In preparation for my summer engagement I have been tirelessly translating Peanuts Cartoons, the often surreal fruit of Charles Schultz' imagination, and observing hours of Boheme recording/videos. It may seem obsessive, but I have been reviewing the Illica/Giacosa text [the librettists of Puccini's La Boheme] to uncover which words are further from my vocabulary than others. For example: in the first act when Schaunard makes his portentous entrance launching coins throughout the squalid turret, he asks "This man, who is he?" and Rodolfo responds "Luigi Filippo m'inchino* al mio Re." In review I realized that though I have translated and memorized the text [Louis Philip (Monarch of France), I prostrate myself to my King], I never use the verb inchinarsi when speaking Italian. Inchinarsi - to prostrate oneself, to bow. So, I have decided to write sentences and tables trying to incorporate the words that are not yet fluent to my italian memory.
Additionally I have been writing out tables of conversions of Weight, Volume, Temperature, Distance and Speed in order to acclimate myself to the European systems.
I have been to Europe. Last year I was in both Italy and Greece for the entire summer, first as a teaching assistant for Dr. Masciadri (double bass teacher at UGA) and performer with the Festival of the Aegean/Greek Opera Studio Greek Opera Studio Gala Videos 2011
I have a premonition though, that this experience will be somehow more vocational than my previous trips. I will have an apartment with a kitchen, I will be in a town where I have no friends - though I plan to make many - and entirely enveloped by my studies and the culture.
With all of this in mind, what type of advice or memories do you have from your own experiences abroad? Have any of you been to Italy? Are you fluent in English and another language?
Mi consigliate su qualcosa, per favore!
*notice m'inchino is not minchione - the topic for another post ;-)