The best way to learn a
foreign language is to learn it as a child would learn his first language. This modern language course is based that theory. With this
method, you will soon learn to express many concepts, understand a lot, ask many
questions, even before you learn the grammatical implications of what you are
saying. You use the right side of your brain and have fun learning. It works!
Learning Italian properly involves some work. In
order to achieve that goal you have to consistently devote a fair amount of
time (about 25 min. a day) to study and practice speaking the language.
Italian is fascinating and helps you meet,
understand, and delight with many interesting people who will be very grateful for your effort and
will warm up to you much quicker than if you tried to make them speak English.
Italian is fairly easy to pronounce for English
speakers because it does not have many sounds sharply different from
A CD player, tape recorder or a cassette recorder is a
must. Listen to your language course tapes, cassettes, or CDs. Listen to
yourself on the tape and don’t be afraid of yelling at the tape while recording
your voice. Exaggerate the sounds. Don’t worry about feeling a little
embarrassed. Get it all out! So that when the time comes to speak for real,
in a real life situation, you will be able to speak Italian quietly and
properly with the natives.
When learning new words, try to make mental associations to remember that new word. Once the word is safely inside your
system, discard the mental association. For example, “Prego” in
Italian means “You’re welcome!” (as an answer to “Grazie”). There
is a spaghetti sauce called “Prego”which, I am sure, you have seen at Safeway
or King Soopers. So make the mental association with that sauce and, bingo, you
will remember how to answer to “Grazie”.
In the beginning stages of your learning, buy a
little phone address book and use it to create your own English-Italian
dictionary. You will retain most words better this way (than looking them up in
a regular dictionary) because it will be you who writes them down and
Sticking little yellow stickers on objects around the
house is another method of acquiring quickly a basic vocabulary. So, on a chair
you would stick a sticker with the Italian word SEDIA which means
chair. On a mirror you would stick SPECCHIO which, you guessed,
means mirror. On a TV set, TELEVISIONE. And so forth.
Most European languages have a common heritage. So
there are many words in English which are similar to Italian. In fact, it has
been calculated that about 60% of English words are similar to Italian thanks
to the common Latin roots.
To get around the country as a tourist you will
probably need about 200 words. To carry on a basic conversation, you will need
about 400 to 800 words.