La Bella lingua, or how I learn Italian.

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Learning Italian is an ongoing project of mine, The first time we visited Italy was in the mid 1980’s.  My wife and I spoke little of no Italian. My mother inlaw spoke well, but with a Sicilian dialect which some Romans resented and preceded not to understand, These days my wife and I can manage fairly well. I am better than she, by choice and hard work. She can grasp the language more quickly than I, but has many other interests that keep here occupied.  That said I have used several different methods  to learn Italian.

 

Pimlseur is one of the best methods if you commute or do not have time to sit down and practice writing and reading.  

https://offers.pimsleur.com/free-trial-1401-brand?utm_source=google&utm_term=pimsleur%20italian&utm_campaign=G_Pim_Brand_Italian_Tier%201_Exact&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=Cj0KCQjwov3nBRDFARIsANgsdoEmamrfEcunNu16hAzWBRkNogmzOpMUg9l32B92XosiZ-PvYLZptP8aAj3ZEALw_wcB

Now it is an online subscription, but you can still find lessons as MP3 or audio book on Amazon, Ebay, or Audible.  Levels go from 1 to 5 and do a good job on basic conversation.   Problem with the recordings is that you get no spelling exercises  and that does not help reading comprehension. Their accompanying booklets do not use vocabulary from the lessons. 

 

 

Rosetta Stone never did it for me  I tried and now my DVD is out of date for the next operating systems.  My feeling is do not waste your  money. They are also on a subscription program.

 

DuoLingo is a great way to learn using your tablet, phone, or PC.  It is free, but there are options to learn  without ads or being interrupted because you made too may errors and the program will not allow you to continue (with the exception of practice sessions) until the next day. You learn with written and audible lessons. One listens and is asked to translate as well as read and translate English to Italian and Italian to English.   There is a lot of repetition and that helps learning. Here are some examples from various lessons, 

 

 

https://www.duolingo.com/

 

        

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Yes, I really love DuoLingo.  But there is no one on one with a teacher.  I always have questions and Googling does not always get the correct one,

 

 

Italian Pod 101 has extensive resources for learning.  Hundreds of lessons from beginner to advanced.  It has good grammar instruction and various resources.  Those include Video, Audio, flash cards etc.   

https://www.italianpod101.com/index.php

The differentiating factor is the you can get your own teacher.  I find this very helpful and it has made me renew my membership for another year.

 

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Sample screen shots

The one on one instructions read like a book, You send a message back and forth and it continues so you always have a record of your instruction. You are able to send audio clips, photos, 

 

 

My teacher, Valentina, is very helpful and instructive. She is what makes Italian Pod 101 so effective.

 

Sample correspondence:

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SAT, JUN 01

Teacher
Ciao Greg, come stai? Spero bene! Ecco un nuovo esercizio per te. (Fammi sapere se questo l’hai già fatto in passato, non mi ricordo) youtube.com/watch?v=_hnPAciqG_U&list=PL71wtqaYwBCJXAzxWhq44UQzlHhvw0-Ru&index=3 La casa Feng Shui 1. Perché Laura è stupita quando torna a casa? 2. Cos’è il Feng Shui? Qual è il suo scopo? 3. Fai un elenco dei cambiamenti che ha fatto Marcello, facendo un confronto prima/dopo. Divano: Prima il divano era… Adesso è… Parete: Comodino: Tavolino: Mobile con giradischi: Poltrona della nonna:
01:49
4. Scrivi tutti i commenti positivi che ricordi di Laura sul nuovo arredamento. 5. Perché Laura preferiva il tavolino di plastica? 6. Completa le regole del Feng Shui che spiega Marcello. (1 o più parole) “Il divano deve favorire la ……… e dare un …….. di ………. Per questo non deve trovarsi vicino ad ……… come porte e finestre e deve ……….. a una parete.” “La parete del divano deve essere libera: niente …… , …….. o …….” “I mobili e gli oggetti di plastica bloccano il ……. …. …….. I materiali migliori sono quelli ……. : legno, …… e ……. 7. Secondo te, qual è la vera ragione per cui Marcello ha tolto la poltrona della nonna?
01:49
SUN, JUN 02 My answer to questions 

Ho riso. Lui è come mia moglia]
EDIT
04:12
TUE, JUN 04

Teacher 
Davvero? Ahah
02:22
WED, JUN 05 My answers to questions 
1 1 Laura è stupita quando torna a casa perchè lui ha cambiato I mobili, i quadri, i colori. Niente è lo stesso.
EDIT
02:53
2 Feng Shui è un modo di organizare una stanza e una casa. Il suo obiettivo è massimizzare la vita, l’energia, e il fluso della casa.
EDIT
03:01
La lista di cose cambiati: Il divano era vicino della finestra. Adesso è accanto la parete. la parete era gianca e adesso è roso le mensole mancano anche i libri Adesso sono spostati. Perchè il divano dovrebbe libera. il tavalo di camera da letto è in in sogiorno adesso. Gli incensi è sopra il tavolo (il comodino) il tavolo era plastica adesso é fatto di legno I mobolie con grandischi da il toco vintage. Non sono certo che era li prima. La sedia della nonna no è qui, Sembra che era molto grande. Ma adesso ćè una sedia moderna, senza le bracia

 

 

To sum up, no one method will suit everyone.  I am able to hold a reasonable conversation when in Italy, ask directions and order a pizza without anchovies vorrei una pizza senza acciughe

 

Buona fortuna a tutti. 

The Language Of Love Italian Style San Valentino e Amore | ITALY Magazine

 

I saw this in Italy magazine, and it is appropriate for the coming week. Italy Magazine is free and always has good content. 

Enjoy.

 

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https://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/san-valentino-e-amore?utm_source=ITALY+Magazine+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e5cd089dd2-ITALY+Newsletter+-+January+12th+2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7e828ebed3-e5cd089dd2-433445:

 

Content copyright Italy Magazine 2019

 

google-site-verification: google1482e637de4bc209.html

 

La Canonica, Catania Sicily a great ristorante.

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My wife Angela took this one at La Canonica in Catania Sicily.  Angela has a great eye for composition.

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My eye heads for food. Antapasti is my desire when we are in Italy.

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I can not remember how many times I have consumed Pasta Alla Norma. My favorite from Sicily. Egg plant ( melanazanie) and salted ricotta plus tomatoes and some spices make this a favorite of mine.

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Of course, seafood is plentiful on the island.

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I highly recommend this ristorante.  We enjoyed the food and the service. In the center of Catania.  Just off Via Vittorio Emanuele.

La bella lingua Learning Italian

Our first trip to Italy was without the benefit of any knowledge on my part of Italian. My wife with he Sicilian parents had a knowledge of some words and phrases.  I realized this was a disadvantage but not the end of the world.  So much English is spoken in Italy most people can get along. Most restaurants in the tourist areas have dual or triple language menus. English, German, and Italian are  prevalent.

I want to go further and speak to people and know what the road signs say. Not having access to  an Italian teacher, I took another route.  Pimsleur had a CD course in Italian.  I bought the course and ripped the CD’s to my iPod. That was the beginning. It is a good way to learn conversational Italian. Eventually I  progressed from levels 1 through 5 which encompasses about 48 hours of  lessons. I did enjoy it as I was able to listen while driving or riding my bicycle.

Pimsleur Italian Levels 1-5 Unlimited Software

PIMSLEUR ITALIAN LEVELS 1-5 UNLIMITED SOFTWARE

Pimsleur. The Art of Conversation. Down to a Science.

  • Format: Download
  • Lessons: 150
  • ISBN: 9781442396180
  • Availability: In Stock: Available for immediate download
  • List Price: $575.00
Free Audio Lesson

Learn a new language while commuting, while cleaning the house, or working out. Like millions before you, discover the power of the scientifically sequenced and portable Pimsleur Method.

As you can see, it is not cheap.  Try the audio only from Audible for a more reasonable price.

    • By Pimsleur
    • Narrated By Pimsleur
    • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
    • Release Date: 04-01-10
4.6 (69 ratings)
Regular Price:$173.27
Member Price:$121.29 or 5 Credits PRICE VARRIES.  Credits are about $10 each depending upon the plan you subscribe to at Audible 
Beyond this I also used  duoLingo. This is a free program with excellent content.
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Exercises progress from basic to upper intermediate.  It is easy and I have been using if for about 6 months now. You can progress at your own pace and go back to. From time to time you may be asked to donate, but this is minimal.  An excellent program for iPhone, tablets, and Android products. You must have WiFi or cellular data connected.

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There are many exercises to improve listening and writing skills.  Voice recognition is available for pronunciation practice.

Next there is Rosetta Stone. This is my least favorite method.  The program has five levels and retails for about $200-250 on Amazon.  It is available for PC and MAC.  It does a good job of teaching vocabulary and grammar, but I find it painful obtuse. In many cases you have to decipher a photograph and  answer questions based upon your interpretation of the picture. 

Some times the photos are not clear and you may give a wrong answer.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 10.59.37 AM.pngTOOLS.jpgnouns, of  places in nature.jpgIt is your choice on Rosetta Stone, I just find it slow. But the content is good.  It has voice recognition to help you with pronunciation.

.  There is also a subscription version. Te computer version is copy protected to one PC or Ma and can not be used on another until it is deactivated.

There are other programs out there. Transparent Language as a program for phones and tablets. It is subscription based.  Seems ok. They offer a free blog with the word of the day.   Michelle Thomas has CDs for many language and they are priced reasonably.

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Buona fortuna!   or as they say: In bocca al lupo

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