In preparation for Christmas with Fabio’s family, I’m back on the Rosetta Stone horse. In my geeky I-love-a-new-techo-gadget-way, I totally dig it.
Rosetta Stone shows me 4 pictures beneath an Italian word – spoken and/or written – I get to pick my torture. Then I must match the Italian word or phrase to the picture. For example, match the word “gatto” to the picture of the cat – and not the picture of the camel, swan, or elephant. According to Rosetta Stone, his method mimics learning the way a child does…complete with all the guesswork and mistakes.
But sometimes the words seem really obscure… especially to someone who doesn’t speak Italian. During one of my early sessions, Rosetta Stone asked me to match “elmetto protettivo”. Through trial and error, I determined that this is a hard hat. A critical word for me to master early on. I might need to ask Fabio’s mom where to buy one in Como. Anyway, upon learning it, I asked Fabio, with the sincerest of seriousness, “do you know what this word means??”
It’s impossible to describe the quantity of disbelief in his response. Bucketfuls. Truckloads. City blocks. He pointed out that “elmetto protettivo” was in the second unit of the first level of Italian for the Rosetta Stone course. Since he had been speaking Italian his entire life, he probably knew what it meant.
Ah – a lesson within a lesson.