Jennifer Lee | Berlitz US | Language + Culture = Berlitz
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Jennifer Lee


I’ve never had an ear for languages. Seriously, after eight years of academic French in grade school, I still struggled with the basics. But I’ve always wanted to learn Italian—my family is from Italy, after all. And then I had the pleasure of going to Rome on the Frozen press tour. I absolutely fell in love with the city and the people, and I was more determined than ever to learn the language.

That’s when a friend recommended Berlitz Pasadena Language Center, where she was studying Spanish. She said, in just a few weeks,  she was already reading, understanding, and speaking the language.

I figured it was worth a try. I knew I’d need a lot of help, so I opted for private lessons. I was a bit intimidated when I discovered that my teacher would only speak Italian to me, right from the start. I had no idea how I’d even get through that first lesson. But it was incredible. Within moments, Lucia and I were communicating in Italian. She was patient and clear and flexible, while guiding me through a structured lesson that was easy to  follow. I was hooked.

With each session, our conversations have grown in complexity and depth—there’s a lot of laughter, too. I’m not the easiest student, and my schedule is crazy, but Lucia has been a constant and encouraging support. My understanding has blossomed naturally and meaningfully. Just the other day, I heard a beautiful song by an Italian artist, and I was completely blown away; I understood every word he sang! I could sing along.

I’ve just finished level one. I’ve signed up for level two without hesitation. I’ve even signed up my daughter for Spanish lessons to support the work she’s doing in school. She’s loving it!

I can’t wait to visit Italy again. I’ve set a goal for myself that when I return with Frozen 2, I want to be able to speak about the film in Italian. Thanks to Berlitz, I just might make it.

Jennifer Lee is the first female director of a Walt Disney Animation Studios feature film, Frozen, the first writer at any major animation studio to become a director, and the first female director of a feature film that earned more than $1 billion in gross box office revenue.



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