I’m new here and have just started learning Italian (and Spanish which is ridiculously similar lol) and wanted to let you know what I’m using to do it because it seems to be a good combination.
What I’m doing is two fold.
I use the Michel Thomas stuff for learning the language structure and how to “think”, speak and formulate sentences in Italian
I then use the iSpeak Italian to practice my pronunciation.
I don’t know how many of you have used the Michel Thomas stuff, but for me it works better than anything else I’ve tried. I listen to one 20 minute audio session and I haven’t just learn a new set of words, but a whole new possibility of phrases and sentence which can be put together.
If anyone likes maths then the learning seems to be Exponential, as in You learn X in session one and X in session two and you end up with not X + X but X multiplied by X.
I tried Pimsleurs as well but the Michel Thomas course seems to get you on your feet and running very quickly. The main difference is that MT (Michel Thomas) starts by connecting parts of your English vocabulary to what you will learn.
For example, “Probable” in Italian is simply “prob-arb-el-ay” and “Probably” is “Prob-arb-el-ay-ment-ay” and this is the same pattern for lots of words.
Then he gives you key words from which you can start building your own sentences: What, Why, Would, Could, Should, Want, I, You.
And then begins to introduce verbs like “buy” and “go” (I hope this is right lol)
I’m really impressed and excited by how easy it is.
The only problem is that MT has/had (He is dead now) a part polish accent. His pronunciation is still clear and I’d say its correct but he has that inclination towards the polish inflections.
So I go back and practice my pronunciation with the iSpeak audio phrase books.
These are great as well. Copy the CD to your Itunes folder and you can find the phrase you want and both hear AND see the Italian equivalent.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language.
So what sort of programs are you all using and how are they working for you?
p.s. In case you are unaware, MT is quite famous for having taught a class of primary school kids to speak French to a fluent conversational level in just 5 days! He also worked with a lot of celebrities and even a few dignitaries. This is why I tried his stuff.