I have decided to take a whack at learning another language. I am NOT a classroom kind of guy, so would at least like to begin with something I can do either online or on CD or DVD. I've purchased an "intro" set of CD's from Pimsleur, and am having a blast getting started. I was a little turned off by the very high pressure sales tactics that these people utilized once I had made this purchase, and am also considering Rosetta Stone as an alternative.

Anyone with any experience with either of these two outfits? Any other suggestions on how to get started?

Grazie! Smile

PH
Original Post
I would check amazon for a textbook accompanied by audio cd (so you can hear pronunciation). The language is similar to Spanish, based on Latin roots and I am guessing some Greek roots as well. The vocabulary is the easy part, the grammar, phrasing and conjugation is the hard part.
I had a conversation about something like that with a friend today. His language of interest was Japanese, but he could not and did not master it until he moved to Japan and spend 2 years living there.

You might have tough times ahead of you. Choosing between Toscany and Umbria can be a bitch. Good luck with your sttudies.
Thanks for the responses. The Pimsleur course is totally audio, with an emphasis on getting the student up and running quickly on "conversational" Italian. No reading or writing involved. I am almost done with the intro course, and find it to be a reasonably well done course. The Rosetta Stone DVD program also includes voice recognition components, which is appealing.

Re: Japanese. I believe you! I was born and raised in Japan, and the language is tough to learn, and extremely tough for a Westerner to read and write. Immersion in any language is a great way to learn quickly.

Any one else with any specific experience with these courses?

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Thanks for the responses. The Pimsleur course is totally audio, with an emphasis on getting the student up and running quickly on "conversational" Italian. No reading or writing involved. I am almost done with the intro course, and find it to be a reasonably well done course. The Rosetta Stone DVD program also includes voice recognition components, which is appealing.

Re: Japanese. I believe you! I was born and raised in Japan, and the language is tough to learn, and extremely tough for a Westerner to read and write. Immersion in any language is a great way to learn quickly.

Any one else with any specific experience with these courses?

PH


I've used Rosetta Stone French and found it to be a decent immersion course. It simply doesn't contend with the experience of actually being in the country where the language is natively spoken. I mean, how often do you hear native conversations that include the phrases, "The girl jumps," or "The man is inside the car." I would suggest finding a local university that offers a continued learning language course that you could take at night or something. For those intersted in learning French, there are many chapters of the Alliance Francaise around the globe; they offer comprehensive, reasonably priced courses as well as social events where you really get to practice conversational French. Perhaps there is something similar to this for those wanting to learn italian.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Thanks for the responses. The Pimsleur course is totally audio, with an emphasis on getting the student up and running quickly on "conversational" Italian. No reading or writing involved. I am almost done with the intro course, and find it to be a reasonably well done course. The Rosetta Stone DVD program also includes voice recognition components, which is appealing.

Re: Japanese. I believe you! I was born and raised in Japan, and the language is tough to learn, and extremely tough for a Westerner to read and write. Immersion in any language is a great way to learn quickly.

Any one else with any specific experience with these courses?

PH


Have Rosetta Stone French coming...will try to give you an opinion. Let me know how Pimsleur works out in the end.

Sadly, I never learned Japanese (my mother is) although I wish I did... Frown

I agree withthe level of immersion needed. ALso perhaps taking more traditional style course with additional grammar and vocab will help (We will be doing this in addition to Rosetta), but it may be time to spend your vacations on the Italian Riviera!
quote:
Originally posted by Daniel Fulton:
I learned Italian the old fashioned way, with graduate student TAs who were actually surprisingly good instructors. When you come to Philly in January, you, me, and Futronic can practice our Italian together.


You guys will need to be gentle!! Razz I have just learned now to say, "No, I don't want to eat something, but do want to drink something!" At least I'm learning some practical stuff!! Big Grin

Parallele XLV - I hear you about "being there." I learned to speak Bahasa Indonesia (Malay for all intents and purposes) in the country, speaking with native speakers, and there is just no substitute. I learned more practical language in 6 months than I did studying French in school for many years.

Good idea about Alliance Francaise, as there is an Italian Cultural Society here in the area (actually it's about 3 miles from my office!) which offers classes and conversation. I'll give 'em a shout.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by Daniel Fulton:
I learned Italian the old fashioned way, with graduate student TAs who were actually surprisingly good instructors. When you come to Philly in January, you, me, and Futronic can practice our Italian together.


DF,

Is there room for one more at the table? If nothing else I can keep you all honest being Italian is my first language. I may get thirsty during all this and require a sip or two of your fine wines Big Grin
Great luck for study of language of Rome, PurpleHaze. I study this Italian subject for short time in expecting the movement to Italian country, but movement was not of happen and I give away for more understanding of Engrish. Like crack of code at one moment occur - you watch the matrix one day in design of luminocity. I wish you success with conjugality of words, be continual and repetative. This will pleasants the you in time.

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