Learn the Lingo.

I’ve signed up for Italian classes this year. The course is just one of many put on by U3A, an excellent institution catering for those retired or semi-retired over 50 years olds. The courses are run by volunteers and the cost is minimal.

I’ve been attending French lessons for a couple of years. Most in the group have a good grounding in French grammar. They learnt it in the dim distance past at school when the focus was on reading and writing of a language. Now the focus has changed. We want to make ourselves understood. We want to develop our speaking and listening skills. We want to go to Paris and converse with the natives -as if!

Whatever the country one is in, a good starting point for conversation is always the weather. Learn a few phrases and I reckon you can chat on for 10 minutes. I want to be able to ask if there’s the likelihood of strong winds or if the downpour that drenched me earlier in the day is typical of Sienna in June. Understanding the reply could be the tricky bit.

Damp under foot in Venice

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