Learning Italian for our trip

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Aug 19th, 2003, 10:35 AM
  #1
jmp
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Learning Italian for our trip

Hi -

My husband and I are going to Rome and the Amalfi Coast in early October and I would like to learn some Italian before we go. I speak French and have a some knowledge of Spanish, so I think I can catch on pretty quickly....

Are there any courses that are recommended for travelers... (maybe berlitz tapes?) I think we would get more out of the trip if we are somewhat familiar with the language..

Thanks!
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Aug 19th, 2003, 10:41 AM
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dln
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Go to the library and you'll find plenty of tapes to help you out. My parents actually took a night education class prior to spending three months in Italy. Everytime I called my mother she'd say "Can't talk now! I have to study!" or "Can't talk now! I have a splitting headache!" It paid off, though. They never got a banana flavored gelato when they were wanting a mango!
 
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Aug 19th, 2003, 12:33 PM
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JMP-I just bought Rick Steve's Italian/German/French translation guide and it's really pretty helpful.
Of course, you already speak French (lucky you!!!!) The book gives you all kinds of translations for all types of travel situations (dining, hotels, train travel, etc). Have a nice trip....
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Aug 19th, 2003, 01:07 PM
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PCHsmiles
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Are you near a USDA School - $324 for ten classes.
 
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Aug 19th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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Hi,

I've been using Learn in Your Car Italian. I got it from amazon.com. It's been great for my commute to work. There is a 6-tape set and a 2-tape set. I got the 6-tape set, but I think you'd be fine with the 2-tape set.

The only downside I have realized is that I can only hear Italian--reading it may be another story!

Best of luck.
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Aug 19th, 2003, 05:38 PM
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I've tried a number of them. I think for someone who has a grounding in language, Pimsleur's Speak and Read Essential Italian II is the best. It's big (16 CD's) but good. I got it at the library.
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Aug 19th, 2003, 08:39 PM
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While there are many products on market in libraries, after trying out many, there is only one I found useful: Pimsleur series of CD/Tapes. The full set comes in 3 levels of 30 lessons each. Each level is quite expensive so try to find them in library if you can.
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Aug 20th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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Your local college campus probably has evening classes. They are usually full emersion classes where only Italian is spoken. It really helped us before our trip and is very affordable.
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Aug 20th, 2003, 07:03 AM
  #9
PCHsmiles
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Good idea, Sandi. Recodings are valuable, but you need the give and take of actual face to face conversation. That will help prepare you for what you'll run into from moment one.

May I suggest you keep it very simple -present tense. Simple verbs (the ones you'll need for eating, shopping, directions). Openings and closings.

A 3x5 card with special terms - using the ATM,. for example - in your pocket. Bottle of wine, utensils, the bill, telephoning, dealing with your hotel desk, the cleaning people, kiosk on the street, taxis, to and from train and airport. Just whatever you do at home, only simpler and in italian. You aren't learning a language - you only preparing to communicate your most basic needs.

Have a good trip.
 
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Aug 20th, 2003, 07:21 AM
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Knowing enought Italian to ask a question isn't a problem. It' isn't that difficult to get your point across...especially with a phrasebook.

The problem is understanding the answer in Italian.
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Aug 20th, 2003, 07:31 AM
  #11
PCHsmiles
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Dick is precisely right!!! There are two things I do to help myself absorb the shock "they are speaking italian to me, gasp". I try to get into one on ones beforehand and practice actual expected sitautions - going to the hotel via taxi, for example. And, I try to imagine what their answer will be, and that aids me in hearing what is actually said. If I ask for directions, I know some key words that might be used, and I also pay close attention to hand gestures, eyes, whatever helps me understand. And don't be hesitatnt to ask more than once and to say I don't understand. That's a damned good phrase to learn, first.
 
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Aug 20th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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Just learn few phrases, as for example: Non capisco Italiano, parlo solamente Inglese.....( I dont understand italian, I speak only English), or" Per piacere parlate lentamente"( please speak a little slower )etc..,if that dont works, use your dictionary, or speak esperanto, a little english, french, italian or spanish.. most of all, have always a BIG SMILE, people will help you more.. it always works for me...
Ciao,
Kismet
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Aug 20th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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I too speak French and a wee bit of Spanish & Norwegian, so Italian was easy for me before our trip last year. I used Berlitz tapes (I got a great deal at a bargain bookstore) and listened in my car to and from work each day. You'll also find that loads of people speak English and French. In fact, when asking for directions once the woman responded in French -- I hadn't realized I'd switched languages in the middle of a sentence. If you just learn the basics rather than an intensive course, you'll do well. Everyone was SO friendly there.
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