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In this podcast, I chat with Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language and Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered.
I’ve interviewed Dianne before, where we discussed where her spark for learning Italian came from and how this spark motivates her to be consistent in her studies and how she made sure learning Italian would never feel like a burden.
This time, we discuss her new book Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered and how her book research expanded her vocabulary and love for the Italian language.
Dianne is an award-winning freelance journalist and has been a contributing editor for publications like Ladies Home Journal and has written for Glamour, Mademoiselle, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
– How research for her first book, La Bella Lingua, led to a casual dinner with a curator in the palazzo where Mona Lisa’s mother grew up
– How she focused her language skills to develop a specialized vocabulary to complete her research and interview Italians
– The techniques she used to grow her vocabulary (and how she learned helpful phrases + slang from comic books)
– What her first experience interviewing an Italian was like
– How working with people who have a passion for the Italian language helped her to develop her language skills and nourish her interest in the history of the language
– Why she knew it was “worth it” to continue her work, despite the mistakes she made