Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kobe Bryant speaks Italian

Hmmmm. Black dude with Japanese name speaks fluent Italian with a very good accent. How did this happen?

Kobe's dad was also a basketball player, who moved the family to Italy when Kobe was six, enrolling his son in the local elementary school. They then moved back to the US when Kobe was thirteen. This is similar to how I learned Italian.

Generally, your accent can only be this good if you learn a language as a child. Kobe is over-modest when he says that he remembers poco poco. He is actually quite good, with some minor errors and a certain rustiness. If he had kept up his Italian more, it would be flawless. This is true for all language learners, even those who have learned under very favorable conditions such as Kobe and I. Practice and ongoing exposure is essential to keeping up with a language if you don't live in the country where the language is spoken.