on 18 August 2002
A really good book for getting started with Italian. I found this book deceptive, because it packs in a lot of grammar, as well as useful vocabulary, with such a light touch that you don't really appreciate how much you're learning!I certainly felt that I could handle Italian conversation and magazines at the end of it. Not "heavy", just a friendly and helpful tone that keeps you going. It gave me a lot of confidence when I was getting started, and that's when beginners need such help.The way grammar is explained is so clear that you make very quick progress.
I have no idea why this book is called Colloquial Italian as it is simply a beginners level introduction to Italian. I used it to complement the evening class I was taking and as beginners courses all cover the same things, saying hello, telling the time, asking directions, booking a hotel etc I found it very useful. Each chapter introduces grammar points (although not in great detail), excercises, dialogues (to accompany the tapes) and small texts. I found the book very useful in particular the dialogues and the texts (most which are read aloud). The tapes allowed me to wander around doing the housework and listen at the same time so that I could improve my comprehension and the small texts taken helpd me as a beginner gain confidence. I'm not sure if this course alone would allow you to learn Itlian language independantly but I found it very useful as an aid to the evening class. I could work on both the course book and this book and learn additional useful phrases and expressions. My only compltaints are that the tapes are too short and the english women who introduces each dialogue is so annoying I think she used to read the news on the television in the 1950's!
on 16 November 2000
Colloquial Italian is aimed not only at the beginner to the Italian language, but also at the more advanced student. In conjunction with the accompanying cassettes, it offers a step-by-step approach to learning a foreign language, and being able to speak it like a native.