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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Janeaustenruns on 04-14-10
Best audio for learning Italian
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.
44 of 45 people found this review helpful
By Mike Spencer on 02-06-18
Overpriced part of a complete Italian course
Would you try another book from Pimsleur and/or Pimsleur?
If you’ve listened to books by Pimsleur before, how does this one compare?
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Narration is fine.
Could you see Pimsleur Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
Any additional comments?
This language series is good, but over-priced. One credit for 2.5 hours is very expensive. I much prefer the Paul Noble series (also on Audible), which is a fraction of the price, but slightly better. Both series use the same pedagogical principles, but target somewhat different vocabulary. Both will get you ready to converse at a basic level in Italy. The Paul Noble series has a shortcoming in that for some bizarre reason, he completely omits basics such as “Good morning, Sir.” However, that shortcoming can be made up for within one hour on YouTube. Other than that, he uses the same principles as this course, but in a much friendlier way that makes his courses more fun to do. Both focus on conversation, of course. This was the third language I taught myself (after French and Spanish). I found that the best way to learn Italian was this:
Step 1. Start by watching the three videos called “Italian Pronunciation: Learn How to Pronounce Italian Vowels” on the YouTube channel ItalyMadeEasy. This gets you pronouncing the vowels correctly from the start, which is vital for speaking Italian in such a way that Italians can understand you. Neither the Paul Noble series nor the Pimsleur series addresses this vital need. In three months of learning Italian so far, nothing has helped me more than these three videos.
Step 2. Then do all three parts of the Paul Noble Italian series, which will only cost you about $15 (pay for it rather than using credits, as each of the three units is only about $5). I love his language courses, and so does my wife. These three parts give you about 12 hours of instruction, and will on their own be enough to get you started in conversing in Italian.
Step 3. Then, if you want to spend a fortune to learn even more and fill in some of the gaps in the Paul Noble course, get the Pimsleur courses.
Step 4. In the meantime, all along the way, keep watching the ItalyMadeEasy videos on YouTube. These are excellent, taught by an extremely likeable Italian teacher called Manu. I especially recommend the video on vowels already mentioned, plus a video called “Learn Italian: Learn Basic Italian Greetings.” This is much better than any other video on this topic I have ever found, and is vital for learning how Italians actually use greetings in real life. For example, I was astonished to learn that foreigners in Italy should almost NEVER use the greeting “Ciao” (it’s only used for close friends and small children; using it with strangers or hotel clerks or waiters is impolite and disrespectful). Also, check out his Playlist called “Essential Italian Expressions” – small chunks of vital information about how Italian is really spoken. Apart from that, there are lots of other useful videos on this channel. These videos really fill in the gaps left by the more traditional language courses.
37 of 38 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Judy on 02-23-11
This really works!
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 04-17-18
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
This programme was clear and easy to follow and I enjoyed learning the limited amount of Italian it offered. But I did feel somewhat cheated by the small vocabulary that I ended up learning when I considered the cost. I have decided not to purchase the rest of the programme as it is far too expensive but will look for a cheaper alternative.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful