Parlo o No?

By Tom England

This is a simple little tip, so I will be brief.

As I make my way slowly toward being conversational in Italian, I try not to say. “Non parlo Italiano”. I have found that phrase to be a conversation stopper, not what I normally want.

Instead, these days I like to say:

        “Sto imparando parlare italiano”

        Or,  “Sto studiando per parlare italiano.”

        I might even throw in a “mi spiace, ma

Suggesting that I am making an effort seems to elicit a more sympathetic response, usually a smile and a “piano piano.”

But never say never—I still sometimes use “Non parlo” with aggressive street hustlers or eager petitioners.

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