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3.4 out of 5 stars46
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 December 2010
I have used this series of Teach Yourself books in the past and have found them to be superb and this Italian one is no exception.

The CDs are extremely clear with explanations thoughout in English.

The chapters are gently graded and the help given is gradually withdrawn, making the student work a little bit harder. The vocabulary at the back of the book is comprehensive for the texts in each chapter and grammar points are introduced within each unit.

I find that the progress that you can make with this series of Teach Yourself books is extremely swift and they certainly thoroughly prepare the student for embarking upon GCSE classes and higher in the future.

My only slight criticism is that the verbs are not fully conjugated in the grammar section at the back of the book, as has been the case in other language books of the same series.

Nevertheless, the book and CDs come highly recommended as a course that is both interesting and a pleasure to learn from.
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on 31 March 2013
This course is OK for beginners, especially if your main aim is to learn some straightforward Italian for travel purposes. But it has two main drawbacks. The first, and biggest, is that this 2012 edition lacks an Italian-English vocabulary: it has only English-Italian. And this despite the fact that the main text refers to an Italian-English vocabulary. Something has clearly gone badly wrong in the production of the book, and it means the book will need to be supplemented by a dictionary. It is a major irritation. The second is that the Italian in the audio is surrounded by too much English.
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on 23 October 2010
I have the 2004 edition of this course, which in content is identical to this edition. It provides a sound basis for beginners in Italian, although I completely agree with reviewers who say that there is far too much English on the CDs. You don't NEED a narrator to read out the introductions to the dialogues. However, my main issue is with the claim that this course will take you to Level 4 (B2) of the European framework. There is no way that after completing this course you will be at that level; the course doesn't even begin to cover the subjunctive mood which is so common in Italian. At best, you will probably reach Level A2. Just bear this in mind when you consider buying this and keep your goals realistic.
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on 13 October 2011
Expecting a superficial treatment of holiday Italian learned parrot-fashion I was quickly and pleasantly disabused. The user-friendly format with sections nicely spaced and the use of different fonts facilitated understanding. The dialogues,rich in useful words and phrases, are accompanied by a vocabulary list that enables the listener to comprehend a large part. Occasionally you will need to refer to a dictionary or the index but this helps to embed the words. There follows a substantial grammar section which explains the syntax,constructions etc. in the dialogues - and I have found it useful to read this first so as to understand the dialogues fully. The concluding practice sections are always interesting and challenging but never demoralising. They don't 'pile it on' by including material from earlier chapters but focus almost exclusively on what has just been introduced. The course has been cleverly constructed, especially the dialogues. I found that while talking French to relatives I was often able to supply,internally ,the equivalent Italian words and conversational phrases for ordinary everyday situations - and I'm just beginning. I was pleased all tenses were covered, excepting the pluperfect and subjunctive. You are led carefully through the tricky areas of pronouns and the imperative. Naturally you have to revise and consolidate before tackling intermediate and advanced, although this course does take you up to Level 4 (A level). I thoroughly recommend this course as an enjoyable and encouraging way of learning Italian.
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on 1 August 2013
I have no complaints about the method used, and I am enjoying learning the language with it. This edition, though, suffers from a number of careless oversights which make the book unsatisfactory in some respects.
The worst failing is in the Test Your Italian section which begins on p.338. Here you are invited to answer and mark questions on the first six units, to find out if you are ready to move on to Unit 7. It says, "The answers are given in the Key to `Test your Italian', at the end of the book." But there is no Key at the end of the book, and none listed on the Contents page. There is a "Key to the Exercises" but that gives the answers to the questions at the end of each unit, which are different. So, having got to the end of Unit 6, I have no way of knowing whether I am ready to proceed to Unit 7.
There are similar faults throughout, e.g. several occasions where you are told to look up the Italian words you don't know in the vocabulary at the back of the book. The vocabulary, however, is only English-Italian. There is no way of looking up Italian words. Or you are told to "Look at the illustrations in Unit 1, after Dialogue 5d", but the dialogues are not numbered, so there is no way of finding which illustrations are meant.
I wrote to the publishers about this three months ago but have had no reply.
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on 6 March 2011
I bought the Complete Italian book/CD pack when I signed up for a local language course and am finding it excellent. By playing the CD in my car, I'm hearing the language constantly and I find I'm picking up the pronunciation and rhythm of the language more easily than I thought I would. Each unit in the book deals with small chunks at a time so I don't feel overwhelmed by new aspects of grammar and vocabulary. I'm not there yet but I think this set is definitely a good buy and I'm optimistic about my chances of coming to grips with Italian.
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on 31 March 2013
This course is OK for beginners, especially if your main aim is to learn some straightforward Italian for travel purposes. But it has two main drawbacks. The first, and biggest, is that this 2012 edition lacks an Italian-English vocabulary: it has only English-Italian. And this despite the fact that the main text refers to an Italian-English vocabulary. Something has clearly gone badly wrong in the production of the book, and it means the book will need to be supplemented by a dictionary. It is a major irritation. The second is that the Italian in the audio is surrounded by too much English.
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on 6 February 2013
I emailed to check. Thought it must be my mistake. But no, the Kindle version I purchased did not have any sound on Kindle. So I couldn't check pronunciation - my reason for buying it on Kindle. Works well on my iphone.
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on 13 January 2013
I chose this product to help my study of Italian with the local U3A. It is helpful in that it does not concentrate entirely on tourism. I would recommend it to beginners in Italian.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We spend a lot of time in Italy, and so we need to speak Italian on a regular basis, We’ve tried several Italian courses, and taken evening classes in Italian. While we prefer the one-to-one benefits of evening classes, they can be expensive, which is why we turned to self-study courses. This one is comprehensive and written intelligently. The course takes a fairly traditional approach, with chapters progressing from the easy/basic to more advanced, backed with grammatical notes and information. The CDs provide much of the vital spoken-word audio that we miss from evening classes, and the colourful guide book is excellent. That said, you will need a decent dictionary though, and a good reference book for conjugated Italian verbs, to help you through.

It’s a thorough course, but it is traditional. Nothing wrong with that – it does actually work. We just prefer the Michel Thomas approach, which is very much driven by spoken-word conversation and tuition. No matter which course you choose, your success will depend on commitment. There is no magic wand solution to learning a language. It takes a lot of effort and practice. This course will get you there, at least to a firm understanding of basic Italian. It won’t teach you the technical twists of Italian, which can trip-up even a seasoned speaker, but it will give you a thorough basis for progress. We really liked this course. However, we used the Michel Thomas for a long time, and we prefer its approach. It's probably just a matter of preference.
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