Michel Thomas Method: Italian Vocabulary Course (Michel Thomas Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Ideal for any business traveller who needs to be able to get around confidently. (Sunday Business)
"A great way to learn; it's fast and it lasts". (The Daily Telegraph)
Five minutes into the first CD, you already feel like you're winning. (Time Out)
Michel Thomas is a precious find indeed. (The Guardian)
Thomas makes it simple (Sunday Times)
Michel's methods will teach you effectively and easily (Daily Star)
Hugely inspiring (Red)
"Remarkably effective, addictive even" (London Evening Standard)
"Excellent for learning ... This entirely audio course is easy to use and quickly results in some useful ability in the new language. Great for the car." (Adventure Travel)
"A compelling teacher ... you really do remember what you're learning" (Italia!)
"Moving along at a relaxed, slow pace, punctuated by amusing anecdotes and jokes from the teacher, the new words, phrases and language rules are gently introduced and reinforced through subtle repetition without ever being tedious. In fact, despite a distinct emphasis on non-work, the course proves very effective and enjoyable, and its format is ideal for learning anywhere you like. So, if you only want to learn to speak the language, this course is highly recommended." (Top Real Travel Product, Real Travel)
The long-awaited follow-on vocabulary course to the phenomenally successful Michel Thomas Method Foundation and Advanced Courses is here!See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Before I elaborate on this let me first say that I am a great admirer of the essence of the Michel Thomas method. I think it encourages the student to start to think in a foreign language much more quickly than most other methods I've come across; it also fosters tru understanding of the structure of the language by making sure the student does the thinking him or herself, rather than copying or learning by rote.
However, Rose Lee Hayden's pronunciation on these CDs is, in my view, unacceptably poor. In mitigation, 2 native speakers are included, so that a correct pronunciation is provided for most (though not all) words and phrases. However, the teacher's mistakes are so bad, and so persistent, that I found very off-putting - all the more so because it seemed to me that many of these mistakes were simply careless!
Here are some examples:
1. adjectives and verbs ending in -e and -i are often muddled, or indistinguishable.
2. "sete" (thirst) is pronounced "sette" (seven!) - and then shortly afterwards the teacher warns us not to pronounce it "sette" lest we be misunderstood!!
3. "puo" is somtimes pronounced "po"
4. "a" is pronounced long and closed like "ah"
5. "o" is often pronounced as a diphthong "oa" (as in boat)
These are just some examples. The first two are the most serious as they clearly cause confusion and distort the meaning - and yet we are warned on every track to pronounce our endings carefully to avoid misunderstanding.Read more ›
*** Updated Nov 2012
I have recently been using these CDs again and have amended my rating from 3 to 4 stars. I still feel the pronounciation isn't great but I have found that these CDs are an excellent way of getting to grips with the verb tenses and learning useful phrases. As with all the Michel Thomas courses, being made to think through how to form sentences using conditional, past, present, future, and command tenses, and subjunctives really helps to understand them and make them stick in the brain (albeit slowly in my case!). I have learned far more about sentence construction and grammar by using the Michel Thomas CDs than from all other books and CDs combined. I have therefore decided to forgive the pronounciation somewhat.
I actually really enjoyed the course. Yes, Rose Lee Hayden is incredibly patronising but I genuinely believe that she doesn't mean to be - she wants to be encouraging and to help us learn, even if the result is the fact she sounds completely fake. From a personal point of view, she reminds me of my grandmother in that respect, which allowed me to be able to deal with it. After awhile, I could just ignore her patronising statements and focus on the Italian being taught. What really irked me most though was her pronunciation - it is truly awful, but that may also be due to the fact she has a rather strong American accent. Only copy the pronunciation of the native Italian speakers.
Regardless of its shortcomings, it does have redeeming features - it does teach an awfully large and varied vocabulary, I much prefer the two native speakers rather than the incompetent, irritating students on the earlier courses and it is good value for money. From my perspective, the course gave me everything I needed. I've been in a relationship with an Italian for over five years, I speak pretty good Italian already and we've recently made the decision to move to Rome in the New Year. With this in mind, I bought the course as a means to sharpen, expand upon and consolidate the Italian vocabulary I already possess.
And it really didn't disappoint - I found it very useful, although it is definitely not perfect. Don't believe all of the negative hype about this series and give it go. You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
The pronuciation of the new vocabs/sentences by the American is downright dreadful and not at all Italian ( I happen to live amongst Italians).
Unfortunately this fact annoyed me so much, that I dropped that course at some (early) point and bought another vocabulary course.
If you ve got the nerve to suffer through this: fair enough. However, I honestly advise against using this audio course, since by definition the audio is what counts and she (the American teacher) talks a lot instead of letting the native speakers do that for her. It really is a pity, since I do like the Michel Thomas method a lot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After reading all the reviews on how this product is definitly the worst of the Michel Thomas audio course selection I had no idea how bad it actually was, it's almost insulting. Read morePublished on 4 Nov. 2012 by Benjo
Have just completed this course, the last of the Michel Thomas Italian set and found it both hugely enjoyable and very useful. Read morePublished on 10 Dec. 2011 by Clive P L Young
I'm a huge fan of the MT courses, but this course just doesn't cut it for the simple reasons: A) The presenter's (Rose Lee-Hayden) pronunciation is so awful it's not even funny;... Read morePublished on 1 Dec. 2009 by Candy