Guest post con mia sorella gemella! :)

Hey Everyone or should I say Ciao!! :) Time for another guest blog with yours truly! 
I'm feeling rather giddy and excited today, as this weekend I finally completed Level 1 in Italian with Rosetta Stone! Yay me!! My husband got me this as a Christmas gift two Christmas's ago and as much as I hate to admit it, it wasn't until recently that I sat down and focused on it. It's not that I didn't want to, I was just naughty and didn't sit myself down and get on with it. But alas since moving to Florida I finally got my butt in gear! 
As you may already know, from Lucy's past posts, of which there are many about our family :p, our grandparents are from Italy. This is something we are so so proud of. However, one of the things we dislike is when they have their Italian friends round and everyone starts speaking in their native tongue as we try our hardest to keep up. In addition, when said friends look at us expectantly like we should be speaking Italian no problem and answering their questions. Even worse is when our grandparents sometimes forget that we don't speak it and happily chat away to us while not realizing we are grasping for just one word we understand. (We do understand a little bit but still. :p ) It's so frustrating as it makes us feel like phonies. If it was a case of a distant cousin being Italian or some great great aunt etc. then maybe that would be a good excuse, but when the Italian side of your family is right round the corner from you and has been for 27 years and your own dear, wonderful Mother, Auntie and Uncle speak it, why not you? Why can't we pass it on to our kids? Why can't we talk to our relatives? Why do we pick up the phone and run to our Nanna when it's international in case the person on the other end starts speaking Italian? Why? "Why?" is a good question, one that it's time to stop answering with excuses or blaming our mother, (yes, we often joke that she should have spoken to us in Italian more as kids, it's a valid point but still.. ;) ) Yes, I finally got to the point where laziness will simply just not cut it and rightly so!!
I made the first difficult step of actually beginning my Rosetta Stone program and now there is no way I am giving up. I think I just had to see myself progress a little and then from there it kind of gets addicting. I adore sitting down and hearing the Italian Language, it makes me smile and think of home and furthermore, when words pop up that I know, I feel so very happy inside. There's even a part of me that feels like my brain already knows so much Italian, it's just a matter of unlocking it, so this journey is rather exciting. :) For those of you who have contemplated purchasing Rosetta Stone in any language, I would highly recommend it and here's why:
*You don't see any English words! This has been a huge plus for me, as all those years of high school French, writing the English first then the French never seemed to work, to me constantly looking at the words you already know, in the language you already know, doesn't help. I feel like my mind then constantly has to look at it that way. Many other language programs use this like; here's the word now here's the other word. Rosetta Stone isn't like that, instead, it's here is a picture that is universal and now here is the word you need to know. It continues like this, never letting your mind slip back into seeing, reading, thinking of that "English word" and therefore being much more effective. 
* It's repetitive! You hear a phrase or word, repeat it, then hear it again. Sometimes you can think "ok, ok I get it" but I've learnt that the more you hear it, the more it starts to sink in...kind of obvious I guess but you just need to be patient. You also repeat units you've done, for example, if it's been a few days since you last logged on, it will do an "Adaptive recall" on what you last did. These happen every once in a while too, even if you logged on yesterday, just to make sure you're keeping up.
*You really do learn it all! One of the things that amazed me was the writing exercises. When they first came up, I was thinking " am I supposed to write that phrase in Italian?" but you know what? I did! See all that repetition comes in handy! :)
*The layout is really easy to follow! All the levels are split into Units, then lessons. You can repeat a lesson if you feel like you can do better, which I would recommend as again it's more repetition. Plus I found out yesterday, you are only going to have to repeat them anyway! Yes I got cocky and thought as soon as I finished my last milestone the congratulations would shower down on me...I was wrong! I had to go back and get 100% in all the lessons I didn't do so well in, I actually didn't have that many, mine were mostly the writing ones towards the end but you know what? That made the congratulations so much more rewarding as I truly felt like I had worked so hard after the 10th time I had repeated an exercise for not getting one letter right! It makes you feel good when you see all those units and lessons with a tick knowing you have focused so hard on them.
All in all, Rosetta Stone is a fantastic program, one I am so grateful to my husband for getting me. It was about time I did something about the "I want to learn Italian" voice in my head. I know I still have a bit to go till I am confident with myself (I don't have the best accent) but I'm excited to keep going and to keep progressing. I'm learning to not get mad at myself if I forget a few things as to me the goal is to be able to say a few things to my grandparents and understand them a little better. It will also be great if I can watch Italian TV at their house and be able to pick up a few more words, baby steps. :) Eventually, I hope that by the time I get to Level 5,  I will have retained enough to confidently take my husband to Italy to visit my family without the fear of only being able to use hand gestures or wishing my mum was with me. 
For those of you who work better with images, Rosetta Stone is definitely the perfect language program for you. I'm so happy I got started with it and can't wait to add my sister and my husband as a learner. Yes it allows you to add people to your computer! Neat huh?
Are you currently learning a language? Have you used Rosetta Stone before? Let us know in the comments below! :)
Hope you enjoyed another of my guest blogs!
Until next time... Arrivederci! :)
Kelly xx