Product review: Pimsleur Italian 1

(Disclosure: I received the product mentioned in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Pimsleur Italian

I mentioned yesterday that I’m working to pick up a bit of “traveler’s” Spanish and German this summer, and I also wanted to learn a little Italian. I would eventually like to become more fluent in Italian, since it’s one of my “heritage” languages, but for now a basic grasp of conversational bits–introductions, getting around in a foreign city, etc.–will come in handy if I get to take my dream trip to Europe in the next few years!

Because Italian and Spanish are so similar, if you have any experience speaking one, you’ll probably pick up on the rhythms and pronunciation of the other more easily. (For example, saying “thank you” is “gracias” in Spanish and “grazie” in Italian–they sound very similar!) I felt like it was really easy to fall into the rhythm of this language. Like all of the other Pimsleur CD sets, this one uses native speakers to get you used to the sound of the language and help you perfect your accent. You start out by listening to a short conversation in Italian, which is then broken down word by word so you can practice the different words and phrases. By the end of a half-hour lesson you’re ready to listen to the original conversation again, but this time you’ll be able to follow what’s being said.

I really like the set-up of the lessons. I can pop in a CD while I cook, clean or walk on the treadmill and go through the phrases with ease. If you feel like you miss a word or don’t quite nail the pronunciation the first time, you don’t have to worry about pausing or rewinding the audio, because they’ll repeat the new phrases several times over the course of the lesson to make sure you’ve really gotten the hang of them. There are sixteen discs in all, each with two half hour lessons, and the lessons dovetail neatly into each other so it’s easy to pick up where you left off with each new study session.

You can find Pimsleur Italian 1 on Amazon here. Tomorrow I’ll have another Pimsleur review for you, so come back for that!

(I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.)

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. So cool that you are learning Italian as well. I took Italian in school (and went on a student exchange to Milano) but I think I forgot most of it. My friend Julia is fluent though, she lived in Italy for a couple of years.

  2. Italian is one of my heritages as well. I would love to learn it some day. In HS the reason I picked German was the it is also one of my heritage languages and it has similarities with English. I don’t think Italian was offered, but I don’t remember. It turned out to be a good choice considering that I ended up living in Germany. Granted that was about a decade later, but when you’ve learned something once it comes back when you start to practice it again even if it’s been awhile (at least that’s been my experience).

    1. Oh, that’s cool that you’ve got Italian/German in your heritage too! I tried Spanish in high school because that’s what everyone did, but I wish I had tried German. It might have made my studies now a little easier.

      1. Yep one from each side. There’s also some French in there.

        Yeah it might have. But it really depends. My teacher mostly focused on vocab and gave us way too much free time for card games, so I picked up a lot less than I really should have. I did remember a lot of it when I started trying to learn again, but I am still not too great conversationally and it takes me a long time to write anything in German. About the only thing going for me is that I have decent comprehension.

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