È un piccolo mondo, dopo tutti.

In the past year, I’ve used learning-French podcasts and talked to more French people in Second Life than I ever have in France. I also saw my neighbor fling herself gleefully into learning French as she and her husband planned a trip to Europe.

As part of her professional activity, my wife will attend a conference late this year… in Rome. I’ve been mulling about how to get myself ready to tag along; we’re talking about a few days in another location, and then heading to the conference site (less than a mile from the Vatican).

It's a global world. One option: somewhere in the county I ought to be able to find Italian for Beginners (a course, not the engaging film). Or I could get one of those language-instruction books with…well, probably CD now, rather than tape.

Then, as I blog-hopped earlier, I came across Podcasts that Will Make You Smarter at Openculture. Nice grouping into categories that include “foreign language.”

Two clicks later, I’m at My Daily Phrase Italian (an offshoot of Coffee Break Spanish, which ought to trigger a smile). The site’s goal is to cover “all the language you need to know to get by on a visit to a Italian-speaking country.”

I found my way to the first of the 100 podcasts. Kicking it off, I recognized at once the voice of Mark Pentleton, host of the French verbcast I mentioned earlier. (One of the many fringe benefits of the verbcast was the English explanation given in a clear, and clearly Scottish, voice.)

Yes, I did already know buon giorno, arrivederci, and ciao, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll pick up a few things. I’m not planning to move to Italy, just to move around a bit while I’m there.

“Global world” photo by bass_nroll.