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Is Lack Of Italian A Disadvantage?

Discussion in 'Italian Language' started by messalina, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. If you aren't fluent in Italian when you go to live in Italy, is it a very big disadvantage? I 'm going to be buying a place in a rural area, so there will be a lot of people who don't speak English, but my Italian is very basic at the moment, though I am learning.
  2. In my experience there aren't many people that speak English, mostly they are younger or persons that use it for works.

    So don't expect the average person in a rural area to understand you :). other than that usually Italian express a lot with gesture so this could help ;)
  3. Thanks for the advice. I figured that only the tourist spots had people who spoke English well, but Italian is such a beautiful language that it's not a chore to learn it. In fact, I'll be glad for the opportunity to practice my Italian when we do move there.
  4. Yes, you will need a basic knowledge of Italian to complete the administrative tasks to make your stay regular. (tax code, utility services, health services, etc...)

    All of the legal forms are in Italian and most people don't speak English that well. I agree with Luca though, Italians use a lot of gesture when they speak so this may help.

    But don't worry, you will probably meet someone who will be able to help you at the beginning, and if not, there are always people on forums such as this that may be nearby to help.
  5. I agree with what Chillout said, you kind of need to have some knowledge of the language since you have to fill out legal forms and everything else.

    Regarding the gesture part, I'm not sure what to tell you though. I'd say it's better to know what the words mean, I have had a bit of trouble understanding Italian, even with all the gestures that accompany it...

    It's great that you like the language! I didn't like Italian at all at first! I needed some time to get used to it before liking it :p
  6. (Messalina was the wife of Claudio in the ancient rome, by the period of Caligola the mad emperor. That' the name that represents lust as she was a sex addict. You won't find girls named Messalina in italy.)

    Dear messalina in tutal area you won't find many people speaking english, and what you'll learn will be mainly dialect.You will be alone for a long period. I'd suggest to start with a bigger city where you can find more easily people speaking english, and friends. In the beginning it's great to find people from your country, it makes the shock of changing everything much more tolerable.

    The langueage is hard, I agree again with Rosie. from the gestures you won't understand so much, we're not Marcel Marceau :D It will be more like typing all the time on the traslator of our smartphone (italians are mad about smarphones, i can't explain why)
  7. It has been interesting to read this thread. I, too, have been learning to speak Italian, but it seems I had wrongly assumed that many Italians speak English. Hopefully I will be fluent by the time I visit there.
  8. Patrizio, the book "I Claudius" is my favourite, which is why I chose this as a username, but I take your point and I can understand why there wouldn't be many girls with that as a real name in Italy ;) We haven't actually bought a property yet, so there is plenty of time for us to explore some areas of Italy and find a place with other ex patriots nearby.
  9. It depends, I work in IT me and all my colleague must know English for work, but if you go out to the restaurant or do some shopping it's all another things, expect (in general) that people don't know it.
  10. I plan to learn more Italian in case I do end up living there, but I can't imagine ever being good enough to complete legal papers without some help.
  11. Warrior, maybe you could get Rosetta Stone to learn Italian. I know there are a lot of books on Amazon that you can buy to learn the language as well.
  12. If you want to live in Italy, in a rural area (but also in a city ), italian language is a must. Only in Bolzano and in its provincia (land around Bolzano) and in the region of Valle d'Aosta you can survive with the lack of italian (but german (in the first case) or french (in the second) become necessary). In the italian territory, english language is understood by few people (above all, educated people). A good number of Italians has a basic knowledge of english, but few people would understand when you speak. Italians understand better the written english, rather than the spoken english.
    Chillout likes this.
  13. Of course it's a disadvantage. If you're willing to immigrate in another country, the first thing you need to know is the language of it. Language is a really useful tool and it will help you communicate with the locals. By knowing the language, you will also increase your chances of finding a job there.
    How will you assimilate into Italian society, if you are unable to communicate effectively in their language?
  14. While I agree with Silv and with my previous opinion (the one written at the top of the thread), I recently found out an interesting thing about Germany... It seems that whoever chooses to go live there and work in the IT field, doesn't need to really learn German.

    I found it very odd and didn't believe it, but it seems that whoever works in the IT field speaks English anyway, so when collaborating with companies from America, Canada or some European countries, English is the main language used.

    So, there are plenty of people who move to Germany and only speak English, even after years of living there. They have friends who are from the same country, when shopping you don't really need to talk.. and life is good....

    I know it's off topic, but I wanted to give you an example of how in some situations you can move to another country even if you don't speak the language.
  15. It's not really a disadvantage if you don't speak Italian, although it would help a lot. Italy is very much open to tourists, so people who have to face customers are usually able to speak English.

    It may help however to learn some of the basic phrases before going there. It would be nice, for example, to say thank you in Italian.
  16. I think it is a disadvantage, not being able to communicate clearly, especially out of the main cities however, I've found that no matter where I travel in the world, if I make an effort to try and speak the language, even just a few helpful phrases, people will make an effort to help me.
    Matteo likes this.
  17. If you don't spreak a latin language you better learn some italian. You can understand pretty easily italian if you speak for example french or spanish. But if you only speak english go for italian. A very few italian speak english and if they do, you wouldn't be able to understand !
  18. In rural places many people don't speak English and their Italian will be fairly local and colloquial as I found out. Whenever I have used my Italian it has been appreciated and it's good to know when you are shopping locally and to be able to read the signs.

    Italian can very region by region on how things are expressed as well, so knowing a few key words can always help get the message across.
  19. I think it's really cool to develop a second mother tongue in Italian. :) It is a beautiful language for a language of habitual use. A few people I have met who speak Italian as a second language appear to be intelligent in their artistic endeavors. The language seems to cater them artistically.
  20. It can be a huge disadvantage at times. Although I run into a lot of Italians who are fluent in English, I also run into many who are not. That can make living in Italy a bit more challenging. Its best to at least know the basics of Italian.

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