Italian immersion at home

Etichetta/label: Nel soggiorno… La porta— door,
"Ecco la mia porta."
Here's my door.

Two great ways to learn new vocabulary are repetition and seeing terms in context.  A child growing up with their native language is exposed to both, hearing and repeating the names of everyday objects over and over again and in context.  You may not be able to travel back in time and be raised Italian (sorry about that) but you can recreate a bit of the immersion experience for yourself now by labeling items in your home and using the labels as reminders to say the word aloud and create a sentence around it.

Etichetta/label: Nel soggiorno… La porta— door La maniglia— handle,
"Uso la maniglia per aprire la porta"
I use the handle to open the door.

Everytime you close the door, you can say aloud or repeat in your head "la porta," and/or create a sentence using the term:

È la porta
It is the door.

Once you learn new grammar points, you can make your sentences more complicated. If you're working on Demonstrative Pronouns for example, you might say:

Questa è la porta.
This is the door.

Even more advanced learners can use simple terms as a starting point for creating or remembering more advanced constructions:

"Quando si chiude una porta, si apre un portone"
When one door closes, a bigger door opens.

With this learning strategy in mind, I created a page of labels based on everyday items found Nel soggiorno/salotto (in the living/sitting room) and included some color terms as well.  If you haven't done so already, subscribe now and get the printable PDF delivered directly to your inbox:

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Find the link to the label page in your most recent email!

The label page is formatted for use with Avery® White Removable Multipurpose Labels 6467™ and can be easily printed, applied, and moved as necessary.

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You may also opt to print on regular paper and cut them out yourself. Just be careful which adhesive you use, as some can damage certain finishes.

Place the label on each item. It may be difficult to adhere to certain objects, so label where the item goes instead. There are English translations printed below, but you can also type the Italian term in Google Images and see how Italians use the term and what kinds of things fall under the term.

Etichette (labels) il vaso (vase) la cornice (picture frame), il quadro (painting), get your own labels free,

You may not have each item on the list.  If you’re still interested in practicing that term, try putting the label on a printed picture of the item and place it somewhere that is easily visible.

Again, whenever you use the item or see the label, say the word and/or create a sentence.  If you’re unsure of the pronunciation, you can look up individual terms on Word Reference (which often has pronunciation notes) or find a recording of a native speaker's pronunciation on Forvo

Etichetta/label: Nella cucina… La brocca— pitcher,
Next up in the Etichette (labels) series: Nella cucina (in the kitchen)

Stay tuned {subscribe here} for more Label pages covering even more terms, as well as a pre-formatted page of customizable labels so you can easily create your own!

Post pictures of your labeled household items to Via Optimae's Facebook page or on Twitter mentioning @AlexViaOp and the hashtag #etichette — I'd love to see them!

Alex, creator of Via Optimae,

See also:

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae
Acque del sud (To Have and Have Not) original: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow."