Speak Italian Magically!

Relax! You can learn Italian now!

  • RSS Click on the orange icon to get the RSS feed

    • A story, many stories at the Polyglot Gathering 2016 16 maggio 2016
      If you want to read this article in Italian, go here: https://goo.gl/Xc5Mo4 As you are reading the following text, from any device you’re doing it, and regardless of your background, I invite you to do a little experiment with me. Imagine for a moment that you are in a beautiful place. What is it? Think about it [...]
      speakitalianmagically.com
  • Get updates via email!

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Archivi

  • Libertino Antonio 00210588885

Change your mind-set to speak better Italian!

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 17 settembre 2013

If you are more than 20 years old, what beautiful things were you doing about 20 years ago?

What was the world like 20 years ago?

What did you enjoy doing the most that time of your life?

Take a bit of time and remember some good memories of that time and, as you do it, take mentally note of the feelings that you feel while thinking about it. You may perhaps want to think about your typical day in that time of your life. Why do I ask you these questions? You’ll discover it only by reading this article till the end;-)

It’s been a while since I wrote my last article, I know, but summer is a time that I devote to other activities (unfortunately or fortunately not to holidays). During the month of August I am busy preparing breakfast and making people feel at home (even if they are indeed at my home;-): all people who decide to come and visit and to spend their sea and swimming holidays between Tropea and Capo Vaticano. That’s why the time that I have to write and read is little, but there’s a moment, the moment that I call “the sacred moment“, when I have the chance to read or listen to what I really like. And do you know what this moment is? When I’ve just finished preparing breakfast (imagine the smell of just baked cornetti;-) and I wait for people to come and eat and chat with them. I think it’s important for me to precise it: when my guests come for breakfast I am really happy to give them my full attention. As I read last year for the first time in a bar in Morano Calabro:

ghandi-cliente.jpg

“Il cliente è il più importante visitatore dei nostri locali [in the picture it's written "delle nostre assunzioni", but, in my opinion, "dei nostri locali" is the right Italian expression], colui che non è dipendente da noi. Invece noi dipendiamo da lui. Lui non è un’interruzione nel nostro lavoro. Lui è lo scopo del nostro lavoro. Lui non è un esterno del nostro lavoro. Fa parte di esso. Noi non gli facciamo un favore sevendolo. Lui ci fa un favore dandoci l’opportunità di farlo.”

Which in the original English version is this:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

The author of this short piece of writing (or saying) that you have just read is Mahatma Gandi.

After closing this little digression, the goal of my writing here today is to tell you that one of the few books I read till the end in my pleasant waiting moment is really good. I had read about it in one of the few blogs that I sometimes follow- Psicologia Neurolinguistica by Gennaro Romagnoli. Getting curious, I looked for the book, but, there was nothing to do, I couldn’t find it: the Italian edition is out of print (no eBook edition either). So I went on with my search and I found it in English. The title is “Counterclockwise“, by Ellen Langer, member of the Psychology department  in Arward. If I believed in it;-), I could say that I was destiny for me to read it in English and so I did.

counterclockwise-antiorario.jpgCounterclockwise is based on an experiment held by the author.

A group of elderly people were brought in a center where everything was letting the place look as if they were 20 years before (everything looked like it was 1959). Besides, even if till that day they were helped in everything, from that day on they wouldn’t be helped, but they were supposed to “work” on their own. As an example, here’s an episode: they had to bring their suitcase to their room…on their own! For anyone who hasn’t read the book, this may look cruel, but instructions given by doctor Langer were indeed clear and human. The elderly people would have all the time they would need to bring their luggage to their room. So, they could have made a step and stop to rest, or make a larger distance and rest. Slowly but constantly they would reach their room with their luggage. This is just an example of what happened that week. The rest, along with many thoughts by the author, you can read in the English edition of the book (given the fact that the Italian edition is out of print, as I have already written).

What do you think happened to this group of elderly people who went 20 years counterclockwise?

They improved a lot, they looked healthier and youthful.

In the author’s words:

ellen-langer-photo.jpg“These improvements were the results of one week spent with a group of strangers. Imagine the possibilities if our culture afforded us a different set of mindsets than we have about old age”.

Which in Italian could be translated more or less like this:

“Questi miglioramenti furono il risultato di una settimana trascorsa con un gruppo di estranei. Immagina le possibilità se la nostra cultura ci permettesse un atteggiamento mentalee diverso rispetto all’avanzare dell’età”.

The author, still respecting the medical profession (and I fully respect
it too: there are times it’s better to go to a doctor instead of acting on your own), manages to explain in a very clear way what the risks of giving labels and following statistics are. I also briefly talked about this inside the section about the science behind Awaken your Italian. Have you already read it? In English or Italian?

While reading Dr. Langer’s opinions, that were very often based on scientific research, a story came back to my mind, a story that I had read some time ago. And without writing any longer, I’ll conclude this article with it. You can find your own conclusions about it and perhaps you can write on the comments below what you think this article has to do with learning Italian ;-)

Two patients, both with the surname Jones and first initial W., were lying next to each other in the pulmonary ward. One had severe pneumonia and a painful cough; he was also an asthma sufferer. The other W. Jones was a chain smoker and had severe bronchitis; he was in hospital because he was coughing up blood and needed to get a bronchoscopy. The asthma patient Jones was diagnosed , after X-rays, with a very progressive and aggressive form of lung cancer; the prognosis was dim: six to nine months. The smoker Jones was told that his symptoms were of severe pneumonia, and he was put on a course of antibiotics and other appropriate medications. When he received the news, he was visibly relieved and his whole physiology changed. He was humming songs and telling jokes to the other patients. He was so happy because when he’d come into hospital he had been certain he had cancer and given up hope; he had come to hospital with the belief that he was going to die. From that day he quit smoking and went back home to his life. The other W. Jones was not so lucky; after having struggled for many years with chronich asthma, he was now diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer and was considered to be at the end of the road. He was terribly depressed and did not speak to anyone anymore. His family tried in vain to ease his despair, but could not change his funeral mood. Three months later this W. Jones passed away. The doctors were proven right once again in their prediction of the future.

However, the story does not end there: some weeks after asthma sufferer W. Jones death, a medical student discovered that there had been a mix-up in the patient files. The surviving W. Jones, the former smoker, was the one who’d had the lung cancer all along. He was called back for another X-ray. To the great surprise of all the doctors there was no trace of lung cancer, except for a small calcification where the tumor had been. This W. Jones was completely cured and symptom-free.

Source for this story: Roy Martina, Emotional balance, Hay house (also available in Italian as: Equilibrio Emozionale, Tecniche nuove)

P.S.: Do you remember that I have already written about beliefs and the placebo and nocebo effects?

P.P.S.: This article is an adaptation of a former article of mine, that I wrote in Italian. Do you want to read it in Italian?

Pubblicato in The science behind learning Italian | Nessun commento »

Can you use the placebo effect to speak better italian?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 20 ottobre 2012

Have you ever heard of the placebo effect? And what about nocebo? What do you know about them? Can you make a quick mind map out of the word “placebo” and “nocebo” even if you haven’t ever heard of those words? Do it anyway, it’ll help you activate your brain and be ready to read further. Write down all the words and associations that come to your mind as quickly as you can.

 placebo-nocebo-mind-map.JPG

Several years ago I listened to a story about a cancer patient who was injected a cure which he believed was a panacea (a cure for all illnesses). He was very ill but after he started with the cure he felt well again and could go back to his normal life. The fact is that this cure was not giving the same results with all other patients it was tested on. Thus the newspapers started publishing about the failure of this cure. As soon as the patient read these news he started feeling worse again. So he went back to his doctor and the doctor told him that he would inject him with a double strenght dose of the medicine, but, being this not yet tested, he needed the patient to sign some papers, to free him of responsibility. Again he started to feel well, the illness wasn’t there anymore and he could go back to his normal life. What he didn’t know was that the doctor injected him with pure sterile water. The patient’s belief alone, independent of the value of the medication, produced his recovery. He was well for two months, then again appeared in the national press that that drug treatment was wortless. After the patient read those articles, he died within 2 days.

This is a story that really explains what both placebo and nocebo effects are. When the patient believed he was injected with a wonder drug, he healed (placebo), when he knew he was injected with a worthless drug, he worsened (nocebo). In my opinion the above story warns everyone about what we believe. I’ve already written about what I think about beliefs. Here I would like to suggest a way to utilize your beliefs and the placebo effect. And the best way to use them comes from the following story.

In a book by doctor Roy Martina, titled in Italian “La formula per la vita“, the author writes that placebo also work when the patient knows that he’s getting a placebo. He writes about his brother Arnold who was having a kindney transplant. Dr. Martina suggested him that when he looked at the intravenous drip he would be attached to after the surgery, he’d think that in that solution there were nutrients and vitamins and to be thankful to those vitamins. Anytime the nurse brought him pills, he had to say:”Thank you for bringing me my vitamins“. The doctor warned Arnold that the nurse would insist that those were real drugs and not vitamins: he told him not to believe her and to go on repeating himself and her that those were vitamins. Roy Martina’s brother also had to be thankful for the kidney and tell “it” that “it” was welcome in his body. Arnold followed his brother’s advice and healed faster than any other patient undergoing kindey transplant.

What has all this to do with learning a language? Do I have to write it clearly? What you believe about your ability to learn the language will affect it, thus why don’t you use positive affirmations with conviction so that you’ll create your new reality? What do you think about a  reality where you speak Italian like an Italian mothertongue? Whatever you answer, this is a belief…And what do you want to believe today?

By the way, until recently I thought that the story about the above cancer patient was  just a story that people tell to let you understand the power of your mind…Well…It wasn’t just a “story”, it is  a fact happened around 1950 to a patient of doctor Bruno Klopfer, a researcher involved in the testing of the drug  Krebiozen. You can find reference of this story on the book by Simonton O.C. and others, titled Getting Well Again (Bantam 1978, USA ISDN 0-553-28033-3).

Pubblicato in The science behind learning Italian | 1 Commento »

 

Bad Behavior has blocked 1166 access attempts in the last 7 days.

Chiudi
Invia e-mail
This website utilizes cookies, also from third party (facebook and youtube especially), to improve and personalize your experience. By browsing this page or clicking on any element on the page you agree on the use of cookies. For more information and how to stop cookies from your browser, please consult our Cookie Policy
Approfondisci
Ok