And I think I know one of the reasons why. I had been suffering in Rome because the TV in Italy is all dubbed. No subtitles. Really odd to see the actors in CSI chattering away in perfect Italian - with slightly odd mouth shapes. You always get that with dubbing.
So when I got to my friend's place in Ljubljana and met her children - who spoke such good English (it is the school system too, I know) and saw their great big TV screen - with wonderful Brit and Yank shows, all subtitled so I could enjoy - oh bliss. She found it hard to stir me off the sofa.
But when you are beginning to learn another language it really helps to watch films and tv shows in that language, just checking up on the subtitles to see if you are getting the gist.
I know out of desperation during lonely evenings in Rome I watched Italian TV shows and started to get the feel of the language. I could shout out answers during Who Wants To Be A Millionare. But in English, not in Italian.
I know I am lazy. It is not a good thing that other people have to learn English so I have someone to talk to. It is admirable in a way to turn away from other languages and be happy with your own mother tongue. But it is the way the world is going.
In Ljubljana I found I had very few problems with the language, as everyone seemed to speak at least one other language in addition to Slovenian. There did seem to be a divide, though. Those over 40 seemed to try and communicate with me in broken German, and everyone younger than that spoke English, often very good English. If you speak English and a little German, like me, you'll get by with very few problems, at least in Ljubljana.
One of the great things about Slovenia is that they speak English without a chip on their shoulder, and don't get upset if you can't speak a word of their language. They do, like everywhere else on the planet, appreciate it if you make an effort. If you don't know a single word of Slovenian, then just ask. I always found them very willing teachers.
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