Italian Immersion, Russian Update + Birthday Request (Video)

  • Donovan Nagel
    Written byDonovan Nagel
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Italian Immersion, Russian Update + Birthday Request (Video)

Ciao a tutti!

I’m finally back in Europe renting an apartment for a few months in a gorgeous little town up near the Italian/Swiss border.

It’s nice to finally relax. 🙂

I had originally planned to stay in Russia long into the summer so I could visit the Sami settlements on the Kola peninsular but unfortunately since I left my job it meant that my work visa was no longer valid and I couldn’t stick around.

I decided that Russia isn’t the kind of country I want to overstay a visa in so I had to start the next leg of my adventure a wee bit early (I’m going to try to get a new Russian visa in Autumn after my epic Mid East project is finished).

Being here now is of course an excellent chance to improve my poor Italian skills too (I’ve already started learning Italian with lessons on italki as well as practising around the town here) but Russian is still going to be my main target language for a while longer.

I’m determined to reach a solid B2 equivalent level in Russian (conversational) so it’s important to me that I succeed in reaching that goal. My Russian friends will be joining me in Italy soon which will help keep me determined to improve while I’m here.

For the first time too I’m actually working through Duolingo (for Italian).

It’s been such a popular tool for quite some time but since the languages I learn aren’t supported by it, I’ve never really had an opportunity to test it out properly until now. I hope to share my overall experience and progress with you when I’m done with it (still prefer Glossika though admittedly).

Of course it doesn’t beat good old fashioned conversation and since few people speak English in this small town that I’m in I’ve got tonnes of opportunities around me every day to improve. 🙂

As I said in the video, I’ll be starting up the topic-based challenges again here from next week so stay tuned for more info on that.

My 30th birthday request – vote for this blog in the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs competition 🙂

I’m about to turn 30!

It’s okay… I forgive you for forgetting to get me a birthday present but you can still make it up to me by clicking here and voting for this blog in the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs competition run by Lexiophiles and 🙂

Last year your votes got this blog into the Top 25 Language Learning Blogs so it’d be great if you could do it again (you can also vote for other blogs you like too which I’ve also done).

Just click on that button and scroll down near the bottom to where it says “The Mezzofanti Guild” and click ‘Vote’.

Also as a kind of extra, super important favour it’d be awesome if you could take a few seconds to share this site (the homepage or any post you like) on Facebook or Twitter using the share buttons on the left side here.

One small share that takes literally only a few seconds of your time helps The Mezzofanti Guild get more exposure.

If you do enjoy following this blog then it’s the best way to support it. 🙂 Every share makes a big difference.

I’ll be celebrating with my Italian mates enjoying the local wines this week, and while I would have liked to head up to Berlin to meet people at the Polyglot Gathering in a few weeks to finish it off (it’s booked out), I’ve decided to head back to the Irish Gaeltacht instead to brush up on my rusty Irish!

I’ll share more on that later.

Sign up for the italki World Cup Challenge

UPDATE: This challenge is now over.

Finally, here’s an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself and improve your target language this summer.

From June 1st to July 31st, italki is running a 25 hour lesson challenge to coincide with the World Cup.

How it works is you make an initial pledge of $20 USD, you schedule 25 lessons spread out over June and July, and then when it’s all done you get your $20 back PLUS an additional $40 USD in credit for extra lessons.

It’s a pretty sweet deal considering the very low cost of lessons through italki and the huge improvements you’ll have in your target language after all that time spent with native speakers.

I’ll be signing up myself to improve my Russian and Italian so make sure you do too. 🙂

Click here to sign up for italki.

Спасибо большое! 🙂

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek


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Congrats on being in Italy and good luck with the Italian immersion! :) And good luck with the Russian, too. We should definitely Skype and practice together, especially since you're only 6 hours ahead of me now.

And of course: С днем рождения! :)

Donovan Nagel

Donovan Nagel

Thanks a lot, Natalie :)



I can't pass up that deal for italki. It looks sweet and could be just the thing I need for my spanish learning

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
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