As another reviewer commented, this is not the product to purchase if you really want to become fluent in Italian. But for the casual traveler who wants to learn basic words and expressions, and especially pronunciation, it's excellent. The set comes with a book, but you can absolutely use the CDs on their own without the book, making them handy to listen to in the car or while you're doing something around the house.
Easy and fun way to learn Italian. Enunciation on the CDs is great. I like to listen to the CD as I drive to get an "ear" for the language then at home I read the book as I listen to the CD to put it all together. I feel like I can read, write, and speak Italian. Very good investment!
I purchase this set and there were skips in the CD so words were not fully spoken. So I sent it back and got a replacement. It turned out to be even worse. And the second and third CD's did not seem to match the order in the book. Then I had to get a refund on that one. I had gotten this exact book from the local library and I really like the program. So I know what it should sound like. If you can get this in a store I would recommend that so you can return it if you get a damaged one,
I did learn some key phrases that were helpful to me when my husband and I visited Italy this past year. We stayed in Rome, so most of the people there don't expect tourists to know much Italian. I could tell however they definitely appreciated the effort to try to say some things in their language :)
We have used many CDs to try to learn Italian for our travels. This one is good in that the speaker says the phrases twice very slowly. This is a big help when you are trying to learn the pronunciation. It would be good if the word or phrase was said twice slowly and then one at the regular speed as you may be totally out to lunch if you have some Italian talk to you. Highly unlikely that you will ever find this in a learn the language CD. There is some good practical information and isn't bad as a starter CD (there are 3 CDs). We are always in a dilemma as some CDs are too basic and some too intense for what we are needing. It does not have much travel dialogue such as what you are going to eat in a restaurant and other useful information. Overall, I would recommend it in addition to one that has more travel dialogue. The two would compliment each other well!
I have an up and coming trip to Italy so I wanted to learn a few of the basics so I could conversate with the locals. I don't have a lot of time so I wanted something I could listen too in my car and this was it. Perfect beginner set to give you just enough so you can get along and more while in Italy. Happy I found this set and was definitely worth the buy.