My Italian lessons are coming along nicely.
And I can say a lot more than that in Italian.
Not that I have any idea what it means.
You see, most of the "Learn to Speak Italian" tapes have no English on them. This is called the 'Total Immersion' technique. Just someone saying stuff in Italian (with no translation), and pausing so you can repeat what they said.
I listen to a Learn Italian CD in the car on the way to and from work. (All the other learn Italian stuff is on cassette tape.) It's kind of like playing Foreign Language Balderdash.
I listen to the Italian, carefully repeat it, and try to guess at the meaning.
For example, I think it just said "Mario is feeding the cat." Or maybe it was "Mario is eating a cat."
There is a book that goes along with the tape, but I can't read it while driving because it would distract me from pressing the rewind button on the cd player in the car.
One set of tapes (Listened to at home. Thanks for lending me your cassette player, Lumpy!) with no English also has sound effects.
I kept up easily in the first lesson that made vroom vromm noises and has people talking to each other with useful phrases like una Toyota es una machina Japanesa.
The next lesson goes bong bong and I think was about telling time. The lessons after that, I have no clue.
By the end of the week I expect to be able to speak a fluent English with a heavy Italian accent. In case any American tourists ask me for directions.