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Linguaphone All Talk Italian: 16 Hour Course (All Talk Complete) CD-ROM – Audiobook, CD

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • CD-ROM
  • Publisher: Linguaphone Institute Ltd (Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747309698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747309697
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 17 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 718,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

I picked this up on the Linguaphone site but came to Amazon to see if there was anything better. So much of this course is wasted overdoing English explanations and unnecessary asides; things like one of the speakers having to translate laboriously slowly for the "learner" in the story. And there's this wretched music you're forced to listen to at the end of every section and whenever a verb is explained. It really started to pall, particularly as it's quite loud - not good for earphones as you need the volume up for the speech. As it sometimes lasts for several seconds, I found it annoying after the first couple of tracks and there are hundreds of tracks.

This style of tuition might be good for listening only - in a car; out walking etc. It would probably be enough for holidaying. Speaking soon speeds up to normal level. If you're looking for something more immersive - minimal English, more comprehensive, the Full CD course is superior. At 2 1/2 times the price it teaches at least 5 times as much Italian, covering aspects of the language and culture that the All Talk can't. The downside being that the full course takes some book study...certainly no more than would be expected in live language classes, immersive or not.

Another problem with the All Talk set is that the sound is sometimes muffled, the sibilants aren't clear so expect to have to refer to transcripts occasionally.

.....
Edit: I went for the full course in the end. Trying to revise with the All Talk, that music became so annoying I had to excise it with an audio editor (along with a lot of the English chit-chat). But there's a huge number of tracks and I gave up in the end! It would have got 3 stars but for that music.
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I am someone who is very keen to know SOME language when on holiday but I always struggled to find anything that worked beyond just the basic phrases committed to memory.
The way this course works is that it has a visitor to the country in question who can't speak any of the language who is then taught as she/he goes along by their host. There is a running story through the course too and because you are starting to learn the language at the same time as the character in the story, the running story means that the pacing is perfect. Alongside the story there are also other little intermissions and sketches of unrelated material to illustrate language rules, situations, or certain grammar. The story itself is also quite lighthearted and for me it was a pleasure not a chore to 'work' through the CDs.
I have done both French and Italian in this format and it has been by far the best of the CD/book courses that I have tried.
It's never really enabled me to indulge in fluent and 'chatty' conversations with locals (yet!), but it will certainly enable you to get by on holiday - shopping, dining, hotels, asking for help, and having basic conversations (understanding replies, directions, simple humour etc). Also because you hear quite a lot of Italian being spoken between native Italians in the story you also get confidence and are able to recognise words when other people are speaking to you.
The best thing hardly needs saying as it is "All talk" so I was able to learn whilst driving around and without the need for writing/study.
I definitely recommend this format of learning.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product 6 May 2013
By Carol Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I wouldn't like to try and teach myself a language with only CDs, but i am attending Italian classes and these CDs are brilliant as an adjunct. They are great for getting used to Italian as spoken by Italians, as well as teaching me some more vocabulary and phrases. I have only managed disc one at the moment but am very pleased with it. I think this course will be a great help.
3.0 out of 5 stars No 23 Nov. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
No
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 10 Sept. 2015
By Wengang Xia - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Great package!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging way to improve your Italian! 4 July 2013
By schoolboy - Published on Amazon.com
Big PLUS side: there is something of a story line that runs through this set so that makes this much more engaging than other Italian audio programs. Very good production values [actors/voices] too! Some light grammar explanations interspersed, which I appreciated, as well as some dialogues tangential to the story line. Some of the usual 'how would YOU say' as well.

Negative side - price, obviously -hence my 4 stars v. 5. I don't feel like I got enough 'practice' a la Pimsleur's 'now you say' - so I was not 'speaking' as much. But compensation was lots of good input! At the same time, it seemed that some of the vocab was only to serve the storyline, rather than any real need.

Bottom line - no audio program can give you everything you need, but Linguaphone ALLTALK is VERY enjoyable - as learning a language should be! This one and Pimsleur are the cream of the audio only crop. I'm a little sorry I finished it so quickly - I only wish they had another level!!
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