Monday, February 29, 2016
I can fully understand Italian only in my dreams, or if spoken by sloths
If only everyone spoke like a sloth, we could understand them. Lucy and I went to the Disney movie Zootopia Saturday night at the cinema in Altopascio. I’m pretty sure we were the only adults there who didn’t bring children. We are still having trouble understanding rapidly spoken Italian, so adult movies with lots of dialogue confuse and exhaust us. We missed many of the subtle jokes common in animated movies, but we could easily follow all of the important dialogue and of course the visual humor.
We loved the scene in the Department of Motor Vehicles office, which had both visual and verbal humor. All of the characters in the movie were animals, and the DMV employees were sloths, who moved and spoke with agonizingly slowness. At last we could understand every word! My problem is not that my vocabulary is too limited to understand Italian. It’s just that the my old brain still processes spoken words with the speed of an old Intel 386 processor while the rest of the Italy speaks with . . . well, whatever kind of processors they put in computers today.
At home, we watch used DVDs that we’ve purchased at the outdoor antiquities markets, and they offer the option of subtitles, which we always use. If I keep my eyes trained on the sottotitoli, I can follow the dialogue reasonably well, though I sometimes miss out on the action because I am intent on reading. I know I am making progress, and I’ve come to accept the fact that it will be very gradual. Still I sometimes find myself longing for a miracle cure. I have dreams that I am speaking and understanding Italian with no problems. When I wake up, I wonder how I can do that in my dreams but not in reality.
Still, I should not complain. In one sense, I’m in a dream world already, since I have realized a life-long ambition to live in Italy. And if that dream can come true, hopefully the one about speaking fluently will follow in time, if I can just live long enough.