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Having completed the first five lessons of Phase One of the Pimsleur Italian lessons, I can say, "eccellente". I've been listening to another set of audio lessons to learn Italian and I very much prefer the Pimsleur. The very thorough pronunciation and slow pace make it easy to do something else such as drive, fold laundry or do dishes and listen and learn.
That said, this might be too slow paced for someone who just wants to learn a few phrases for travel, or who picks up language very quickly. Sometimes the "Italian for Idiots" type of series seemed like a good name.
I have enjoyed and learned quite a bit already and will download the next five lessons. I checked to see how many more lessons there are in the series and was amazed to see there are three "phases" with about 30 lessons per phase. I should be pretty good by the time I complete all that.
37 of 38 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Italian Phase 1, Unit 01-05 to be better than the print version?
Not applicable. This is designed to be a listening experience, not a written one.
What did you like best about this story?
Learning is almost effortless, as I imagine it must have been learning a first language as a toddler.
What does the narrator bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Any additional comments?
I have used Pimsleur for Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese, and I still remember each other tme even though I haven't used the French or Spanish for years. It is an excellent method for learning while driving or working around the house, since it is all audio-based. Pimsleur's understanding of how language memory works is revolutionary.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I have tried nightclasses, tapes, CD's and books in an effort to learn Italian. As fast as it went in one ear, it tumbled out of the other. One last attempt with Pimsleur - and it is really working. I play the unit while driving to and from work. No different to listening to the radio. Pimsleur recommend one unit per day. I do one unit over two or three days, twice a day. But I can remember it. The speaking is clear, no reading (for the first units) and today I remember most of what I learned yesterday. When I feel confidant, I move on to the next unit. Half a dozen new words incorporated into what I have learnt .... and so on. Easy! So if nothing else has worked for you, give this a try. It could be the system that gets through to you. It has really worked for me.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If, like me, you don't enjoy feeling like you are back in school trying to follow courses that use books and written exercises then this course is ideal. I'm really enjoying it.
What's great about it is the authentic, neutral accent spoken at normal native speed. It is fantastic for playing in the car or on an iPod whilst out walking. The speed takes you by surprise at first and tunes your ear so it is ready for the real world. I remember the first time I asked an Italian a simple question and just didn't understand a word of the reply because they spoke so quickly.
Its a good idea to record yourself taking part in the lessons to hear how you are really pronouncing the words. It is uncomfortable to listen to yourself at first but it really helps you to perfect your pronunciation. There is no doubt that this course has dramatically improved my pronunciation.
This isn't the course to follow if you just want a few phrases to get by in a restaurant or bar. You will need to complete all the phases of this course to gain any useful amount to Italian. It would therefore be wise to know what you are letting yourself in for in terms of time and cost for all the phases.
At the beginning of the course the authors deliberately use some constructs that no native would speak. I'm sure this is to help the listener understand the structure behind the language and make it directly translate from English. Thankfully this practice begins to disappear toward the end of the first phase.
Finally, I think you make better progress learning a language if you follow multiple courses in parallel. Even simple scenarios involving greetings are dealt with slightly differently in each course and so you don't get phased by all the different responses you receive when you do start talking to real Italians.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful