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on 9 May 2009
I have been learning Italian on and off for 2 years but am always looking for new resources to give me fresh motivation and a variety of approaches. I tried the Talk Italian having read the amazon reviews and thought it seemed very good value for money (the whole course of 20 lessons for just over half the price of one private lesson). I whizzed through the first book as it was covering topics I've already done. It was perfect for revision and gave me a few new phrases to add to my collection. The Talk Italian 2 goes into much more depth but remains a nice and simple course. It's very easy to use and each of the 10 lessons takes about half an hour to go through thoroughly. What I've been impressed with is that the course covers very useful and relevant language so makes me feel more confident talking in a range of situations. I have used the Pimsleur language program previously and it's fine as long as you are an american business man in the habit of bumping into young Italian girls and want to ask them for a drink or to dinner. The Pimsleur technique is not necessarily wrong but the content of the courses was to me largely irrelevant. The Talk Italian however, is very useful. For example, it's the first resource I've found that addresses the questions and answers surrounding 'why do you want to learn Italian?'. You are bound to be asked this but nowhere else have I seen this mentioned. The course book is attractive and very easy to use and the slightly annoying music on Talk Italian 1 has been left out on Talk Italian 2. At this price, you cannot go wrong - buy it!
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on 30 December 2010
Having already used the Spanish version of this, I bought this version so that I could learn Italian prior to going on holiday to Rome. The course is split into different sections which makes it easier to learn as it is nicely broken up. The CD allows you hear the words being spoken, rather than just reading the text. To put it simply, this is an easy way of learning the language if you don't have time to the opportunity to en-role on a language course.

The one bad thing I will say about the Talk series is that the majority of phrases are the formal versions, rather than the informal conversational phrases you would use with friends or family.
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on 9 March 2013
Finely packaged, Glossy, solid paper in tightly bound slimline book that will last a century but you wouldn't want to keep it beyond a week. This kind of quality is desirable in a reference book, which this is not.

Once you've learned 2+2=4 you want to move on. I waited a week for the delivery and I was an absolute beginner and I'd already learnt all the content in it from the website. I'd finished with Book1 + CDs after two sessions of an hour or so.

The FIRST book and double CD, therefore, is a JOKE - all this content in on the BBC website (and perhaps in a less irritatingly didactic tone) and on other free websites. The CDs are mostly in English NOT ITALIAN and it's just endless repetition. Italian is relatively easy to understand - this approach might work better with French, which I speak fluently now, but which was initially hard to understand aurally.

Neither book has much grammar but the SECOND book has enough content for a beginner who actually wants to learn the language (rather than have a smattering of phrases for holiday purposes_ but here again there is better stuff available online with free pdf printouts etc.
Or better still buy a pocket-size phrase book for holiday Italian (with an mp3 download- I'm sure that's available)
The quizzes,exercises take up too much space in the book - once they're done you don't need them again.
In general, there's too much English again.

The main gripe is that it's all painfully slow, with very little Italian content. It's aimed at people who are never ever going to get much beyond 'non parlo italiano' and ordering a cappuccino but want to feel like they're making progress. I want REAL progress.

Buy this if you've got friends who you can pass the book onto. It's just a glossy,, expensive appetiser, quickly digested.
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on 15 February 2011
Good course so far, reasonably easy to follow (although to be fair I studied some Italian at school, so I am using this to relearn what I have forgot!). Looks comprehensive overall, 4 CDs and associated books. I'm on the 2nd CD now as I write. However with this product, you need to read the book that goes along with it. I was hoping to learn just from the CD in the car. While not a bad thing, the product description doesn't make this clear.
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on 14 June 2010
An excellent introduction to the language. Very accessible and clear. One of the best aspects of this course is that there are several presenters who all speak their language in their own way. Thus, the learner is hearing the language in varied ways - as happens in real life. This system suits several different learning styles. Visual, visual/auditory, auditory. Mix it up or just use it as it suits you.
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on 10 October 2010
This is officially the most helpful, easy to follow and digestable language pack I have ever read!! All of the lessons are a manageable size, clearly laid out and complimented by the very fun and easy-to-keep-up-with audio. I can now say that I have a basic grasp of Italian and this pack has laid foundations to learn more at a higher level. It is excellently contructed and I recommend it to anyone and everyone!!
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on 13 August 2010
Knowing only one language fluently (English) I have always been on holiday and I feel very ignorant when I see people speaking numerous other languages. So I felt it was time to become bilingual and Italian has been a language I've always been keen about because I just love the country,culture and people there.

The BBC talk italian pack is an absolute gem for the price you pay. The book and audio CD's work beautifully together and its so easy to follow. This is the best one out there and its much better than folking out ££££ for rosetta stone software.

Give it a go and see what you think, im positive you will be surprised how fast you pick it up.
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on 26 June 2009
I am a working man and I have learned quite a lot by listening to These CD's in my spare times. I found it very useful for those who wish to learn Italian, but cannot attend a course, provided that they should have the basic elements of Italian language in the first place, and they will of listening repeatedly. I found this BBC product very helpful. Thank You
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on 23 September 2011
I completed the BBC Talk Greek 1&2 last year, then Portuguese and now on the last chapter of Talk Italian 2. An excellent course. The first book took me 10 days to cover (about 2 hours a day while commuting). I wasn't afraid to use my earphones and practise speaking aloud while walking to the station. The second book is taking me about 5 weeks to cover thoroughly. Both text books and CD audio are excellent, developing steadily and logically, with real-life situations, easy to relate to. Really recommend for beginners.
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on 8 June 2012
My other half grew up in Italy so I have been trying to teach myself Italian for the last year or so, a bit half-heartedly if I'm honest. I tried the Michel Thomas method and Pimsleur language CDs, both of which were not to my liking.

The best learning experience I had was with the BBC Language website where they offer a self taught course for free. Having completed the online courses recently I thought these CDs would be a good supplement to the material I had already learnt. They are great! I am only half way through the first book (you get 2 in the box set) but it really has enforced my knowledge of Italian and helped with my ability to speak confidently.

The first CD is very much geared up for the absolute beginner with phrases and words such as "hello", "how are you" etc. But the language progresses quickly and you really feel like you are picking stuff up.

If you are trying to teach yourself Italian, or are looking for a course book to supplement a taught beginners class, I would reccomend these CDs. For the price they really are great value.
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