Tutorial Transcript

Hello everyone and welcome back to my channel! Today I want to talk to you about a book that was reccomended to me some time ago, and that I find absolutely interesting and, let's say, introspective, about the thoughts and feelings of a person that really wants to learn Italian. The book I'm talking about is this: "In altre parole" (=in other words) by Jhumpa Lahiri. She is a writer that has always spoken and written in English, in the English language. It actually says here: "'In Altre Parole' is the first book to be born in Italian, by a writer whose mother tongue is Bengali, and who has always spoken and written in English" and finds in Italian a sort of new identity, so she feels very close to the italian language and therefore decides to learn it. This book is written in Italian, but it isn't a translation from English to Italian, she has written this book directly in Italian. If you read the book, you'll learn the story: she fell in love with the Italian language and wanted, indeed, to be represented by it, as well as from a point of view related to identity. How did I find out about this book? This book was recommended to me by a student to whom I have given some grammar lessons and he told me about this book he was reading and, according to him, I would also find it interesting. So I decided to buy it and read it, because he had briefly talked to me about the story of this writer and it is indeed fascinating, the story of Jhumpa Lahiri. And then, even if you don't want to read this book, I invite you to go and read her story on the internet, because you'll find a lot of information. What is the book about? I'd define it as an autobiographical book, in which the writer narrates her journey towards learning Italian, through the highs and lows and with all that which learning a language entails. The study of the italian language has accompanied her for twenty years of her life and this book is proof that learning Italian, or learning any language in general, is a work that requires time, that requires sacrifices, that requires effort. I know that you agree with me, I know that you understand what it means to learn a foreign language, but I'll never get tired of repeating these things. Because on the internet you can too often see advertisements of products that aim at attracting clients claiming, let's say, the fact that with that product you'll learn a language in 30 days. Okay, so this doesn't happen, it's not true... It's not true, and this book is proof of that. This book makes you really understand what goes on in the mind of a person who wants to learn a language, that which happens in the positive and the negative moments of learning. Why is this book interesting? Because it gives us the chance to get to know the thoughts and emotions that occupy a person when they learn a foreign language and when they're starting to become acquainted with a culture different than their own, so it's interesting because we can take a look at what happens inside the head of a student, at their feelings regarding certain events that occur, etc. For me, as a teacher, it's interesting as a way to understand the student, to understand the student's point of view, how they feel, what they're experiencing. Meanwhile, this book is interesting to students because they can have a testament by another student, they can find points of agreement and similarities in experiences or they can become aware of an experience totally different than their own. Therefore this book offers food for thought, for teachers and students alike. How is this book structured? I'd say that this book is divided in episodes or anecdotes tied to specific events in the life of the writer or to objects that she uses or was using in the past, in her everyday life. From a linguistic point of view, upon reading this book you notice the gradual development of the language, you really notice a change in the language because as you proceed, as you go on reading, the language becomes more complex. So the first chapters are simple, the language is simple, the syntactic structures are simple and as the story proceeds, and as you go on reading the book, the language evolves as well, evolves together with the person. So, the last chapters are more linguistically complex than the first ones and this exactly reflects the linguistic evolution of the writer. The one that I have is the version entirely in Italian. There is also a bilingual version, in Italian and English. I'd advise you to get the version entirely in Italian but, if you want, you can obviously get the version that you prefer, after all. Let me know what you think in the comments down here, if you have already read this book or if you would like to read it. I highly reccomend it, it really is a read that could help you experience maybe in a better way the journey of learning and above all it reminds you that you are not alone in the difficult moments. Learning a language is a journey made up of highs and lows, celebrating only the positive moments is easy, the difficult part comes when we have to accept our lows, meaning our unmotivated moments, our tired moments. If we can understand that we have to live those moments in any case, because they exist, we have to face them. So, if we understand that we simply have to accept those moments, we'll move forward in a better and faster way. Therefore we need to accept, to equally celebrate the highs and the lows of our own journey toward learning Italian, in our case, because in reality this is valid for all languages. Well, thank you very much for watching this video. We'll see each other in the next one, see you soon! Ciao!