I actually said something in Italian so well that I got a compliment. And it was from someone who once told me my “accent ees simpatico but ees not eetalian”. This time, I rolled my “r”. My “t” was very clearly a “t” and not a “d”. I was delighted.
So what if all I’d managed to say was, “I ate before”? I said with purpose. I may have even stuck an “eh” at the end for emphasis as I refused the bread and cheese. My friend was so happy that I'd said it correctly, he didn't force the issue.
Two hours later, he made the observation, “Ora capite l’italiano” (or something like that).
To which I replied, “Huh?”
As I was realizing what he’d said, that now I understand Italian, he mumbled in English, “Maybe no.”