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This book arrived today, it’s the treatise is known as the Anonimo Bolognese. I am looking forward to reading it, but it is written in 16th C Italian and as far as I know there are no online transcriptions or translations available.

Thankfully, I started learning Italian using Duolingo while I was overseas with reading original texts in mind. Since then I have increased my daily lesson goal from two to three lessons, so as to reach the end of the Italian curriculum in about 12 months.

While studying personal training I learnt about SMART goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time. So rephrasing my goal, I want to be able to understand the writing in the book without recourse to other people, or online translators (specific and measurable); other people can read 16th C Italian (achievable); it’s plausible to learn Italian with 18 months of consistent effort (realistic); and I want to achieve this goal by the 16th of September 2016 (time).

Duolingo has been perfect to start learning with because the site gives me a clear path to follow, in a series of lessons laid out somewhat like branches on a tree. It also acts as a meticulous coach keeping records of what words and constructions I know, and making me practice them periodically and unpredictably. While Duolingo does teach and test pronunciation, the major language skills taught by the site are reading and writing, which are what I need to learn.

Eventually, I will need to practice translating 16th C texts. Resources I will be able to use when translating are Florio’s 1611 and 1598 Italian/English dictionaries, the more searchable LEME database, other translations of whatever work, and asking for help on forums or from people I know already.

We’ll see how realistic my goal is in 18 months.

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