Making mistakes is fun, don’t you agree? In this article, I am going to discuss the importance of making mistakes. I firmly believe that mistakes are a crucial part of learning a new language, and often, they are the most amusing part, especially if you’re willing to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously.
I understand that many people are terrified of saying something foolish or being judged by native speakers or others. However, if they try to change their perspective, they will realize that even if they use the wrong word or even an entire sentence, nothing too terrible will happen. So, take it easy, speak up, make your mistakes, and be prepared to laugh and learn from them!

Do you feel frustrated when you make a mistake in Italian or in any other foreign language you are learning? Are you afraid of the judgment of others? Do you hate the idea of being teased? If you answered yes to all these questions, try to change your point of view and start thinking that to wrong a word, or even a whole sentence, can be not only instructive but also fun.

Don’t believe it? In the next few lines, I will list some mistakes made by me, and from which I assure you that I learned after laughing!

Mistakes in English

Let’s start with my American experience. As you all know, Thanksgiving is a big holiday, and all Americans prepare the famous turkey. This was the very moment in which I pronounced a phrase:

“Why do you eat a bird coming from Turkey if this is an American holiday?!”

And for this question, they are still making fun of me! Well, it’s useless to tell you the laughs that this simple question generated, but I assure you that from that moment I never forgot this fowl!

This was a mistake due to the lack of knowledge of this word. Other times I happened to use the right word at the right time, but to say it in the wrong way.

In my defense, in Italian, we have the sentence “Solo chi non fa non sbaglia!”, which means that the human being who doesn’t make mistakes is the one who never tries!

Back to the words mispronounced, it was swordfish, which I pronounced almost in Italian “svordfish” until someone pointed out to me the mistake that I corrected immediately, obviously after I laughed!

Something like that happened to two of my friends. They went to Greece for a short vacation, and they wanted a rum and pear shot. Incredibly all of them, couldn’t say the word pear, because they kept saying “pir”.

Are you wondering what did they do? They ordered another drink, but now they know how to say the English word pear.

Mistakes in Italian

So far, I have only mentioned mistakes made by Italians struggling with a foreign language, but even my students are not outdone.

How to forget a student of mine who was telling me about a shooting in the United States, and he, with the most serious face in the world told me: “Qui negli stati Uniti c’è stata una strega!”, that means: “Here in the United States there was a witch!”. And with the word witch, he meant a massacre.

And what about another student who instead of saying the prime minister came up with the prima minestra, which means first soup!

The importance of making mistakes

Beyond these specific errors, I’m sure that my students, just like me, have learned a lot by making mistakes. In fact, the more the mistake we make strike us, because we said something odd or because it is too banal for our level, the more we tend to remember it and avoid repeating it again.

My intention in writing this article is not to mock anyone, but to show that, even from mistakes one can benefit, learning something new, but also funny stories to tell.

Believe me, making mistakes is fun!

I know we all want to be infallible. Unfortunately, we are human, and making mistakes is in our nature. Moreover, as already mentioned previously, only those who do not try to do new things do not make mistakes; those who try instead to experiment, broaden their horizons, and learn more and more, must pass through error. The mistake often, indeed, is useful to metabolize a concept and make it our own.

Read this text in Italian

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Listen to this episode in Italian! You can find the script here!