A few years ago I had shut down my old blog.

Thankfully, I saved the posts and have slowly been resurrecting some of them.

I’ve published the posts worth keeping on ChurchMag and here as well. Some I’ve rewritten, others have been copy and paste, but this one needs to be set into context and left unedited.

After living in Italy for over five years now, it’s an interesting retrospect for me:

If I could put the feeling of learning a new language into one word, it would be: overwhelming. As we have settled in Italy these past 11-months, I have been submerged in Italian culture and surrounded by the language wherever I go.


At first, you have no idea what’s going on around you. Sure, you recognize a few words that sound like English words, then only to find out that about half of those words have nothing to do with the English meaning. You’re like a deer in headlights.


Then, you begin to learn some words. Some basic vocabulary. You know some numbers. A few phrases that are routinely used. Now, instead of a deer in the headlights, you see the headlights and run.


After listening, speaking and learning more words and phrases, you can gather some meaning and converse a little. However, I have found that this usually leads to more confusion than before. You see, now you think you know what’s going on and that’s when your mistakes begin to stack up. (We’ll skip the deer reference from here on out, okay?).

Still, overwhelmed.

Eventually, you know enough to do basic things. Answer some basic questions. Perhaps talk about the weather, how someones day is, or how they are feeling. It’s easy to relax and maybe skimp by. You speak enough to get by, but you are far from fluent. At this point, you must press yourself to expand your vocabulary. Expand your understanding. Be capable of constructing your thoughts, ideas, whit and humor into something that is understandable to the listener. Learning a new language is a very long road.

If you judge the journey by its whole, you will find yourself … overwhelmed.

You must take the journey one step at a time. Stay focused on what’s right in front of you. Always press yourself to learn more. This goes for learning any language. Not just Italian. You see, these past 11-months I’ve not only been studying Italian, I have been studying WordPress along with the CSS and PHP dialects. The process is the same.

No matter where you are at in your journey, don’t be discouraged. It’s a well traveled road. Practice the language as much as you can. You’ll learn the most from your mistakes. Take one step at a time and never … NEVER … stop learning.

Code is poetry.

I don’t think I knew how true these words really were, as much as I do now…

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