Regular price: $31.93

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    431
  • 4 Stars
    113
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    359
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    282
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    17
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Overpriced part of a complete Italian course

Would you try another book from Pimsleur and/or Pimsleur?

Yes

If you’ve listened to books by Pimsleur before, how does this one compare?

n/a

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narration is fine.

Could you see Pimsleur Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

n/a

Any additional comments?

This language series is good, but over-priced. One credit for 2.5 hours is very expensive. I much prefer the Paul Noble series (also on Audible), which is a fraction of the price, but slightly better. Both series use the same pedagogical principles, but target somewhat different vocabulary. Both will get you ready to converse at a basic level in Italy. The Paul Noble series has a shortcoming in that for some bizarre reason, he completely omits basics such as “Good morning, Sir.” However, that shortcoming can be made up for within one hour on YouTube. Other than that, he uses the same principles as this course, but in a much friendlier way that makes his courses more fun to do. Both focus on conversation, of course. This was the third language I taught myself (after French and Spanish). I found that the best way to learn Italian was this:

Step 1. Start by watching the three videos called “Italian Pronunciation: Learn How to Pronounce Italian Vowels” on the YouTube channel ItalyMadeEasy. This gets you pronouncing the vowels correctly from the start, which is vital for speaking Italian in such a way that Italians can understand you. Neither the Paul Noble series nor the Pimsleur series addresses this vital need. In three months of learning Italian so far, nothing has helped me more than these three videos.

Step 2. Then do all three parts of the Paul Noble Italian series, which will only cost you about $15 (pay for it rather than using credits, as each of the three units is only about $5). I love his language courses, and so does my wife. These three parts give you about 12 hours of instruction, and will on their own be enough to get you started in conversing in Italian.

Step 3. Then, if you want to spend a fortune to learn even more and fill in some of the gaps in the Paul Noble course, get the Pimsleur courses.

Step 4. In the meantime, all along the way, keep watching the ItalyMadeEasy videos on YouTube. These are excellent, taught by an extremely likeable Italian teacher called Manu. I especially recommend the video on vowels already mentioned, plus a video called “Learn Italian: Learn Basic Italian Greetings.” This is much better than any other video on this topic I have ever found, and is vital for learning how Italians actually use greetings in real life. For example, I was astonished to learn that foreigners in Italy should almost NEVER use the greeting “Ciao” (it’s only used for close friends and small children; using it with strangers or hotel clerks or waiters is impolite and disrespectful). Also, check out his Playlist called “Essential Italian Expressions” – small chunks of vital information about how Italian is really spoken. Apart from that, there are lots of other useful videos on this channel. These videos really fill in the gaps left by the more traditional language courses.

48 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

45 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Too Expensive to Be a Realistic Way to Learn

What would have made Pimsleur Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5 better?

it is excellent

Who was your favorite character and why?

all good

Which character – as performed by Pimsleur – was your favorite?

all good

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

it works for learning

Any additional comments?

The problem for me was that there are only 5 lessons per purchase and there are dozens and dozens of lessons, thus it use up so many points to actually learn a language this way. Maybe it would still be less than hiring a teacher. I did learn a lot in even a few lessons, however, and I recommend it if you feel you can afford it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

20 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • chesterton, in, United States
  • 10-13-18

A serious spoken approach to language learning

I've tried to learn several languages off and on with some progress in French so I have tried a number of language courses. Most of them are terrible and are really just designed to say a few words on vacation. Until now I thought that the Assimal courses were the only ones with an education theory behind them. They are a mix of recorded and written and require the constant use of a booklet along with the recorded part.
I recently tried Babel and liked the way they are based on the phone but I was troubled by the use of writing (e.g.spell "ciao") which didn't seem like a good idea in early language learning.
Pimsleur is audio only. This is a real challenge and I am sure it is slower at first than a mixture of aural and written. But they are trying to develop the sounds of the language without the overlay of an English pronunciation to written Italian. It is based on 30 minute lessons which is a big chunk to devote to it.
If you really want to learn I think this may be the best approach I've seen.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-17-18

Disappointing

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

This programme was clear and easy to follow and I enjoyed learning the limited amount of Italian it offered. But I did feel somewhat cheated by the small vocabulary that I ended up learning when I considered the cost. I have decided not to purchase the rest of the programme as it is far too expensive but will look for a cheaper alternative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-18

focus on spoken italian

This is excellent for three reasons. firstly, it involves you in real conversations from the start. secondly, it uses the staged memory recall method of learning. finally, it concentrates on developing a good accent. I've studied italian for ten years and was interested to see how this course worked. I like it and will use it on other languages now.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • A. McCaffrey
  • 09-07-18

Couldnt take to it. Bored me to tears.

Starts teaching sentences before the very basics. For example I can ask are you American before I can count to two.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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).