Hello from the US...also a question for expert speakers

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Hello from the US...also a question for expert speakers

Post by VTBrandon »

My name is Brandon and i'm a university student. I've been to Italy twice and fell in love with the culture and the language. Also, my mom's side of the family is Italian so i thought I'd pick up a little just for family sake. Anyway here's my question. I'm a fluent Spanish speaker and I understand the concepts of linguistics, syntax, language families, and grammar very well also. How hard will Italian be for a fluent Spanish speaker who also understands linguistics?
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Post by disegno »

Ciao, well I imagine that you would have an advantage knowing Spanish, as it is a romance language. But, I don't know Spanish personally, so can't tell you this from experience. I can however, tell you that 5 years of German was no help at all with my Italian language learning experience! :roll: Buona fortuna! In bocca al lupo!
Chi canta a tavola e fischia a letto e' matto perfetto.
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Post by Roby »

Welcome to the forum. With your knowledge of Spanish, being that it is a romantic language, it will be helpful some. However, I must tell you that while I was taking Italian courses at school , there were many Spanish speaking students in the class. They comprehended the language easier because of the similarities, but they had more trouble with the speaking and writing part because they would think in Spanish and conjugate in Spanish. I believe you will do just fine. Just remember the different conjugations and the different words ( many sound the same , but have different spellings.)
"Per raro che sia, il vero amore e' meno raro della vera amicizia."

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Post by Netminder30 »

Benvenuto alla Bacheca, Brandon!

Although I wouldn't say I was ever really fluent in Spanish, I studied the language extensively for several years. I have found that knowledge to be immensely helpful with my Italian study. Overall, I think you will find Italian harder than Spanish. (That's not to say you will have trouble learning the language however.)

One of the hardest things for me is keeping the words straight. As Romance languages, Spanish and Italian share many words that come from the same root and have the same meaning, but the spellings are often different; e.g., familia/famiglia, inteligente/intelligente, gato/gatto, cuarenta/quaranta, que/che, por/per, año/anno, aqui/qui, si/se (if), etc. Some words are spelled the same, have the same meaning, but are pronounced differently; e.g., cosa, gente, piscina etc. I sometimes find myself using the Italian pronunciation/spelling when speaking/writing in Spanish and vice versa. It drives me crazy!

The languages share many of the same grammatical rules and this will facilitate your learning. There are also some big differences, however. For example, in Italian, the agreement of the past participle with the subject when using essere and reflexive verbs or with direct object pronouns when using avere struck me as very different and more complicated than Spanish. On the other hand the verb stare, the equivalent of the Spanish estar, does not play as prominent a role in Italian, so you don't have to think so much about the fine distinctions among states of being when speaking. (Like the Spanish estar, stare is used to form the progressive tenses.)

I've probably told you more than you care or need to know. Italian is a beautiful language and I think you will enjoy learning it. There will be things you like about it more than Spanish and vice versa. You'll just have to take special care to keep the two languages distinct in your mind. The fact that you are fluent in Spanish, however, will probably make you less susceptible to language "corruption" than I!

Have fun and good luck! :D

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