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on 3 August 2011
I really like this book. It is thorough and logically set out, with a clear structure. There is a good balance of reading, writing, listening and speaking. I bought this because it is currently the set book for the Open University beginner's Italian course, Andante. When I have completed the first 13 units of this book plus the relevant grammar exercises in the other set book, Teach Yourself Essential Italian Grammar, I will have covered much of the material in the OU course, but at a hugely lower cost. Colloquial Italian is suitable for learning on your own, unlike courses such as Contatti which assume you are at a class and have partners to work with. This course is also quite cheap, probably because it has not spent money on expensive colour printing and pictures. The course moves quite fast, so it is best for people who already know a little Italian, or for people who are prepared to do other work on top, such as a class, a grammar book or an internet language site.
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on 27 September 2008
My biggest problem with this text is actually its LACK of interactivity. Yes, there are dialogues, but these are simply recorded for you to listen to (and to repeat should you want to). However, although there are plenty of written exercises, there are no dialogues where you take an active part yourself. This is a major failing in a course designed for beginners and I would have thought that with a new edition (2005) this is something that could have been corrected. In summary, this book is good as far as it goes - but it doesn't go far enough in terms of spoken communication.
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on 24 February 2012
Excellent book. We use it in a group self-teach class (about 8 people) and we are still enjoying it at module 15! Oh, and I've used it at least once to correct our Italian teacher in another class!
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on 30 July 2013
A good easy to use guide for those who have progressed from the simple " Good morning". Also a useful refernce which can be returned to again and again.
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on 18 April 2006
Everybody has a prefered method of learning languages. I prefer the written word to audio cassettes etc and of all the books on the market, this range is the best for me - visually and in terms of the scope of the langauge, the progression, the exercises - what you are learning feels relevant.
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on 29 March 2015
Audio doesn't seem to match the written text in the accompanying book
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on 16 January 2012
I was very keen to acquire not only the book because of its easy-to-understand lessons in grammar and was counting on the accompanying CD to be just as easy. However, I am most disappointed for two reasons:

1) the people on the CD speak much too fast and use language that is far more
advanced than should be used for a beginner's course in basic Italian; and

2) the CD itself is of a very poor quality in that it starts a sentence and then skips, by mistake, to a later part of the course. In fact, if I could return the product, I would.

Therefore, because of this bad experience I would be reluctant to take a chance on this type of product again, and I would not recommend anyone else doing so either.
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on 8 January 2011
Unfortunately I have noticed a large number of small errors when working through the book (I am only up to Unit 4 so far) which disappoints me a lot as I then start to doubt whether what I am learning is correct when I do not notice an error. I have spoken to some genuine Italians who confirmed the book is wrong with regards to accents in some of the early exercises.

A lot of the mistakes are silly and what is prompting me to write this review is this, I am doing exercise 3 of unit 4 and when I turn to the back to check my answers it becomes apparent that the person who wrote / revised the book doesn't know how to tell the time in English, let alone Italian. 10 past 6 has become 2.30 which is not possible as the long hand is pointing directly at the 2. Quarter to 1 has become Quarter to 2, even though the short (hour) hand is between the 12 and 1...

The book just reads incredibly sloppily and I find the English accents on the CD fairly unrepresentative of English spoken by anyone naturally.

I would not recommend this to anyone.
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on 14 February 2015
Bought the kindle version for ease. So far so good given I am a novice to the Italian language. Would have liked to have been able to purchase the CD in MP3 format at the time but it didn't give me an option. The price seemed steep in comparison to all other beginner books. Stock seem to be in high demand so hoping this is because the book is very good! Fingers crossed.
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on 7 December 2011
This is awful. I have just spent 1 hour thinking there was a problem with my computer only to find that the CD's in this product are blank !!!!
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