I am so very happy to have chosen to study Italian almost 10 years ago. Let me explain why!
1. It was my personal choice to study the language
Even if this was the case with Russian as well, it was different with Italian. For many years I had wanted to learn this language, and in school I finally had the possibility to do so.
2. I experienced the language since I was little
It almost seems like a cultural stereotype, but like countless other Austrian families we ALWAYS spent our holidays in Italy – and not only in the summer time. Italy was our destination of choice, also for the Easter holidays.
3. I formed a lot of pleasant associations with Italian
If you always spend your holidays in a certain country since you were a child, over time you will form associations with the language spoken there. This is why I used to associate the sound of the Italian language with holidays, with the smell of freshly prepared ice cream, water and sunscreen, with the feeling tiles that have been warmed up by the sun under your feet. Of course, by now I have managed to acquire a more realistic and less stereptypical image of the Italian language and culture, but I believe that my positive attitude towards it will never change.
4. It is an accessible language
In contrast to Russian, I would define Italian as a very accessible language, in terms of its flexibility, its word stems you so easily remember and – last but not least, its enchanting sound.
5. It helps you understand other Romance languages
As a language enthusiast, the fact that Italian resembles the other Romance languages makes me very happy. Both Spanish and Portuguese seem to be cooler, more relaxed brothers of Italian and I love to browse through Wikipedia entries in these languages – forever hoping that one day I might start speaking without ever having actually studied them! 😉