Friday 15 April 2011

Passing for an Italian speaker

Today was the birthday of a colleague who is half Italian. Of course, I took it as an excuse to say a few words in Italian, eager as I am to speak the language and show off (of course when I do it usually backfires). I first said "Buon compleanno" and then when she said a few more words I said the usual "Io parlo bene Italiano ma non capisco una sola parola". Another colleague was (easily) impressed because I said it fast and asked me where did I learn Italian. I said during my first year in England, where I was hanging out with Italians and where my Italian improved much more than my English. I blogged about it before. But what struck me is that he presumed I was fluent in a language I barely know. Which is what many Italians think, until I get overconfident and make a fool of myself (see above). I like giving this kind of impression, that I can speak Italian like a native, that I am a professional actor, an almost professional baritone, whatever. I guess I suffer from a slight mythomania. I have some tendencies towards it anyway. But maybe it is just me playing a role, with me as the audience.


PJ said...

Je suis le moins polyglote de la famille. Faudrait que je m'y mette, mais le cantonnais c'est dur en maudit.

L'Étrange cas said...

Guillaume, tu es en quelque sorte un genre de Zelig.