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melvinsrule Aug 1st, 2000 08:43 AM

French & Italian language crash course......
Well my wife & I finally decided to go to Europe. <BR> <BR>We're going to France (Paris) then to the south of France, then to Italy. <BR> <BR>We'll be travelling for aroung 20 days or so. <BR> <BR>Now the quandry....neither of us no a lick of French or Italian. <BR> <BR>Can anyone here give us some advice on getting to know the 'basics' of the language before we leave. (i.e. audio lessons, web sites, books, etc...) <BR> <BR>We've got about 5 weeks.... <BR> <BR>Thanks to all in advance. <BR> <BR>Gulp, <BR>Mel

Beth Anderson Aug 1st, 2000 10:24 AM

Hi, <BR> <BR>French in Action is great, if you get it on PBS in your area. <BR> <BR>But, with only five weeks, I would get a good LITTLE phrasebook and practice the magic words. (little so you can carry it around all day without wishing you had left it behind.) Rick Steves makes a nice little 3 in 1 phrase book, I think rough guides has good ones too - they'll fit in a shirt pocket. <BR> <BR>hello, goodbye, please, thank you, yes, no. also, "I'm sorry, I do not speak French/Italian, do you speak English" <BR> <BR>add on to that: I would like a room, how much does it cost, where is "___", how do I get there... <BR> <BR>know your numbers and the currency - that will be very important too. <BR> <BR>it couldn't hurt to take a look at food terms too. <BR> <BR>have fun! <BR> <BR>Beth <BR> <BR>

Janice Aug 1st, 2000 10:34 AM

2 books "French in 10 Minutes a Day" and "Italian in 10 Minutes a Day". They both come with pull out laminated cheat sheets of essential words and phrases, and hundreds of stickers that you can put all over everything in your home to constantly drill new words to yourself. Put the # stickers on your bathroom mirror and go over them every day while you're brushing your teeth! It's amazing how many of my friends know odds and ends in both languages from hanging out in my label-ridden apartment.

elaine Aug 1st, 2000 10:43 AM

Hi <BR>most bookstores carry inexpensive cassettes with phrase book that you can practice in the car or with a walkman. <BR>I've studied a couple of languages, but only a couple, and my advice would be to just concentrate on the most basic phrases like hello, good bye, please, thank you, where, and how much. If you offer that and a smile, you will find out what you need 90% of the time. If you try to get more complicated, you are liable to get a detailed response in the local language that you can't understand anyway. <BR>If you are not familiar with menu language, you can buy menu translation books as well, sometimes included in the phrase books. <BR>This Fodors website has some basic language phrases you can learn, by the way, if your computer has sound

Jack Aug 1st, 2000 10:58 AM


nancy Aug 1st, 2000 01:40 PM

I have been learning italian for our trip to italy, but fortunately I still have 10 more months to practice. <BR>I have quite a few books, because I am working on grammar, etc. <BR>But I have found that a phrase book, and matching tape are a good way to go. <BR>I spent all my free moments at first reading the book, trying to learn a couple phrases at a time, and then build onto them each day. <BR>The tape i would play in my car, even if i was unable to really concentrate on it, because i felt it helped just to hear it. <BR>I think all the advice you have received is really appropriate, concentrate on what you will need. <BR>My first phrases besides; yes,no, please, thank you, were; <BR>I do not speak italian very well, <BR>I am sorry, <BR>Excuse me, <BR> and most importantly!, <BR>Where is the bathroom? <BR>Goodluck and have a marvelous time!! <BR>Nancy

Beth Anderson Aug 1st, 2000 01:49 PM

Hi, <BR> <BR>you know, since it is two of you - beyond the basic "magic words" which you both should learn, learn different phrases that the other one is not - he can handle the hotel rooms if you handle the train reservations. that will make more efficient use of your "learning time", anyway... <BR> <BR>just a wacky thought... <BR> <BR>:-)

nancy Aug 1st, 2000 05:28 PM

Beth, <BR>Doesn't sound like a wacky thought at all!! <BR>Sounds pretty practical infact. <BR>For our trip we are doing something similar, but includes more than language. <BR>I am studying the language, and good places to eat, buy food,bookstores,etc. <BR>My husband, who loves (and works on old buildings) is studying all about the sites that we will want to see/visit, how to get to them,interesting facts, etc. <BR>It is a smart idea to share the learning, and I bet if melvinsrule and his wife tries it, they will be able to learn twice as much! <BR>Tips, and thoughts like yours are part of what makes this site so wonderful. <BR>Nancy <BR>

sally Aug 1st, 2000 06:54 PM

Fodor's has a site for learning common phrases in several languages. Click on rants and raves at the bottom of the forum/travel lounge page; you will notice a little area @ top right of that <BR>page where you see Italian, Spanish, French, etc. flashing. Click on French or Italian and take it from there. Be sure that the volume on your computer is up high or you won't hear anything.

Tracy Aug 2nd, 2000 04:33 AM

Hey Mel, <BR> <BR>Try <BR> <BR> <BR>and click on the languages at the top of the page. Fun stuff from BBC TV and radio programs! <BR>And have a great trip -- I always say the most worthwhile class I ever took in high school was French -- you'll get better food and have an easier time with your trip. <BR>Have fun & let us know how things turned out!

francesca Aug 2nd, 2000 04:55 AM

The Pimsleur series of audiotapes are outstanding. They got me ready for my year in Germany.

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