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Italian With Ease (Assimil Language Learning Programs - Book and CD Edition Paperback – March 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-2700510645 ISBN-10: 270051064X Edition: Com/Pap

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Italian With Ease (Assimil Language Learning Programs - Book and CD Edition + New French With Ease (Assimil Method Books - Book and CD Edition)) + Assimil German with Ease - Learn German for English Speakers - Book+4CD's (German Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Assimil France; Com/Pap edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 270051064X
  • ISBN-13: 978-2700510645
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

When I talk to Italians words come to me very naturally.
Nicole Z
Assimil takes the opposite approach, demonstrating new patterns in the context of useful dialogues before giving you just enough grammar to understand how they work.
G. Caplan
If you really are serious about learning a language at home, then this is the course for you.
Paul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By B. Jantz on January 20, 2008
This method does indeed work extremely well, as the other reviewers have indicated. I purchased a copy of it a little over a year ago in anticipation of a trip to Rome. A few months prior to the trip, I began working through the book/CD's more-or-less the way they say to, which typically took about 15-20 minutes sitting at my desk studying the day's lesson. I also would revise old lessons while driving in my car for maybe another 20 minutes a day (hint: put them all on your MP3 player!) I did cheat a little bit: I missed a couple weeks at one point, so I doubled up for a while to finish before my trip (not recommended -- take your time instead). The results:

* I found myself on an All'Italia flight, reading an Italian newspaper (with help from my invaluable pocket dictionary) and ordering the in-flight snack in Italian.

* Soon after arrival, a member of my traveling party became sick in the middle of the night, and I was able to handle the situation (ask random people on the street where an open pharmacy was, get directions, figure out how the night box worked, and describe symptoms to the pharmacist) completely in Italian. I don't think they speak English past midnight in Italy . . .

* I was also able to order a taxi, haggle, and chat up the hotel staff in their own language (my room got MUCH better service than everyone else's -- coincidence?). I could generally start a conversation in good enough Italian that people seemed to assume I was fluent . . . at which point they would start speaking at Mach 6 in full-blown Roman dialect (fairly different sound than this course's standard Italian), and I would have to ask them to slow down a bit.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Rubin on April 4, 2012
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This course is unlike any other language course that I have tried. Each lesson is very short -- just a short dialogue, with Italian on one page and English on the facing page. Followed by this are usually one or two very short exercises, one which is just translation from Italian-English, and one which is fill in the blanks translation from English to Italian. Again, the answers are on the facing face. So each lesson is only a couple of pages long (and the book is tiny, only about 4x6.5 inches). In 400 pages, there are 105 lessons!

There is almost no grammatical explanation, which is very ok if you already have some basic background in Italian. So if you took Italian in high school years ago, or studied a little with another book, this is good to use. The real strength of the book is the audio. All the dialogues and Italian-English exercises are on the audio, and they speak at normal speed (which is to say, fast!). I listen to the dialogues first, several times, then go to the book and read them to catch what I didn't get on the audio, and to learn what the new words mean. Each audio lesson is about a minute and a half long, maybe two minutes, and includes no English at all -- nothing but the Italian text.

All the dialogues are transcribed into a rough phonetic transcription in very tiny print in footnotes. So a word like paura 'fear' is transcribed "paaawuuuura". Not exactly scientific phonetic transcriptions, but that is ok. Occasionally they are helpful. Much more helpful is the fact that the words in the dialogue indicate stress -- the stressed syllable is in bold.

There are also some very short notes with the dialogues (like footnotes) that may explain a point of grammar or an idiom.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2004
This course is really the best way to go if you want to learn Italian. The course consists of four cassettes and a book. The cassettes are the real strength of the course. They contain 105 conversations and monologues. Each is clearly spoken and is packed with words and phrases that will allow you to start using and understanding Italian quickly. Many courses pad their recorded materials with boring introductions, cultural information (which you could just as easily read), and tedious instructions and commentaries in English. With this course you get four full tapes of nonstop, realistic Italian. And every entry is recorded only once - you don't have to listen through a slowed down version - and you don't need it with this course.
The book is also well planned. Every conversation and monologue is presented in the book. The Italian transcript is on one page and the English translation is on the facing page. As a result: 1)you don't waste time looking up words - the authors have already taken care of this time consuming chore, 2) this provides translations not only for words, but also for phrases and expressions you might not be able to find easily in the dictionary. The book also covers grammar methodically and thouroughly, but whereas many courses are based on grammar, here the grammar supports communication.
The course is easy to use, fun, and really does only take 15-30 minutes a day. You really will be speaking in no time.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Z on February 16, 2008
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I have taken 2 years of Italian courses in a classroom setting and have mastered all the basics, but I wanted to learn more. I can hold basic conversations with Italians, however before starting Assimil, the words didn't come to my head like I wanted. I've come to the conclusion that in order to be fluent in Italian, I'd have to teach myself.

I purchased Assimil a month ago and I am very happy with the results thus far. It is a completely different learning approach. I no longer have to rely on memorizing and conjugating verbs like I do in class. If you see a strange word in one lesson and forget it, it will most certainly come back to you many times and little by little it will stick in your mind. In a month I've acquired TONS of vocabulary and they come to me right away since I've learned them in context. Verbs are also very easily learned (especially those tricky irregular ones!).

What I love the most about this program is that real-life situations come into play: job interviews, informal chats with friends, going to a hotel, sight seeing, traveling by train and air...I can go on and on. Bottom line: there are many situations that you will come across in real life that you will see in this book. Many of the dialogs are very enjoyable and memorable.

As I have mentioned, I've only had this program for a month and I feel that it has been completely worth every cent so far. I'm in lesson 30 and I've learned many new expressions and words. When I talk to Italians words come to me very naturally. I look forward to the coming lessons. Without a doubt I recommend Assimil Italian!
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