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Publisher's Summary

The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Each lesson of Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation. Each lesson contains practice for vocabulary introduced in previous lessons. The emphasis is on pronunciation and comprehension and on learning to speak Italian.

©2002 Simon & Schuster (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." (AudioFile magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Best audio for learning Italian

Having completed the first five lessons of Phase One of the Pimsleur Italian lessons, I can say, "eccellente". I've been listening to another set of audio lessons to learn Italian and I very much prefer the Pimsleur. The very thorough pronunciation and slow pace make it easy to do something else such as drive, fold laundry or do dishes and listen and learn.

That said, this might be too slow paced for someone who just wants to learn a few phrases for travel, or who picks up language very quickly. Sometimes the "Italian for Idiots" type of series seemed like a good name.

I have enjoyed and learned quite a bit already and will download the next five lessons. I checked to see how many more lessons there are in the series and was amazed to see there are three "phases" with about 30 lessons per phase. I should be pretty good by the time I complete all that.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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The Easiest Way to Learn a Language!

Would you consider the audio edition of Italian Phase 1, Unit 01-05 to be better than the print version?

Not applicable. This is designed to be a listening experience, not a written one.

What did you like best about this story?

Learning is almost effortless, as I imagine it must have been learning a first language as a toddler.

What does the narrator bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Not applicable.

Any additional comments?

I have used Pimsleur for Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese, and I still remember each other tme even though I haven't used the French or Spanish for years. It is an excellent method for learning while driving or working around the house, since it is all audio-based. Pimsleur's understanding of how language memory works is revolutionary.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The best language audio course I've found

We are preparing for a trip to Italy and I wanted to get some familiarity with the language. The older I get, the harder learning a new language seems to be. I am totally amazed at how comfortable I am becoming with simple conversations. I am enjoying learning Italian, and find this instruction to be totally non-threatening and interesting. The approach challenges me to think in the language in a new way - it isn't just listen and repeat - it engages you in a conversation. There is a very appropriate amount of review and recall, but you can't get bored because new words and conversations keep occurring. This course is comparable to, or maybe even better than, having a live instructor! Now that I've found Pimsleur, I hope to be able to explore more languages, too.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Not good value for credit

Not very good value for money. Expected to learn more. Would stick with hard copy books and duolingo to learn languages

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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My journey learning Italian.

It's extremely easy to use/follow and really does a great job explaining. It does repeat words and phrases more than I'd like, but, all in all, the narrator does great. After all, they say repetition is one of the best ways to learn.
Il compisco un po L'Italiano.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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good introduction

Great introduction to learn the basics for a beginner. helps with hello, good bye, how are you, where is...etc. looking forward to part two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy
  • LA GRANDE, OR, United States
  • 08-25-14

Fun and Fast Moving

I've only done 10 units of Pimsleur's Digital Italian but I've enjoyed it because it's fast moving and makes more sense than something like Rosetta Stone's Italian version which often takes too big of a leap between one lesson to the next for the student to fully grasp the meaning of words and grammar. In Pimsleur's there is a good variety of new words and phrases introduced with each unit, interspersed with a review of ones already learned in a logical sequence.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, because for almost one hour and forty-five minutes I heard the Introduction etc.. The introduction is on the FREE Unit 1 as well. So why waste our money and time by putting it on the paid version. Why would we listen to it again, After (trying) to listen to the Free version?? In other words, it being on there was a waste of time, when they could have given us more newer words to learn. Another thing is in the Free Unit 1 version, they teach you simple sentences. About 5. Then in the paid version they teach the same 5 sentences & introduction for the 1st one hour and forty-five minutes. When they know probably most people would have listened to the Free version 1st. So in the beginning of Lesson 2, they start with reviewing those 5 sentences again for awhile! Don't they think that after teaching and us memorizing 5 sentences for One Hour, that we would know the sentences by now?? The magic of Audio is we can Rewind and Forward the audio to rehearse on our own. So the authors could have moved on and taught us some more words. So in reality, if I remember correctly I have only 1 hour left to listen to them teaching me other words. If they teach you about 5 sentences in 1 hour, then how many more words are they going to you in the next One hour.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I was learning a Language.

How could the performance have been better?

Please read the 1st question.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not likely it would be made into a movie.

Any additional comments?

It has a very good concept but you learn too few words in the time they give you. With Rewind and Forward buttons we could go over the words in our own time.

19 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Totally works

Believe it or not the best part about this is the fact that you can do one unit one month and then 4 months later still remember the words it's that easy. I'll be moving on to the next unit. My only critique is at the very end of the units they tend to make it more difficult and some of the words make it really difficult to pronounce as fast as the person you're trying to mimic. But practice makes perfect right?

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good flow

I liked the flow of the lessons and how they built on one another. in the first 3 lessons I liked how on would say a new word forward and backward sound by sound then the other one would repeat word. but by the 4th and 5th lessons they would only have one guy do the forward and backwards but the other teachers wouldn't repeat word. instead they would go straight into sentence. and the word would become garbled to me. I had to look up a couple words just to see how they were spelled. the avenue and drink gave me issue . the avenue keep hearing in the ally and drink keep sounding like a v instead of a b. I'm dyslexic and have a lot of learning disabilities and I thought I'd never be able to learn any new languages by the end of the first week I was amazed at how much I was actually picking up. Overall a great way to learn a new language.

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  • Overall
  • Judy
  • 02-23-11

This really works!

I have tried nightclasses, tapes, CD's and books in an effort to learn Italian. As fast as it went in one ear, it tumbled out of the other. One last attempt with Pimsleur - and it is really working. I play the unit while driving to and from work. No different to listening to the radio. Pimsleur recommend one unit per day. I do one unit over two or three days, twice a day. But I can remember it. The speaking is clear, no reading (for the first units) and today I remember most of what I learned yesterday. When I feel confidant, I move on to the next unit. Half a dozen new words incorporated into what I have learnt .... and so on. Easy! So if nothing else has worked for you, give this a try. It could be the system that gets through to you. It has really worked for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • rachael
  • 10-10-16

really helpful

I really enjoyed this. apart from being made for Americans, it's helped me retain the laanguage and restored my confidence in my ability to pick up a new language.

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  • Piers Lewis
  • 02-23-16

one of the easiest ways I've found to learn.

This is now the 4th pimsler course I own. I have found it so easy to learn each language I have chosen, regardless of what it is. The course is broken down into manageable chunks. It is easy to hear and repeat the pronunciation and remember each section.

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  • ODEAN
  • 01-24-16

Benisimo! Bravo! Fantastico! Molto Bene! d-j-b.

Loved it!
I worried I would struggle, but the narrator was perfect! Great Job!
I was very impressed with the speed in which I picked up the language, but feel that it very important to practice each day...it helps with your fluency.
I sometimes had trouble speaking that fast but by constantly hearing the Italian language, you soon get used to that speed and learn how to melt some of the sentences into one...it think it's very pretty! lol

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  • Mr. Antonio Podesta
  • 09-16-15

Excellent Language Learning Product.

Fantastic learning experience. The new language was really committed to my memory by using product.

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  • Yollyblue
  • 04-03-15

Easy and fast to learn

I know with this first unit how to great someone, ask for a place...it's very easy to remember without learning. I bought all Units (1).

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  • Twiggy
  • 03-06-15

Ideal For Learning Correct Pronunciation

If, like me, you don't enjoy feeling like you are back in school trying to follow courses that use books and written exercises then this course is ideal. I'm really enjoying it.

What's great about it is the authentic, neutral accent spoken at normal native speed. It is fantastic for playing in the car or on an iPod whilst out walking. The speed takes you by surprise at first and tunes your ear so it is ready for the real world. I remember the first time I asked an Italian a simple question and just didn't understand a word of the reply because they spoke so quickly.

Its a good idea to record yourself taking part in the lessons to hear how you are really pronouncing the words. It is uncomfortable to listen to yourself at first but it really helps you to perfect your pronunciation. There is no doubt that this course has dramatically improved my pronunciation.

This isn't the course to follow if you just want a few phrases to get by in a restaurant or bar. You will need to complete all the phases of this course to gain any useful amount to Italian. It would therefore be wise to know what you are letting yourself in for in terms of time and cost for all the phases.

At the beginning of the course the authors deliberately use some constructs that no native would speak. I'm sure this is to help the listener understand the structure behind the language and make it directly translate from English. Thankfully this practice begins to disappear toward the end of the first phase.

Finally, I think you make better progress learning a language if you follow multiple courses in parallel. Even simple scenarios involving greetings are dealt with slightly differently in each course and so you don't get phased by all the different responses you receive when you do start talking to real Italians.


  • Overall
  • Miss
  • 01-06-12

Great!

Great introduction to the Italian language! This audio book is much easier to follow than most others and you remember what you have learnt as the sections are small. Looking forward to the next unit :)