For today, I’m featuring an interview with a language blogger from Italy, Chiara. She runs the blog Runaway Daydreamer (beautiful and inspiring name) and she dedicates herself to write about culture, traveling and languages. What I like about her blogs is that she is quite honest about her language journey and she is more than willing to share her ups and downs with us.
Without further ado, here are her answers!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself? What is your main occupation?
My name is Chiara Grandola and I’m a runaway daydreamer, as my blog claims.
I’m currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in Theatre, Performing Arts, Film and Technologies at “La Sapienza” University of Rome. I am an entertainment girl at heart. I thoroughly enjoy all forms of artistic expression and communication, with languages being one of them.
How did you become involved with languages? Did anyone motivate you?
I was born and raised in Italy but I feel like a citizen of the world and that’s why I’m fond on learning languages. I love connecting with people and learning from them. It’s one of the most rewarding experience ever and it enriches you in ways you cannot possible imagine.
Have your family, loved ones and friends been supportive with your language interests?
Absolutely! I grew up in a monolingual environment but my family has always been supportive of my passion for languages.
How did you start your journey with blogging about languages?
I was inspired by Melissa Muldoon’s journey. Melissa has a contagious enthusiasm for all things Italian – from the language to the culture, food and so on. Her blog, Studentessa Matta, inspired me to join the blogosphere and create my own blogging adventure. Grazie Melissa!
Have you ever faced a hard moment while learning languages? How did you overcome it?
Oh my! It happens all the time. I’m actually facing a hard moment right now so… perfect timing!
I always struggle to keep myself motivated and that’s why I write a language journal (http://runawaydaydreamer.com/language-journal/) that reminds me of my progress over time.
The best advice I can give you is to slow down when you feel overwhelmed. Take a break if you need to. Redefine your goals. Remind yourself why you started in the first place. Be patient. You won’t fail if you won’t give up.
What languages are you currently interested in right now? How do you practice them? What are your techniques for that/those language(s)?
I’m mostly focused on French but I’m also trying to learn some Japanese.
I try to get as much exposure to the language as possible. The first thing I do is listening regularly to get used to the flow of the language. I love music so I make sure to fill my iPod with every kind of foreign songs. Then, I do my best to interact with the language on a daily basis, by developing habits, such as watching a foreign movie every week, reviewing new vocabulary every day and so on. Using a variety of resources is what works best for me.
Are you interested in a certain language that you know, more or less, you won’t be able to study?
Hmmm. Interesting question. I would say that I only learn languages that I can use in my everyday life.
I’m fascinated by Breton, but I don’t think that I’d make an effort to study it because there aren’t many resources and opportunities to use it and I have other priorities. That said, I don’t want to say “never”. I might change my mind in the future. Who knows…
Can you tell me a short, positive and funny anecdote about your language learning history?
My favorite experience was on a recent trip to Marseille, France. I was approached by a French guy while admiring the view on the top of the “Château d’If”. He told me that he was about to propose to his long-time girlfriend and he asked me if I could capture the moment by taking some photos of him kneeled down on his knees! I cobbled together enough French to help him and then wish them both “félicitations”. Thank God his girlfriend said “oui” or it would’ve been an awkward situation!
Grazie mille Chiara 🙂