Lucia Viglietti

Lucia Viglietti

Lucia Viglietti and Federica Marchesini

Q: Ciao Lucia! So you started learning Italian in 2007. What made you start then and how did you find LINGO school?

A: After I finished my studies I was working at my first job and I decided it was the right time to start private Italian lessons. My Papa’ is Italian but only spoke to me in Italian until I was 4 years old, but it became difficult as my Mom couldn’t understand what he was saying to me. By the time my brother Piero was born he stopped altogether. I went for a year or two of Italian lessons when I was a child, but as it wasn’t part of the school curriculum, it was difficult to keep up. I found Lingo on Gumtree.

I am very happy I chose Fede!

Q: How did you feel when you went to Italy for the first time after taking Italian lessons, comparing to the times you went before?

A: When I went to Italy in October 2008, I had been studying with Lingo for almost two years, and while my Italian wasn’t advanced yet, I was confident enough to order a meal in Italian, read an Italian menu or ask for directions. When we went to visit friends of ours outside Firenze, I could understand a lot of what they were saying, even if I wasn’t quick enough yet to be part of every conversation. Overall it was a very exciting and rewarding experience going to Italy the first time after starting my lessons. It gave me added motivation and confidence when I got back to Cape Town, and continued learning.

Q: What is the word you heard the most when you were in Italy?

A: In 2008 QUINDI and COMUNQUE: both mean “however’ and “so” and in 2011 BEH which means “ ummm or mmmm”

Q: I remember you came to the very first Lingo Bingo? Did you win anything or remember any of the prizes?

A: Yes, I remember practicing my numbers beforehand so I was ready! Juliette and I won – beginners luck or skill? If I remember correctly the prize was a beauty hamper/beauty products.

Q: What Italian word do you find the most difficult to pronounce?

A: Luckily for me, because I had been spoken to in Italian from a young age I had the ‘ear’ for words. I don’t remember struggling too much with pronunciation. I’m sure there must have been words I found difficult but none that jump into my head.

Q: Which Italian swearword have you used or wanted to?

A: I once bought my brother a t-shirt that said VAFFANCULO on it, and underneath that in pretty, curly writing it said ‘Have a nice day’. It made me laugh out loud, because this is NOT what VAFFANCULO means! There are so many great (and colorful!) Italian swearwords – I think my Papa’ and Piero use them all. If I had to choose a favorite I think it would be PORCA MISERIA!

Q: Name a regional Italian dish you tried and loved!

A: gnocco fritto. It is a dough that is rolled out thin like pizza dough, left to rise a bit, cut smaller into whatever shape the cook prefers, and then puffs up when it is fried. You can eat it plain with un caffe’, or with salumi e formaggi or Nutella. Che buono!

Q: Have you ever fallen in love with an Italian man or at least wished for?

A: My first love was Italian, I was 19 and madly in love. I remember realizing how much of me was culturally Italian, as we had so many things in common that I hadn’t even thought about until then.

I’ve met some pretty charming Italians since then, I think speaking Italian as a foreigner in Italy makes you very interesting to them. A lot of Italians still speak very little or no English, or even if they can speak good English they prefer it if you can rather speak to them in Italian. So if you can speak Italian, (even if it is with a bit of an accent) you have a better chance to meet guys.

Q: What would you suggest to any of my current students?

A: I suggest to be determined, to set yourself a goal, to go and live in Italy for a while. Also, rather say something even if its flawed, than say nothing at all! Read and write as much as you can (without google translate!), and watch Italian films without the subtitles. Most of all have fun with it.

Listen to Italian radio – you can download the radio app on your iPad/iPhone and stream your favorite station.

You may have the universe if I may have Italy
Giuseppe Verdi