learning to speak itlian

Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:18 PM
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learning to speak itlian

Hi, I have been reading this information for about a month, as I am also planning my first trip to Italy, it has been very helpful, but there are so many restaurants listed, I am sure I will not be able to chose. During my last reading of this site some of you noted that you wish you had learned more Italian, I bought a cd but am not happy with it, does anyone have a suggestion for a cd, book, etc. that would help with a crash corse in the language? Thank, Cindy
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:52 PM
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I used both the Pimsleur intro CD and the Rosetta Stone online course. The Pimsleur was okay for basic tourist phrases, but I found that the interactivity of the Rosetta Stone software made it easier for me to retain information. The Rosetta Stone isn't esoteric - it's basic vocabulary that was very useful as a tourist. You can do a monthly subscription online, which is much cheaper than buying the Rosetta Stone software.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:53 PM
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We have liked the Pimseur CD's. They have an intrductory course called Quick and Simple Italian that consists fo 4 CD's for about $20. They also have an Italian I, II, and III, course that consists of 16 CD's each.
We've used both the Quick and Simple and have moved on to the Italian I and we like them because of their structure. They pronounce, give you time to pronounce, speak sentences, and review throughout.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:01 PM
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I would say to look at the Italian tapes and CDs that you local library carries. That way, whether you decide to buy your own or use the library's copies, you'll have a chance to really try them out first.

Everyone has their own preferred learning style. I like those tapes/CDs that state the phrase or word, pause, then restate it - then I can make sure I heard it correctly. I also prefer a lot of explanation, written or otherwise. I guess I'm really into the grammar; I need to know why a phrase is written/spoken the way it is; once I know why, I can remember it better. I also usually have a couple of different tapes/CDs that I use at the same time, one that's a traveller's Italian, that has commonly-used phrases, then also a "learn Italian" from the ground-floor approach.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 06:08 PM
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A year ago I was in the same position as you. I started with a cd and workbook produced by Living Language and found that I was mainly being taught to memorize phrases, which in my opinion is not the best way to learn a new language. A friend of mine, who is fluent in Italian as a second language, recommended a workbook by Barron's called "Learn Italian: The Fast and Fun Way." I ordered a used copy of this book on Ebay for about $5. It has been very helpful. It leads you step by step through basic rules of grammar while also showing translations of common phrases particularly useful for a tourist. It sounds like you might benefit from using this book.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 07:36 PM
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Once you get going with the various programs others have recommended, an interesting book you might like is "Italian for Educated Guessers", by C. Peter Rosenbaum. It has good chapters on words with English cognates, regularities that can be found among irregular conjugations, and generally bluffing your way through (one chapter is called, "Faking Out Irregular Past Participles"). It's seldom carried in stores, but you can order it from Amazon.

(I have no commercial interest in it; I'm just a reader who enjoyed it and found it useful.)

- Larry
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