the simplest sentence complicated and long. Which in itself is admirable and lovely to hear, but can lead to difficulties when trying to determine subjects and verbs. hehe
8. If you throw the remote on the floor in frustration - it will break! (even on carpet) There is a price to pay for breaking the volume control - its called actually walking up to the system and doing it MANUALLY! ugh - the trials. *sigh*
Currently, I am using podcasts from learnitalianpod.com with supplemental workbooks from Berlitz and Italian for Dummies. Though it is not natural for Stefano to speak anything but English with me, we are trying to have more "lessons" on the phone several times a week. Mostly this consists of me reading stuff, Stef correcting my pronunciation, and helping me diagram the sentence.
For those of you who are working on or have learned Italian - how does this program sound? Any tips or suggestions on other resources? Maybe by the time I move at the end of the year (hopefully) I will at least have a grasp of the language and ability to communicate. Lord knows how long it will take to understand cultural nuances. hehe