A local man says he bases his entire understanding of the Italian dialect on Avanti textbooks that he read in secondary school during the 1990s, claiming that he can now only recall useless phrases and words. Watsonia man Chris Thomas said he attended a local secondary school and while he marginally enjoyed following the adventures of Dario and friends, he remains unsure if the books actually taught him how to properly speak Italian.

Speaking to The Watsonia Bugle about his learning experience, Thomas said, “Considering I studied Italian for at least five or six years across primary and secondary school, it’s concerning that all I now know is how to say ‘open the window’. At a stretch I could probably insult you by calling you a donkey, and I definitely know how to say that somebody is running late. That Dario was always running late.”

Aside from remembering a handful of phrases, Thomas said he’d have no chance of holding a conversation in Italian. He said, “I backpacked through Italy a few years ago and I was just as hopeless as the next tourist. All I could say over and over again was ‘televisione’. It was embarrassing.”