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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 13:14 Thread Starter
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Learning Italian?

As we are planning to visit Italy in 2015 I would like to learn at least the basics of the language.

Can anyone recommend a good CD that I can listen to? or another method that worked for someone.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 14:22
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If you have a smartphone, Duolingo Italian is very good. I think it is free. It only works while you are Wi-Fi connected.

For computer based systems I like Tell Me More Italian and Talk To Me Italian. They're expensive if you go for the current versions but you can often find Windows XP versions on E-bay for around 20 and they work fine on Windows 7. They need headphones but they come with a set in the box.

For pure CDs away from the computer Teach Yourself Italian is pretty good but does need a bit of application. You can get it for around 20 on Amazon.

The very best CD systems are Rosetta Stone and Michel Thomas but you are looking at a substantial investment unless you are lucky enough to find them on E-bay.

Dr (musical, not medical) Roy
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 18:28
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Michel Thomas - patronising but excellent.

Get the 8 CD set - trawl Ebay.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 07:23
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As has been said, Michel Thomas gets you up and running pretty quickly. I bought the 2 CD cut down version (cheaper!) and found it useful.

However, in anticipation of my recent 3 week trip to Italy, I bought the Collins Easy Learning Italian 3 CD course.

This was better than Michel Thomas in some respects as it teaches you things you actually need to know as a tourist such as:

- where is the tourist information office?
- can I have a glass of beer and a glass of dry white wine please?
- where are the toilets?
- I would like to stay for 2 nights?

Michel Thomas, on the other hand, dives straight into building long sentences by leveraging the similarities between Italian and English.

His opening chat claims that most English words ending in -ible and -bly (possible and probably, for example) are the same in Italian (you just change the pronunciation), so you already know a few thousand words.

So, by part way through the first CD, you are already saying

"Why is it not possible for me to have it, because I need it now?"

Which is very impressive, and surprisingly easy, but not very useful when all you want is a beer....

....though it's dead handy when your beer doesn't arrive!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 20:45
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I learned to speak Italian using a book and CD called "HUGO".

There was also a free set of 8 CD's in the Daily Mail a few years ago - again very good.

I'm conversational now and it is mostly self taught, and taught by helpful Italians!

BBC do a good one, CD and book, or get a second hand "Linguaphone". The grammar is hard to master, but if you want only the basics, no bother. No one will worry if you ask for "two coffee" instead of "two coffees" etc

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