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learning a second language

Rhode Island
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learning a second language

I am not sure I am in the right forum and excuse me if I am not. But I am 55 years old and would love to learn my native Italian language (enough to get by) I had heard Rosetta Stone does not work from reviews and is very expensive. I would hate to spend money on something that did not work. Would anyone know of other programs out there that have been successful in a person learning a second language?


n.e. scotland
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1. Re: learning a second language

probably a pointless post to be honest... but i would look for computer games.

they don't have an italian one in the range i use but there are a great range of learning games for the nintendo ds (the console is handheld and portable).

i use "my french coach" and "my japanese coach". i also have "my spanish coach". you learn the words, the game speaks to you to help with pronounciation, records you speaking so you can see how you are getting on and then has a selection of games at the end of each section. games like wordsearch and hitting the gophers with the right word on the head, etc.

like i said, the range i use doesn't have an italian one but i am sure there are some on the market.

this is the console:


and this is the french coach game:


i have found it brilliantly helpful. hopefully there is one for italian and you might find it as easy to learn as i have. sorry for rattling on. hope someone else can help more if this isn't what you are looking for.


U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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2. Re: learning a second language

Believe it or not, your local library may have Rosetta Stone, or a similar product on-line. (Ours does.)

Worth checking.

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3. Re: learning a second language

I like the "Living Language" programs - reasonably priced and a good introduction to Italian. They have CDs for listening to in the car as well as CDs that go with a workbook for more formal study. The focus is definitely on Italian for travelers.

Also, many universities have Continuing Education departments that offer language classes. These are fun and they focus on speaking the language, rather than just learning dialogues, which is a good way to practice.

And - if you want to travel to Italy there are many schools that offer programs from 1 week to several months long. That's the very best way to learn - immersion!

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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4. Re: learning a second language

I was just going to say that if you're in Rhode Island, you might be able to take a continuing education course at Brown, or even audit a course. You say Italian is your native language. Does that mean you used to speak it as a child but have forgotten it? In that case, you might find it would come back quickly.

Washington, DC
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5. Re: learning a second language

You might want to check to see if there is an Italian cultural center or society near where you live. If so, they will probably offer Italian classes at various levels. In conjunction with the classes, you can listen to the Pimsleur CDs in your car or at home. I've found them very helpful. They are expensive, so I borrow them from the library.

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6. Re: learning a second language

The most successful way to learn is with other people and a native teacher...also, you need to 'need' to learn... to survive.... so go to Italy - and put what you've learnt into practice first. Go shopping for food, using the Italian you've learnt. Find a less travelled part of Italy where the locals do not see many English speakers, or don't use much English - so you have to use the Italian you have learnt.

Then go on a course in Italy - give it time, don't try to do too much at once (some people find they get it all into their heads and then can't say a word ! (A bit like 'verbal constipation' ! ). Live with a family - some families open their homes to language students - and practice your language with you . It's a self help and reciprocal arrangement. Most of all, find a way of learning that you enjoy. If you like cookery - go on an Italian cookery course... in Italian. Some schools (there's one in Montepulciano) run language classes alongside craft classes, such as mosaics or stained glass, in Italian. enjoy !

Good luck !

Norwich, United...
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7. Re: learning a second language

Another idea you might try - something that's been an enormous help to me since we moved to Ischia back in 2003 - is to get to watch some Italian TV, and hear the language spoken as it should be....

I believe RAI International, for instance, is carried by the cable companies?


Not sure whether any of their replay services are available online 'abroad', but - if so - this is my constant favourite, notwithstanding the dialects often used by their interviewees!



Edited: 13 November 2011, 09:45
Latina, Italy
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8. Re: learning a second language

I agree with Nolana...you have to throw yourself in at the deep end. In Italy if possible.

Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: learning a second language


I just added RAI to my cable TV. So far I've enjoyed "Un medico in Famiglia." Is it a soap opera?

Last night, I watched "Italia Extra." I understood enough to enjoy it.

Today, Sunday, at 11 00, there's "Primo Amore." Is it the same in Italy? Or do you have it in the evening? Just out of curiosity.

Oh, was it you who told me about "Detective Montalbano"? My, my, I'm addicted to it. It's not so much the story, but the character of Montalbano, he's a regular guy.

Cheers from sunny California,


Washington, DC
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10. Re: learning a second language

Peter and Saturn, according to my Italian teacher, RAI is available online. I keep forgetting to try it, so I'm not sure how to access it.

Also, one more suggestion for Saturn. Do you have the organization called meetup.com in Rhode Island? I think they're pretty much every where in the States. There may be an Italian meet-up near you. We have several here in DC--small to medium groups that meet at restaurants and coffee shops, for cooking classes, ad hoc Italian lessons, Italian movies, etc. The people there range from absolute beginners to native speakers, so you should fit in somewhere.

vteotl, I love Inspector Montalbano!