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Covid-19 Brought Me Closer To My Languages.

The unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to come to an abrupt halt. Lockdowns, social distancing, and furloughs confined us all within the four walls of our homes, patiently waiting for life to go forward.


However, amidst the difficulties faced by many during this tough period, unexpected positives did emerge. Personally, the pandemic gave me the opportunity to explore my creative side more. Ho iniziato a dipingere, a disegnare e ho anche ripreso a suonare il pianoforte (cosa che non facevo da tempo.)


Personally, the pandemic gave me the opportunity to explore my creative side more.

Although, even after doing all that, I still had so much free time to fill. So, like many others, I decided this was the perfect time to brush up on my language skills.


I was 19 at the time of the pandemic and had been learning Italian for about a year at university. Since I had so much time, I figured, why not try to enhance my Italian? Questo ha segnato inizio di una nuova amicizia con Netflix, Spotify e Duolingo.


While engaging in my newly discovered creative hobbies, I would immerse myself in the Italian language by blasting a mix of classic and modern Italian songs through my headphones or watch any Italian films I could get my hands on online.


Then to push myself further, I started learning typical Italian idioms (a few of my favourites can be found at the end of this article). I suppose you could say my enthusiasm for language learning stemmed from being an MFL university student.


Pertanto, nonostante ampio tempo a disposizione del COVID, ho avuto opportunità di migliorare le mie competenze in italiano. In fact, many teens at school took the opportunity to practise their languages much the same way I did.


Even my sixteen-year-old brother (who was studying for his Spanish GCSE at the time) started to want to practise Spanish more and more. Like many of us, he started his own Duolingo streak and found his own way to improve his language skills.


E quando aveva bisogno di consigli su film, programmi o canzoni, ero più che disponibile ad aiutarlo. I can only speak for myself, but the lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic meant that I became drawn even closer to language learning than before.


Era il momento perfetto per esplorare nuovi metodi che avrebbero migliorato il mio italiano e che ancora oggi mi tornano utili. Whilst the pandemic was a difficult period, the time it truly developed my relationship with languages for which I am grateful.


To finish this brief article, here are a few of my favourite Italian idioms that I stumbled upon during the pandemic that never fail to make me smile:

  • Chiusa una porta si apra un portone - When one door closes another door opens

  • In bocca al lupo - Good luck

  • Rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera - Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight

  • Sputa il rospo - Out with it! / Spill the tea

  • Le bugie hanno le gambe corte - Truth will out


About The Author: Isabella is an Olea Ambassador (Team 1.0, March - Sept 2023) and is currently pursuing a BA in Modern Languages (Spanish and Italian) with Business Management at the University of Birmingham.

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