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Just Listen 'N Learn Italian 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It is true that sometimes you have to rewind frequently to match the words on the transcripts and the sounds on the tapes, but this has the pay-off in that it does simulate real-life situations and so prepare you for them. When you speak to someone in Italy, there usually is alot of noise, people have varying accents and there could, moreover, be someone impatient behind you in line who would not enjoy your asking everything to be repeated several times!
Each of the lessons not only deals with a specific situation, but is followed by a "Did You know?" section which explains various aspects of the Italian way of organizing things. These relate to the OCCASIONS on which you would use Italian in Italy: e.g. when buying a train ticket (or a 100 gms of coffee), when lost on the road, or in a garage with a car problem.
Having only got to lesson 6, I was able that summer to shop (and find out about discounts), buy opera tickets (and understand schedule information), and even make friends with people at cafes and in museums. I also knew I must always take a receipt (we're required to produce one by law, within 200 metres of a vendor's location) whenever I bought anything. In fact, I felt I had 'lived' in Italian, not just 'been and seen'.
I recommend this course thoroughly and only wish their CD versions were equally easily available.
The Italian lessons taught me not only the turns of phrase that Italians use (and which you will HEAR spoken in Italy) but also gave me a sense of typical situations and venues in which I would come across those phrases, concepts, and terminology. (A small example, I learnt that you don't always buy by the pound or even the kilogram at a grocers, but by the 100 grams, which are called "etti".)
Learning a language is not just learning how to substitute English words for a foreign one, it is to learn how to THINK and LIVE in a different way. These CDs go with an excellent book which not only gives transcripts of the conversations on which every lesson is organized, but also tells you alot about how shops, travel, food, and life in general is experienced in Italy.
While it would be great to be able to imbibe a language by just listening, the reality is that we learn languages by living in them - and these books guide you through the process of listening - to different accents in real life situations -, then figuring out what words, concepts and phrases people have used and, having understood these to be able to USE THEM ONESELF.
This simulates the process by which, over time, we learnt our native tongue (except we were children then, and MUCH more patient with and less demanding of ourselves). The course also organises the learning better than we would encounter in real life - once in a restaurant you stay there until you can wend your way through undertanding a menu, ordering, making special requests, and paying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good CDs however it is not all listen & learn. There is alot to do and review in the book so not meant for learning while driving. Read morePublished on December 13, 2009 by Italy bound
I've used this product to learn Italian for both business and vacation travel in Italy. Despite the title, you can't JUST listen and learn. Read morePublished on November 8, 2009 by New York David
The real-life street recordings are a bit more challenging than s-l-o-w studio recordings, but ever so much more entertaining. Read morePublished on April 30, 2007 by Don Ramage
If you are looking for a tape/cd to learn by during your commute; this is probably not the right program for you. Read morePublished on June 21, 2002 by Shelley E.