Monday 10 September 2012

One Day One Photo - 6

Thursday 6th September

As well as taking Italian lessons I also do conversation exchanges. I found a very useful website where you can sign up and meet other folks who want to practice their English in return for me practicing my Italian. Some might think it's strange that I should need to do a conversation exchange while I am already in Italy so should be speaking it all the time! Well, the trouble is I don't speak it all the time. In fact sometimes I don't speak Italian at all!

My work is done all in English, the working language of the company I work for is English, despite there being a majority of Italians. Alot of Italians are really keen to improve their English, so they will speak to me in English at every opportunity - even when I address them in Italian. It seems my Italian can't be so bad though because the answers they give in English correspond with the question I've asked!
Of course, many people say British people don't like speaking foreign languages. There may be some truth in that, especially with respect to folks on holiday in a country. But it you live in an international city like Milan many people speak in English, the difficulty comes in finding people who will actually reply to you in Italian - such is the keeness for the locals to practice their linguistic skills (and of course free of charge)!

So, doing a conversation exchange has been a good thing for me, and it has also given me more chance to interact socially with Milanesi people. I spend quite a bit of time at the Libreria Mondadori bookshop on the Piazza del Duomo. They have a nice coffee shop and it's a pretty good meeting spot.

Mind you, now I am getting so many replies to my conversation exchange advert, I may have to curtail my other activities and just do conversation exchanges in a specially reserved room! My Italian is improving though, so I can't complain - va bene!

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