Learning Italian

Old Aug 31st, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Learning Italian

Does anyone have any suggestions on the easiest way to learn Italian phrases for a short stay in Italy? The fastest and easiest.
diann24 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 04:11 PM
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Rosetta Stone was by far the best way to learn. I learned more with Rosetta Stone than I did in extension courses at the local community college. It was definitely worth the money. And if you don't want to spend the money on the discs to download, you can always subscribe to the online courses.
Tiggy22 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 04:31 PM
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if you just want the usual social phrases most travel books can give them to you. a little more depth try the berliz cd or on the net. if you really want to speak some italian go to a local co classellege for some adult education classes. the problem with memorized phrases is what happens when someone replys in italian or requests information from you.in this case you will need a moe in depth study program that also teaches loads of grammar
petertherabbitt is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Start here, and listen to them saying it

Dayenu is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 05:12 PM
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Go online to Livemocha.com or see if your library subscribes to Mangolanguages.com.
tom18 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 05:23 PM
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You might begin by downloading the free podcast from iTunes, My Daily Phrase Italian, 100 five-minute lessons that introduce lots of basic phrases in travel situations.
ellenem is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 11:07 PM
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I agree with Peter. You're better off to learn how to say, "excuse me I don't speak Italian" or "excuse me, do you speak English?" Then you don't give the impression with some memorized phrases that you can speak Italian. Learn the basics - good morning, good evening, please, thank you and excuse me - and you'll be fine.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:31 AM
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coraysesq, well obvioulsy this is what I meant---I realize this all ready. I see fodors sells a book with phrases.

I have heard wonderful things about rosetta they are highly recommended.

Dayenu-cute site--I wish I had that to take with me. I like one that pronounces for me all ready.
diann24 is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:39 AM
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I encourage you to look a My Daily Phrase Italian--easy and cheap (free) and just enough to teach you the basic courtesies and help you understANd other basic situations. It's free so it couldn't hurt to give it a listen.
ellenem is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:56 AM
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Don't Google and Bing have translator programs in which you can type in a phrase and simulataneously read and hear the translation? For a quick, free fix, that seems like the way to go. There's nothing wrong with Rosetta, but it sounds like you really don't want to make the investment of time and money for the purpose you describe.
k9korps is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 12:34 PM
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ellenem, I will tell DH about that I do own an Ipod--just got it actually but I am not good with loadiing down anything. so it would just be on my ipod and I could refer to it while traveling?? Is that the point? Just like music? That is what I am assuming. I do need something I can actually HEAR how a phrase is prounounced.

Yes your assumption is correct about Rosetta. Nothing wrong at all with it, just more than I want to spend at this time but thank-you. If I return to Italy and have more time where I would do Rosetta.
diann24 is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 12:45 PM
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I'm thinking you could get Rosetta stuff used and cheap on eBay instead of shelling the $200. But the question is really your purpose -- if it's just travel phrases, go cheap.

Ultimately, it's a dying language that only the Italians speak (it's #7 among the European tongues -- English, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, all have more native speakers, and Turkish will soon surpass Italian) and with Italy's population implosion, the only reason to spend big money to learn it is if you are an Italian (heritage) or want to be one (e.g., retire in Tuscany, live in the country for study, etc.).
BigRuss is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Hello Diann, you are going to major cities in Italy for a short trip. No doubt most Italians you will be talking to will speak enough English to deal with American or any English language speaking visitor. The website that Dayenu posted should be more than enough to help you enjoy your time in Italy. You might also want to buy a menu book also, or print one out, to help you when ordering in restaurants but unless you are going to be in small towns which you are not you will no doubt find that your food servers will be able to answer most of your questions. Knowing some greetings and other short "comments or questions" again from the Fodor's website Dayenu posted should be all you would need. And cora made a good comment, unless you will understand responses in Italian it is best to just ask if the person you are addressing speaks English. Best regards and enjoy your time in Italy!
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 01:07 PM
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You can download the My Daily Phrase Italian lessons from iTunes for free to your computer or iPod. It is a indeed a series of 100 five-minute lessons, taking you through vocabulary and language lessons in a sensible sequence for many travel situations. An instructor presents the situation in English--"Today we'll leanr how to ask for directions"--and pronounces the Italian and has you repeat. These are real but brief lessons.

For example, you begin with a lesson about greetings . . . good morning, good afternoon, good evening . . . working your way through to please and thank you . . . introducing yourself . . . asking directions . . . saying you don't understand or to speak more slowly . . . booking hotels . . . restaurant situations . . .buying tickets . . . shopping . . . general conversations . . .
ellenem is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 01:50 PM
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ciao diann,

I started learning italian a few [perhaps 7 or 8] years ago when we took our kids there for the first time, and came across the Michel Thomas course, which i got from the library. i found it very useful on holiday, but when we came home I kept coming back to it because i found that the teaching method was very helpful - he teaches you how the language works, not just stock phrases which cannot be used in any other context. i have gone on to take a couple of evening classes in italian and to do some exams so the method seems pretty successful to me.

so i would recommend seeing if they have his introductory italian course in your library.

good luck!
annhig is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 04:54 PM
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I thought BBC languages - Italian Steps - was a wonderful site. http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/lj/ I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I picked up before our travels in Italy.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 05:06 PM
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Coincidentally, this from The Australian today -


Or take an Italian lover or three.
farrermog is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:47 PM
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ellenem is right about the podcast. Yes, you put it on your IPod and listen to is just as you would music. I listen to it on the way to Italy to refresh my memory and pronunciation. I think the pronounciation is vital, because there are some things that can trip you up. For example, ci or ce is pronounced like chee or cheh. And ch is pronounced like K. That's why zucchini is pronounced with a K sound.

www.mydailyphraseitalian BTW I have no relationship to this except as a satisfied user.
charnees is offline  
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