You know what the problem is? Now I know too much Italian.
When I was more ignorant, I quite happily blundered along with my limited vocabulary and thought that I was a fine linguist indeed, even if these dim natives don’t quite catch what I mean.
After a few months of study though, now I’m realising how terrible my Italian actually is – I’m in that awful awkward stage where I know enough to realise what I’m getting wrong, but yet not quite enough to be able to speak properly without having to correct myself endlessly.
A typical sentence might be “Where are the keys?” “Dov’e la chiave?”
Ah, but keys is plural, so it’s “Dov’e le chiave”.
Oh, no, because it’s plural I’ve gotta use “where are they” instead of “where is it”; “Dove sono le chiave?”
Ok this isn’t a very good example because it’s beginner’s Italian. At the moment I’m struggling with conjunctives – I’ve got the present conjunctive down pat, and I’m pretty sure I’m cool with the imperfect conjunctive. The conjunctive remoto and conjunctive trapassato – WTF???