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Resources

The following are some good Italian language learning resources:

Dictionaries

  • Collins Gem - best pocket dictionary.  Unlike Langenscheidt, includes the pronunciation (e.g. the stress) of the Italian words since that isn't always obvious.  Also includes short but useful sections on verb conjugation and useful phrases.
  • Langenscheidt - most convenient, since they are sold at the Support Site NEX Bookstore.  These yellow-bound dictionaries come in various sizes, and are generally of good quality.
  • Wordreference.com - the best online dictionary; even includes a "Conjugator" for verbs.
  • Oxford-Paravia Unabridged - best unabridged dictionary.  If you're really serious about learning Italian (including how to write properly, e.g. letters), this tells you more than you ever wanted to know.  Warning: "unabridged" is Italian for "heavy and expensive"!

Courses

  • Centro Italiano - a language learning center in downtown Naples, offering immersive courses of various lengths.  Lots of ex-pats have had great experiences there, including Bonnie Alberts.  Because they have an international clientele, everyone is forced to speak Italian the whole time!
  • Central Texas College Europe's Gateway to Italian - the most convenient courses for ex-pats who work on one of the U.S. or NATO bases, since the courses are offered on the Capodichino, Grigignano, and JFC Bagnoli bases.  They tend to focus a bit on grammar, but are still a great introduction to the language.
  • University of Maryland University College Europe - offers three levels of "Elementary Italian," offered on the Capodichino base.  Course Schedule.

Private Lessons in the Naples Area

  • Raffaele Guitto - Excellent native speaker (dual US-Italian citizen) who offers group & private lessons in your own home. Has 30 years of experience teaching and a degree in pedagogy. Raffaele has taught many NATO students and other English-speaking foreign nationals who are living in Naples & the surrounding areas with proven results. He is much-beloved by his students! rd.guitto@gmail.com, 338.619.3498, Facebook Page

Learning Books/Programs

  • Accelerated Learning - (Luke's favorite program) Based on a somewhat new-agey theory of learning that involves playing classical music in the background, it is one of the most entertaining, easiest, and most effective programs. www.multilingualbooks.com/acceleratedlearning.html sells it for ~$199.
  • Pimsleur - a very repetitive, route-memory learning program, but good for the car (since it is audio-only)
  • Rosetta Stone - a computer-based program that shows you pictures and narrates entirely in Italian; on one hand, it is "immersive" (since it's only in Italian) but on the other hand, it's inefficient (since it doesn't capitalize on the fact that you already speak a language) and ineffective.
  • Duolingo - a free language-learning service that is good for learning the basics and improving your vocabulary (although it's somewhat limited)

Web Pages

Podcasts

Thanks do the proliferation of podcasts, it is now possible to download a number of free (or almost-free) audio Italian lessons
  • ItalianPod101.com is by far the most entertaining, with Marco and Cinzia flirting awkwardly throughout each lesson.  Many of their lessons give lots of good information, but they often go a bit fast and thus require repetition.
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