Reviews - What do customers think about Italian With Ease (Assimil Language Learning Programs - Book and CD Edition?
If you think that this program is only for beginners think again Feb 16, 2008
I have taken 2 years of Italian courses in a classroom setting and have mastered all the basics, but I wanted to learn more. I can hold basic conversations with Italians, however before starting Assimil, the words didn't come to my head like I wanted. I've come to the conclusion that in order to be fluent in Italian, I'd have to teach myself.
I purchased Assimil a month ago and I am very happy with the results thus far. It is a completely different learning approach. I no longer have to rely on memorizing and conjugating verbs like I do in class. If you see a strange word in one lesson and forget it, it will most certainly come back to you many times and little by little it will stick in your mind. In a month I've acquired TONS of vocabulary and they come to me right away since I've learned them in context. Verbs are also very easily learned (especially those tricky irregular ones!).
What I love the most about this program is that real-life situations come into play: job interviews, informal chats with friends, going to a hotel, sight seeing, traveling by train and air...I can go on and on. Bottom line: there are many situations that you will come across in real life that you will see in this book. Many of the dialogs are very enjoyable and memorable.
As I have mentioned, I've only had this program for a month and I feel that it has been completely worth every cent so far. I'm in lesson 30 and I've learned many new expressions and words. When I talk to Italians words come to me very naturally. I look forward to the coming lessons. Without a doubt I recommend Assimil Italian!
Italian Assimil Jan 26, 2008
Assimil ITALIAN book and method is truly excellent. I have found no better system for conversational Italian. The method itself is definitely a FIVE STAR! If a new edition in 2008 is done, I would strongly recommend: (1) NO phonetic spelling of Italian words at the bottom of each page. (Pronunciation can easily be taken care of at the beginning of the book in two or three pages.) (2) Update from lira money system to EURO. (3) There are corrections of Italian words that need to be made, but those are merely oversights by the readers in the company. The four CD'S of the dialogues and exercises are truly superior! This book may be utilized at all levels: beginning, intermediate and advanced.
Excellent Method that Gives Real Results Jan 20, 2008
This method does indeed work extremely well, as the other reviewers have indicated. I purchased a copy of it a little over a year ago in anticipation of a trip to Rome. A few months prior to the trip, I began working through the book/CD's more-or-less the way they say to, which typically took about 15-20 minutes sitting at my desk studying the day's lesson. I also would revise old lessons while driving in my car for maybe another 20 minutes a day (hint: put them all on your MP3 player!) I did cheat a little bit: I missed a couple weeks at one point, so I doubled up for a while to finish before my trip (not recommended -- take your time instead). The results:
* I found myself on an All'Italia flight, reading an Italian newspaper (with help from my invaluable pocket dictionary) and ordering the in-flight snack in Italian.
* Soon after arrival, a member of my traveling party became sick in the middle of the night, and I was able to handle the situation (ask random people on the street where an open pharmacy was, get directions, figure out how the night box worked, and describe symptoms to the pharmacist) completely in Italian. I don't think they speak English past midnight in Italy . . .
* I was also able to order a taxi, haggle, and chat up the hotel staff in their own language (my room got MUCH better service than everyone else's -- coincidence?). I could generally start a conversation in good enough Italian that people seemed to assume I was fluent . . . at which point they would start speaking at Mach 6 in full-blown Roman dialect (fairly different sound than this course's standard Italian), and I would have to ask them to slow down a bit. Once they realized that I was still learning, we did just fine.
* Best moments: buying a book in an Italian bookstore and the clerk asking if I already had a membership card. Speaking with an Italian nun who had no idea where I was from (she guessed England after I told her I was a tourist -- try Alabama!). Listening to a papal address in St Peter's Square, and translating large portions of it for the people with me. And never hitting a total communication barrier: if I wanted to get something across, I got it across, even if I had to mangle an idiom or three to do it.
This program won't make you "totally fluent," not by any means -- nothing short of extremely in-depth study or living in the language for an extended period would do that for you, I expect. However, after finishing this course, you will have a solid grounding in the basics of Italian grammar (gender system, syntax, the major verb tenses, plus lots of idioms), a large and versatile vocabulary, a scary-good accent, and the ability to handle most conceivable situations fairly well. And with its very reasonable price -- well, why pay three times as much for less? If you want to travel in Italy or begin learning its beautiful language, get this program.
Pomme Jul 7, 2007
Some like Assimil: some don't. Used following Assimil's instructions, the course will give good results. It will not make you fluent, but with other materials (grammars, dictionaries, reading books) it is possible to make every day conversation without any real difficulties. Assimil also has the "perfectionnement" series which offers more advanced Italian. I don't know if the series can be found in English. The recordings are excellent, and the focus is on what life is like in Italy.
I did not receive the adverstized product Dec 12, 2006
I think this concept is a good one when you want to learn another language but I have requested the book and CD's. I received a book and cassettes.