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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant, useful and current, 8 May 2007
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This review is from: Must-Know Italian: 4,000 Words That Give You the Power to Communicate (Paperback)
First, the bad bits. While clearly intended to be sold in the UK, this book has been written for the American audience - rather than an English-speaking audience. No thought has been given to provide UK-equivalents of what we would perceive as Americanisms (e.g. bangs, braids, windshield and IRA - which, in the US, is something to do with pensions).

There's no help for pronunciation where the stress does not fall on the penultimate syllable of the word.

Now the good bits, which form the majority.

The book is divided into twelve sections (e.g. "People and Relationships," "Leisure Time" and "Government, Politics and Society"), which list related words. In addition, each section contains Must-Know Tips (e.g. use of "riuscire a" to convey "to succeed [in doing something]"), which are worth their weight in gold. The book contains fifty of these. Also included are "false friends," which, giving an example sentence in each case, help to explain where a literal translation would be incorrect, rude or downright silly. Other example sentences are included in the book, although this a mainly a reference of single words and their translations. There is an Exercises section at the back (with answers) to test yourself.

This is a handsome book, well set out with a good choice of fonts. Unless you're already fluent in the Italian language and culture, you _will_ acquire useful and current knowledge from this book. I'm glad that I bought it.
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