What’s a student’s number one enemy? Boredom. Not your number one? Well, I’m sure it’s on your top five. I definitely find it difficult to be motivated when I’m bored. This means that I’ll likely find excuses (although creative excuses) to go do something else.
Luckily for us, language learning is not a chore and offers plenty of different takes on the same subject. This basically means that you can approach studying Italian from different perspectives and using different learning materials.
I am a big fan of alternatives and I write stories and exercises that reflect my love for quirkiness–my creative classes are here, btw.
So, here is one unusual exercise you can do once in a while to freshen up your Italian learning routine.
Use tarots for learning Italian
I know I’m taking a risk here. Tarots are incredibly easy to find in most homes, yet a lot of people won’t admit it. Before you complain “but I don’t know tarots”, “I don’t want to know about my future”: we’re not going to read tarots.
Well, we will be reading them, but just to use their words.
Each deck of tarots comes with an explanation leaflet that contains a lot of words. The deck I found at home is not particularly beautiful to look at, it is pretty gloomy and dark, and the leaflet is also obscure: hard to read and understand even for a native speaker of Italian.
But (this time we’re actually happy there is a “but” at this point) for each card there is a very interesting list of words connected with the character.
What to do with tarots words
I usually suggest a “completion time” for my activities, so you can plan them in advance, but this exercise can take as long as you want, it means that you can expand your writing as much as you like.
I would say to start by setting aside 30 minutes (I know it is a lot, but this type of activity requires a bit of research). You don’t need tools or materials in the first step because I’m going to give you the names of the cards and all the words.
For this exercise I have chosen only positive cards, because.
Here’s the list:
- La stella: speranza, influssi benigni, prospettive luminose, predestinazione, idealismo, gusto del bello.
- Il sole: felicità, soddisfazione, realizzazione, altruismo, espansione, lampo di genio, serenità, poesia, belle arti.
- L’imperatrice: azione, osservazione, comprensione, studio, saggezza, progresso femminile, fertilità, ricchezza materiale.
- Il mondo: ricompensa, raggiungimento, completamento, successo, estasi, trionfo, premio al lavoro costante, successo positivo, sapere assoluto.
And here’s what you can do with those words:
read them several times and let them speak to you, let them inspire you.
Maybe you’ll find a word that you like even if you don’t know what it means, or maybe you’ll find a word that you don’t like at all. Some words will remind you of a place, a person, a perfume. Some words will be familiar and worth looking into them further.
Now choose 3 words (or more, or come back another time for a second round) and write them down on a blank piece of paper. What comes to your mind when you read them? Write this too, it doesn’t have to be in Italian–just let your thoughts flow.
If you’re not sure about the meaning of your words, look them up (and if there are several meanings, choose the one you like the most).
Once you have some ideas around the words, write a sentence for each of them, this time in Italian. They don’t have to be long or complex, less is more works pretty good with language.
When you’re happy with your writing perhaps you want to turn it into a little piece of art? So you will need a few tools and materials:
- magazine/paper clippings
- and anything else you can think of!
If you happen to have written more than 3 sentences maybe you would like to arrange them as a (very) short story and make a zine–just for you, or to be shared with a friend!
If you prefer to listen
Before wrapping this up, here’s a video I made for my IGTV, in case you jumped to the bottom without reading but now you want to know how you can learn Italian with tarots.
(The video is visible even if you are not on Instagram!)