#1

Hey, so I'm thinking of starting Italian in uni...and it says that no knowledge is required as you are introduced to the language in the first semester(s).

But not much later do you begin to study Italian literature/romantics/poets/history.

So I'm wondering is it wise to begin a language. I understand that it's beginner level and all but still, will it be extremely difficult?

Thanks

**Timbuk2** Moderator
#2

Moved from Leaving Cert -> Italian.

#3

At university level in Ireland, the primary focus of the course is not really the language, but the literature. This is not to say that learning the language is not essential, only that people often go into these courses and later realize that it's in actuality a literature course as much, if not more, than a language one.

With regards to the literature, you'll probably read translations in the first year anyway and literature exams will be answered through English.

I'd imagine that you'll likely cover 'i promessi sposi', Dante (or at least l'Inferno), Piranedello and no doubt some pet writer that the departmental Professor specializes in that no one's heard of in Italy.

You'll also cover other modules along the way, in many cases optional, such as Italian history, socio-linguistics and possibly even opera or film.

Nonetheless, you will be taught the language and by the end of your degree you should be reasonably fluent or at least have a very good working knowledge of the language. It would be advisable, however, to consider spending time in Italy too, possibly applying for ERASMUS, to better improve your language.

But is it wise to begin a language? Sure, there's no reason why you cannot do so, especially when you're still young; I learned new languages much later than that.

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#4

The Corinthian said:
At university level in Ireland, the primary focus of the course is not really the language, but the literature. This is not to say that learning the language is not essential, only that people often go into these courses and later realize that it's in actuality a literature course as much, if not more, than a language one.

With regards to the literature, you'll probably read translations in the first year anyway and literature exams will be answered through English.

I'd imagine that you'll likely cover 'i promessi sposi', Dante (or at least l'Inferno), Piranedello and no doubt some pet writer that the departmental Professor specializes in that no one's heard of in Italy.

You'll also cover other modules along the way, in many cases optional, such as Italian history, socio-linguistics and possibly even opera or film.

Nonetheless, you will be taught the language and by the end of your degree you should be reasonably fluent or at least have a very good working knowledge of the language. It would be advisable, however, to consider spending time in Italy too, possibly applying for ERASMUS, to better improve your language.

But is it wise to begin a language? Sure, there's no reason why you cannot do so, especially when you're still young; I learned new languages much later than that.


Sound! I went over myself to Italy to my Aunt + Uncle for about a month.
Really taken by the language and culture. Will hopefully go again after LC.

Have always loved Italian history an I'm sure literature will be just as interesting! IMO learning a language egg you're young is much easier than later on.

I went to a Gael Scoil so am fluent in Irish, and I enjoy French but wouldn't like to study it third level. I think Italian would be a great thing to study.

population Registered User
#5

Do it. You will not regret it. It is a beautiful and rich language. I would echo Corinthian on trying to spend some time in Italy as it really makes a difference when you HAVE to speak the language outside of a safe class environment.

#6

population said:
Do it. You will not regret it. It is a beautiful and rich language. I would echo Corinthian on trying to spend some time in Italy as it really makes a difference when you HAVE to speak the language outside of a safe class environment.


The course I'm applying for says you need no prior knowledge of the language and the first few semesters are for beginners. So do you think a 3 or 4 year BA Degree is plenty of time to learn the language?

#7

galwaymusic said:
So do you think a 3 or 4 year BA Degree is plenty of time to learn the language?

Depends on the college and on yourself.

Will you become on a par with someone who's madrelingua? No. Will you become reasonably fluent if you work at it and maybe spend a few months in Italy too? Yes.

My brother-in-law, who's a lot older than you, taught himself quite an impressive level of Italian using nothing more than MP3's and books and sitting at the dinner table with our family.

#8

The Corinthian said:


Will you become on a par with someone who's madrelingua? No. Will you become reasonably fluent if you work at it and maybe spend a few months in Italy too? Yes.


That's very helpful and I feel much more positive of the idea I think I would do well as I have a big interest.

The Corinthian said:
My brother-in-law, who's a lot older than you, taught himself quite an impressive level of Italian using nothing more than MP3's and books and sitting at the dinner table with our family.

The Internet/mp3 is truly amazing! Wow! There are no limits to how you do academically, it just depends on how dedicated you are. I appreciate your advice

population Registered User
#9

Check out a podcast called Italian101.com. Very good resource

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Michael O Toole Registered User
#10

The Corinthian said:
At university level in Ireland, the primary focus of the course is not really the language, but the literature. This is not to say that learning the language is not essential, only that people often go into these courses and later realize that it's in actuality a literature course as much, if not more, than a language one.

With regards to the literature, you'll probably read translations in the first year anyway and literature exams will be answered through English.

I'd imagine that you'll likely cover 'i promessi sposi', Dante (or at least l'Inferno), Piranedello and no doubt some pet writer that the departmental Professor specializes in that no one's heard of in Italy.

You'll also cover other modules along the way, in many cases optional, such as Italian history, socio-linguistics and possibly even opera or film.

Nonetheless, you will be taught the language and by the end of your degree you should be reasonably fluent or at least have a very good working knowledge of the language. It would be advisable, however, to consider spending time in Italy too, possibly applying for ERASMUS, to better improve your language.

But is it wise to begin a language? Sure, there's no reason why you cannot do so, especially when you're still young; I learned new languages much later than that.


Jeez, those names are bringing back memories. I actually quite liked Pirandello, in retrospect. But I hated, hated, Giacomo Leopardi, another one we did.

Without being crude, I always thought that if he had been able to get a little bit of loving, he wouldn't have turned to poetry - and our Tuesday afternoons would have been much more positive.

There was a book I did for A Level called: "Il Taglio del bosco" by Carlo Cassola. Now he's a writer.

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